Jeffrey G. Karam is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Lebanese American University. He is a non-resident Research Associate at Harvard University’s Middle East Initiative. He is currently a Research Fellow with the Global Scholarly Dialogue Programme of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. He is likewise a EUME Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien and a Research Affiliate at the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics and the Otto-Suhr Institute of Political Sciences at Freie Universität Berlin. Karam’s research provides a critical discussion of the Politics of Intelligence and Foreign Policy and Revolutions and Counter-Revolutions in the Middle East.
Karam is the editor of The Middle East in 1958: Reimagining A Revolutionary Year(London: I.B. Tauris and Bloomsbury, 2020). He is currently finishing his first book on American intelligence and foreign policy in the Middle East during revolutionary times and political change. Karam is also co-editing a book entitled, The Lebanon Uprising of 2019: Voices from the Revolution, which I.B. Tauris and Bloomsbury publish in 2022. His research has been supported by many organizations including, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Belfer Center of Science and International Affairs, and others. His research has been published in academic and public outlets, including Intelligence and National Security, the Arab Studies Journal, The Washington Post, H-Diplo/ISSF,the Daily Star Lebanon, Megaphone, Jadaliyya, and other venues.
Karam is the recipient of several awards, including the Christopher Andrew–Michael Handel Prize for the best article published in Intelligence and National Security during 2017 and the Hussein Oueini Memorial Award at the American University of Beirut. Previously, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of International Relations and Middle East Politics at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the International Security Program at Harvard University’s Belfer Center, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Brandeis University and an M.A. in Politics from the American University of Beirut.
Revolution and the Boundaries of Political Change: The Lebanon Uprising of 2019 and the International Politics of Counter-Revolution
This project examines how foreign powers often act as counter-revolutionary forces in times of revolutionary change. It investigates the case of Lebanon in 2019 to show how foreign powers, such as the United States, France, Russia, and others, bolstered the sectarian-based political system to maintain the status-quo after the eruption of the massive uprising on October 17, 2019. By examining foreign powers as counter-revolutionary forces, Karam explains some of the challenges of emancipatory politics during revolutionary times. He compares the similarity of positions taken by foreign powers during the initial phase of the Lebanon Uprising of 2019. His emphasis on the actions of great powers as counter-revolutionary forces demonstrates that the initial setbacks of many uprisings in the first and second wave of these revolutionary struggles in the Middle East are not solely based on endogenous factors. Karam, therefore, provides a holistic account of the challenges of mobilization during revolutionary times by extending beyond local factors and adding international and regional features that are still consequential in many post-colonial societies. Karam’s research demonstrates that the convergence of interests between foreign powers limited the possibilities of change and socio-political reform after hundreds of thousands of Lebanese took to the streets in October 2019 and afterwards.