CFP: "Welfare and the domestic space. Housing and health in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean"

!!The DEADLINE has been EXTENDED!!

We are delighted to announce the CFP for the workshop “Welfare and the domestic space. Housing and health in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean”

This workshop invites to take a careful look at the local, and even domestic, environment where welfare and health are entangled. To help framing the geographical scope of the issue, this first workshop also welcomes presentations on other areas facing similar questions. 


Since the 19th century, providing housing and inspecting dwellings for health reasons has become a domain of action for both public and private actors of welfare. Despite extensive literature on the history of social housing in Western European and Northern American cities, scholars have rarely observed the impact of welfare on the domestic sphere. Moreover, in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean, a geographical area marked by clashing imperial formations, with an important ethno-religious diversity, competing nationalisms and political regimes, massive human displacements and rural-to-urban migrations, housing provision appears as a fundamental yet overlooked part of social protection. This workshop will explore why and how the State and associations, as well as international actors, have intervened on housing from the 19th to the early 21st centuries in this region. We will try to identify the sources that could help address these questions, frame the geographical scope of the issue and highlight the historical moments of reconfiguration, from Ottoman rule to the post-war breakup of Empires and the contemporary era. 

 Interventions in the domain of housing, including through welfare policies, are shaped by social norms of class and gender as well as by ethno-confessional demarcations. These have led either to the prescription of specific practices within specific households or to the categorization of some residential areas as threatening for the rest of the city. If the moralisation of impoverished areas is a well-known aspect of charitable or welfare initiatives, the interactions between the providers and recipients when it comes to housing have been studied in lesser depth. This workshop will thus explore the collaboration, compliance, resistance, claiming of rights of aid recipients, which could help to bring nuance to a too often top-down narrative on social housing. By varying the scales and tools of analysis in order to integrate space – be it urban or domestic – as a heuristic analytical category, we also hope to better grasp the process and effects of the mixed economy of welfare, within each historical context. This first workshop will revolve around three themes which are of key importance to the study of housing, welfare, and health in the region:

  • Imagining and building social housing 

  • Scales of danger: housing and the construction of risk 

  • Prescribing and negotiating the domestic space 

Practical information

  • The workshop will take place at the Institut français d’études anatoliennes (IFEA), Istanbul on October 14th-15th 2022. 

  • To participate in this initial workshop, please send an abstract of maximum 300 words, including a short biographical note, by September 9th to lea.delmaire@sciencespo.fr

  • For further information about the workshop, please see the PDF attached


Lea Delmaire (Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po, IFEA) 

Gabriel Doyle (Sciences Po, CETOBaC/EHESS)