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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Pietro Stefanini

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

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).


Stefanini, P. (forthcoming 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).


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).

Edited Volumes

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

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, 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. 

As well as regularly mentoring and supervising interns, between September and December 2018 I supervised a second-year student from Lund University in Sweden that took part in an Erasmus traineeship programme. As the student's supervisor I developed the three-month 'individual study plan' that constituted planning of the work schedule; l conducted weekly supervision sessions; and graded the final appraisal of the student.

In 2018 I spent a week living in the refugee camp of Burj el Barajneh to film an Al Jazeera TV documentary titled Seven Days in Beirut: Life Inside Burj al-Barajneh Refugee Camp’.