Call for Fellows: The Bassem Chit Fellowship for The Study of Activism / Bourse Bassem Chit pour l’étude du militantisme – LIMITE : 15/07/2018

Bassem Chit Fellowship for the Study of Activism
(En – Fr – Ar)

in partnership with the Arab Council for the Social Sciences, the Orient-Institut Beirut, and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Beirut Office are happy to announce the launch of the

Bassem Chit Fellowship for the Study of Activism

Bassem Chit was a founding member of Lebanon Support and was its Executive Director between 2008 and 2014. He had more than 14 years professional experience in information and knowledge management in development and humanitarian contexts in parallel to his social and political activism, in Lebanon and the region. You can read more about Bassem Chit here.

The Bassem Chit fellowship for the study of activism is a one-year post doctoral fellowship based in Beirut, Lebanon. The fellowship is a joint initiative of Lebanon Support, the Arab Council for the Social Sciences, the Orient-Institut Beirut, and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Beirut Office. The fellowship aims to give early career scholars (0-3 years out of the Phd) in  the social sciences the opportunity to conduct research on activism in the Arab world. The Bassem Chit fellowship accepts proposals in Arabic, English, or French.

Social scientists investigating the Arab region have often analysed political and social  developments in the varying national contexts through the prism of identity politics, confessional, tribal or ethnic affiliations, where opportunity structures change due to variables such as the robustness of coercive apparatuses (Bellin 2004, Hafez 2006, Schwedler 2010), the use of violence and repression (Bischof and Fink 2015, Brownlee, Masoud and Reynolds 2015),  elite rotation, cooptation, and reproduction (Perthes 2004, Kingston 2013, Bove and Rivera 2015), and forms of “authoritarian upgrading” (Heydemann 2007, Schlumberger 2007, Ouissa 2009). Many studies have recently focused on Egypt (Duboc 2012, Gunning and Baron 2014, Ketchley 2014, 2017), Morocco (Vairel 2005, Emperador Badimon 2011, Yom 2017), Tunisia, (Ayari 2009, Allal 2013), Lebanon (Favier 2004, Karam 2006, AbiYaghi, 2013), Bahrain (Coates Ulrichsen 2013, Holmes 2015), Jordan (Moss 2014, Yom 2013, 2015), Syria (Ismail 2011, Haddad 2012, Leenders and Heydemann 2012, Hinnebusch and Imady 2018). In spite of these valuable contributions, empirical research on alternative collective action in the region questioning global debates on the theories of social mobilisation still lacks in the region. As a result many forms of mobilisation remain largely invisible and under-explored.

This fellowship invites early career scholars to examine political processes from below, with a focus on contentious politics, and collective action while steering away from the idea of the cultural exceptionalism of the “area” (Bennani-Chraïbi and Fillieule 2003).

The fellowship particularly seeks to encourage research that explores the genealogy of mobilising actors, their action repertoires, their framing processes, their modes of actions, and their demands. This can entail (but is not limited to) broader leftist or secular trends as well as activism and social movements mobilising for alternative issues encompassing environmental topics, gender, right to housing, food or public space. While the fellowship is situated within the social sciences, it encourages interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies, also exploring linkages between academic and action-oriented research.

During the fellowship, the scholar will be requested to:

–          Assist in Lebanon Support’s mapping of collective actions and produce quarterly digests

–          Produce an in-depth research paper on their research topic to be published on Lebanon Support’s Civil Society Knowledge Centre

–          Organise a round table at the OIB around their research

–          Participate and present a paper at the ACSS Fourth Conference that will be held  on April 12-14 2019

–          Organise a round table event on issues pertaining to collective action at Lebanon Support.

The fellowship duration is 12 months, and the earliest starting date is September 2018. The fellowship is hosted at Lebanon Support and funded by both the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Beirut Office.

About the Mentorship and Affiliation during the fellowship:

The fellow will be mentored by Dr. Marie-Noëlle AbiYaghi. Dr. AbiYaghi is a founding member and the head of research at Lebanon Support. She is also an associate researcher at the Institut Français du Proche- Orient (IFPO), and a member of the Lebanese Sociological Association. A former researcher at the Centre for Lebanese Studies, Saint Anthony’s College at the University of Oxford, she has also collaborated with several local and international organisations. She specialises in the sociology of contentious politics in contemporary Lebanon, with a focus on socialisation processes and collective behaviour, transformation of commitment and logics of disengagement, transnational movements, as well as gendered dynamics within social movements. She also focuses on (re)production processes and forms of social control, order, and discipline.

She holds a PhD in Political Science from the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, France. Recent publications.

Lebanon Support is an independent non-governmental, non-religious, non-political, and non-profit research centre. Established in 2006, Lebanon Support was registered as a National Non-Governmental Organisation in November 2008 (registered under the number 168/2009 AD). Lebanon Support aims at enhancing civil society capacity, efficiency and effectiveness through the creation of public spaces for reflection, collaboration and debate on and for civil society in Lebanon. Lebanon Support adopts a multidisciplinary approach and evidence and fact based methodologies in civil society work in Lebanon so as to support and develop a civic voice and a better impact towards better accountability and societal change in Lebanon. Within this framework Lebanon Support focuses on information and knowledge sharing and management, production and delivery; as it is within Lebanon Support’s beliefs, that information and knowledge are at the heart of developing adequate strategies and interventions to reduce existing vulnerabilities and marginalisation in the country. LS promotes and supports knowledge sharing between organisations in Lebanon, through the exchange of experiences, ideas and information across sectors and among civil society actors in Lebanon.

Lebanon Support is currently implementing three main programmes: Daleel Madani, launched in 2006, an online collaborative platform for civil society news and services ( the Civil Society Knowledge Centre, launched in 2013 and the first and most developed online platform for research and knowledge management for civil society organisations, professionals, academics, and activists in Lebanon (; and The Civil Society Incubator, officially launched in 2016, which provides tailored support and mentoring to civil society actors in Lebanon (

Throughout its first decade of existence, Lebanon Support has succeeded in becoming the reference on civil society issues and thematics, whether through Daleel Madani which acts as the main platform and networking tool for actors in the sector, through the Civil Society Knowledge Centre which provides research and analysis in open access to be used by stakeholders in interventions and policy, or through the Civil Society Incubator which allows us to share and disseminate our knowledge and expertise by coaching and mentoring civil society actors. Lebanon Support has innovated and succeeded in creating and consolidating systematic synergies between different ecosystems of stakeholders and actors: the civil society activists and practitioners, the experts, the academic researchers, and the policy makers.

You can read more about Lebanon Support here.

Eligibility criteria:

Applicants are eligible if they:

–         Are citizens or nationals of an Arab country: An Arab country is defined by its membership in the League of Arab States. The term “national” refers to full-time and long-term residents of an Arab State, including those who do not have citizenship, as in the case of stateless refugees. Arab scholars residing outside the region at the time of application would be eligible only if they hold an Arab citizenship and are not in a tenure-track position and/or do not have access to research resources from their institution and/or country of residence. Accepted fellows are required to spend their 12 months fellowship period in Beirut at Lebanon Support’s offices.

–          Are junior scholars (0-3 years out of the Phd) who have a doctoral degree in a social science or humanities discipline (obtained from within or outside the Arab region). Applicants who did not obtain their PhDs at the time of application will be ineligible.

–          Have high quality academic credentials including proficiency in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods. Applicants are required to submit a proposal (10-15 pages) building on their doctoral dissertation. Proposals that are not based on or not relevant to the applicant’s PhD dissertation will be disqualified. Proposals should highlight the applicant’s academic credentials and outline a research problem. Applicants should also provide a publications plan in addition to a 3-year career plan.

–          Have versatility to take on organisational roles when required, and the ability to work independently as well as with teams as outlined.

Required Documents at the Time of Application:
Applicants are required to create an account and a Profile Page on the ACSS Applications Platform, then apply to the fellowship using the online application form for the Bassem Chit Fellows Program, and provide the following supporting documents:

  • A detailed CV
  • A one-page cover letter
  • A proof of nationality or residence in the Arab region
  • A project proposal (10-15 pages): detailing the activities that the fellow intends to undertake during the fellowship period. Please note that all submitted proposals will be checked on a plagiarism detection software.

Disciplinary and Thematic Focus:
The Bassem Chit Fellowship program aims at targeting scholars in the social sciences, particularly in the fields of political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, education, demography, media and cultural studies, among others., We also encourage applications from the humanities, including applications covering literature, cultural studies, history, philosophy and arts.

Terms of the Fellowship:
The fellowships will provide 12 months of full support (living expenses plus research expenses) with a total stipend of $34,000. If shortlisted, applicants will be asked to provide a budget estimating (1) the costs of living, (2) the costs of research; and (3) indicate whether or not they will have any other sources of funding and/or income during the period of the fellowship.

Accepted applicants are expected to provide a well-thought financial plan before signing the contract.

Travel funding at an average of $900 for each fellow who will travel to Lebanon for the fellowship.

Each fellow will be requested to contribute an abstract concerning their project for the ACSS website.


In addition to the required deliverables stated above, the fellow’s timeline is:

June 20, 2018: Application forms are available online.

July 15, 2018: Deadline for submissions.

Last week of July 2018: Decisions are communicated to applicants.

August 2018: Accepted applicants sign their contracts.

September 2018: Fellowship starts.

April 2019: Present at the ACSS Fourth Biennial Conference in Beirut-Lebanon.

Questions should be directed to:

Calls in French and arabic : see on the website

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