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Livelihoods, Landmines and Cluster Bombs:
Assessing the impact of contamination and clearance on the livelihoods of conflict affected communities in South Lebanon

COLLINGWOOD, CLARE (2014) Livelihoods, Landmines and Cluster Bombs:
Assessing the impact of contamination and clearance on the livelihoods of conflict affected communities in South Lebanon.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (Redacted version of accepted thesis) - Accepted Version


The 1997 and 2008 UN Conventions on anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions mobilised the clearance of millions of square metres of land globally. Yet despite this success, concerns persist. Whilst areas of land made safe and numbers of items destroyed were systematically monitored, understanding the impact on livelihoods remains a goal of practitioners and policy-makers alike. This research explores the impact mines and cluster munitions, and their clearance, had on 66 households and in two communities in southern Lebanon. These communities lie within 20 kilometres of the United Nations delineated Blue Line: the militarised Lebanon/Israel border.

The research had academic and applied objectives. It was guided by the following questions: How does contamination impact upon livelihoods? What impact does clearance have on livelihoods and local development spaces? And, how can any variations in the impact of contamination and clearance on livelihoods, within and across the field sites, be explained? Methodologically, it explored the implications of analysing livelihood change in insecure contexts. Literatures on livelihoods, well-being, disaster risk reduction, post-colonialism and political economy of conflict are used to ground the analysis and discussion: drawn together through the lenses of vulnerability and resilience.

The findings highlight that contamination and clearance unsettled and reworked livelihoods and livelihood security in the field sites. Contamination caused costs to livelihood capitals. It led to threat avoidance, containment and confrontation mechanisms, to cope with, and adapt to, its presence. Where clearance followed, benefits associated with ‘undoing’ the costs of contamination on livelihood were found. Yet, impact was differentiated between and within communities. Further impact was non material as well as material and linked to an understanding of livelihoods as resistance. This highlights the need to see the impact of mine action ‘in the round’; attuned to context and the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions and insecurities of everyday living that this may imply. This may unsettle the assumptions upon which the conceptualisations of impact, and hence how it is primarily examined, have appeared to fall within mine action.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Mine action, livelihoods, conflict, vulnerability, resilience, resistance, politics, insecurity, Lebanon, Middle East.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2016 15:45

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