The historical placement of research questions is key for the people whose lives and livelihoods are at stake and requires a critical response from researchers. In a context like Lebanon, research and researchers must continuously re-position their inquiries and convictions to respond to a continually changing geography. Lebanon is experiencing several intersecting crises: infrastructural incapacity, economic instability, a global health pandemic, a suspended refugee problem, and severe government corruption culminating in an explosion on 4th August at the Beirut port, from which the city still struggles to recover. Simultaneously, a series of social uprisings since October 2019 have sought to imagine possibilities of a different Lebanon. This virtual conference aims to provide a forum for critical reflection on RELIEF’s work, engagement with partners, lessons learnt and how to move forward.
Speakers include Professor Henrietta L Moore (UCL Institute for Global Prosperity), Professor Howayda Al-Harithy (Beirut Urban Lab, AUB), Dr Maha Shuayb (Centre for Lebanese Studies), Professor Diana Laurillard (UCL Institute of Education), Dr Nadim Farajallah (IFI AUB), Dr Camillo Boano (UCL Development Planning Unit), Dr Fadi Alhalabi (Multi Aid Programs - MAPs), Joana Dabaj (CatalyticAction), Suha Tutunji (Jusoor Syria) and many many more.
The conference will consist of CONVERSATIONS around the main RELIEF subject areas, and DELIBERATIONS where certain issues, concepts, field difficulties, are deliberated amongst a smaller group of RELIEF members and experts.
The independent review on The Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta has now been delivered to the government. The report underlines our failure to grasp that our economies are “embedded within Nature, and not external to it.” We rely on nature to “provide us with food, water and shelter; regulate our climate and disease; maintain nutrient cycles and oxygen production; and provide us with spiritual fulfilment and opportunities for recreation and recuperation which can enhance our health and well-being.”Read More
On 4 August 2020, a massive explosion at Beirut’s port killed at least 200 people and caused up to $15bn in damage to buildings and infrastructure – including the destruction of the public electricity company building. It was the latest blow for a country battling a 30-year energy crisis and facing chronic shortages as a result of an ageing infrastructure based around fossil fuels.Read More
In 1945, the UK’s welfare state was set up to address the want, need and misery caused by unemployment. Seventy-five years later, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had almost full employment in the UK – and yet we still have massive levels of poverty and precarity experienced by people in work.Read More