Interview with Sara Fregonese on War and the City: Urban Geopolitics in Lebanon at New Texts Out Now
Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?
Sara Fregonese (SF): This book is the result of my doctoral research (2004-2008), to which I then added a layer of historical detail about the administrative changes in 1840s Mount Lebanon and their impact on today’s sectarian politics. I also integrated a chapter on more recent sustained urban clashes in 2008 that partly encompasses my postdoctoral research around sovereignty and non-state armed groups (2009-2012) and their relation with the idea and practice of the State.
What made me write the book was, firstly, a disciplinary frustration with the lack of attention (in western scholarship at least) given to the representations and narrations of non-state actors and sub-national spaces of the civil war in Lebanon. We see a lot of grand scale geopolitical analysis around the 1975-1990 events, but less enquiry linking the kind of geopolitical reasoning from international relations and political science, with spatial accounts of what was actually happening at the urban level during the conflict.