A glimmer of hope? An assessment of vulnerability and empowerment in the coastal area of North Lebanon

Sahar Issa

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Lebanon’s history is marked with turbulence, political instability, and recurring episodes of armed conflict. The various outbreaks of armed conflict have had significant impacts in terms of fatalities and injuries, population displacement, insecurity, and economic and social disruption. The episodes of armed conflict have also resulted in severe damage to the natural environment. This affected the communities living in north Lebanon, which are considered to be amongst the poorest and most deprived families in Lebanon. As such, the environmental degradation has added to their existing vulnerabilities and aggravated their situation. This dissertation offers an in-depth and interdisciplinary analysis of the effects of environmental degradation, as caused by recurring episodes of armed conflict, on communities’ vulnerabilities in the coastal area of north Lebanon. The findings are based on a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods, including 24 structured interviews with the heads of the cities and villages within the study area, or their representatives, 17 in-depth interviews with local stakeholders, a survey among 500 individuals, two focus groups with local authorities in the study area, and document analysis. This research integrates various academic disciplines, concepts, and methodologies. It provides new and innovative insights in the academic debate on environmental security, vulnerability, and empowerment and offers an in-depth analysis of the complex relationship between the conflict, the natural environment, and vulnerability. The exploration of this relationship offers new perceptions for vulnerability reduction in conflict-affected areas.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Lovett, J.C., Supervisor
  • van der Molen, P., Co-Supervisor
  • Nader, Manal R., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date24 Sept 2014
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3714-8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2014


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