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Katharina Lenner



Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My work focuses on the politics of development and social policy, the governance of migration and refugees, as well as postcolonial and anthropological perspectives on statehood and collective identities.I am a political scientist by training, yet my theoretical and topical interests, as well as my area studies expertise, have meant that my work is interdisciplinary. My research and teaching builds on a broad, cross-disciplinary notion of political and socio-economic change in the global South, particularly in the Arab world, which is grounded in social and political theorizing as well as in-depth qualitative research in the region. Most of my empirical research to date has focused on Jordan.

While my Ph.D. thesis focused on the politics of poverty alleviation policy, my postdoctoral work has concentrated more on the governance of the Syrian presence in Jordan and other states in the region. Recently, I have become particularly interested in policies that seek to address refugees as labour market participants. This has included looking at the role of donors in promoting these policies, the contradictions they encounter, and the manifold effects they have on the ground. I am currently analysing the role of German-funded and/or implemented projects and programmes seeking to create or improve employment for Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan.

Education/Academic qualification

Political Science, Doctor of Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin

Political Science, Master of Arts, Freie Universität Berlin

Middle East Politics, Master of Science, School of Oriental and African Studies


  • migration governance
  • development
  • refugees
  • Arab world
  • donors
  • humanitarianism
  • Jordan

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  • Research Output

    Exkurs: aktuelle gesellschaftliche, soziale und politische Rahmenbedingungen in Jordanian: Digression: Current basic societal, social and political conditions in Jordan

    Translated title of the contribution: Im Gespräch mit Katharina Lenner: In conversation with Katharina LennerLenner, K., Engelfried, C., Ostrowski, M. & Weber, S., 2020, Das Narrativ des Anderen kennenlernen: Wirkungsforschung in einem deutsch-jordanischen Jugendbegegnungsprojekt. Constance, E. (ed.). Opladen: Barbara Budrich, p. 89-109 21 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Lenner, K., Carmel, E. & Paul, R., 2020, Handbook of the Governance and Politics of Migration. Carmel, E., Lenner, K. & Paul, R. (eds.). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Open Access

    Ein Flüchtlingsproblem?

    Translated title of the contribution: A refugee problem? Lenner, K., 2019, Jordanien verstehen, p. 21 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle