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university of tampere: faculty of social sciences: research: tampere peace research institute (tapri): research projects:
Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences
Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI)

Young people crafting participation in the Middle East

Project Leader: Dr. Bruno Lefort, Postdoctoral researcher

Research Theme:

This research project explores how young people’s participation in their own societies inform the social dynamics shaping the contemporary Middle East. By participation, we understand the involvement in performative acts concerned by the experience and organization of interbeing, the “living together”. Participation is experienced, thought, visualized, realized and narrated. It composes the everyday reality of social interactions in contentious societies deeply imprinted by violent or latent conflicts. By engaging in a dialogue between the sociology of youth and the master narratives of Middle-Eastern politics, we aim at showing how the situated composition of an intimate cognition of the social, as well as its embodiment in performative acts, shapes the everyday crafting of reinvented modes of participation among young people in their societies. Rather than dichotomous approaches of the region separating on the one hand individual practices and identity constructions, and the macro-level geopolitical or culturalist “grand narratives” attached to it on the other, we argue for a “middle ground”, based on collaborative ethnography and allowing us to grasp the daily making of interbeing in conflicting social settings.

International Cooperation and Funding:

This research project is conducted in collaboration with Caroline Ronsin (European University Institute, Florence). It is supported by the French Institute in the Near East (IFPO), Beirut Lebanon, in which Bruno Lefort is an associated researcher.

Bruno Lefort’s fieldwork (2015-2016) is founded through a CEDRE Program (Campus France) entitled: “Les universités, acteurs de la production urbaine à Beyrouth”.

Selected Publications and communications:

  • Lefort, Bruno and Caroline Ronsin (currently under submission) “Young people crafting participation in the Middle East”, Introduction for a special issue.
  • Lefort, Bruno (currently under submission) “The art of bypassing: students’ politicization in Beirut”, Mediterranean Politics.
  • The art of bypassing: students’ politicization in Beirut universities”, Workshop IFPO-IOB-WAFAW, “Lebanon Facing the Arab Spring”, Beirut, May 28, 2015.
  • The detours of Politicization: a Comparative Analysis among Students in Amman and Beirut” with Caroline RONSIN, Italian Society for Middle Eastern Studies XII General Conference, “Beyond the Arab Uprisings, Rediscovering the MENA Region”, Università Ca’Foscari, Venice, January 17, 2015.
  • Group styles and boundaries in university settings: a comparative perspective of co-existence among Lebanese and Jordanian students”, Finnish Colloquium on Middle East and North Africa, organized by FIME (Finnish Institute in the Middle-East), Tampere Peace Research Institute / Abo Akademi, Turku, June 5, 2014.


Bruno Lefort
tel. +358 (0)503187045
Tampere Peace Research Institute,
Kalevantie 5, Tampere
FI-33014 University of Tampere (Finland)
Visiting address: Linna building, 6th floor, room 6045
Visiting address: Linna building, 6th floor
Postal address: TAPRI, School of Social Sciences and Humanities
FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
tel. +358 (0)3 355 111
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Last update: 19.9.2016 12.13 Muokkaa

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