A talk with Dr. Omar Bortolazzi
The Department of International and Middle Eastern studies at the School of Arts and Sciences at AUD hosted Dr. Omar Bortolazzi, Assistant Professor of International Studies for a talk titled The Political Economy of Civil War in Lebanon and the Social Reconfiguration of Society.
In the quarter of the century that followed the eruption of the conflict in Lebanon, in 1975, Lebanese society underwent a radical transformation in its demographic, territorial and societal base.
Fifteen years of protracted civil war and a decade of ‘reconstructive politics’ produced a society much different from the pre-war Lebanon, in terms of demographic dynamics, population movements, social stratification, balance of communities, role of the state, or political economy.
The civil strife generated, among other things, a highly profitable economic opportunity and economic strategy among the Lebanese militias. The persistent war-system necessitated and enabled the militias to act economically and to gain enormous economic profits.
The war-economy developed a structural persistence and lucrative sources of income; war became an intrinsic part of the protagonists’ economic strategies and the necessary basic condition for economic schemes and systems.