Precarious places was an 18-month project funded under the Tackling the UK's International Challenges scheme of the British Academy. The research responded to the protracted displacement of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, where interventions by non-governmental organisations were moving from humanitarian assistance to longer term resilience building. Rates of repatriation and resettlement in those displaced by conflict are low and integration is often not favoured by the host country. Thus, refugees may live in precarious situations for years, and commonly decades.
Protracted displacement negatively impacts the psychological well-being of those affected and can stretch the hospitality of host communities. While basic needs of the population have to be met (although even this is difficult) without an appreciation of the non-material, subjective experience of refugee and host community life, actions have the potential to undermine well-being. Place attachment, the emotional bonds humans form to significant locations, is a key dimension of both these issues but has been underutilised as an analytical framework in refugee settings.