Sigrid Lupieri is a Lecturer in Civic, Liberal, and Global Education (COLLEGE). Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Her current book project investigates how medical humanitarians value human life in a crisis. Focusing on the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, her research traces how security concerns, diplomatic efforts and notions of ‘deservingness’ influence who gets privileged access to medical care. Her work has been published in Social Science & Medicine, Global Social Policy, Forced Migration Review and Third World Quarterly.

Sigrid received a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge. She also holds an MPhil in Modern European History from the University of Cambridge, an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, and a B.A. from the University of Udine (Italy). Outside of academia, she has worked for several years as a journalist in Armenia, Georgia, and Germany, and as a UN officer in New York and New Delhi.

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford Introductory Studies - Civic, Liberal, and Global Education

2023-24 Courses

All Publications

  • 'Vulnerable' but not 'Valuable': Older refugees and perceptions of deservingness in medical humanitarianism. Social science & medicine (1982) Lupieri, S. 2022; 301: 114903


    In a crisis, there is widespread recognition and acceptance that not all lives can be saved. But whose lives can legitimately be saved and who decides? Recent scholarship has begun to examine how refugees perceived as 'vulnerable', such as women and children, are frequently prioritized over other groups in humanitarian responses. Such analyses, however, fail to adequately explain why some groups - such as older persons - are considered vulnerable and yet are largely neglected. Based on the case of older Syrian refugees in Jordan, this article critically examines the ways in which humanitarian health actors make sense of the humanitarian principle of 'impartiality' in the face of limited resources. Based on 61 interviews and observational data collected in Jordan between 2017 and 2019, my results show that humanitarians routinely classify older refugees as 'vulnerable' and in need of medical assistance. Yet I find that three neoliberal considerations - including perceptions of the reduced lifespan, disproportionate disease burden, and limited contributions to the economy of older refugees - make this demographic low 'value for money'. This article expands our understanding of how medical humanitarian understandings of 'deservingness' are increasingly shaped by market-driven logics, and how these (re)create ageist, gendered and racialized hierarchies within refugee health.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114903

    View details for PubMedID 35339944