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Nora Stel

Mukhtars in the Middle: Connecting State, Citizens and Refugees

[Image taken by author during fieldwork in Beirut, March 2015]

Lebanon’s political set-up differs significantly from that of the region’s monarchical and authoritarian countries. Its consociational system is both remarkably protracted in its sectarianism and distinctly volatile in its elite bargaining. Lebanese governance, consequently, is characterized by a multiplicity of (both state and non-state) political authorities and a plurality of (both de jure and de facto) political institutions. Lebanon, in short, can be considered a ...

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Eviction and Migration in an Institutional Vacuum: The Case of a Palestinian Gathering in South Lebanon

[Public posters in Shabriha. Image by author, spring 2013.]

Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps and the plight of their inhabitants are well-known. The twelve Palestinian camps in Lebanon are often described as either spatially segregated “states-within-the-state” or as socio-economic “islands of marginalization” (Czajka 2012). The majority of Palestinians in Lebanon, however, do not live in these (in)famous camps. Instead, they live in so-called “adjacent areas” (AAs), which are illegal extensions of the camps, or in “gatherings,” ...

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Nora Stel


Nora Stel is Assistant Professor at Maastricht School of Management, a PhD Researcher at Utrecht University’s Center for Conflict Studies, and an Affiliated Scholar at the American University of Beirut’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs. Her PhD research focuses on the governance relations between Palestinian authorities and Lebanese state institutions in informal Palestinian settlements in South Lebanon. Nora has published on the construction and perception of authority in the Levant in several journals (among others: Middle East Policy, Mediterranean Politics, the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Journal of Development Studies and Conflict, Security & Development). Contact: