This OpEd is part of the Issam Fares Institute opinion articles series published weekly. This article is written by Karim Merhej, Researcher and Google Policy Fellow, IFI GovLab, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and subsequent halting of much economic activity and catastrophic handling of the pandemic by numerous governments across the world has triggered a considerable questioning of conventional wisdom and norms. For one, hopefully the derogatory term ‘unskilled labor’ will finally be put to rest, as supposedly ‘unskilled’ workers such as sanitation workers, grocery store clerks, agriculture workers and delivery drivers, are currently guarding human civilization. On a broader scale, this pandemic has laid bare the fragile foundations of neoliberalism. The neoliberal model, dominant throughout most of the world since the end of the Cold War, has met its day of reckoning. But before looking at how neoliberalism has ravaged Lebanon and thinking of what comes next, it is crucial to elucidate what exactly its record has been.
Read the full op-ed "COVID-19: Is the Neoliberal Era in Lebanon Coming to an End?