Follow Us

Follow on Twitter    Follow on Facebook    YouTube Channel    Vimeo Channel    Tumblr    SoundCloud Channel    iPhone App    iPhone App

Sami Atallah


Along What Lines Are Lebanon’s Political Elite Divided?

Eight years on and Lebanon still does not have an electoral law. Despite the many draft proposals and meetings by the Council of Ministers (COM) and parliamentary sub-committees, political parties appear more likely to either hold elections according to the so-called 1960 law or illegally extend their mandates than pass a new electoral law. Granted, a new electoral law would determine who has the power to nominate a prime minister, form a new government, issue a vote of ...

Keep Reading »

On Municipal Elections in Lebanon and the Prospects of Change

[Map showing all municipalities in Lebanon. Image by rarelibra via Wikipedia]

In a few weeks’ time, Lebanon’s fourth round of municipal elections since 1998 are scheduled to be held. This event highlights three key and interrelated challenges facing the country. The first is whether the ruling political elite will actually decide to hold municipal elections. If held, the second challenge concerns whether elected council members will adhere to a plan of action that addresses people’s local needs. The third challenge is getting people to vote for those ...

Keep Reading »

Garbage Crisis Exposes Arrogance and Conflict Among the Political Elite of Lebanon

[Screenshot from

The government just does not seem to get it. Protests that kicked off in Lebanon a few weeks ago are no longer about the garbage crisis. They are fundamentally about the failure of successive Lebanese governments to provide basic services for citizens. They are about corruption associated with managing public resources, and the subsequently high prices that Lebanese are forced to pay for very poor services. Let us take power for instance: many Lebanese pay two bills—one to ...

Keep Reading »


Sami Atallah


Sami Atallah, who is trained in economics and political science, is the director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS). He is currently leading several policy studies on the governance of the gas sector, electoral behavior, monitoring the Parliament and political parties, economic diversification, and decentralization and service delivery. From November 2012 till April 2014, Atallah served on the Committee established by the Lebanese Prime Minister to draft a decentralization law. He has several policy and academic publications. He is the editor of Towards Achieving a Transparent and Accountable National Budget in Lebanon (Beirut: LCPS 2013), and co-editor of Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization Experiences in the Arab World (with Mona Harb, Beirut: LCPS 2015). Atallah has co-authored a paper on the emergence of highly sophisticated export products: Evidence from Lebanon (with Ilina Srour, ERF working paper, 2014). He has two Masters degrees in International and Development Economics from Yale University (1996) and in Quantitative Methods from Columbia University (2004). He is currently completing his PhD in Politics at New York University.