Iman Ali

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Cornell U.

Grant number

Gr. 10667

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Ali, Iman (Cornell U.) "Armed in the name of peace: Everyday Militant Peacekeeping in South Lebanon"

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was created in 1978 to prevent Israel’s imminent invasion. However, UNIFIL was unable to do so, and Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978 and 1982-2000. Although UNIFIL failed, it remains present and ever more powerful in Lebanon 45 years later. In my dissertation research, I focus on UNIFIL’s provisioning of aid through short-term infrastructural insertions and long-term development tactics in the region to unpack how UNIFIL, initially created to restrain Israel’s power in South Lebanon, continues to create conditions that necessitate its presence. Over 18 months of dissertation research on UNIFIL’s history, infrastructure, and development initiatives in south Lebanon, I will examine how UNIFIL deploys infrastructure and development through its militant peacekeeping practices. I approach UNIFIL as a militarized cultural institution that is cemented and contested by locals through infrastructure and development. There are three questions at the heart of this project: What does UNIFIL’s presence in Lebanon tell us about the extension of Israeli occupation? How do locals engage, contest, and negotiate UNIFIL’s presence through infrastructure and development? What type of future materializes through UNIFIL’s development and how do Southerners envision their own futures beyond UNIFIL’s development?