Internships

Internships

The internship program of the Middle East Office of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs) welcomes interns who have a special interest in one or several hbs program areas. The internship program intends to provide an opportunity for students and young researchers to get hand-on practical experience in the field of international development work. Interns will learn about hbs activities, gain practical work and research experience, and / or make use of this opportunity for their degree dissertation. At the same time interns are expected to contribute to hbs activities with their knowledge and ideas. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Lebanon is an interesting but also a challenging environment. For reasons partly related to the volatile political situation, the Middle East Office internship program strongly encourages applicants to familiarize themselves with the challenges of an extended stay in such an environment prior to submitting an application. Applicants should highlight any previous experience in living in similarly challenging conditions. 

Who would be the best candidate for an internship with the Heinrich Böll Stiftung?

Advanced students with a study focus and research interest in hbs program areas are ideal candidates. This includes students of political, social and environmental sciences, economics, law, media, cultural and area studies. Local and international students are equally eligible for an internship.

Applicants should propose a research activity or project which they would like to pursue during the internship related to hbs’ programmatic focus areas. Our team will be happy to discuss proposed research ideas and projects, lend support through contacts and information, and potentially incorporate aspects of such a project into our program once your application has been accepted.

What types of documentation and information should be included in an application?

The application should consist of the following documents: 
• Cover letter.
• Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages)
• Research Proposal (maximum 2 pages, please download format here)

The cover letter should include summary background information on the applicant. More importantly, it must contain an explanation of the applicant’s motivation for an internship with hbs and it must highlight a proposal for a research activity/ project that the applicant aspires to undertake during the stay with hbs (see above). Please do not forget to specify the exact time of your availability.

The curriculum vitae should be updated and precise, providing an overview of the educational background, previous professional experience, social and political engagement and publications on a maximum of two pages.

When designing your proposal, please keep in mind that there are topics that have been dealt with extensively in academia (confessionalism in Lebanon, party politics in Lebanon, Syrian/Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, ... ), which might render it difficult to contribute anything significantly new within the framework of an internship. We therefore recommend to go for more manageble topics.

Please make sure to send all your documents in English and that your resume is in accordance with international non-discrimination standards and does not contain a photo.

What benefits do we offer?

HBS offers interns to be part of an exciting and challenging work environment, and provides an opportunity to build a network of contacts with activists, development workers, and artists in Lebanon and the region. Interns will receive guidance and support during their research, and will be in a position to gain first-hand information on development, social and political issues from the hbs team and our partner organizations. Unfortunately no travel expenses can be covered. We do not organize for the accommodation of interns, but we will assist interns throughout their search. In exceptional cases, research and conceptual work performed for the benefit of our program may receive a modest remuneration.

When do you receive an answer?

Applications will be received all through the year; an acknowledgment of receiving the application will be emailed to the applicant and the application processed as soon as possible. Please note that we have a high number of applications.

How to apply

InternshipsCreator: Stephan Röhl. CC-BY-SA 2.0

Send an email to info@lb.boell.org with the subject “application for internship”. Make sure to attach the cover letter, CV and project proposal in PDF format . Applications are not supposed to be directed to or address any particular person at hbs.

Interns Projects

The Right to Belong to a Political Community at the Example of the Legal Situation of Refu-gees in Lebanon

Paper

The Right to Belong to a Political Community: Syrian refugees in Lebanon face difficulties in their legal status and in the possibilities they have to claim rights. The reasons are complex and go far beyond the Lebanese context, however, that most of them are illegal is crucial since revealing themselves to the authority with any claim is a risk. Antonia Klein studied the impact of gaps in international law adapting to the world refugee situation and looks at patterns in Lebanon.

By Antonia Klein

The 2018 campaign of the civil society: Breaking through the sectarian system?

pdf

On the 6th of May 2018 the Lebanese are voting for their parliament for the first time in 9 years. Elections, supposed to be held in 2013 but postponed repeatedly for security concerns, are held under a new electoral law. There is a huge discontentment with the political system and a high level of political apathy. The garbage crisis of 2015 and the municipal elections of 2016 showed that a huge segment of society does not feel adequately represented by the established political parties. This representation issue has a lot to do with the inherent corruption of the ruling political class and their failure to provide basic public services. Due to the discontent, the 2018 election saw an increase in candidates who do not come from the traditional sectarian parties. These civil society groups, who have their roots in previous protests, try to create a new political discourse around secularism, citizenship and pro-human rights. This paper examines the emergence of the these groups.

The Luxury of Sharing

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Paper

Although differences have been found between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon regarding the acquisition of global consumer culture, the acquisition of such a culture emanating from the West cannot be denied. Thus, the Lebanese consumer culture in comparison with other Middle Eastern countries bears a number of similarities with Western consumerism. This arises the question of whether the trend of sharing, which can be considered as a part of Western consumer culture, has reached Lebanon as well.

A White Dress Does(n’t) Cover the Rape. Factors effecting the abolishment of Article 522

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Article

In Lebanon, a rapist could avoid criminal prosecution by marrying their victim. That was until August 16th 2017 when the Lebanese Parliament voted on the abolishment of Article 522. Thereby, Lebanon joins a number of other Arab states. Given that marital rape and underage marriage remain legal, it is a benign step towards the protection of women’s rights only, but a primer.

On the decentralisation of Solid Waste Management in Lebanon: a viable solution to the “waste crisis”?

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Since the Lebanese "waste crisis" broke out in 2015, NGOs, private enterprises and citizens have worked in order to fill the vacuum in the provision of Solid Waste Management-related services. The intervention of the aforementioned actors often times working independently from the central government has brought about a more decentralised Solid Waste Management system. The benefits, the difficulties and the position of such a system vis à vis the Lebanese state are explored in this paper through the testimonies of individuals currently operating in the Solid Waste Management sector.

You reap what they sow: Understanding the issues linked to the agricultural sector in Lebanon

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After examinig the current state of agriculture in Lebanon, this article will investigate the implications of the Lebanese food production system and will try to identify the reasons underlying this situation. Finally, the article will shed light on the emergence of a form of ‘alternative agriculture’ and will try to understand whether or not it can be a sustainable solution to assure food security in the country in the face of rapidly advancing climate change.

‘Islamic Feminism’ in Lebanon: Portraying a counter-discourse

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Islam and Feminism, those two words seem like an oxymoron to most people. But it is not to everyone. Starting in the 90's a number of Islamic feminists from different parts of the world took the stage and made their struggle for women‘s emancipation public. This paper delves into the basic concept of Islamic Feminism and attempts to portray the counter-discourse as it is forming in Lebanon.
Ann-Kathrin Steger

The case of Beirut Madinati: How to maintain a wind of change?

pdf

Changing a crooked system from within might seem like a desperate effort, especially when the same political actors had been in power for over 20 years facilitating corruption and clientelism. Yet, it is a task that the civil platform Beirut Madinati took upon itself when they ran in the 2016 Lebanese municipal elections for the Beirut city council. Although they were not able to win a seat due to the Lebanese winner-takes-all electoral system, their high electoral success caused a massive uproar, also among the established political parties. For this research, a series of interviews has been conducted with members of Beirut Madinati in order to assess the reasons for their success, public reactions and considerations for their further proceedings.

The Uphill Battle with a Boulder

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8,331 - is the astonishing number of officially registered civil society organisations in the small state of Lebanon. From HIV prevention over democracy building to environmental protection, almost no topic remains unaddressed. However, from a closer look, the impact yielded by these groups in the compact state in the Middle East often remains somewhat restricted. On the example of gender equality – a topic fervently debated in Lebanon – this paper analyses the internal and external reasons behind this surprising discrepancy and stipulate thought about how to make the Lebanese civil society work more effectively.

Nothing but a demonstration?

pdf

The civil society movement during the garbage crisis in Beirut after July 2015.

When garbage started to pile up in the streets of Beirut in summer 2015, a new wave of civil society protests was initiated in the country. Thousands of Lebanese were protesting in the streets – against the garbage situation, corruption of the government, the failure of electing a president, sectarianism and many more issues connected to the crisis of the state and the waste management. More than half a year later, no final solution for the garbage has been found and the political situation has not changed. It is said that the civil society movement failed to put pressure on the government, but also the regime itself is made responsible for the lack of change. For many people it was hard to follow up with what was happening on the streets during the demonstrations and to understand who the protestors were and which goals they tried to achieve. This paper analyzes the dynamics of the movement and tries to explain why not much has changed so far and if there is any chance for civil society movements in Lebanon in the future.

To good neighbourliness!

The dilemma faced by the EU in its search for an effective policy with Lebanon

The European Union is compelled to define its role in Lebanon anew and needs to disperse tensions within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Is the policy’s focal point to be shared values or stability? Active policy development or non-interference? Perspectives unearthed through fieldwork in Lebanon.

Dossier: More Than A Talkshop

“The Speaker of the House and the Bureau of the Parliament remind you, the parliamentarians, that the floor is now open for amendments”, - sounds of rustling paper resonate in the auditorium of Haigazian University. On this Sunday morning, the air is humming with concentrated whisper as well dressed youth deliberates on modifications for law proposals. 32 young parliamentarians from Tyr, Saida, Tripoli, Mount Lebanon and Beirut convened in Beirut on March 22nd to simulate a plenary session of the Lebanese National Assembly. For two months, the students aged between 15 and 18 years, dedicated their Saturdays to prepare themselves and their draft laws for this day’s plenary session.

Against all odds?

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Comics, Hip-Hop, paintings, poems or festivals. What effect can art have on a society? How do artists interact with lebanese society and what problems do they face? Artists give insights to structures, aims and problems of the Beirut art scene.

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