Humanitarianism as Politics: Internally Displaced Persons, Health, and Citizenship in the Republic of Georgia

Grants and Contracts Details


Project Summary In August 2008, Russia and the Republic of Georgia waned over South Ossetia. Over 127,500 people were temporarily displaced, and 31,000 will be unable to return to their homes in the foreseeable future (United Nations 2008). In response to this crisis, the international community has pledged over $4.5 billion in aid, $350 million of which is earmarked for aid to internally displaced persons (IDPs). The proposed research asks how the organization and provision of this humanitarian aid, particularly projects related to health, shapes both the Georgian state and IDPs as social and political actors. The research proposed here is part of a larger study that will be conducted from August 2009-July 2011, for which the Pis are seeking NSF funding (status pending). Dunn has obtained partial funding for research in Summer and Fall 2009. Koch will conduct research in Summer 2009 under the auspices of other funding. Koch also intends to conduct additional research under NSF auspices in Fall 2010. The PIs seek NCEEER support for research in Summer 2010 and Summer 2011. The project investigates the lived experiences of those who plan, fund, deliver and receive aid by focusing on four central research themes elaborated below: 1. Health Effects of Displacement; 2. The Classification of the Afflicted; 3. IDPs as Active and Passive Agents; and 4. The Effects of Demands for Social Care on State Formation. The research will use ethnographic methods to bridge bureaucratic and clinical domains. The Pis will conduct 14 months of fieldwork to follow specific ventures from international donors to implementing NGOs, to clinics and mobile medical teams and to IDPs in collective centers, government-built settlements, and private housing. The PIs are well qualified for this research: they speak Georgian, have conducted ethnographic research in Georgia before the war, and have begun preliminary research in Thilisi and Gori.
Effective start/end date10/1/099/30/11


  • National Council for Eurasian and East European Research: $52,250.00


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