Dr. Sabine von Löwis

Everyday Life in Conflict – Scopes for Action and Coping Strategies in De Facto States

Dr. Sabine von Löwis

Everyday Life in Conflict – Scopes for Action and Coping Strategies in De Facto States

Side by side: conflict and everyday life co-exist in Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine. Konstantin Chernichkin/ n-ost

Project description

In her project, social geographer Sabine von Löwis explores how conflicts in the post-Soviet space, which are mainly negotiated and monitored at the international level and in geopolitical discourse, are reflected in the everyday lives of affected communities and what role they play there. Her aim is to ascertain what scopes of action are available to individuals in their daily lives and what form they take. The project will identify selected coping strategies in the spheres of education, the workplace, healthcare, culture, etc. in response to non-recognised statehood and show how these strategies influence or, indeed, alter the conflict constellations.

The macro and meso perspectives form a key entry point and framework for understanding conflicts; however – and this is central to the approach adopted here – all levels are interactive. In order to improve our understanding of the geographical space and the people living there, it is important to consider and analyse their knowledge, experience and attitudes. This project therefore focuses on the micro level and analyses everyday life in conflicts.

Methodology

  • Interpretative analysis of interviews conducted in 2019
  • Analysis of documents
  • Research and analysis of secondary literature

Key questions

  • What role do long-lasting conflicts play in the everyday lives of affected communities?
  • How is everyday life, with its social, cultural and economic dimensions, organised under the constraints created by de facto statehood? Which loyalties are formed as a result?
  • How does de facto statehood affect socio-spatial relations and practices, on the one hand, and, on the other, people’s capacity to develop a sense of belonging?

Project coordination