Principal Investigator: Dr Romola Sanyal

Co Principal Investigators: Professor Mona Harb (American University Beirut), Dr Mona Fawaz (American University Beirut)

Assistance: Jessy Nassar, Yara Najem

Funding: LSE Middle East Centre- LSE Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities (Emirates) Grant.

This project is being undertaken in collaboration with Professor Mona Harb and contribution from Dr Mona Fawaz at the American University Beirut through funding provided by the LSE Middle East Center. The research assistance is being provided by Yara Najem and Jessy Nassar. The project The project examines regional governance and planning in Lebanon through the lens of policy mobilities and urban assemblage, examining how key actors and networks disrupt or transform socio-spatial relationships between territories and people, and how this impacts the dominant political and spatial order. The project has two foci: first, how humanitarian organizations, are increasing working in urban contexts, and engaging with different levels and actors of governance such as municipalities, municipal unions and NGOs, to deliver emergency and development services and projects to Syrian refugees and the host communities. Much of this has shifted from a humanitarian emergency response to stabilization and development response with an eye to diffuse tensions between host and refugee communities. Our research specifically looks at the intervention of humanitarian agencies and funders into shelter and WASH projects in particular municipalities in Lebanon. Second, we look at how international aid and development agencies are encouraging municipalities to operate on a regional scale, and use spatial planning methodologies (e.g. City Development Strategies, strategic planning, local development plans) in their quest for socio-economic development. In doing so, we seek to understand how scales of governance affect, on one hand, the delivery of aid and services, as well as urban management and spatial planning in Lebanon. On the other hand, we investigate what socio-spatial and political effects (planning-relevant) aid makes between and within regions in Lebanon. We are also interested in understanding how aid helps us think about the forms and entanglements of sovereignty between actors such as the EU, UN, and other international donors and municipalities, municipal unions, NGOs and political parties, and if/how is this changing and negotiating the hegemonic political configurations dominating the Lebanese territory.