Decentralization in the context of the Lebanese stratagem

A Calamity or an Extrication?

The constitution of Lebanon defines “extensive administrative decentralization” as a change aimed at achieving local development and increasing public engagement. However, decentralization is not a neutral policy process. It has an impact on the distribution of power and resources that are impacted by political interests, especially in Lebanon's sectarian political context.
The Lebanese economic crisis was rated as the worst in the world since 1850, where most attribute this crisis to the existing governmental system and propose decentralization as an answer to all lived crises and corruption. The purpose of this mixed-methods approach is to pose and investigate factors and interrogations that, when solved, will potentially lead to necessities and parameters for the construction of a new working sustainable system in Lebanon. To do so, this study first reveals constitutional ambiguities and loopholes in the Lebanese system through an expository lens. This study subsequently aspires to uncover data of a comparative analysis of three decentralized models along with two local samples of decentralized alternative proposals at the Lebanese scheme. The study additionally employs the PESTEL framework to expose political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors facilitating and/or hindering the proper implementation of decentralization in Lebanon. Subsequently, the study conducts a qualitative analysis of 26 interviews, collected across six Lebanese governorates, to reveal perceptions of local administrators, local community members, and stakeholders with regard to their needs, views and stances on decentralization and the feasibility of this system in Lebanon.The interviewees additionally expose their understandings, concerns and expectations of local administrations’ duties and responsibilities.

Hamad Elias

PM Hamad Elias


Hamad.Elias@kas.de 00961 (0)1 388 095/6