Re-conceptualizing Health in Wars and Conflicts: A New Focus on Deprivation and Suffering

Investigator: Tracy Lin, PhD
Sponsor: London School of Economics & Poli Sci

Location(s): Palestinian Territory


Conflicts pose threats to public health, human security, and wellbeing. Attention tends to focus on the more visible and direct impacts of conflict, such as death, disability, and injury. However, conflicts, especially prolonged conflicts, impact populations and subgroups in important but less visible ways. Stressful social and material conditions, including poverty, malnutrition, and the weakening of social ties and networks, worsened by conflicts, can lead to less visible forms of social suffering, ill-being, and deprivation, both collectively and individually.

Taking the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) as a case study, this project seeks to understand how people give meaning to, make sense of, and cope with various forms of deprivation, and the traumas and impacts of conflict and military occupation. The research team will develop a new metrics to assess deprivation and its links to health outcomes. They will also identify the presence of multiple dimensions of deprivation (economic, material, nutritional, and political) and its determinants, paying particular attention to geographic variation within the oPt. The project will examine the links between different forms of deprivation and health and wellbeing, focusing on less tangible and under-researched impacts of conflict, including the links between subjective and objective measures of health, and the roles of political and social determinants.