Bridging capital after civil war? Protest, acts of citizenship and public space in Beirut

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Abstract

While research has indicated a significant role for social capital in building resilience to disaster, this relationship is more problematic in the aftermath of civil war. Social capital in such contexts risks being utilized ‘bonding capital’, which is designed to strengthen ethnic communities rather than act as an integrative agent to bring communities together. In response, policymakers and researchers have advanced the case for bridging social capital, the form of social capital needed to link communities across a cleavage that divides society. In the context of societies that have experienced protracted political violence along sectarian lines, bridging capital is seen as having the potential to peacefully bind communities together through everyday relations. To explore this, this article examines the role of protest in public spaces as way to engender bridging capital in divided cities. While existing research argues that protest can only sustain moderate forms of bridging capital, this paper suggests that protest in postwar divided urban contexts can be important facilitators of unity. To explore these issues, the article draws on data from two waves of protest in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104199
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume100
Early online date27 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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