Christiana Parreira is a PhD candidate in political science at Stanford University. She is interested in the role informal institutions and social networks play in local governance, with a regional focus on the Middle East. Parreira holds a BA in public policy and Near Eastern studies from Princeton University. Prior to graduate studies, she worked at a public health organization in Rwanda.
How do individuals act collectively in contexts where the state fails to deliver basic goods? Why do outcomes of this collective action vary so drastically? In postwar Lebanon, municipal elites and clientelist ethnic parties serves as the main providers of social services, yet local variation in welfare outcomes remains under-theorized. This project investigates how nested social networks centered around ethnoreligious affiliation and kinship (e.g. extended family) affect the informal provision of social welfare in weak states. The project gains empirical leverage on these theories through spatial data analysis, qualitative fieldwork, and an original individual-level survey across two municipalities in Lebanon.