Dr Karen  Iversen

Dr Karen Iversen

LSE Fellow

Department of International Development

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English, Norwegian, Spanish
Key Expertise
Latin America; humanitarianism; forced migration; resistance; citizenship

About me

Dr Karen Schouw Iversen is an LSE Fellow in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies in the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She completed her PhD in Development Studies at SOAS, University of London, and holds an MSc in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Karen’s research examines activism in Colombia, where the state has rolled out an extensive set of humanitarian policies targeting the millions of people internally displaced due to the country’s civil conflict. Based on ethnographic fieldwork with internally displaced populations, she explores how humanitarian assistance shapes state-citizen relations. She argues that humanitarian policies and discourses often provide opportunities that the internally displaced can utilise for activism and resistance. Karen is interested in the complex relationship between humanitarian assistance, power, and resistance, and adopts a Foucauldian approach to studying aid provisions.

Karen’s teaching focuses on forced migration and humanitarian emergencies. Before coming to the LSE, Karen convened and contributed to a range of international development, migration, aid, and conflict modules at the University of Birmingham and at SOAS, University of London. She is recognised as an Advance HE Fellow (FHEA).

Selected publications

  • Schouw Iversen, K., 2022. Displacement, time and resistance: The role of waiting in facilitating occupations led by internally displaced persons in Colombia. Time & Society31(2), pp.226-246. DOI: 10.1177/0961463X211052838.

  • Schouw Iversen, K., 2022. Participation as Confrontation: Resistance within and outside the Mesas de Participación Established for IDPs in Colombia. Journal of Refugee Studies. DOI: 10.1093/jrs/feac010.




Expertise Details

Forced migration; Latin America; Foucauldian approaches to humanitarianism; migrant resistance and social movements; critical citizenship studies.