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Vulnerability and Public Services in the Lebanese Context of Mass Displacement A Literature Review

RELIEF Mass Displacement Middle East

This working paper reviews the literature on infrastructural vulnerabilities in the Lebanese context of mass displacement to answer the following questions:

• What are the particular infrastructural vulnerabilities at stake in contemporary Lebanon?

• Where are the intersections of vulnerabilities caused by displacement and those related to public services, for both migrants and hosts?

• How is vulnerability conceptualised in the literature, and what role are public services and migration seen to play in it?

‘Vulnerability’ has been a key term in contemporary Lebanon, both in the realm of public services and in the context of mass displacement. Yet often its precise meaning, especially the links between its spatial and social dimensions, are left underexplored (Issa et al., 2014; Stel & van der Molen, 2015). This review seeks to bridge the gap between these dimensions. Such an examination appears particularly pressing today because political, humanitarian, and academic discourses often presume causal connections between the presence of refugees and other precarious migrant communities, and the frail state of the country’s public services, often without further investigation.

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