Title Author(s) Publishing Date Summary Keywords Dossier
Towards the rise of the unprotected? Neoliberalism, social policies, and socio-economic contention in contemporary Jordan Rossana Tufaro November, 2022

The Jordanian welfare and economic system underwent a drastic neo-liberal transition, sponsored by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and state policies that aimed at  progressively dismantling the distributive welfare mechanisms as well as job provision at the basis of the hashemite authoritarian bargain. This paper provides a historical overview of the ways in which Jordan’s neoliberal transition has pushed the country into a continuous state of socio-economic contention, characterized by workers' mobilizations and the periodical resurgence of anti-government mass protests, and hence an understanding of the current social contention in the country. 

Jordan, Neo-liberalism, socio-economic demands, labour movement, Mobilisations, Social Movements Socio-Economic Rights Base, Conflict Analysis Project
The Meaning(s) of Social Justice: Political Imaginaries from the October Movement in Lebanon Nadim Haidar October, 2022

Lebanon has witnessed a massive protest movement in 2019, commonly referred to as the “October Revolution”. The social movement denounced the Lebanese political and economic system, and demanded social justice. This paper investigates the political imaginaries of the protestors and proposes a discursive analysis that probes into their motives and positions. It further examines the various understandings and interpretations of social justice that underpinned the actions and visions of the social movement’s participants. The paper also aims to uncover the ideological assumptions as well as political limitations of the political imaginaries engendered by the “October Revolution”.

Lebanon, Social Justice, Socio-economic Rights, Political Imaginaries, Social Movements, October Protests Socio-Economic Rights Base, Conflict Analysis Project
Achieving Long Term Goals on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Protection in Lebanon Menaal Munshey November, 2021

This article uses qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with 11 NGO representatives and five Syrian refugee survivors of domestic violence to argue that the current funding structure hinders survivors from accessing vital services such as shelters and legal aid. For Syrian refugees in Lebanon, this problem is exacerbated due to a lack of legal assistance for legal residency and official registration. Without this paperwork, Syrian refugee survivors are unlikely and unwilling to access support and justice mechanisms. The present gaps in funding and services impact survivors’ protection, safety, and access to justice, and hinders the likelihood of attaining sustainable solutions. 

Lebanon, refugees, Gender Based Violence, Gender Discrimination Gender Equity Network
From “Liberal” to “Liberating” Empowerment: The Community Protection Approach as Best Practice to Address NGO-ization Nicolas Gianni, Francesco Michele, Chiara Lozza November, 2021

This article attempts to conceptualize the observations collected throughout an action-research process carried out between 2017 and 2019 to develop the Community Protection Approach (CPA). The CPA is both an approach and a methodology to streamline actions within ongoing humanitarian and development projects in support of the affected population (, 2019). This research draws widely on field evidence of the implementation of the CPA between 2013 and 2019, and analyzes the exchange and feedback processes between affected communities and implementers in a variety of locations.

Women’s empowerment, Civil Society, liberalization, hegemony, community protection Gender Equity Network
Paying “Lip Service” to Gender Equality: The Hollow Implementation of Gender Mainstreaming in Jordan Rosalind Ragetlie, Dina Najjar, Bipasha Baruah November, 2021

Based on a sample of 23 international, state-led, royal, and non-royal affiliated Civil Society Organisations (CSO)s in Jordan, this article suggests that gender equality is used as rhetoric more than as implementable policy or practice. It also argues that the blurred line between domestic CSOs, the monarchy, and the defensive democratisation pursued by the state also undermine the potential for CSOs to engage with the social and political roots of gender inequality

Jordan, Gender Equality, Civil Society, Gender mainstreaming Gender Equity Network
A Historical Mapping of Lebanese Organized Labor: Tracing trends, actors, and dynamics Rossana Tufaro November, 2021

The paper provides a contextualized and easily accessible history of Lebanese organized labor from the mandate period up to this day. The paper is divided into six main sections, each corresponding to a distinct phase of the historical development of Lebanese organized labor. In each section, the paper identifies the main actors, demands, events, urgencies and constraints shaping the articulation and the trajectories of (de/) mobilization of workers’ collective agency and organization, so as to provide a cumulative and genealogical overview of the changes, continuities and peculiarities characterizing each phase. The paper builds for the most part on the piecemeal and dis-organic body of scholarship currently constituting the bulk of scholarly knowledge on Lebanese labor, in an attempt to provide a synthesis and an index thereof. In so doing, the paper aims at offering a directory and a ready-to-hand compendium for researchers, analyst and practitioners interested in Lebanese labor, and possibly contribute to (re)ignite interest in this still widely under-researched topic. 

Lebanon, Labor Rights & Livelihoods, labour movement, socio-economic demands, Policy Intervention, Activism Socio-Economic Rights Base, Conflict Analysis Project
Crafting the good citizen, streaming the good king: Notes on press freedom, hegemony and social contention in King Abdallah II’s Jordan Rossana Tufaro July, 2021

During the mandate of King Abdallah II, press freedom in Jordan has undergone a significant contraction. This has progressively endowed the Hashemite monarchy and its organic incumbents with an unprecedented directive control over the circulation and the framing of events in the country – hence over the capacity to strategically filter from above the diffusion of politically sensitive news, silence voices of political challengers, and orient domestic and international opinion.

This paper aims to provide a preliminary assessment of the role played by the enforcement and the strategic application of restrictions on media freedom in consolidating King Abdallah II’s rule, by scrutinizing how the cumulative strategic application of press restrictions succeeded or failed to validate King Abdallah II's international reputation of a moderate and progressive leader, and legitimize the neoliberal upgrading of the authoritarian bargain with his domestic constituencies.

Right to Information, Press Freedom, Civic Space, Jordan, Social Movements Socio-Economic Rights Base, Conflict Analysis Project
Beyond Humanitarian Relief: Social Networks and the Role of Shared Identity in Refugee Belonging and Support in Turkey Michael Kaplan August, 2020

A considerable body of research explores the ways in which refugees exert agency and establish belonging in exile. This scholarship challenges popular tropes that reduce the varied experiences of displacement to generalized themes of crisis, uprootedness, and suffering. Through exploring refugee involvement in Islamic communities in Turkey, this paper considers the role played by informal social networks and actors in both helping Syrian refugees to secure their basic needs, as well as in fostering subjectivities of belonging. Drawing on secondary research as well as on participant observation and interviews conducted with Syrians living in Turkey, it argues that attention to social networks built upon shared modes of identification, such as being devoutly religious, can offer generative insight into processes of emplacement among refugees. These networks not only make visible some of the problematic aspects of humanitarianism associated with non-governmental organizations, but also present alternative models built upon mutual support and care. At the same time, while recognizing the benefits of informal social networks, this paper also considers the potential for new boundaries and exclusions to emerge where others recede.

refugees, Humanitarianism, Turkey, Belonging, Syrians, social networks, Anthropology Migration, Mobility and Circulation, Conflict Analysis Project
The October 2019 Protests in Lebanon: Between Contention and Reproduction Marie-Noëlle AbiYaghi, Léa Yammine July, 2020

The Lebanese power sharing consociational system has structurally engendered recurring protest cycles: student mobilisations, labour and union mobilising, left-wing collectives, as well as a more routinised associative sector. In a long temporality, and looking at these movements in a longitudinal approach, changes they appear to be seeking appear to be marginal or quite limited, which may lead to the observation that contentious movements play the role of mere relief outlet within the system they are challenging, hence, contributing to the permanence of the social and political structures they are challenging. 
The past year has witnessed the emergence of a mobilisation cycle in the country that displays a continuity with previous forms of organising, although unprecedented in terms of its geographical spread over the territory. 
To understand how this current protest cycle unfolds, its dynamics, and limits, we propose to consider how social actors “move” in a contested, competitive, ever-shifting and evolving arena, rather than a homogeneous one. We rely on a three-fold conceptual approach that focuses on the analysis of the interactions and dynamics between actors, and the strategies they employ: persuasion, coercion, and retribution.

Social Movements, Civil Society, October Protests, Civic Space, Lebanon Conflict Analysis Project, Civil Society Observatory
Negotiating “Home:” Syrian and Palestinian Syrian Artists in Borderlands Ruba Totah October, 2020

Since 2012, the escalation of the Syrian conflict has forced the displacement of millions of Syrians into neighboring countries, as well as Europe. Tens of artists moved out of Syria due to scarce employment opportunities and restrictions associated with working under oppressive regimes. Some of the interlocutors in this research emphasised their attempts to stay in Arab countries and reconstruct their “home” by resuming artistic careers, but ultimately decided to move to Europe, while others favoured leaving directly. This paper examines how, in the case of 16 artists’ narrated life stories, various cultural institutions’ support, life trajectories, and relational dynamics come together to influence home-making opportunities in Arab transit countries. It addresses the challenges, potentials, and implications of home-making attempts of displaced performing artists.

Borderlands, trajectory, Mobility, identification, disentanglement, Refugee Crisis, cultural policies, relational dynamics, Arab performing arts. Migration, Mobility and Circulation