De-Homogenising Poverty in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut: When Citizenship Disempowers
Estella Carpi

Refugees in Lebanon have always occupied the lowest level of the Lebanese social pyramid, not accessing most public services and not even being legally recognised as such. Citizenship, however produced within a wavering and corrupted state system, seems to be the only tool guaranteeing basic services from the refugee perspective. The present paper shows how, in some cases, it is citizenship rather than refugee hood to prevent the vulnerable from accessing any assistance regime in Lebanon. The present urban governance of Dahiye and its partial economic empowerment following wars ended up obscuring the increasing demographic diversification of the territory and a consequent phenomenon of diversified poverty. Such new exclusion and inclusion lines have hardly ever been studied hitherto. The new excluded groups inhabiting Dahiye are made up by new and older refugees, worker migrants, Lebanese Shiites not politically affiliated or not directly hit by wars. In this framework, a kind of urban poverty, neither connected to the political violence of regional wars nor to the refugee regime, will be investigated. While refugee poverty and worker migrant poverty became the only interpretative lens of the outsider to explore vulnerability in Lebanon, in that they exemplify Lebanese institutional laxity, the citizen poverty of the Beirut southern suburb of Hay al-Gharbe will provide a further perspective.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jswhr.v3n1a3