Two Countries, One Crisis: The Impact of Lebanon’s Upheaval on Syria

December 21, 2019

Since October 17, Lebanon has been in a state of upheaval as a result of a spontaneous mass protest movement that seeks resolution to intractable political and economic challenges. While these conditions are of the foremost importance for Lebanon’s future governance and stability, they have also caused increasing anxiety among those involved in the Syria crisis response — both because Lebanon is an important hub for the Syria response, and because of the knock-on effect on Syria itself. This paper explores the impact of the ongoing Lebanon crisis on Syria and the Syria response, particularly the economic impacts both inside Syria and on Syrian refugees in Lebanon. As such, it offers a preliminary outlook on the emerging dynamics that are likely to impact these tightly interconnected systems. The crises in Lebanon show little sign of ending, as political gridlock continues and economic conditions worsen. Considering how intertwined the economies and societies of Syria and Lebanon are, the Lebanese political crisis may well lead to a new phase in Syria and for the Syria response.

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The Wartime and Post-Conflict Syria project (WPCS) is funded by the European Union and implemented through a partnership between the European University Institute (Middle East Directions Programme) and the Center for Operational Analysis and Research (COAR). WPCS will provide operational and strategic analysis to policymakers and programmers concerning prospects, challenges, trends, and policy options with respect to a conflict and post-conflict Syria. WPCS also aims to stimulate new approaches and policy responses to the Syrian conflict through a regular dialogue between researchers, policymakers and donors, and implementers, as well as to build a new network of Syrian researchers that will contribute to research informing international policy and practice related to their country.

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