Jean Allegrini is a fourth year PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science (2016-2020).
Jean Allegrini is PGTA and a fourth year PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science (2016-2020). He holds an MSc in Security Studies (2014-15) from UCL, an MA in European Studies (2011-13) and a BA of International Relations from the Global Studies Institute at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He also studied at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, and the Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic. Jean is a long-time member and benevolent of the Red Cross in Geneva. He interned for the Belgian Embassies in Dakar, Senegal, and Tunis, Tunisia, and for a Swiss NGO advocating for Human rights, the Centre International de la Paix et des Droits de l’Homme (CIPADH).
PhD Title and Short Abstract:
‘The Resilience of Clientelist Networks in Lebanese Municipalities under the Migratory Shock of the Syrian refugee crisis: The Cases of Baalbek, Tripoli, and Zahle’
Since 2011, more than a million displaced Syrians found a shelter in Lebanon. The Lebanese political elites’ divide on the Syrian conflict led to the paralysis of the national consociational institutions. Consequently, the inertia of national institutions highlights the significance of local governance in bearing the refugee crisis. Therefore, this inductive comparative research project aims to understand how local governance impacts on inter-sectarian dialogue in selected Lebanese municipalities of Baalbek, Tripoli, and Zahle, being under the strain of the Syrian refugee crisis. Moreover, this thesis studies how political change emerges locally in a plural society hosting refugees.
Local governance in Lebanon is informally structured by networks of clientelism which are the de facto recipients of Lebanese citizens’ political legitimacy. In the context of the Syrian refugee crisis, I analyse how competing forms of clientelism: Militia, Islamic-Communitarian, and Oligarchic networks, have displayed different capacity to adapt to this external pressure. This research reveals that the most socially inclusive networks of patronage towards displaced Syrians generate a mechanism of exclusion affecting Lebanese network members. A market of individuals seeking patronage emerges and favours the empowerment of political challengers. Political change can then destabilize the traditional elites’ entente and impede on inter-sectarian arenas of dialogue.
Jean has a particular interest in the governance of divided societies, notably at the local level. He considers the role of informal institutions as a mitigating factor of inter-sectarian tensions at times of migratory crisis. Jean is an early career scholar specializing on the Lebanese case and the wider Middle-Eastern studies. Therefore, his dissertation considers how local governance impacts on inter-sectarian dialogue in Lebanese municipalities under the strain of the Syrian refugee influx since 2011. He has notably selected the cities of Baalbek, Tripoli, and Zahle to proceed his research. Jean conducted seven months of fieldwork research in Lebanon in 2018 and 2019 using semi-structured interviews, observation, and survey data collected among Syrian and Lebanese residents across the compared municipalities. This research details how the exploitability of the displaced Syrians supports the resilience strategies of the clientelist networks’ leaders politically prevailing in Lebanese local governance. He also demonstrates how mechanisms of exclusion from patronage can help predict political change in vulnerable municipalities affected by migratory pressure. His supervisors are Dr. Sherrill Stroschein and Dr. Alexandra Hartman.
Conflict & Change group
Public Policy & Governance
List of Publications:
- 11th Nordic Conference of Middle Eastern Studies – University of Helsinki, 14-16/08/2019
Presentation & working paper on ‘Syro-Lebanese Bonds and the Permeability of Urban and Social Borders: The Cases of Baalbek, Tripoli, and Zahle’.
- 1st International Conference on Humanitarian Action & Cooperation for Development – University Fernando Pessoa of Porto, 17-19/06/2019
Presentation & working paper on ‘Humanitarian Aid as an Opportunity for Decentralization, Resource Predation and Power Perpetuation in Local Governance: The Cases of Lebanon’s Bekaa Municipalities under the Syrian Refugee Crisis’.
- University of Gothenburg, IMISCOE & GAR 2019 Doctoral School – Istanbul, 9-14/06/2019
Presentation & working paper on ‘Syrian Labour Exploitation and the Competition of Misery in Lebanese Border Towns: New Habitus and Conflicting Interests’.
- 22nd Conference of the Mediterranean Studies Association – University of Crete, 01/06/2019
Presentation & working paper on ‘Local Governance’s Autonomy of Practice in Absentia of the State: The Case of Lebanese Municipalities of the North and Bekaa regions’.
Since September 2018 Jean is a teaching assistant for the annual undergraduate module of ‘Comparing Political Systems’ at the Department of Political Economy in King’s College London, and for the master students seminars of ‘Introduction to Qualitative Methods: Researching Politics using Observations, Interviews, and Mixed-Methods’ at the Department of Political Science in UCL. He will also teach qualitative research seminars for masters programs at the Department of Social Sciences in the Lebanese-American University of Beirut in spring 2020.