Dr. Guita Hourani, Director of the Lebanese Emigration Research Center (LERC) at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), participated in the 5th International Congress of Writers and Readers for Lebanon (V Congreso Internacional de Escritores y Lectores Por el Líbano) in Argentina. The Congress began on the 27th of November and saw participation from various countries including Argentina, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Colombia, USA, Morocco, Spain, Germany, and Lebanon.
The Congress was organized by Professor Walter Muller Moujir, Director of the Centro Investigación Inmigración Libanesa, and Nestor Hage, President of the Sociedad Libanesa both in Rosario Argentina, in cooperation with various institutions and universities including LERC and NDU.
Dr. Hourani’s talk, "Governance, Geopolitics and Prospects: The Views of the Lebanese Emigrants on the Current Lebanese Affairs", presented the preliminary results of her new research.
Using an online anonymous survey, Dr. Hourani examined Lebanese emigrants’ geopolitical orientations, confidence in the governing system and actors, and their preferences in regards to the current and proposed political systems in Lebanon. Dr. Hourani hypothesized that geopolitical orientations are likely to vary within the Lebanese emigrants’ population depending on socio-economic status, educational attainment, gender, political affinity, and country of migration, among others. In Lebanon, geographical, social, and ethno-religious diversity, as well as provincial development disparity, are also possible powerful factors conditioning the answers to the survey. Dr. Hourani further hypothesized that Lebanese in general and Lebanese emigrants, in particular, have diverse geopolitical imaginations, which are at the core of the present political polarization in the country.
Some of the outcomes in the preliminary results were surprising and showed a change in the general disposition of the surveyed. The majority responses emphasized time and again their concern in regards to the level of corruption, their lack of trust in the current leaders, institutions, and political parties, and more importantly their choice of neutrality as a geopolitical preference.
Dr. Hourani’s final report, which will feature the results of more than one thousand participants from around the world, will be published early 2021 and will be made available on academic and social media outlets.