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Lenner, Katharina


University of Bath, United Kingdom


Max Weber alumnus

Robert Schuman Centre

Cohort(s): 2015/2016

Ph.D. Institution

Free University Berlin, Germany


I received my PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin in May 2015, after having worked there as a research associate and lecturer from 2008 to 2014. During 2014-5 I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Jordan (Amman).
In my current research, I investigate how globalized blueprints for intervention take on a shape of their own as they become meaningful in specific contexts, particularly in the Arab world. My PhD thesis focused on the politics of poverty alleviation and local development in Jordan. I utilized an interpretive and ethnographic policy analysis approach to examine how the respective discourses and policies operate, and to understand how multiple agendas come together to produce poverty-related policies in Jordan. As a Max Weber Fellow I expand this approach by focusing on a separate but related field – the governance of (Syrian) refugees in Jordan. I gathered empirical data for this new project during my recent fellowship in Amman.
I am a political scientist by training, yet my theoretical and topical interests, as well as my area studies expertise, have meant that my work has always been interdisciplinary. My research and teaching builds on a broad, cross-disciplinary notion of political transformation in the global South, particularly in the Arab world, which is grounded in social and political theorizing as well as in-depth qualitative research in the region. It has particularly focused on the politics of development and social policy, the governance of migration and refugees, as well as postcolonial and anthropological perspectives on statehood and collective identities.
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