The Struggle Over Horsh Beirut - An analysis of discourses

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Diana El Halawani
This research concerns Horsh Beirut; the largest remaining public green space in Beirut, Lebanon. A field hospital project being constructed on part of it, has turned it into a contested space against a social service claimed to support poor neighborhoods in the area. The research carries a critical discourse analysis to analyze the discourses by different actors over the project’s location, legality and need. It identifies metaphors, story lines and emblematic issues within which problems are constructed. Discourse coalitions were also broadened by analyzing power relations and interests. The municipality’s perception of this space, enacted through former policies, has also contributed to its contested nature. The case of Horsh Beirut analyzed shows how powerful actors have, through discourse, not only achieved hegemony over the physical public space where the project is being established, but also over the public’s opinion. This research argues that the struggle over Horsh Beirut is not only a struggle against private interests, but also a struggle to regain citizens’ democratic right to participate in developing this space. Thus, it concludes on the kind of interventions needed.
Publication date2 Jun 2017
Number of pages66
ID: 258875101