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Title: Voices in the dark : energy and the politics of living in refugee camps
Author: Rosenberg-Jansen, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 9351 6144
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis examines two central issues: firstly, how energy is valued and perceived by refugees and humanitarian practitioners, and, secondly, how energy is accessed and governed in refugee camps. It draws on empirical evidence collected from households, enterprises and humanitarian operations in Kenyan and Rwandan camps to argue that energy is of critical importance for refugee life. The thesis shows how energy is valued for social and practical reasons, with refugees often finding and securing their own access to energy. Small and informal enterprises within camps are the main providers of energy access for refugee homes and businesses, especially when institutional actors fail to meet needs. Within community facilities and humanitarian operations, provision of energy is intermittent and often absent. While refugee users and enterprises are aware of the value of energy, humanitarians undervalue its importance. Using a theoretical framing centred around the politics of living, the research critically questions the role of humanitarian agencies and argues that energy in camps is always political. In other words, humanitarians make choices about the distribution of resources and access to energy in a way that restricts energy activities and this has notably political effects.
Supervisor: Eyre, Nicholas ; Scott-Smith, Thomas Sponsor: Royal Geographical Society
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Refugee Studies ; Energy ; Anthropology ; International Development