Social movements have played a crucial role in post-war Lebanon and across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Our research studies the contemporary history of contentious politics from below and how it changed over time. Our current work focuses on post-war Lebanon and other countries in the MENA. The research looks at how social movements have developed and fluctuated. By focusing on contentious politics, we aim to capture structural changes and political dynamics at the societal level, beyond the heavy focus on elite politics or geopolitics.
Methodologically, we use archival research, oral history, and action- in addition to activist research. First, we are building datasets of protest events based on historical sources. Second, we are developing case studies on social movements groups, such as teachers, youth, and unions. Third, we are taking the research into the contemporary sphere by working closely with activists who are currently organising for change, in particular teachers. The work in this strategic area is closely connected with our other strategic research areas and we work with social movement in the field of education, migration and forced displacement, and disability. In this regard, we aim for CLS to act as a meeting point between different interests in advocacy and change.