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From livelihoods to leisure and back: refugee ‘self-reliance’ as collective practices in Lebanon, India and Greece

Carpi, E; Field, JA; Dicker, SI; Rigon, A; (2021) From livelihoods to leisure and back: refugee ‘self-reliance’ as collective practices in Lebanon, India and Greece. Third World Quarterly , 42 (2) pp. 421-440. 10.1080/01436597.2020.1828852. Green open access

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Abstract

Over the last two decades, leading humanitarian agencies in the Global North have increasingly promoted a policy of self-reliance, understood as making individual refugees financially independent from aid assistance through livelihood programmes. However, individual economic autonomy offers an incomplete picture of refugee well-being. Based on fieldwork conducted over 2017 in Halba (Lebanon), Delhi (India) and Thessaloniki (Greece), this multi-site study shows that non-camp refugees build on collective strategies at household, social network and community levels in efforts to develop mechanisms of survival and enfranchisement. These strategies include social and leisure activities as well as income-generating activities which are often organised compartmentally in humanitarian programming. We argue that while leisure and social mingling alone cannot ensure economic sustainability, they are fundamental dimensions of self-reliance as seen by refugees and should therefore be systematically included in livelihood programming. “It is on a living tree that the vine grows” (Ghanaian proverb teaching support, growth and interdependence on one another within the community).

Type: Article
Title: From livelihoods to leisure and back: refugee ‘self-reliance’ as collective practices in Lebanon, India and Greece
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2020.1828852
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2020.1828852
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: cities, migration and refugees, livelihoods and sustainability, leisure, social mingling, prolonged displacement
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115897
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