The Rise and Fall of the Hariri Dynasty

Washington, United States

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The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies is pleased to present

The Rise and Fall of the Hariri Dynasty


Hannes Baumann

What can the “Hariri phenomenon” tell us about Lebanese politics? Rafiq Hariri came neither from one of the political families who dominated pre-war Lebanese politics, nor was he a militia leader during the civil war (1975-1990). Yet with Saudi support, the billionaire contractor rose to become the longest-serving prime minister of the post-war era and pushed through a neoliberal reconstruction project. Furthermore, Hariri’s transformation from a “national” into a more specifically “Sunni” leader in the 1990s reproduced Lebanon’s culture of sectarianism. The rise of the businessman-politician is indicative of wider shifts in Lebanon’s political economy and international politics. An analysis of Rafiq Hariri’s rise can therefore help us understand the strength of Saad Hariri’s “Future Movement” from 2005 to 2008 and its subsequent decline and eclipse by other political forces.

Hannes Baumann is currently Visiting Assistant Professor at CCAS. His main research interests are in the political economy of development and the politics of ethnicity and nationalism. He is currently composing a book manuscript with the working title “Citizen Hariri: Reconstruction and conflict in post-war Lebanon". It is based on his PhD thesis, which he recently completed at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. Dr. Baumann is also features editor of "Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism" and holds degrees from SOAS and the London School of Economics (LSE). He has previously taught or researched at King's College London, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and the business information provider Euromonitor International.

Light refreshments will be served.


Marina Krikorian

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phone: 202-687-6215