Episode 10, April 2023: “Immobilized Social Base” | Rima Majed on Lebanon’s Incomplete Revolution

This episode sees American University of Beirut’s Dr. Rima Majed discussing her new co-edited volume, The Lebanon Uprising of 2019: Voices from the Revolution (I.B. Taurus and Bloomsbury, 2022, co-edited with Jeffrey G. Karam), with POMED’s Ramzi El Habre.

Majed examines why Lebanon’s historic 2019 uprising, despite its early promise, failed to achieve its revolutionary goals of dislodging the country’s corrupt ruling elite. The answer, she suggests, lies in the country’s absence of organized popular movements, such as labor unions, that possess the social base, mobilizing power, and unified goals needed to achieve systemic political change. 

“The state knows very well which type of civil society is a threat to it, and they got rid of it,” Majed says. “So if we really want to think of a role for civil society, we need to think of how we can rebuild the civil society organizations that the state wants to decimate.”


This interview is part of POMED’s video series, “Between the Lines,” featuring interviews with authors of recent publications that explore rights and governance issues across the Middle East and North Africa. To be notified of future episodes, subscribe to POMED’s YouTube channel.