Wednesday, 02. June 2021, 20:00-21:30
At its creation in the early 1960s, the BDL was an "ill-born" institution: deprived of both strong political support and founding father, it faced outright hostility from the banking sector, which then advocated for self-regulation and tried to reduce the powers of the central bank to a minimum. However, two decades later - around the end of the 1980s - this same Central Bank has become a very symbolic 'last bastion of the state' and its governor a prominent public figure. How can such a bastion emerge in the middle of a war? What does it allow us to say about the role and position of the governor or the action of the militias towards a Lebanese state they cannot fully appropriate but whose functioning and shape they changed? How this situation can lead us to pay attention to a generation of discreet statesmen in charge of the state, coping with the daily realities of war in the background of public figures? Eventually, beyond this occasion for cross-fertilization of the historiographies of the Lebanese war (1975-1991) and the Lebanese state, what sort of new elements can this research brings to the fore in order to make sense of an institution too often (and since 1993) confused with the sole person of its last and current governor?
Pierre joined the Orient Institut in 2020 as a Research Associate. A PhD candidate (defence in waiting) in Political Science at Paris 1 Sorbonne University, his doctoral research focuses on the process of the Lebanese state survival throughout the Lebanese war (1975-1990). It led him to study the Lebanese state in its material and human forms, with specific attention to several public institutions and their civil servants' histories. This research resulted also in a broad revisit of the Lebanese war based on comparative and historical sociology. Aside of his PhD, Pierre co-wrote a book with Prof. Antoine Vauchez in 2017, to be published in a revised English edition in 2021 (Cornell) on the phenomenon of top french civil servants becoming lawyers, a contribution to the study of the blurring lines between public and private social spheres in contemporary France. He has been also a full-time Junior Lecturer in Political Science at Sciences Po Aix (2016-2018).
Pierre's main research project at the OIB, "Fictio Statis. Unreliable numbers, Private Statistics and Economists’ careers in Lebanon (1950-1990)" aims at unfolding the question of numbers in Lebanon, from the mandate to the contemporary period.
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