Lebanon’s Protests: A Society Turning Against the System – LSE Middle East Centre Podcasts – podcast

Lebanon’s Protests: A Society Turning Against the System

Jamil Mouawad | LSE Middle East Centre Podcasts


With continuous protests ongoing across Lebanon for the last two weeks, this event will analyse this largest demonstration of public disobedience for the past decade. The situation will be contextualised against the backdrop of failing state services, a system that has gradually drifted apart from society, and also a society that has reached its consumerist limits.

This event is part of a series being organised by the LSE Institute for Global Affairs responding to the Lebanese protests. For further information, please contact Dr. Bilal Malaeb.

Jamil Mouawad is a lecturer in political studies and public administration at the American University of Beirut. His research interests in state-society relations span the subfields of comparative politics and political economy. He specializes in the politics of the Middle East, with a focus on governance and limited statehood. He was a Max Weber Fellow at the European Univesrity Institute, finalizing his book based on his PhD thesis. The book presents a critique to the concept of ‘weak’ states. The central argument of his book is that ‘weakness’ does not capture the nature of the Lebanese state and that the patterns of ‘presence’ and ‘absence’ are by no means incidental but central to the way politics works.

He was awarded a PhD in politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in June 2015. Later, he joined the Institut Français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) in Beirut, as a postdoctoral fellow, through a grant from the Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS). He also acted as a researcher coordinator of the Critical Security Studies in the Arab world and the Ethics in Social sciences project, both on-going projects launched by ACSS.

Hicham Safieddine is Lecturer in the History of the Modern Middle East at King’s College, London. He is author of Banking on the State: The financial Foundations of Lebanon (Stanford University Press). He holds a PhD in Middle East Studies from the University of Toronto, an MA in Political Science from York University, Canada, and an MA in Economics from The University of Rochester, New York.

Sophie Chamas is a senior teaching fellow at the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS. She is finishing up her PhD in Modern Middle East Studies at the University of Oxford, where she was also an Ertegun Scholar. Her work focuses on the study of social movements, counter-culture, and political theory and discourse rooted in, focused on or related to the Middle East. Broadly speaking, she is interested in thinking through the life, death and afterlife of the radical political imaginary in the Middle East and beyond. Sophie is also an essayist and writer of creative non-fiction. Her writing has appeared in Kohl: a journal for body and gender research, The State, Raseef 22, Mashallah News, Jadaliyya and The Towner, amongst other publications.

Bilal Malaeb is a postdoctoral research officer at the Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He works primarily on the Responsible Deal project, an inter-regional collaboration of seven universities, coordinated by the LSE. His research focus is on the integration of Syrian refugees in frontier countries in the Middle East. Bilal’s expertise is in Microeconometrics and Development Economics, and his research interests are in migration, poverty, and labour market issues. Prior to joining the LSE, he worked as a research officer at the University of Oxford and a research fellow at the University of Southampton.

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