Faculty and Researchers
Elizabeth StitesResearch Director and Assistant Professor
Assistant Research Professor, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy
Research Assistant Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition
Elizabeth Stites directs Feinstein’s Research Program on Conflict and Livelihoods, focused on the effects of conflict and violence on civilian livelihoods. She is particularly interested in how different members within a household make changes to their livelihoods in times of conflict or crisis, and also how violence and livelihood strategies can reinforce each other. On the policy level she examines the effects of humanitarian, development, and military policies on livelihoods, security, and gender roles. Her field work aims to improve the effectiveness of international and national policies through evidence-based research reflecting the lived experiences of local communities. She aims to understand the challenges and hopes that inform people’s daily decision making, and strives to ensure that local people’s voices and experiences are heard in contexts in which they are often invisible. She has worked in multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Nepal and on the Syria crisis.
Prior to joining Feinstein, Elizabeth worked as a consultant to UN organizations, academic centers, and international non-profits. She lived in South Africa for four years in the 1990s, where she researched post-apartheid land restitution and worked closely with families, community groups, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
Elizabeth holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University, an M.A. from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and an M.A.L.D. and a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
- Intra-household livelihood adaptations and coping
- Male youth and violence
- Cyclical links between livelihoods and violence
- Eastern Africa
- Gender, Culture, and Conflict in Complex Emergencies (NUTR 222/DHP D232), Fall Term
- Gender and Human Security in Transitional States and Societies (DHP D231), Spring Term
- Howe, K., Stites, E. “Partners under Pressure: Humanitarian Action for the Syria Crisis.” Disasters 43(1), January 2019: 3-23.
- Stites, E., Howe, K., “From the Border to the Bedroom: Changing Conflict Dynamics in Karamoja, Uganda Journal of Modern African Studies March 2019, 57(1): 137-159
- Stites, E. “‘The only place to do this is in town:’ Experiences of rural-urban migration in northern Karamoja, Uganda.” Nomadic Peoples 24 (2020): 32-55
- Stites, Elizabeth and Anastasia Marshak. “Who are the Lonetia? Findings from southern Karamoja, Uganda.” Journal of Modern African Studies 54 (2016). 237-262.
- Stites, Elizabeth. “A Struggle for Rites: Masculinity, Violence and Livelihoods in Karamoja, Uganda.” In Gender, Violence, and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives, edited by Aili Tripp, Myra Marx Ferree, and Christina Ewig. New York University Press, 2013.
Feinstein Researchers analyze how social connections facilitate survival during displacement in the Journal of Refugee Studies
Elizabeth Stites, Alex Humphrey, and Roxani Krystalli published an article in the Journal of Refugee Studies titled, “Social Connections and Displacement from South Sudan to Uganda: Towards a Relational Understanding…Read More
In March 2020 the World Bank published a report on resilience and economic opportunity in the Borderlands of the Horn of Africa where pastoralism and trade are the dominant livelihoods….Read More
Feinstein Research Projects
In this partnership with Mercy Corps, the Feinstein International Center team investigates the nature of social networks and social connectedness, and explores how humanitarian assistance can strengthen these as a key aspect of resilience, recovery and relief interventions in complex humanitarian emergencies.Read More
Currency of Connections: The role of social connectedness among South Sudanese refugees in West Nile, Uganda
This briefing paper examines how South Sudanese refugees in settlements in West Nile, Uganda establish and leverage their social connectedness throughout the process of displacement and settlement.Read More
This report describes household recovery in northern Uganda from the 20 years of conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda (GoU) by following the same…Read More