Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna

Helmut Krieger (overall project coordinator, researcher)

is a social scientist, post-doc researcher and lecturer at the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna. His research focuses on the Israel-Palestine antagonism, social movements in the Arab World, development policies in war zones, critical state theories, and postcolonial approaches. He was the Austrian project coordinator of the APPEAR project Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context.

Click here to visit his profile at the University of Vienna.

Klaudia Wieser (research assistant, administration)

is a PhD candidate at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna and a DOC fellow of the Austrian Academy of Science. From September 2016- February 2018 she was a Junior Fellow at the International Research Center for Cultural Studies (IFK) in Vienna and from 2016- 2019 she has been a project member of the APPEAR project Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context.

Currently she is working on her dissertation titled Epistemologies of Liberation: Palestinian Affairs in revolutionary Beirut. Click here to visit her profile at the University of Vienna.

Petra Dannecker (research reviewer)

is Professor of Development Sociology and since 2011 Head of the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna. Before coming to Vienna she was assistant professor at the Department of Sociology at Bielefeld University, Germany and Senior Research Fellow at the German Development Institute in Bonn responsible for coordinating research and knowledge transfer between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and scientific communities. She is working on issues related to development sociology, development politics, globalisation and migration processes, transnationalism and gender and migration focusing regionally on South and Southeast Asia. Currently she is coordinating an EU Erasmus+ Project on transdisciplinarity as a new framework for knowledge production. 

Click here to visit her profile at the University of Vienna.

Centre for Development Studies, Birzeit University

Linda Tabar (project coordinator)

is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Birzeit University. She is currently the Director of the Center for Development Studies at Birzeit University. Situated in the field of Middle East politics, International Studies and Transnational Feminist studies, her research focuses on violence, dispossession, spatial politics, social movements, feminist and decolonizing struggles. Click here to visit her profile at Birzeit University.

Raed Eshnaiwer (researcher)

obtained his PhD in Political and Social Sciences from Universite Libre De Bruxelles (ULB)- Brussels, Belgium, in 2018. He is currently a researcher at the Center for Development Studies (CDS) at Birzeit University BZU. He taught a course on contemporary Arab thought, and coordinated the Palestinian Archive project. His research interests revolve around refugees in the Middle East, mainly Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Jordan. His PhD thesis was on Refugees and the State in Jordan: Repercussions of Syrian Refugees on Jordanian Institutions, Security and Foreign Policy. Before obtaining his PhD, Dr. Eshnaiwer worked as a coordinator for the Forced Migration and Refugee Unit at Birzeit University, where he participated in the development of an academic concentration on Refugee and Forced Migration studies as part of the MA program in International Studies. Click here to visit his profile at Birzeit University.

Ayman Rezeqallah (researcher)

is a researcher and survey unit coordinator at the Center for Development Studies at Birzeit University. He has spent nearly 20 years in community research and development, programmes focused on research methodology, marginalised groups and community development in Palestine and the Diaspora. He received his Master’s Degree in Gender and Development at Birzeit University in 2006, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Social Sciences at the Lebanese University of Beirut, as of 2019. Click here to visit his profile at Birzeit University.

Lena Meari (researcher) 

is an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the director of the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University, Palestine. She has special interest in the geopolitics of knowledge production; subject formation in colonial contexts; decolonizing methodologies; critical feminist theory; and revolutionary movements. Click here to visit her profile at Birzeit University.

Amal Nazzal (researcher)

is an Assistant Professor at the Business and Economics Faculty at Birzeit University, Palestine. She received her PhD from the University of Exeter – UK, where she looked at the relevance of Bourdieu’s theory of practice for relationally capturing various organisational practises, mechanisms and dynamics in socio-cultural organisations, in particular politically-motivated social movements. Her research interests span Bourdieusian theory, social capital, social networking theory and new social media in organisations. Her research is also interested in organisational and institutional change, in addition to the relevance of movement activism and grassroots mobilisation inside organisations. Her research is driven by constructing realities, and the perceptions of agents and social actors, through incorporating different interpretive methods, such as in-depth interviewing, and participant observation. She is also interested in new research methods such as digital ethnography and social media content analysis. Click here to visit her profile at Birzeit University.

Tareq Sadeq (researcher)

is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Birzeit University and was the director of the Applied Statistics Master Programme at Birzeit University between 2012 and 2017. He is also an associate research fellow at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute. He has held a PhD degree in economics since 2008 from the University of Evry Val d’Essonne in France, where he also obtained his Master degree in macroeconomics and econometrics in 2003. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Aix-Marseille School of Economics in 2014. His research interests include econometrics, labour economics, poverty dynamics, income inequalities and wage return to education.

Mousawat Organization, Beirut

Kassem Chehab Sabbah (project coordinator)

holds a BA in Arabic literature and religious studies and a Master in Health Management (MHA). He is a Palestinian born in Lebanon in 1964, an activist for the rights of Palestinian refugees and the rights of people with disabilities. Kassem Sabbah is a scholar in Islamic studies, a writer and poet. He has published several books and articles about religious reform and the role of religious men in politics and social development besides patriotic and sufi poems. He has long experience in humanitarian work and worked for several international and local NGOs. He is a consultant and trainer in organisational and institutional development as well. Kassem Sabbah is the founder of the Palestinian Disability Forum, the Palestinian Union for People with Disabilities as well as Mousawat.

Rawya Moussa (coordinator between NGOs and partners, researcher)

is an MA student in the field of Sociology at the Lebanese University in Beirut. Rawya started working at Mousawat in 2013. She has long standing experience in field research, planning, and data collection and analysis. Rawya led a group of social workers and sociologists through a three-year training program within the framework of the APPEAR project Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context. Currently she is leading the research unit at Mousawat.

Center for Peace Research and Peace Education, Alps-Adriatic University Klagenfurt

Claudia Brunner (project coordinator from 2020)

is Associate Professor at the Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education at the Department of Educational Science, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. She studied Political Science, Gender Studies and Contemporary History in Vienna, Paris, and Berlin. She received her doctorate from the University of Vienna in 2009. In 2010, she joined the Centre for Peace Studies and Peace Education at the University Klagenfurt where she was promoted to assistant professor in 2015. The same year, she started her transdisciplinary research project “Theorising Epistemic Violence” (V 368-G15, funded by the Austrian Science Fund from 2015 to 2020). Having successfully completed the latter, she earned her habilitation degree at the University of Vienna in 2019 and was appointed an associate professor at the University of Klagenfurt in 2020. For her interdisciplinary work on entanglements of knowledge and violence Claudia Brunner received two academic awards in Germany (2011, 2012). For further information, research foci, teaching, lectures and publications see

Viktorija Ratković (project coordinator until 2020)

Viktorija Ratković is Senior Scientist at the Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education at the Department of Educational Science, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria. Her research interests include conviviality and post-migrant societies, (post-)migrant media, peace and conflict studies, and cultural and gender studies. Click here to visit her university profile.

Syrian Center for Policy Research

Rabie Nasser (project coordinator)

is an economist, researcher and co-founder of the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR). His areas of expertise and research include macroeconomic policies, inclusive growth, poverty, and conflict socioeconomic impact assessment. He holds a MSc in Economics from Leicester University, UK. Before joining the SCPR, Nasser worked for the State Planning Commission as chief economist and director general of the Macroeconomic Management Directorate between 2004-2005. He later worked as an economic researcher for the Arab Planning Institute in Kuwait. Since 2008, he has led several United Nations research projects.

Ramia Ismail (researcher)

is an economist and researcher at the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR). Her areas of research include economic policies and development issues in Syria. Ismail worked for the Ministry of Finance in Syria as a coordinator of the Value-added Tax Project between 2004-2005. From 2009-2011 she worked as a macroeconomic expert for the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ). Ismail is involved in several UN and international organization projects, including UNICEF. She holds a MSc in Economics of the Middle East from Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany, a MSc in Economic Policy for Developing and Transitional Economies from University of Bradford, UK, and a Diploma in Population and Development from Damascus University.

Nabil Marzouk (researcher)

is an economist and senior researcher at the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR). His areas of research include macroeconomic policies and socioeconomic development in Syria. Marzouk worked for the State Planning Commission as a consultant and lecturer at the Planning Institute of Damascus for the macroeconomics sector. He also worked for the General Company for Technical Studies and as a consultant and expert for ESCWA, UNDP, UNIDO, and ILO. He holds a doctorate in Analysis and Economics Policies from The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris.

Omar Dahi

is an associate professor of Economics at Hampshire College and a visiting fellow at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dahi specialises in the areas of economic development and international trade, with a special focus on South-South economic cooperation and the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa. Dahi is a co-founder of the Beirut School for Critical Security Studies. He is also an editor at the e-zine Jadaliyya and a researcher at the Arab Studies Institute. Previously he was one of the lead experts of the National Agenda for the Future of Syria Programme developed by ESCWA. Click here to visit his profile at Hampshire College.


Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna

The Department was founded in 2010 (Project International Development was formed in 2002) as a transdisciplinary research platform, with links to the Faculty of History, the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Social Sciences. Its aim in research and teaching is to challenge classical conventions and foster new and critical approaches to development theory, methodology, and policy. The team at the Department of Development Studies (DDS) consists of 9 academic staff members – among them 2 professors – and 58 lecturers with various disciplinary and professional backgrounds. This diversity is an important pillar in transdisciplinary teaching and research that is further strengthened by research projects and their focus on transdisciplinarity (e.g. KNOTS – Fostering multi-lateral knowledge networks of transdisciplinary studies to tackle global challenges, funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the EU and the APPEAR project Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context, funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation). DDS offers an MA (900 students) and PhD program (40 students). Visit the DDS website to learn more.

Center for Development Studies, Birzeit University

The Center for Development Studies (CDS) was constituted as a university centre in 2007, following a decade as the university-affiliated Development Studies programme. It provides a central point for the study of development generally and in Palestine specifically. As a research-oriented institution its work plays a significant role in the activities of a variety of groups both locally and internationally, including senior scholars, and policy- makers as well as local communities and groups. Over the years, CDS has built an extensive network of relations with grassroots organizations, the non-governmental sector, international organizations and the government, and makes extensive use of its resources and access to Palestinian communities and groups within and outside of Palestine. Visit the CDS website to learn more.

Mousawat Organization, Beirut

Mousawat is a rights based organisation that aims at  improving the quality of life for marginalized communities (especially people with disabilities, young refugees and displaced people) in Lebanon. Established in 2008, Mousawat runs several rehabilitation, protection and disability programs in Palestinian and Syrian camps and gatherings throughout Lebanon. The organization focuses on economic empowerment, training and capacity building and hosts a social science research unit that investigates political, social and economic developments in the Palestinian camps since 2018. Learn more.

Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education (ZFF), Alps-Adriatic University

The Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education was founded in 2005. It is the only peace institute at a public Austrian university. The two special characteristics of the centre’s work are the focus on the cultural dimension of peace research and strengthening the links between peace research and peace education. Among its research foci are questions of political and epistemic violence, human rights, post-migrant societies and interactive conflict transformation.

ZFF offers the elective programme “Peace Research and Peace Education” which can be attended by BA, MA and PhD students. Visit the ZFF website to learn more.

The Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR)

The Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR) is an independent, non-governmental, and non-profit research center, working to bridge the gap between research and policymaking process.

Since 2011, the center has worked on evidence-based policy dialogue to diagnose the conflict roots and dynamics in addition to providing policy alternatives that promote people’s priorities in justice, peace, and sustainable and human-centered development.

Visit the SCPR website to learn more.