Browsing by Subject "Lebanon"

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  • Saressalo, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Tämä työ tutkii Suurmiesteorian (Great Man Theory) ja erityisesti Daniel L. Bymanin and Kenneth M. Pollackin esittämien teesien valossa vuoden 1982 Israelin ja Libaonin sotaa (Rauha Galileaan Operaatio, Operation Peace to Galilee) ja sen tavoitteiden epäonnistumista Israelin ja Libanonin kristittyjen kannalta. Tutkimuksessa on käytetty primaarilähteinä julkisia arkistoja, haastatteluja, omaelämänkertoja, sekä sopimustekstejä. Sekundaarilähteinä on käytetty laajalti alan kirjallisuutta. Koska vain osaa lähdeaineistosta on lainattu suoraan, on lähdeluotteloon sisällyetty kaikki tutkimustyön pohjana käytetty materiaali. Sodan epäonnistuminen tavoitteiden saavuttamisessa on analyysin mukaan selvästi liitettävissä Israelin ja Libanonin kristittyyn johtoon ja heidän tavoitteidensa epärealistisuuteen ja osapuolten toimet konfliktin aikana, sekä syyt tavoitteiden saavuttamattomuuteen, voidaan tulkita pitkälti Bymanin ja Pollackin teesien valossa. Tutkielma osoittaa Suurmiesteorian ja Byman/Pollackin teesien käyttökelpoisuuden tulkitessa modernien konfliktien syitä ja seurauksia.
  • Menard, Haru (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Abstract Faculty of Arts Master’s Programme in Area and Cultural Studies, Middle Eastern Studies Haru Menard Family and nation as thought and lived by young LGBQ+ adults in Lebanon Master’s thesis May 2022 48 pages Keywords: Lebanon, family studies, post-colonialism, LGBTQ Supervisor: Hannu Juusola Abstract: While the idea of the Middle Eastern family is often invoked as an orientalist stereotype, the local everyday family practices are less examined. Similarly, a wealth of literature on Middle Eastern nationalisms and nation-states exists (from ‘women’s’ perspectives and otherwise). Yet ethnographic research on how local people negotiate identity and belonging in their daily interactions vis á vis the state has remained scarce until recently. This empirical research contributes to the growing body of research on contemporary everyday practices of family and kinship in the Middle East. In this thesis I study the Middle Eastern family and nation in Lebanon as conceptualised and practiced by local young adults who identify as LGBQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Queer or other). I focus on the family and nation as historically constructed (tradition vs. present), politically applied (East vs. West) and yet corporeally and socially lived everyday practices. Family as a social category both maintains and has the power to challenge the social order. I approach “family” and “nation” from the vantage point of marginalised LGBQ+ persons in Lebanon, because I argue that they inhabit the double position of being rooted in the local socio-political order, while also resisting and reformulating it from the inside. Guided by postcolonial theory and methodology, my methodological aims are to reflexively explore how researcher positionality informs my research. Theoretically I aim to shed light on the young Lebanese LGBQ+ adults’ ways of negotiating everyday family and national belonging in Lebanon, as well as analyse at how they actively construct their future in Lebanon. My data consists of thirteen ethnographic conversations with Beirutian LGBQ+ young adults. Methodologically, the conversations were informed by post-colonial approaches to knowledge production and researcher positioning, while the data was analysed using a narrative method. In our conversations the participants described their social lives from multiple perspectives, including personal reflections about Lebanese sectarianism, norms and values as well as the recent developments in Lebanese society. They highlighted the need for a more just society that would be freed of sectarian loyalties as a basis for material wellbeing and civil rights. They often positioned themselves in places of in-betweenness, both in terms of personal identity constructions and politically, as this allowed them room to navigate the diverse and ever-changing socio-material circumstances. They creatively and in a multi-sited fashion engaged with the social and material resources available to them in the Lebanese state by refusing to identify with discourses of cultural authenticity as well as those of the “gay international”.
  • Pylvänäinen, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study set out to examine and analyse Finnish military chaplains’ and commanders’ conceptions and experiences concerning the utilisation of Finnish military chaplains as religious experts – i.e. advising personnel on religion and culture and engaging local religious leaders and communities – in international military operations, with the focus on deployments to Lebanon and Afghanistan from 2010 to 2018. Simultaneously the study intended to contribute to the broader discussion on religious approaches and actors in conflict resolution, especially in the framework of comprehensive crisis management (CCM). This was done by conducting a qualitative content analysis on ten semi-structured interviews. The interviews were studied through a framework of religious approaches to conflict resolution, particularly the concepts of Religious Area Analysis (RAA) and Religious Leader Engagement (RLE) by Dr. Steve K. Moore and Religious Advicement (RA) and Religious Leader Engagement/Religious Leader Liaison (RLL) by Dr. Eric Patterson. It was found that Finnish military chaplains’ RAA/RA and RLE/RLL endeavours in the two countries have been similar to their international counterparts’ contributions in various operational environments, with the exception of no known successes of mediation, facilitation, or reconciliation between estranged local religious actors or communities – only some attempts in Lebanon. Although in the interviewees’ cases RAA/RA and RLE/RLL efforts seem to have been limited mainly by external factors such as the level of willingness of locals, the security situation at hand, and the mandate and nature of each operation, the effect of individual and organisational issues was evident: to some extent, lack of full awareness and vision, insufficient policy and doctrine, limited training and instructions, inadequate planning and preparations, non-existent organisational frameworks, short rotations, and biased attitudes of personnel all have influenced Finnish chaplains’ chances to serve their contingents in terms of local religious conditions and actors. In other words, these activities have not been conducted in a fully organised manner. The irregular state of RAA/RA and RLE/RLL in the Finnish Defence Forces has implications to the comprehensiveness of the organisation’s conflict resolution efforts: if relevant expertise is not systematically used, opportunities will likely be missed and unnecessary mistakes made. Moreover, in light of theoretical understanding it may be stated that without a broader vision, longer-term planning, and increased commitment with respect to the approaches it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to connect the Finnish Defence Forces’ international operations to any peacebuilding initiatives through local religious and traditional leaders – a strategy which has proven to be highly useful for Finnish peace mediation efforts.
  • Hudson, Sarah (2010)
    This research forms a discursive analysis of almost two decades of key statements delivered by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of the Lebanese nationalist militia and political party, Hezbollah. The statements, sourced primarily from a translated compilation edited by Nicholas Noe and published by Verso (2007), reflect the continually evolving populist strategies of a party which has, against many odds, gained a large and impressively cross-sectarian support base in Lebanon and the surrounding region. The aim of the study is two-pronged. It hopes to offer an insightful analysis into the pragmatic politicking of a democratically elected, yet demonstrably lethally armed political party which is possessed of the potential to greatly influence peace and conflict in the region. It also seeks to promote an alternative theoretical perspective to research which continually seeks to locate similar such case studies on an ideologically loaded matrix of'terrorism vs. freedom fighter'. The theory outlined in Ernesto Laclau's 'On Populist Reason' (2005) functions as the framework for analysis. This non-pathological theory of populism provides an excellent lens through which to more objectively examine the way in which popular support is mobilized by what may be essentially democratic, yet highly controversial political movements. After analyzing constructions of 'the enemy', 'the people' and the role of the signifier of resistance over three separate chronological time periods, the research concludes that the politicking of Hezbollah has witnessed a significant discursive shift away from the rhetoric of extremism and towards that of political moderation. This analysis is noteworthy at a time when dominant western political discourses proclaim the dangers of openly 'fundamentalist' or extremist discourses as a threat to the ideals of global liberal democracy. It is concluded that political research should not underestimate the intelligence and pragmatism of groups who build, mobilize and maintain their support as powerful, armed and potentially dangerous non-state actors. A theoretical approach which allows for the insightful analysis of discursive phenomena, within the context of important socio-political factors, retains more likelihood of offering genuine insight into the popular political as it relates to a volatile regional and potentially global context.
  • Huovila, Miriam (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis provides a transnational perspective to Lebanese Kurds, particularly regarding their activism and networks related to Rojava, the Kurdish areas in northern Syria. After Armenians, Kurds form the second-largest non-Arab ethnic group in Lebanon. By estimate, around 100,000-150,000 Kurds reside in Lebanon, most of them holding Lebanese citizenship. Since 2011, the war in Syria has led around 20,000 Syrian Kurds to seek shelter in neighboring Lebanon. In January 2018, Turkey launched an attack against the Kurdish forces in Afrin in northern Syria, which resulted in demonstrations in Kurdish communities worldwide, including Lebanon. The objective of the study was to find out whether, and by which means, Kurds in Lebanon try to influence the Rojava issue and whether they are part of some transnational networks related to Rojava. The primary material of the study is based on five semi-structured interviews conducted with the presidents of four Lebanese Kurdish associations and one unaffiliated Syrian Kurd in Beirut in July 2019. The material was transcribed, and thematic content analysis was used as the method to examine the textual data. The theoretical framework of the research is based on the study of transnational activism, transnational networks, and processes of transnational contention. Furthermore, characteristics of transnational practices of ethnic diasporas, transnational impacts on domestic activism, and transnationalism among the Kurds are presented. The substance of the study is also contextualized by an overview of the history of the Kurds in Lebanon, the recent political developments in northern Syria, the Kurdish women’s movement in Rojava, and media coverage regarding the Kurds in Lebanon. The research found out that the limited political opportunities of the Kurds in Lebanon have weakened their chances to influence the Rojava issue. The community is divided along the borderlines of the Kurdish party political, which affects the attitudes of the Kurds towards Rojava. The transnational networks and processes between Lebanese Kurds and Rojava center on the sympathizers of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. Furthermore, transnational women’s organization networks form the most significant transnational links between Lebanese Kurds and Rojava. Two of the Lebanese Kurdish associations have relations with the women’s umbrella organization Congress Star in northern Syria, and their local activism is largely influenced by the women’s movement in the area. Thus, it is argued that the relationship between the Lebanese Kurds and Rojava is reciprocal.
  • Coskun, Tugce (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Memory has become one of the most vibrant areas of research within the field of media studies. Due to the technological advancements of the past two decades, our media consumption has developed globally. Collective memory and media memory scholars argue that our memories are increasingly influenced by media as well as our surrounding social groups. This study focuses on the media memories of the Lebanese diaspora in North America concerning two significant Lebanese political events. The main research questions are: What do the Lebanese living in North America remember about the two events? What is the role of media in the way they remember the events? This thesis also explores two sub-research questions: How do the participants’ social groups influence the way the individuals remember the events? How does their media consumption affect their memories? The data for this study was collected through semi-structured interviews with participants from two different age groups in the Lebanese diaspora in North America. The data was analyzed with thematic analysis, and the findings showed that participants remembered very specific details about the events from what they remembered seeing on the TV news. There were some noticeable differences between the memories of the two age groups. This could be contributed to the fact that for the younger participants, their families and other social groups affected their memories of the events. This pointed in the direction that their memories were influenced by the traumatic significance of these events for their social groups. There were types of memories evident throughout the analysis, which were categorized under the concepts of postmemory and flashbulb memories. Essentially, these memories also had influences rooted in social groups and/or media sources for the participants.
  • Mäkinen, Milla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Abstract After the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, neighboring Lebanon has received over 1,5 million refugees – now hosting the most refugees per capita in the world. Already fragile Lebanese society is under extreme pressure. The Lebanese Crisis Response Plan 2017-2020 produced by the United Nations and the Government of Lebanon represents the only comprehensive strategic blueprint outlining the local crisis management measures in front of the Syrian conflict spillover. It directs the international commitments and guides the efforts from top to grass-root level. The goal of this study is to investigate how this plan has been formulated and to what kind of knowledge base it is grounded on, in order to assess its comprehensiveness. In this case, the foundation is predominantly built on the situation analysis produced by the World Bank Group. To investigate the World Bank’s representation of the crisis and mitigation measures, this thesis employs poststructuralist theoretical orientation. With the applications of Foucauldian poststructuralism, James Ferguson and Tania Li Murray provide theoretical tools through which the data set of four World Bank’s documents between 2013 and 2016 are analyzed. The research design of qualitative content analysis is systemized by using a political analysis framework. Analysis proceeds through structural, institutional, stakeholder and political levels of analysis. The findings demonstrate that the World Bank’s analysis of the Lebanese context is incomplete. The representation of the situation does not take into account all relevant factors affecting the crisis management in Lebanon – especially questions of power and comprehensive stakeholder engagement are missing. Altogether, the findings fit for the most part into the overall narrative of governmentality of development, as established in works of Ferguson and Murray. Some of the observations are not as categorical as Ferguson’s and Li’s and this study resulted in the interpretation that some of the earlier critiques have been adopted by the World Bank. However, changes do not seem to be far-reaching but rather rhetorical. Governmentality as the World Bank’s mode of reasoning remains. The findings update and elaborate existing research and theorizing. This thesis uncovers and clarifies the complex process of different knowledge-power relations, how the institutional context affects the information produced, how ideas in these processes then generate structural change and how the embedded dynamics create conditions of possibilities for action.