Date: Monday 26 May, 2008
Venue: CMI Board Room, 2nd. floor, 13.00 - 16.00

Lebanon is currently experiencing its worst political crisis since the civil war ended in 1989. The murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on 14 February 2005 set Lebanon on a slippery slope of targeted assassinations, economic crisis and political stalemate that has raised fears that the country could again be engulfed in a civil war. The latest clashes and street fights in Lebanon take place as the Middle East region is rocked by political instability, interventionist wars and brimming tensions on the Lebanese-Israeli border. The attempts to isolate Iran, "reign in" Syria, sideline Hamas and stabilise Iraq all reflect the problem of the Middle region as a potential "regional conflict formation" with Lebanon currently at its centre. This seminar will explore the Lebanese crisis and its regional implications at crucial time for the country and the region. 

Elizabeth Picard is a leading Middle East scholar, and Lebanon specialist. She has written extensively about security and identity politics in the Middle East and is the author of several articles and book chapters on the Lebanese civil war, including the acclaimed Lebanon, a Shattered Country (New York: Holmes and Meier, 2002). She worked and lived in the Middle East for several years and directed the French Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Moyen-Orient Contemporain in Beirut and Amman from 1997 to 2000. Dr Picard is currently Director of Research at IREMAM (Institut de Recherches et d'Études sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman), at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Aix-en-Provence, France.


Coffee/tea and biscuits will be served.

Dr. Picard's lecture will be followed by three paper presentations and a roundtable discussion chaired by: Are Knudsen, Research director, Peace, Conflict and the State (PCS)

Lebanon - as seen from Syria
Kjetil Selvik is Researcher at FAFO and Associate Professor II at the University of Oslo. He specialises on state and politics in contemporary Syria and Iran.

Hamas in transition - the failure of sanctions
Are Hovdenak is Researcher at Prio (Int. Peace Research Institute, Oslo). He specialises on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role of Hamas.

Political violence in post-civil war Lebanon, 1989-2007
Are Knudsen is Research Director at CMI. He specialises on civil conflict, political violence and refugee issues in post-Taif Lebanon.


For more information contact Head of Communication, Ingvild Hestad 
Tel: 48101863