Tuesday 26 November 2019
Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia
Protests erupted in Lebanon on 17 October creating a unique and rare moment of unity in a country characterised by sectarian divisions and widespread corruption. Prime Minister Saad Hariri bowed down to protesters and resigned on 29 October. This was not sufficient to calm the streets, as citizens understood that Hariri’s resignation was a tactical move to get rid of some faces in his government. Moreover, political parties engaged in a confrontation to maintain the status quo, settle scores and increase their bargaining power, rather than attend to the people’s demands. The protesters demand economic and governance reforms, and reject the widespread corrupted system. The roundtable will try to address several questions: How did Lebanon get there? Can protesters agree on an organisation structure of the protest and translate their movement into an action plan? Will political parties cede power or cling to it and use force? To what extent could external powers play a positive and negative role (US, Russia, France, KSA/UAE) and is Iran/Hezbollah feeling the heat due to the protests in Lebanon (and Iraq)?
Agnès Favier is a Research Fellow at the Middle East Directions Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. She leads the Syria Initiative and is the project director of the Wartime and Post-Conflict in Syria (WPCS) project.
Rossana Tufaro is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Social and Political Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore. She is specialised in socio-economic and political history of contemporary Lebanon.
Alain Kfoury is a research associate at the Middle East Directions Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. His main research interests are in energy, political economy and the role of external actors in the MENA region.
Georges Fahmi is a research fellow at the Middle East Directions Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.
Everyone is welcome.