PUBLI : Lama Kabbanji, Hala Awada, Mariam Hasbani, Elsa El Hachem & Paul Tabar, « Studying abroad : a necessary path towards a successful academic career in social sciences in Lebanon ? », Revue Internationale de Sociologie, Oct. 2019


Scho­lars have only recently started to take an interest in the return of highly quali­fied migrants to their country of origin, espe­cially when it comes to Arab coun­tries. This research, conducted between 2014 and 2016, provides evidence on the Leba­nese case, a country where most social scien­tists have been trained abroad. This article uses a multi-level approach and compares careers paths of social scien­tists trained in Lebanon and abroad, working in Leba­nese public and private univer­si­ties. If a foreign diploma appears as a signi­fi­cant factor of career diffe­ren­tia­tion, the analysis under­taken in this article nuances this finding. It reveals to what extent the charac­te­ris­tics of the academic field in origin coun­tries such as Lebanon shape the career paths of acade­mics. Public and, to a lesser extent private univer­si­ties have become ideo­lo­gical state appa­rels which are used by the ruling elites to ensure their repro­duc­tion, through the reva­lua­tion of social capital. However, this repro­duc­tion is not made without social actors and their invol­ve­ment. Leba­nese acade­mics develop stra­te­gies to accu­mu­late the rele­vant symbolic capital in order to be recruited or promoted. The acti­va­tion of the rele­vant poli­tical and secta­rian networks is, there­fore, one of the key stra­te­gies which social scien­tists mobi­lise as a first or last resort to acquire univer­sity positions.