Re-Conceptualising Health in Wars and Conflicts: A New Focus on Deprivation and Suffering

in collaboration with Birzeit University

LSE PI: Dr Tiziana Leone
Co-PIs: Professor Rita Giacaman
Duration: September 2018 – March 2021

Two Israeli soliders and Palestinian woman at a West Bank checkpoint. Joel Carillet.

Conflicts pose threats to public health, human security, and wellbeing. Attention tends to focus on the more visible and direct impacts of conflict, such as death, disability, and injury. However, conflicts, especially prolonged conflicts, impact populations and subgroups in important but less visible ways. Stressful social and material conditions, including poverty, malnutrition, and the weakening of social ties and networks, worsened by conflicts, can lead to less visible forms of social suffering, ill-being, and deprivation, both collectively and individually (Pedersen et al 2008; Pedersen 2002; Miller and Rasmussen 2009).

Taking the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) as a case study, this project seeks to understand how people give meaning to, make sense of, and cope with various forms of deprivation, and the traumas and impacts of conflict and military occupation. The research team will develop a new metrics to assess deprivation and its links to health outcomes. They will also identify the presence of multiple dimensions of deprivation (economic, material, nutritional, and political) and its determinants, paying particular attention to geographic variation within the oPt. The project will examine the links between different forms of deprivation and health and wellbeing, focusing on less tangible and under-researched impacts of conflict, including the links between subjective and objective measures of health, and the roles of political and social determinants.

This project builds on a pre-existing partnership between research teams at LSE and Birzeit University.

This project forms part of the Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Programme, funded by the Emirates Foundation.

Project Outputs

LSE Research Team

Tiziana Leone

Tiziana Leone | Principal Investigator 

Tiziana is Associate Professor in Health and International Development in the Department of International Development, LSE.

Ernestina Coast

Ernestina Coast | Researcher

Ernestina is Professor of Health and International Development in the Department of International Development, LSE.

David Lewis

David Lewis | Researcher

David is Professor of Social Policy and Development in the Department of International Development, LSE.


Tracy Kuo Lin | Researcher

Tracy Kuo Lin is a health economist by training and Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

Birzeit Research Team

Rita Giacaman

Rita Giacaman | Co-Principal Investigator

Rita is Professor of Public Health at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University. 


Weeam Hammoudeh | Co-Principal Investigator

Weeam is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University.

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Rawan Kafri | Research Assistant

Rawan is Research Assistant at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University. She holds an Master's degree in Global Health and Development from University College London.

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Suzan Mitwalli | Research Assistant

Suzan holds a Master’s degree in Community and Public Health and is an academic researcher and assistant coordinator of the MPH program at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University.


Raneem Amra | Research Assistant

Raneem is Research Assistant at the Institute of Community and Public Health. She holds a BA in Psychology from Utica College, New York.