Dissertation Abstracts

Alternative Globalization in Lebanon: A Space of Passage. Rationale of Commitment and the Restructuring of (Left-Wing) Activist Space.

Author: AbiYaghi, Marie-Noelle , mabiyaghi@gmail.com
Department: Political Science
University: Université Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
Supervisor: Prof. Isabelle Sommier
Year of completion: 2013
Language of dissertation: French

Keywords: activism , collective action , engagement , Lebanon
Areas of Research: Political Sociology , Social Classes and Social Movements


This thesis explores how and why, in the space of a few years, collectives have formed in Lebanon as “political pathways” for actors seeking resources to allow the reconversion of accumulated militant capital. This phenomenon raises several questions: What does this moment of “alternative-globalization” tell us about alternative globalization in general? And what does it tell us about the militant and activist spaces in Lebanon? Moreover, how has the label of “alternative globalization” been reclaimed in a context in which, on the one hand, significant resources are being employed by the Lebanese political system and its dominant actors to halt and hinder mobilizations, and on the other, there is a partisan and associative system, from which the alternative globalization militants and activists are striving to distinguish themselves.
Throughout this thesis, we examine the specific “bricolages” of the alternative globalization’s framework in order to propose a “localized analysis” of alternative globalization. That is, although the language and ideology of the alternative globalization movement is international in scope, the movement is organized, understood, and transformed within a local system of constraints, and then voiced in a Lebanese “dialect”. Instead of proposing an analysis of how a cause is imported, we consider how a cause can be adapted and reclaimed through interactions between local limitations and manifestations and its global actors (avatars) as well as between the Lebanese activist innovations of alternative globalization and its reproduced local forms.
This analysis is based on the study of four collectives. This thesis aims to shed light on protest politics adopted in Lebanon, while combining, at different stages of our study, the meso-sociological (on the level of the collectives) with the micro-sociological (on the level of actors). By doing so, we are trying to understand how and why the alternative globalization constituted an activist/militant space of passage for the movement in Lebanon.

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