"I Want Something to Change" - An Exploration of Volunteers’ Motives to Support Lebanon’s 2018 Independent Election Campaigns

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"I Want Something to Change" - An Exploration of Volunteers’ Motives to Support Lebanon’s 2018 Independent Election Campaigns

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Publication Bachelor thesis
Title "I Want Something to Change" - An Exploration of Volunteers’ Motives to Support Lebanon’s 2018 Independent Election Campaigns
Author Vogelsberger, Carina
Date 2019
English abstract
This ethnographic case study explores the motivations of Lebanese campaign volunteers in the age between 18 and 30 years to support the coalition of independent candidates, Kuluna Watani, in Lebanon’s 2018 parliamentary elections. Following a mixed, inductive-deductive approach, the study builds on nine semi-structured interviews with volunteers of the Beirut-based campaigns, LiBaladi and Sabaa. Aided by additional field observations, the empirical material was collected during a two-week field trip to Beirut prior to the elections, in April 2018. Theoretically, the exploration takes its point of departure from social movement theory by adapting Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow’s concept of contentious politics, combined with insights of Alberto Melucci’s theory on collective identity. The findings suggest that perceived political opportunities, cognitive, and personal factors have influenced individual decisions to engage in collective action. Shaped and informed by these three determinants, volunteers’ shared understanding of politics and inclusive perception of society seem to have been critical for encouraging political participation. Notable from the perspective of peace- and conflict research, interviewees were able to overcome persisting ‘us’ versus ‘them’ sentiments rooted in experiences of Lebanon’s 15-year-long civil war. Moreover, by attempting to achieve political change from within the institutional-political realm, volunteers’ ac-counts suggest an alternative approach toward realising popular demands than seen, for example, during the 2011 Arab Revolutions.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject social movement theory
contentious politics
collective identity
elections
Lebanon
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/29801 Permalink to this page
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