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Accepted Paper:

Law 220/2000: disability rights and the production of modernity in contemporary Lebanon  
Julie Hartley (King's College London)

Paper short abstract:

Focusing on the strategies of a Lebanese disability NGO and its attempts to enact a disability employment law, this paper highlights the connections between political processes and the production of 'modern' disabled subjectivities in Lebanon.

Paper long abstract:

The passing of Law 220 in 2000, which secures the rights of disabled people, is hailed as a major victory amongst disability rights NGOs, in particular the LPHU (Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union). This paper, which is based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Lebanon from 2004-2005, suggests that the passing of Law 220, constitutes a symbolic moment when the respective strategies of the LPHU and the Lebanese Government converged: for the LPHU, the law invoked a modern state in which disability rights were recognised, while at the same time, it made the Lebanese Government appear 'modern'. However, the law, which is based on international disability rights doctrine, has yet to be activated. This paper suggests that in the Lebanese context, the discourse of disability rights becomes an aspirational rhetoric and a political tool for both the state and disability groups.

Panel W101
Politics of disability and experience
  Session 1