In Lebanon, there has been a furious and continuing debate over how the reconstruction, with the urban development corporation Solidere at its core, has been undertaken. In the course of the 2019 protests–what many Lebanese are calling a revolution–and the economic implosion in 2020, the Solidere project that led the national reconstruction process continues to occupy a central place of contestation in the nation. For many in the country, the reconstruction that ostensibly followed the Ta’if Peace Accord has left its own scars of violence and dispossession on the country’s inhabitants. This paper reconceptualises the idea of reconstruction as something that happens in the aftermath of conflict. It traces how the construction of the built environment can also be part of conflict. In so doing, this essay illuminates how in Lebanon the reconstruction process was embedded within the dynamics of the Civil War and one that also exceeds it. The reconstruction was not a process that emerged in the aftermath of the conflict but fully embedded within it. Lebanon’s reconstruction involved the consolidation of social power by a narrow elite and urban violence in both periods of open conflict and peace.
All Content Copyright Deen Sharp 2018