Lebanon under fire – Protesters are taking the streets with a burning desire to overthrow the government

At A Glance:

White, red and green waves are surging everywhere in the Land of Cedars. The Lebanese are taking the streets, brandishing the national flag as a call to defy a corrupted elite. The political class has proven itself unable to fulfill the expectations of the people. Initiated by the government’s unpopular measure to tax WhatsApp calls in a country already affected by rising living costs, the general exasperation has now reached the highest level.  This unprecedented movement of frustration questions a sclerotic political system, embodied by politicians deeply engaged in their own petty rivalries, incapable of managing the severe crisis that Lebanon faces. This non-violent movement is unique in Lebanese history, overtaking the traditional sectarian cleavages that have characterised the society for years.

 

This article aims to unpack key issues necessary to understand recent developments in Lebanon. In this perspective, the first part of the paper is dedicated to analysing the Lebanese political landscape, focusing on the reasons that might explain the state’s inefficiency in meeting the expectations of the population and its subsequent frustration. The second part engages in a thorough report on the current developments of the protest and investigates the motivation of the Lebanese people. The third part considers the possible outcomes that might derive from such intense demonstrations.

 

Read the full Policy Brief here (PDF)

 

By Pia Podieh and Arthur Jennequin, Middle East Interns

 

Bibliography

[1] Calfat, N. N. (2018). The Frailties of Lebanese Democracy: Outcomes and Limits of the Confessional Framework. Contexto Internacional, 40(2), p. 281.

[2] Idem.

[3] Faten Ghosn, Amal Khoury, Lebanon after the Civil War: Peace or the Illusion of Peace, MIDDLE EAST JOURNAL, VOLUME 65, NO. 3, SUMMER 2011, p. 383.

[4] Idem, p. 280.

[5] Ward Vloeberghs, DYNAMIQUES DYNASTIQUES AU LIBAN : TRANSMETTRE LE POUVOIR POLITIQUE EN FAMILLE, Presses de Sciences Po | « Critique internationale » 2016/4 N° 73, p. 71-72.

[6] Calfat, N. N. (2018). The Frailties of Lebanese Democracy: Outcomes and Limits of the Confessional Framework. Contexto Internacional, 40(2), p. 277.

[7] Idem, p. 279.

(8) Heiko, Wimmen. “Lebanon’s Revolt.” Crisis Group, October 21, 2019. https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/lebanon/lebanons-revolt.


(9) Jonathan, Wheatley. “Lebanon Promises Fiscal Reform to Quell Public Protests,” Financial Times, October 23, 2019. https://www.ft.com/content/4e9324ee-f3e5-11e9-a79c-bc9acae3b654.


(10) Heiko, Wimmen. “Lebanon’s Revolt.” Crisis Group, October 21, 2019. https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/lebanon/lebanons-revolt.


(11) Asharq AL-awsat. “Lebanon: Hariri Promises Sweeping Economic Reforms.” October 22, 2019.https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1955316/lebanon-hariri-promises-sweeping-economic-reforms.


(12) Asharq AL-awsat. “Lebanon: Hariri Promises Sweeping Economic Reforms.” October 22, 2019.https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1955316/lebanon-hariri-promises-sweeping-economic-reforms.


(13) Francis, Ellen, and Eric Knecht. “Lebanon’s Aoun Invites Protesters to Talk, Hints at Government Reshuffle.” Reuters, October 24, 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-protests-aoun-idUSKBN1X31DC.


(14) Itani, Faysal. “Resilient Lebanon? What Makes the Protests in Lebanon Different Than Before?” https://www.fpri.org/. Foreign Policy Research Institute, October 24, 2019. https://www.fpri.org/article/2019/10/resilient-lebanon-what-makes-the-protests-in-lebanon-different-than-before/.




(15) Chalhoub, Samir. “Sosiale skiller viskes bort i libanesiske demonstrasjoner.” Levanten.no, October 24, 2019. https://www.levanten.no/new-blog-1/2019/10/23/sosiale-skiller-viskes-bort-i-libanesiske-demonstrasjoner.


Sources :

[1] Calfat, N. N. (2018). The Frailties of Lebanese Democracy: Outcomes and Limits of the Confessional Framework. Contexto Internacional, 40(2), p. 281.

[2] Idem.

[3] Faten Ghosn, Amal Khoury, Lebanon after the Civil War: Peace or the Illusion of Peace, MIDDLE EAST JOURNAL, VOLUME 65, NO. 3, SUMMER 2011, p. 383.

[4] Idem, p. 280.

[5] Ward Vloeberghs, DYNAMIQUES DYNASTIQUES AU LIBAN : TRANSMETTRE LE POUVOIR POLITIQUE EN FAMILLE, Presses de Sciences Po | « Critique internationale » 2016/4 N° 73, p. 71-72.

[6] Calfat, N. N. (2018). The Frailties of Lebanese Democracy: Outcomes and Limits of the Confessional Framework. Contexto Internacional, 40(2), p. 277.

[7] Idem, p. 279.

[8] Heiko, Wimmen. “Lebanon’s Revolt.” Crisis Group, October 21, 2019. https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/lebanon/lebanons-revolt.

[9] Jonathan, Wheatley. “Lebanon Promises Fiscal Reform to Quell Public Protests,” Financial Times, October 23, 2019. https://www.ft.com/content/4e9324ee-f3e5-11e9-a79c-bc9acae3b654.

[10] Heiko, Wimmen. “Lebanon’s Revolt.” Crisis Group, October 21, 2019. https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/lebanon/lebanons-revolt.

[11] Asharq AL-awsat. “Lebanon: Hariri Promises Sweeping Economic Reforms.” October 22, 2019.https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1955316/lebanon-hariri-promises-sweeping-economic-reforms.

[12] Asharq AL-awsat. “Lebanon: Hariri Promises Sweeping Economic Reforms.” October 22, 2019.https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1955316/lebanon-hariri-promises-sweeping-economic-reforms.

[13] Francis, Ellen, and Eric Knecht. “Lebanon’s Aoun Invites Protesters to Talk, Hints at Government Reshuffle.” Reuters, October 24, 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-protests-aoun-idUSKBN1X31DC.

[14] Itani, Faysal. “Resilient Lebanon? What Makes the Protests in Lebanon Different Than Before?” https://www.fpri.org/. Foreign Policy Research Institute, October 24, 2019. https://www.fpri.org/article/2019/10/resilient-lebanon-what-makes-the-protests-in-lebanon-different-than-before/.

[15] Chalhoub, Samir. “Sosiale skiller viskes bort i libanesiske demonstrasjoner.” Levanten.no, October 24, 2019. https://www.levanten.no/new-blog-1/2019/10/23/sosiale-skiller-viskes-bort-i-libanesiske-demonstrasjoner.