«Assad or Nobody!»

  • Author Yassin Al Haj Saleh
  • Date April 2019
From the seizure of power to the appropriation of society: the Syrian conflict in the context of the history of Ba’ath Party rule For most people in the West well into the 2000s, Syria was either an unknown, a rogue state, or one of many Arab dictatorships. This changed in…

Beauty and the Yield

  • Author Elia El Khazen
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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…