Publications

Breaking the Bank: Alternative Pathways to Lebanons Broken Banking Sector

In the absence of relevant legislation, informal capital controls and the currency crisis, Lebanese small and medium depositors are not only confronted by a harsh devaluation of their savings, but also enormous challenges to gain access to their deposits. Are there alternative options for the Lebanese to store value, preserve wealth and run Lebanon’s finances? Investing in physical assets can be unsustainable; vulnerable to theft and unexpected market collapse, the trend for luxury cars and real estate is likely to be short-lived. In our latest policy paper authored by our partner Triangle, we explore the option of credit unions and other types of financial cooperatives. These could have the power to diversify Lebanon’s homogeneous banking sector. This, in turn, could serve Lebanon well in the rocky years ahead: research shows that when banks do poorly, credit unions often do much better.

The Lebanon Chronicles

The Lebanon Chronicles is an independent platform for captivating, innovative journalism from Lebanon authored by young Lebanese journalists.

Going Hungry: The Empty Plates and Pockets of Lebanon

The Fight to Prevent Hunger amidst Pandemic and Recession

The deadly, mysterious COVID-19 pandemic has joined forces with the worst economic recession in decades to send food prices skyrocketing and household incomes nosediving. The result: almost half of the population struggles to put the most basic foods on their tables. In collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Triangle is publishing the first policy paper in a series "Pandemic Papers" following the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper critiques Lebanon’s complacent attitude to food security and proposes ways to uphold the old Lebanese adage that “nobody ever dies from hunger.”

reuters

One crisis too many

State bankruptcy and COVID-19 combine to form a toxic catalyst in Lebanon

For the first time in its history, Lebanon has defaulted - and loses its spotless record of its crisis-resistant solvency. The banking system, a pillar of the Lebanese economy, has begun to totter since the nationwide protests of October 17. The ailing economic system was dragged along for years and kept alive by highly irresponsible fiscal and monetary policies. The COVID-19 outbreak will deal the desolate economy an additional blow, with far reaching consequences that we can only imagine at this point.

Konstantin Rintelmann

Political paralysis at the brink of an economic collapse

The immense challenges for Lebanon grow with its political inability to act

The killing of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani complicates the already stagnating formation of a government in Lebanon that has been pending for months. Hassan Diab is struggling with considerable domestic hurdles, but seems nevertheless determined not to step down. Political leadership is urgently needed: not only to implement economic reforms, but also in view of regional tensions. At the same Lebanon is sliding further into an economic crisis, the sheer scale of which politicians are only now beginning to understand. The failure of the central bank and politicians to mitigate the pervasive uncertainty by clear communication has severely damaged confidence in the currency, banks and financial system.

Development of the Middle East Gas: Opportunities & Challenges

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung did publish, together with the Director of the Regional Forum for Consultancy and Studies, Brigadier General Khaled Hamadeh, the following report about “Development of the Middle East Gas: Opportunities and Challenges” with the aim of assessing the security situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, identifying the risks facing the gas industry loop from exploration to extraction and exportation, forecasting expected realistic scenarios, and coming up with recommendations that could be valuable for decision makers in the public and in the oil and gas sector. The content of the report was discussed afterwards with a selection of politicians, experts and academics within a joint workshop.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Call for proposals 2020 - Deadline 15 September, 2019.

Policy Paper on Cybersecurity in the Middle East and North Africa

The expanding threat landscape of cyber-attacks in the MENA region amounts not only to high economic losses, but endangers critical infrastructure and bears considerable political costs. Effective cybersecurity requires new ways of thinking, ranging from approaching cyber security in a comprehensive way, to grasping its geopolitical potential and building a culture of cyber hygiene for human resources and the general public. This paper combines the key insights from the recent international KAS workshop on MENA cybersecurity with an analysis of MENA's most pressing issues and the essential current developments in cyber conflict.

Paper: Middle East Energy and Geopolitics

The world is moving towards a decarbonized energy system. Renewable energy is expanding dramatically and so is the demand for natural gas. In light of the growing energy demand worldwide, natural gas as the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon can represent a bridging fuel in the transition to decarbonised energy markets given its environmental advantages and the role of gas in backing up the intermittent renewable power generation. The conference “Middle East Energy & Geopolitics” organised by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation and Maison du Futur discussed future opportunities and challenges of the energy transformation in the region. In this paper, KAS PhD scholar Isabel Weiss covers the key topics discussed during the sessions and includes additional insights to complement the issues revolving around energy security for Europe and geopolitical changes.

Infographic: Economic perceptions amidst challenges

In December 2018 the Lebanese economy was on the brink of collapse. How did the Lebanese assess the economy of their country and their own financial situation in these times of challenge?