Syria’s Problematic “Reconstruction”

  • Author Harald Etzbach
  • Date February 2019
The plans have already been made. The dilemma: supporting reconstruction in Syria would also support the Assad regime. March 2019 will mark the eighth anniversary of the start of the Syrian revolution, and it now looks as though the Assad regime will emerge victorious from the war that has consumed…
Documenting Lebanon’s Informal Bus System as a Tool for Social Change If, as French intellectual Bruno Latour develops in Où Atterir, Comment s’orienter en politique, describing our territories through the inequalities that traverse them is the first step towards social justice, then keeping the Lebanese bus system in the shadows…
It was just after 12:30 on 11 March 2018 when Muhammad Billo, a resident of the northern Syrian city of Afrin, sent a message to his wife over WhatsApp: “Pack, we are fleeing the city.” Before that day, the 40-year old journalist had never entertained the idea of fleeing. On …
On the upcoming parliamentary elections in Lebanon and the role of civil society This year’s elections are not only the first to be held in nine years, but are also the first to take place under the new electoral law decreed in June 2017, which, for the first time, will…
In a June 2015 episode of “Mouthi’ al-Arab” (Arab Anchorman), a television competition show for young Arab talents seeking careers in television, one of the contestants interviewed a Lebanese woman about her experience as a victim of domestic abuse.[1] In her televised testimony on Al-Hayat TV, the woman described her…
The specter of consociationalism is hovering over Syria today. After the Lebanese experience with corporate consociationalism[1], and the Iraqi experience with liberal consociationalism[2], it seems that Syria is next in the region to adopt a consociational arrangement. Consociational democracy has been proposed and adopted in many post-conflict countries around the…
[1] Before the crisis, Syrian institutions were unable to evolve in a way to reflect the aspirations, interests and expectations of the society. This “institutional bottlenecks” had hindered the country’s development record, marginalized large segments of society, and deprived them from effectively contributing to development. Thus, the social movement in…
More than seven years after the beginning of the popular uprising in Syria, which increasingly turned into an international war, the causes of this eruption are often forgotten. When they are discussed, the vast majority of authors reduce the uprising to a struggle against authoritarianism while neglecting its socio-economic roots…
Sectarianism, Class, and Disenchantment Halba, the capital of Northern Lebanon’s Akkar Governorate, was fairly quiet on 6 May 2018 (election day). The usually congested streets were less busy, with intermittent sounds coming out from the scattered, mostly unfinished concrete houses. While the rest of the country was allegedly caught up…

Class and Exclusion in Syria

  • Author Munqeth Othman Agha
The Marginalised Socio-Economics of Forced Displacements Since Russia’s intervention in Syria began in 2015 – and, prior to that, the proliferation of Iranian-backed militias around the country beginning in 2013 – the Syrian regime has won a series of military victories after years of territorial losses; victories which have allowed…
One Week, Two Elections: Comparison of Political Developments and Processes Looking at political developments and processes in Iraq and Lebanon and trying to compare or contrast them is not always an easy task: on the one hand, Iraq – despite being only one and a half hours away from Lebanon…