Posts Tagged With: international research


Operazione Colomba

Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII


Research Proposal
The Prospect of Humanitarian Zones in Syria

Who are we

Operazione Colomba is the Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Association Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII. Since 1992 our volunteers have been operating in: protecting civilians, promoting dialogue and reconciliation between the parts, supporting local nonviolent realities, doing advocacy activities.

Since 2013, Operazione Colomba volunteers have been living in a Syrian refugee camp in Northern Lebanon, sustaining a need for international protection expressed by refugee communities. These same communities drafted a Peace Proposal to answer to the growing hardships faced in Lebanon. Their request is simple and fair: to go back to their country in a safe area where they do not risk being arrested, killed or be forcibly drafted in the army.

To support their Peace Proposal, Operazione Colomba and a group of Syrian activists have created a team of experienced volunteers, to make sure this proposal is taken to the major political platforms dealing with solutions to the Syrian conflict, reaching policy-makers at both national government level as well as within international diplomacy channels.

The research group

In order to identify a humanitarian zone in Syria where Syrian refugees abroad could safely return, the Peace Proposal team needs to be supported by an organized research group, which could scientifically and systematically monitor the ongoing dynamics of the war in Syria, the demographic changes of the country and the safe areas where a normalization could be feasible, so as to provide concrete feasibility to the realization of the Peace Proposal in practice.

The Research Group will be made of international academic staff and researchers collaborating with Operazione Colomba Peace Proposal Team. Academic staff based at international Universities is welcome to join the research group on a voluntary basis, and is expected to critically engage with the Peace Proposal Team in the outline of specific areas of research. Academic staff will work as main point of contact between Operazione Colomba and MA students interested in conducting specific sections of the research.

HQ: Operazione Colomba – Via Mameli 5 – 47921 Rimini (RN) Tel./Fax (+39) 0541 29005 E-mail:

Operazione Colomba

Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII

Focus of the research group

The Research Group’s fundamental aim is to study the Syrian conflict, investigating where and how the safe humanitarian zone could be created in order to promote a safe and just repatriation of Syrian refugees.

The research group’s strategy will be based on the analysis of modern socio-economic and political trends in Syria’s recent history, so as to contextualize the transformations undergone through the last nine years of war. Adding to the situation in Syria, research will also focus on the evolving situation in different regions of the country and in Syrian refugees’ camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Moreover, past cases of humanitarian zones in other world regions will provide yet another key focus to this research, in understanding the processes and specific geo-historical causalities that brought to their formation and local/regional/international recognition. The successful case of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Colombia, will be used a comparative study.

Organization of the research group

To operationalize this research proposal, three distinct groups are identified for collaboration: (I) Operazione Colomba Peace Proposal Team; (II) Academic leads at major international universities, and (III) Master-level students interested in carrying out their research projects on topics relevant to this research proposal.

Tasks and duties of Operazione Colomba Peace Proposal Team:

  •   To provide overall guidance and support to academic leads about the specific areas ofresearch focus;
  •   To coordinate the different areas of research involved in this research project so as to avoidcross-overs and guarantee that all interest areas are covered;
  •   To provide information and access to specific data held by Operazione Colomba on thetopics of research interest.Tasks and duties of the academic leads:
  •   To identify pertinent sub-areas of research interest to propose as assignments to MA studentsinterested to carry out research on those specific topics;
  •   To supervise the work of MA students in line with the research requirements, ethics, andfinal purpose of Operazione Colomba’s research proposal;
  •   To liaise with the Peace Proposal Team with regards to changing research focus, access todata, fieldwork required. HQ: Operazione Colomba – Via Mameli 5 – 47921 Rimini (RN) Tel./Fax (+39) 0541 29005 E-mail:

Operazione Colomba

Nonviolent Peace Corps of the Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII

Tasks and duties of MA students involved:

  •   To identify a specific research area of interest within the remits of this research proposal;
  •   To liaise with the specific academic lead about the research and delivery of the research;
  •   To produce a final report on the research conducted specifically for the use of the PeaceProposal Team, summarizing main methodologies and findings.Sub-areas of research focus

This research will be based on four macro-themes:
1) A comparative study between the Peace Proposal and the Community of San José de Apartadó;

2) Examples of humanitarian zones in international law (previous cases of both “informal” and “formally recognized” humanitarian zones;

3) Examples of restorative justice (humanitarian commissions ruling on demilitarization and peace- building between warring communities);

4) Update study and monitoring of specific geographical areas of Syria (demographic engineering during the Syrian conflict, areas of return, return flows from neighbouring countries).

Contacs: HQ: Operazione Colomba – Via Mameli 5 – 47921 Rimini (RN) Tel./Fax (+39) 0541 29005 E-mail:

Categories: Middle East, Syria | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Le Liban et la recherche internationale après les révoltes de 2011: une «zone de confort»? (August, 2020)

You can access my new article with Rosita Di Peri (University of Turin) on Lebanon as a “comfort zone” for international researchers in the new Issue of Afriche & Orienti, which is Open Access! You can read the abstract here below, and access the link to the article via my Academia page:

Since the 2011 uprising, the Arab world turned into a theatre of political and social transformations. While some have been visible, others, less visible, have however been able to affect the intellectual, social and political infrastructure of international research. Being an important scenario for regional policy developments (Eg. the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran), Lebanon offers an interesting case in point. While this article does not address the October 2019 revolution and the most recent COVID-19 pandemic, we endeavor to unravel the ways in which research themes, methods, and security have changed in the Lebanese context.

Despite domestic instability, Lebanon not only is one of the few countries where conducting research is still possible in a crisis-affected region, but it also emerges as a “comfort zone” for international researchers: a place where to observe regional conflicts while enjoying a consumeristic lifestyle and a privileged position within Lebanese society. We provide a critical inquiry of how, first, the confessional narrative has been abused and reproduced in international research. Second, we focus on how scholars have changed the way of thinking Lebanon’s statehood and political order. Finally, we discuss how the forced migration scholarship has built on the widespread securitization and ethnicization of migration.ès_les_révoltes_de_2011_une_zone_de_confort_

Categories: Lebanon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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