The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Silvia Pasquetti

Lecturer in Sociology

Background

On leave for the 2017-2018 academic year as a Member of  the Institute for Advanced Study (School of Social Science) in Princeton

Background

Before joining Newcastle in 2015, I was a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology and a Stipendiary Junior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge (Clare Hall). I received my PhD in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Research Interests and Current Work

My research interests lie in political sociology, urban sociology, citizenship and displacement, law & society, policing and security, humanitarianism, the sociology of emotions, and ethnography. My research focuses on three intersecting themes:

i) displacement, refugees, and refugee camps;

ii) the securitization of society and the distribution of different practices of control including urban militarism, surveillance, and securitized humanitarianism.

iii) People's relations with the law, in the production of perceptions of justice and injustice, and in the relationship between law and morality.

I am currently completing my first book, a comparative ethnography titled Citizens and Refugees: Control, Emotions, and Politics in Israeli Cities and West Bank Camps, which is under contract with Oxford University Press.

I am also co-editing a book (with Dr. Romola Sanyal, Assistant Professor of Urban Geography at LSE), titled Displacement: Global Conversations on Refuge, under contract with Manchester University Press.

I have published peer-reviewed articles in Theory & Society, Ethnic & Racial Studies, Law & Society Review, International Sociology, Political Power & Social Theory, and City. I have also published review essays and public scholarship in British Journal of Sociology, Contexts, and The Middle East Report.

In addition, in 2015 I began fieldwork for a new project on the relationships between old and new forms of marginality in the context of border formation and refugee reception in Europe.





Research

Current and Recent Work

My research focuses on three intersecting themes:

i) displacement, refugees, and refugee camps;

ii) the securitization of society and experiences of urban militarism and surveillance.

iii) People's relationships with the law and the formation of moral-political dispositions in connection with issues of law, justice, and fairness.

I address these three themes through an approach that spans political sociology, and urban sociology and that melds ethnography, especially comparative ethnography, and historical-legal analysis.
 

Specifically, In my published work I have so far addressed the following issues:

- How emotions, especially collective emotions, relate to histories and structures of control (Law & Society Review, 2013).

- How transnational and entrapping processes combine in contexts of forced displacement (Ethnic & Racial Studies, 2015).

- How militarism and surveillance are experienced in everyday life at the level of moral-political dispositions (Theory & Society, 2015; Political Power and Social Theory 2012).

- How a comparative approach to refugees and the urban poor can unsettle fixed assumptions about refugee subjectivities, cities, and citizenship (special issue in City, 2015)

- How urban informality and confinement interact to produce distinct forms of "confined informality" and "informal confinement" across scales of the global order (special issue in International Sociology 2017).

My research on issues of displacement and securitization has mainly been carried out through intensive ethnographic engagement with the West Bank and urban Israel. I am currently writing a book out of this decade-long ethnographic fieldwork. This book, titled Citizens and Refugees: Control, Emotions, and Politics in Israeli Cities and West Bank Refugee Camps, is under contract with Oxford University Press. This book examines how and why two groups of Palestinians, urban minority citizens in an Israeli city and refugees originally from the city, simultaneously maintain transnational ties and express differing moral-political dispositions. It traces these differing moralities and politics to two distinct regimes of control, one centered on the convergence between security and policing agencies and the other on the interplay between humanitarian and military agencies.

Since 2015, I have extended my ethnographic focus on the Mediterranean area, with a new project on global displacement and local urban marginalities in the Italian South.This new project, tentatively titled Injuries of Refuge: Refugees and Chains of Marginality in an Unequal Europe, examines the relationships between old and new forms of marginality in the context of border formation and refugee reception in Southern Europe. While the fieldwork is ongoing, a first publication from this project has appeared in The Middle East Report (2017).

I am also co-editor (with Dr. Romola Sanyal, geography, LSE) of a book, Displacement: Global Conversations on Refuge, under contract with Manchester University Press. This book draws on cases from different regions of the world to undertake a critical examination of the shifting mechanisms and unequal paths underpinning the global humanitarian management of displacement. In the process, it challenges dominant discourses and practices around the management of displacement, theorizes the agency of displaced people in global and local policy arenas, and disentangles the question of how displaced people are classified and how they challenge or slip through these classifications.

My research interest in the sociolegal control of displaced and confined populations also informs two special issues I co-edited with Dr Giovanni Picker (Marie Curie Research Fellow at Birmingham). The first, titled Durable Camps: The State, the Urban, and the Everyday, was published City (2015). This special issue brings together an interdisciplinary group of early career scholars to discuss the role of camps in colonial, racial, and urban forms of domination. It draws attention to how camps are salient spatial-political configurations for the management not only of refugees but also of racialized and classed segments of the citizenry. The second special issue, Urban Informality and Confinement: Toward a Relational Framework, is forthcoming in International Sociology (July 2017).This special issue draws on case studies in Brazil, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, Italy, and the United States to examine how confined populations pursue informal housing and economic practices and, simultaneously explore how confinement is sustained through informal practices implemented by state and international agencies.

Finally, the question of socioeconomic and symbolic marginalities is central to an interview-based collaborative project on the economic crisis, funded by a Balzan International Foundation award to the PI, Prof. Manuel Castells, on which I am currently collaborating with colleagues at Cambridge University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Barcelona. I am a member of the research team working on everyday emotions and the economic crisis in Italy and Greece under the supervision of Prof. John Thompson. A first collaborative publication out of this project is a book chapter, titled Suffering: The Human and Social Costs of Economic Crisis, forthcoming in the book Europe's Crises edited by Manuel Castells et al. (Polity, 2017).

Postgraduate Supervision

I would be happy to discuss potential PhD topics in the areas of political sociology, forced displacement, humanitarianism, security and policing, refugees, urban marginality, experiences of surveillance and militarism, and the sociology of emotions.

I am currently supervising two PhD students.




Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching



SOC1032 Politics and Society (Stage 1, semester 2)


SOC2085 Refugees and Displacement: Borders, Camps, and Asylum (Stage 2, semester 2)



Postgraduate Teaching



Publications