King's College London

Research portal

Timebomb at the Port: How Institutional Failure, Political Squabbling and Greed Set the Stage for Blowing up Beirut

Research output: Other contribution

Original languageEnglish
Published16 Sep 2020

King's Authors


The institutional set-up of the Port of Beirut is emblematic of Lebanon’s post-war corruption and sectarian clientelism. Any investigation into the 4 August explosion needs to take into account the port’s dismal institutional record and how the current political class ensured its governance remained opaque and messy. This paper provides critical insights into the port’s set-up over the last 30 years highlighting the failing political system, a greedy political class, and entrenched mismanagement and corruption. It demonstrates how the bickering of key actors over the port’s control and the port’s institutional failures set the stage for the blast, pointing to an urgent need to build an accountable port authority as part of any reform effort.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454