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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Pietro Stefanini

Pietro Stefanini
Pietro Stefanini
Politics and International Relations School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Political violence, Settler Colonialism, Humanitarianism, War, Militarism, Anticolonial Resistance, International Relations, Middle East Politics, Israel/Palestine, Refugee studies

PhD Title

Working title: Settler Colonial Humanitarianism: Israel/Palestine as a case study

PhD Supervisors

Dr. Nicola Perugini; Dr. Nida Alahmad


University of Edinburgh Politics and International Relations PhD Scholarship 2020-2023.


MSc Politics of Conflicts, Rights and Justice, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (2014-2015).

BA with Honours Politics and International Relations, Kingston University London (2010-2013).

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Forthcoming, Stefanini, Pietro (2021) "Militant Kites and Balloons: Anticolonial Resistance in Palestine's Great March of Return", Partecipazione e Conflitto - The Open Journal of Sociopolitical Studies, 14(2) [Accepted]


Stefanini, P. (2021), 'Normalizing the Siege: The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism' in Sorkin, M. and Sharp, D. (eds.), Open Gaza: Architectures of Hope, Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.

Pietro Stefanini, “Normalizing the Siege: The ‘Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism’ and the Contradictions of Humanitarianism and Reconstruction”, The Politics of Post-Conflict Reconstruction, POMEPS Studies, 30 (2018).

Edited Volumes

Stefanini, P. (ed.) (2020), UNRWA at 70: Palestinian Refugees in ContextLondon: Palestinian Return Centre and Al Jazeera Center for Studies.

Selected Reports

Contributor to "73 Years Later: What life is like for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon: highlighting lived experiences and sustainable policy-oriented solutions", report published by the Office of MEP Margrete Auken, January 2021.

Stefanini, P. Voices of Return: Documenting Israel's Repression of the Great March of Return, (2018).

Stefanini, P. and Hammad, M. Syria’s Palestinian Refugees: An Account of Violence, Precarious Existence and Uncertain Futures, (2018).

Academic Conferences and Research Workshops

Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Online Conference: "Entanglements and Detachments in Global Politics", London School of Economics and Political Science, 22-24 October 2020. Paper presented: Settler Colonial Humanitarianism: Invasion, Settlement and Violence. 

Centre for War Studies Annual Conference (online), "What is a battlefield? Who is a fighter?", University of Southern Denmark, 1-2 October 2020. Paper presented: Militant Kites and Balloons: Anticolonial Resistance in Palestine's Great March of Return.

POMEPS Junior Scholar Virtual Research Workshops, Workshop #4: Gaza, 22 May 2020. Paper presented: Political Violence in Gaza’s Great March of Return.

The politics of post-conflict reconstruction in the Middle East, POMEPS, Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University and Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut, 1 February 2018. Paper presented: Normalizing the Siege: ‘The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism,’ Humanitarianism and the Contradictions of Reconstruction.

International Peace Studies Conference, Academic Council on the United Nations System, Vienna, 28 May 2018. Paper presented: Normalizing the Siege: ‘The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism,’ Humanitarianism and Settler Colonialism.

Rethinking Transitional Justice: What Does It Mean Today?, University of Oxford, 22 June 2017. Paper presented: Seeking Transitional Justice in the Former Metropole: the case of the Palestinian Diaspora.

Palestine under Occupation: The Legitimation of Violence and the Violence of Legitimation, Queen Mary University of London, 26 May 2017. Paper presented: ‘Unlawful Associations:’ Israel’s colonial weapon of de-legitimation.


Presentation, "73 Years later – What is life like for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, and what are sustainable solutions?", online event organised by Margarete Auken, Memeber of European Parliament (MEP), January 2021.

Presentation, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Inalco) Paris, France June 2018.

Presentation, LSE Palestine Society 'Israeli Apartheid Week', London School of Economics, February 2017.

Lecture, Palestinian Solidarity Society 'Israeli Apartheid Week', University of Essex, February 2017.

Presentation, Palestine Museum in Bristol, September 2017.

Lecture, Palestinian Youth in Europe in Berlin, Germany, 20 February 2016.

Presentation, European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, December 2015.

Conference organisation

'UNRWA at 70: Responding to Crises and Building a Just Future', November 2019, British Library, London.  

Work Experience

I have worked for five years as a researcher in a London-based organisation dedicated to defend refugee rights. During this time I have organised and presented research at events in the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and the UN Headquarters in New York. I have authored reports predominantly based on interviews with participants facing state violence in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

In 2018 I featured in and helped produce an Al Jazeera TV documentary titled Seven Days in Beirut: Life Inside Burj al-Barajneh Refugee Camp’.