Title Author(s) Publishing Date Summary Keywords Dossier
Solidarity initiatives and CSOs civic & operational space in Lebanon during the lockdown of January-March 2021 Lebanon Support June, 2021

This digest provides an overview of the main data trends from the 2nd iteration of a mapping on solidarity initiatives in Lebanon following the Beirut’s blast on 4 August 2020. This iteration focuses on the civic space and CSOs operational space in Lebanon during the Covid-19 related lockdown and state of emergency between January and March 2021. 

Data was collected by Lebanon Support between 23 January to 4 March 2021, based on a survey of 119 civil society organisations and initiatives. 

The mapping is developed in partnership with the Fondation de France.

Civil Society, Solidarity, Humanitarian Intervention, Civic Space Civil Society Observatory
المراكز البحثية ودورها في صنع السياسة الخارجية المغربية Rachid El-Bazzim, Amal El Houasni April, 2021

تهدف هذه الورقة إلى تسليط الضوء على أدوار مراكز الأبحاث المغربية التي تشتغل في مجال السياسية الخارجية، ومساهمتها في صنع القرار الخارجي وفي صنع المعرفة. اعتمدت هذه الدراسة على المنهج الوظيفي وقدرات التحليل والوصف لرصد مكانة هذه المراكز في بلورة التوجهات الاستراتيجية وتحديد أهدافها ومجالات اشتغالها، وتعزيز الخبرة التكنوقراطية في دعم توجهات المغرب الرسمية الخارجية، بالارتكاز على محاور الاقتصاد السياسي للبحث وتحولات الأبحاث في مجال العلوم الاجتماعية. فمع بقاء السياسة الخارجية ضمن المجال الخاص والمحفوظ للملك، عملت الدبلوماسية الرسمية على إشراك هذه الشبكة من المراكز في قرارات السياسة الخارجية للتسويق لصورة المغرب خارجياً وخدمة أهداف وتوجهات الدبلوماسية الرسمية، غير أنّ ارتباط هذه المراكز بالسلطة ساهم في خلق نمط يكاد يكون وحيداً وغير متوازن في ما يتعلق بمنتجي المعرفة المرتبطين بالسياسة الخارجية المغربية، وبشبه تغييب للجامعة كفضاء للبحث العلمي.

Research Centers, Think Tanks, Foreign Policy, Knowledge, Scientific Research, Universities Conflict Analysis Project, Civil Society Observatory
Setting the Agenda towards Gender Equity Lebanon Support February, 2020

The 2018 parliamentary elections in Lebanon witnessed the largest participation of women in the country’s history with 86 out 113 female candidates making it on the final electoral lists (Baturini and Halinan 2018, 1-3). Yet, out of the 128 elected candidates, only 6 were women (The Daily Star 2018). More recently, since the October 2019 protests, women have been at the forefront of mobilisations, organising sit-ins, marches, demonstrations, and chanting feminist slogans. The “women’s movement” has been pushing for a plethora of demands such as toppling both the sectarian system and patriarchal system, pushing for comprehensive socio-economic equality, abolishing the kafala system, amending the nationality law, reforming domestic violence laws, unifying the personal status law, among others. Based on extensive participatory research and consultations with actors, as well as a review of the main demands from the current social movement, Lebanon Support has developed the following briefing article on the policy priorities related to gender equity and rights. 

Gender, Nationality Law, Gender Based Violence, Civil Marriage, Civil Rights & Liberties, healthcare, Social Protection, Political Participation Gender Equity Network
Ghassan Halwani and the reclaiming of Lebanon's imaginaries Joey Ayoub December, 2019

How is the October 17 Revolution catalysing the reclaiming of imaginaries? In order to answer this question, it is important to understand how the collective memory pertaining to the war's kidnapped and victims of enforced disappearances, has thus far been addressed in Lebanon. The following piece explores this topic through Ghassan Halwani's 2018 film “Erased,___Ascent of the Invisible”.

Missing and Forcibly Disappeared, History, Lebanon's Civil War, Film Review History of Conflicts and Political Violence
Civil Society in Lebanon: the Implementation Trap Marie-Noëlle AbiYaghi, Léa Yammine, Amreesha Jagarnathsingh January, 2019

In Lebanon, civil society has played an important role throughout history[2] and saw a significant rise during the Chehabist developmentalist era (1958-1964), with the creation of voluntary-run associations that sought to steer away from sectarian identities, while adopting broad development objectives. The Civil War period (1975-1990) witnessed a realignment of the modes of actions towards services and relief efforts. After the Civil War, the civil society sector continued expanding (Kingston, 2008: 1), with civil society organisations bolstering their modes of action to encompass human rights and advocacy efforts. Archives show that an average of 250 organisations was created per year in the early nineties, post civil war era (Karam Karam in Ben Nefissa, 2002: 58). Figures from Daleel Madani[3], suggest a peak in NGO creation after each of the – recurring – humanitarian crisis that the country witnesses. Hence, following the Israeli War on Lebanon in 2006 and the conflict in Syria in 2011, the associative sector saw a proliferation of new initiatives, campaigns, and organisations. An average of 50 registration requests to Daleel Madani’s Civil Society Directory are received on a monthly basis.

Civil Society; Lebanon; NGOization; Civil Society Development; NGOs; CSOs; Nonprofit Sector Civil Society Observatory
Government (non-)formation in contemporary Lebanon: sectarianism, power-sharing, and economic immobilism. Catherine Batruni, Marcus Hallinan September, 2018

Four months after the parliamentary elections, the Lebanese state is still without a government. Politicians have been hindering the configuration of a new cabinet in order to maximise their own personal gains. This paper probes the positions of the most prominent political parties in the country, namely the Lebanese Forces, Free Patriotic Movement, Progressive Socialist Party, Lebanese Democratic Party, Future Movement, and Hezbollah, and examines the repercussions of this political vacuum on the economy. We raise the question: why does Lebanon continually find itself in this recurring situation where it is incapable of forming a timely government after elections? We argue that the political structure and sectarian arrangement of the Lebanese government allow such dysfunction to flourish through an absence of accountability measures in the constitution and a prioritizing of sectarian equilibrium as the primary factor in electing a government. 

Lebanese Sectarian System, Power Dynamics, Lebanese Politics Conflict Analysis Project
Contested history, conflicting narratives, and a multitude of initiatives: An analysis of the Mapping of Initiatives addressing Past Conflicts in Lebanon Mia Bou Khaled September, 2018

This article focuses on the main findings and trends from the “Mapping of initiatives addressing the past in Lebanon” (available here), the main actors behind the initiatives, the objectives of such initiatives, as well as initiatives’ activities. This mapping, published by Lebanon Support in partnership with forumZFD (Forum Civil Peace Service), documents initiatives between 1990 and 2017 that aimed at addressing past conflicts and their aftermath in Lebanon.

Lebanon's Civil War, Reconciliation, Civil Society History of Conflicts and Political Violence
The Robustness of Sectarian Politics in Lebanon: Reflections on the 2018 Elections Maguy Arnous August, 2018

Nine years after the last parliamentary elections, almost half of Lebanese voters cast their ballots on 6 May 2018, against expectations of a much higher turnout. The results of the elections marked a shift in the weight of coalitions among established political parties within a robust political system that is divided along sectarian lines, at the expense of new independent voices from civil society actors, that a proportional law should have advanced. This article attempts to analyse the results of the elections with regard to traditional parties, as well as the new so-called “civil society” candidates, while drawing inferences on the behaviour of the Lebanese voter.

2018 parliamentary elections, Lebanese Elections, Lebanese Politics Conflict Analysis Project
On Mixed Identities, Racism, and Activism in Lebanon; A Discussion with Nisreen Kaj. Léa Yammine October, 2017

This article highlights the trajectory of Nisreen Kaj, and looks into the intersectionality of racism. It goes over her activism on racism issues on an individual level, through her “Mixed Feelings” project, and through organisations.

Racism, Intersectionality, Activism & Engagement Gender Equity Network
“Like an ant that digs into the rock:” Wadad Halwani and the struggle of the families of the missing and the forcefully disappeared Miriam Younes September, 2017

“This not about my personal story. This is a story that affected many people, and I am just one example of it. Of course we all had some kind of background, a life before. For example, I was always rebellious and active in fighting for my rights, at home, in school, in university, it was as if life was somehow preparing me for what happened afterwards. And in 1982 I got dragged into this cause that was bigger than me and bigger than anything I have ever lived. From that moment on, it occupied me completely. But it was an imposed cause, not anything that I or anyone else have chosen to fight for.”

Missing and Forcibly Disappeared, Right to Know Gender Equity Network, History of Conflicts and Political Violence