The impact of trust relationships on environmental management in North Lebanon

Nivine Abbas

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Effectiveness of the Lebanese government to address environmental challenges is constrained by large variety of factors. The impact of trust is a major factor that shapes environmental management and affects its outcomes. Nevertheless, knowledge of trust relationships and as a factor affecting environmental management is significantly lacking in the case of Lebanon. This research studies trust and cooperation relationships, and their impact on the environmental management process in North-Lebanon, from the perceptions of the three main stakeholders involved: public sector stakeholders, private sector stakeholders, and citizens. Based on 499 surveys with citizens and 49 interviews with public and private sector stakeholders, the results demonstrate lack of trust and cooperation among the stakeholders and that this hinders environmental management in Lebanon. The lack of trust leads citizens to reserve their participation in environmental activities, or to not comply with regulations and decisions related to environmental management. Moreover, it constrains progress of planned projects, even sometimes causing delay and cancellation. The results also reveal that some stakeholders successfully circumvent environmental regulations by using trust and cooperation with public authorities to effectively obstruct environmental regulations. The thesis argues that willingness to cooperate for general interest is lower than that related to the incentives for trust and cooperation leading to personal benefit. Solid waste management, specifically in the Al-Fayhaa Union area, was used as a case study. Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping was applied to a stakeholders meeting and revealed “lack of trust relationships” as a central variable in the relationship between trust and other factors affecting solid waste management in northern Lebanon. One of the resulting maps, combining perceptions of all 29 participants, indicated that trust was rated second among the top 10 variables with a high centrality in the solid waste management system. Interaction of the variables reveals the complexity and nuance in trust relationships in Lebanon, and shows the important impact they have on the environmental management process.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Lovett, J.C., Supervisor
  • van der Molen, P., Co-Supervisor
  • Nader, M.R., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date25 Sept 2014
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3715-5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2014


  • METIS-305146
  • IR-91867

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