Research Working Group
27-28 July 2015
On 27-28 July 2015, Ziad Abu-Rish and Mona Harb co-convened a two-day research workshop entitled “State Building, Public Institutions, and Social Mobilization
in Lebanon: 1943-1958.” The workshop featured an inter-disciplinary group of scholars, 9 of whom were present and additional 5 of which participated remotely. Each of these 14 researchers either directly study the early independence period of Lebanon or engaged in research projects that rely on specific understandings of the period. The topical focus of the workshop is an attempt to both fill a major gap in the scholarly literature on Lebanon as well as to challenge static and exceptional frameworks of state formation and nation-building in the country.
The first day of the workshop featured introductions and individual presentations, which were grouped thematically and followed by focused discussion and feedback. The second day was geared toward tackling the commonalities across all presentations in terms of major themes, methodological challenges and opportunities, as well as future plans. It also featured an exclusive visit of the Archives and Special Collections of the American University of Beirut, the staff of which had curated a small exhibition of documents related to the workshop topic and time period.
This workshop represents the first meeting of what is planned to be an ongoing and expanding research working group that is a forum for both scholarly exchange and public engagement in Lebanon. To that end, the workshop culminated in a public event which was moderated by Mona Harb and featured four other worship participants. The event brought out more than 70 people in attendance, as the auditorium was standing-room only. Since the public event, a number of senior scholars and laypersons in attendance have commented about the diversity and substantiveness of the presentations. As one esteemed attendee put it,“I live in Lebanon and research issues in the country. This was the best event to learn about Lebanon I've ever been to." A complete workshop report, including a concept note, presenters' biographies and abstracts, and discussion highlights, will be published before the end of 2015.
Papers & Presentations
Banking Regulation in Post WW-II Lebanon
Derailing Development, Self-Organization, and Legal Cooptation
Lea Bou Khater
Workers Mobilization for State-Building in Lebanon, 1943-1958
Leveraging Local Politics for National Power
Hiba Bou Akar
On Planning & the Spatial Turn in Development in the Global South
A Viewpoint from Lebanon
Crashing the Party
Rural Migrants and Ideals of Suburban Modern Living
The Legacy of Old Laws and the Fight for the Commons
Institution-Building and Political Organization
in Early Independence Lebanon
Dislocating the Nation
Imagining Lebanon in Tourism Promotions
The Route to Power
Camille Chamoun's Municipal Reforms