PAVE Policy Roundtable in Beirut, Lebanon

On December 9, 2022, a PAVE policy roundtable was hosted by Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut, in collaboration with La Fondation Maison des sciences de l’Homme- Paris (FMSH) and the Berghof Foundation. The policy roundtable gathered representatives of the donor community working on P/CVE (preventing and addressing violent extremism) in Lebanon, including the Lebanese National PVE Coordination Unit, Australian Embassy, European Union, French Embassy, Japanese Embassy, and International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies to share findings and discuss evidence-based policy recommendations on P/CVE in Lebanon. The event was moderated by PAVE project partner Josep Garcia Coll, Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (FUNDEA).

In addition to introducing the PAVE project, the policy roundtable presented findings on drivers of both vulnerability and resilience to violent extremism in Lebanon. The research in Lebanon investigated Sunni, Shiite, and Maronite communities based on two main thematic clusters: the interactions between states and religious institutions and online and offline (de)radicalisation. The presentations of key findings on violent extremism in Lebanon provided the context for the policy recommendations that are compiled in the Policy Brief for Lebanon published by the PAVE project.

The presentations were followed by a lively Q&A session. During this discussion, the importance of multi-actor cooperation on the horizontal as well as vertical levels, as well as multi-agency coordination for successful PVE in Lebanon was highlighted. It was noted that until now, there is a lack of communication between the local and national governance levels, and between different ministries on this topic.

Furthermore, the national coordinator for PVE in Lebanon highlighted the relevance of the policy recommendations compiled in the PAVE policy brief. While the Lebanese PVE National Action Plan already reflects some of these recommendations, it still lacks rigorous and systematic implementation. It was noted that implementation can only be scaled up if the capacity of municipalities is strengthened.

Additionally, the relation between offline and online radicalisation dynamics was elaborated with regards to social media PVE interventions.

The research results presented during the roundtable can be found in PAVE Working Paper 4 and Working Paper 6 that are published on the PAVE website.