Show/hide main menu

Lebanon & Syria Research Group

Lebanon and Syria Research Group

The Lebanon and Syria Research Group aims to provide a hub and interdisciplinary network for Levantine research within the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies (IMES). It brings together staff and research students working on a variety of themes but united by their regional focus on Lebanon and Syria. Through a series of activities – seminars, workshops and lectures - the Group creates a forum for dialogue and debate for scholars, students and practitioners wishing to exchange ideas and expertise in Lebanese and Syrian politics, history, cultural studies and current affairs.

In addition, the Group seeks to develop a network of relevant scholars, experts and policy-makers interested in Lebanon and Syria, with the intention to provide independent analysis to relevant government agencies. To this end the group will operate a mailing list to share information about Lebanese and Syrian studies events with interested parties.

The convenors of the group are Professor Michael Kerr and Dr Craig Larkin.

  • Tuesday 3 November

    Conversations with Diplomacy - Sir Derek Plumbly

    Visiting Professor IMES, Former UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon

    “Lebanon and the Impact of the Syrian Conflict”

    Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, 18:00-19-30

    Drinks Reception: Staff Common Room, 19.30-21.00

    Event Chair: Prof. Michael Kerr

  • Tuesday 17 November 2015
    Michael Kerr and Craig Larkin, IMES 
    BOOK LAUNCH “The Alawis of Syria: War, Faith and Politics in the Levant”
    River Room,Strand Campus, 19:00-20.30
    Drinks Reception: River Room, 20.30-22.00

    ‘Kerr and Larkin’s collection looks set to become an essential source of rigorous academic research and analysis on the complex history and contemporary role of Alawis in Syria. The Alawis of Syria is intensely rich in detail and provides an exceptional level of analysis from a range of angles on a subject all too often limited to “on the surface” accounts.’ Charles Lister, author of The Syrian Jihad: Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Evolution of an Insurgency

Previous Events by the Lebanon and Syria research group

  • ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror
    Speaker: Hassan Hassan, The National
    Tuesday 24 March, 2015 2.30 PM
    King’s Strand Building
    Chair: Dr. Craig Larkin (IMES, KCL)
    Hassan Hassan is co-author of the newly published ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (Regan Arts, 2015) (with Michael Weiss) which draws on dozens of interviews with ISIS fighters. As well as being a Middle East analyst and columnist for The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi, his writing has appeared in The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, among others. Hassan comes from a tribal area in eastern Syria. 
  • Investigating conflict zones using open source and social media
    13.00 - 14.00, 26 September 2014
    Eliot Higgins (a.k.a. Brown Moses) will deliver a public lecture on 'Social Media and Open Source Information in Conflict Zones,' which will be followed by a Q&A. 
    This event is being co-hosted with the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS)

  • Beyond Sykes-Picot? ISIS in Iraq and Syria
    18.00 - 19.30, Thursday 3 July 2014
    K0.18, King's Building, Strand Campus
    A roundtable discussion with Michael Kerr, John Bew, Stacey Gutkowski, Craig Larkin, Anne Hagood and Carool Kersten

  • Why Syria Matters: The Moral Imperative of Toppling the House of Assad. 
    Seminar with Nader Hashemi (Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver)
    15.00 - 16.30, Friday 20 June 2014
    K6.07 - War Studies Meeting Room, 6th Floor, King's Building, Strand Campus

  • Syria: Where to from here?
    Seminar with Martin Chulov (The Guardian and The Australian)
    15.00 - 16.30, Friday 7 February 2014
    K0.18, Ground Floor, King's Building, Strand Campus

    Award winning journalist Martin Chulov has reported from the Middle East for The Guardian and The Australian since 2005. In this timely and topical seminar, he will discuss his experiences reporting on the conflict in Syria and address the current state of affairs and consider future possibilities and scenarios.  

  • Film Screening: West Beirut
    18.00 - 20.00, Wednesday 5 February 2014
    4.01 Virginia Woolf Building, 22 Kingsway
    Film screening and discussion

  • Lebanon & Syria Research Group Launch event - panel discussion: 'The Syrian War: Reflections and Responses'
    Thursday 9 January 2014, 18.30 - 20.00
    Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus

  • International Workshop on ‘Alawi of Syria’ (8 & 9 January 2014)

Members Selected Publications


  • The Alawi of Syria (Kerr and Larkin; Hurst/OUP; 2014)
  • Middle East Authoritarianisms: Governance, Contestation and Regime Resilience in Syria and Iran. (Leenders and Heydemann; Stanford University Press, 2013)
  • Lebanon: After the Cedar Revolution (Kerr and Knudsen; Hurst/OUP 2012)
  • Memory and Conflict in Lebanon: Remembering and Forgetting the Past (Larkin; Routledge, 2012)
  • Spoils of Truce: Corruption and State Building in Post-War Lebanon (Leenders; Cornell University Press, 2012).
  • Imposing Power-Sharing: Conflict and Coexistence in Northern Ireland and Lebanon (Kerr; Irish Academic Press Ltd; 2005) 

Articles/Book Chapters

  • ‘Speaking in the Silence: Youthful Negotiations of Beirut’s Post-war Spaces and Memories’, Locating Urban Conflicts: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Everyday by W. Pullan and B. Ballie (eds.) (Larkin, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013)
  • ‘Lebanon: the Hybridity of a Confessional State,’ in Routledge Handbook on Regionalism and Federalism (Kerr and Hamdan, Routledge, 2013)
  • ‘Collective Action and Popular Mobilization in Dar’a: An Anatomy of the Onset of Syria’s Uprising,’ Mobilization – An International Journal 17(4): 419-434 (Leenders, 2012)
  • ‘Popular Mobilization in Syria: Opportunity and Threat, and the Social Networks of the Early Risers,’ Mediterranean Politics 17(2):  139-159. (Leenders and Heydemann, 2012)
  • 'The ‘new contractor bourgeoisie’ in Lebanese politics: Hariri, Miqati and Faris', in: A. Knudsen and M. Kerr, Lebanon: After the Cedar Revolution (Baumann, Hurst, 2012)
  • 'The ascent of Rafiq Hariri and philanthropic practices in Beirut', in: F. Mermier and S. Mervin (eds.), Leaders et partisans au Liban (Baumann, Karthala, 2012)
  • ‘Remaking Beirut: Contesting Memory, Space and the Urban Imaginary of Lebanese Youth’, City and Community, Vol.9, Issue 4: 414- 442 (Larkin, 2010)
  • ‘Beyond the War? The Lebanese Postmemory Experience’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol.42, Issue 4: 615-635 (Larkin, 2010)
  •  ‘A Positive Aspect to the Tragedy of Lebanon': The Convergence of US, Syrian and Israeli Interests at the Outset of Lebanon's Civil War' Israel Affairs, 15 (4), pp. 355- 371 (Kerr, 2009)
  •  'Approaches to Power-Sharing in Northern Ireland and Lebanon', in Ireland and the Middle East: Trade, Society and Peace pp. 138-150 (Kerr, 2007)
  • ‘How the Rebel Regained His Cause: Hizbullah & the Sixth Arab-Israeli War,’ MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies 6 (Summer): 38-57 (Leenders, 2006)
  • ‘Lebanon’s Political Economy: After Syria, an Economic Ta’if?,’ MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies 6 (Summer): 188-210 (Leenders, 2006)
  • ‘Know Thy Enemy: Hizbollah, ‘Terrorism’ and the Politics of Perception,’ Third World Quarterly, 26(1): 173-197. (Leenders and Mona Harb, 2005).



Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2023 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454