On January 10, 2014, the Political Science Department at Haigazian University organized a panel discussion on “Lebanon’s Foreign Relations in Light of the Arab Uprisings”.
The event was held within the context of an international book project titled “In the Eye of the Hurricane: Lebanon and the Arab Uprisings”, the first comprehensive edited volume about Lebanon with a focus on recent political, social and economic developments following the wave of revolutions in the Arab world.
The initiative for the research program was taken by Martin Wählisch, Affiliated Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and Dr. Maximilian Felsch, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Political Science Department at Haigazian University.
The edited volume is expected to be published in the end of the year 2014.
During the panel discussion, authors of the book presented their research on Lebanon’s foreign relations.
Dr. Julian Pänke talked about “EU-Lebanese Relations: Imperial Politics in Disguise?” Dr. Pänke is researcher at the Institute for European Politics and the German Orient Institute in Berlin. He provided an overview about the EU-Lebanese relations, between the years 2006-2013, analyzing how they were impacted following the Syrian crisis. He also explored a possible “imperial dimension” of the European Union’s politics and policies in Lebanon and the region.
Dr. Jennifer Skulte-Ouaiss (USA) tackled the issue of the U.S.-Lebanese relations. Dr. Skulte-Oueiss is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the Lebanese American University. She observed a “long-term schizophrenia” in U.S.-Lebanese relations, while she argues that U.S.-Lebanese relations have enjoyed at the people-to-people level, in the areas of banking and trade, as well as through active educational exchanges and U.S.-Lebanese academic institutions a vibrant relationship which has benefited both countries. In her understanding, these positive aspects of U.S.-Lebanese relations have nevertheless been eclipsed by the continuing Israeli-Arab conflict, the absence a Lebanese-Israeli peace treaty, and the continuing Iranian-backing of Hezbollah.
The panel discussion concluded with questions and answers from the audience on security and political issues related to Lebanon, the Syrian crisis, and the ongoing transition processes in the Arab region.