Nancy Ezzeddine is a junior researcher at Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit. In this capacity, she explores identity politics and the use of religion as means of political mobilization in the Levant.
Born in Lebanon during the final days of the civil war, Nancy witnessed the post-conflict difficulty of re-assembling Lebanon’s political order, social fabric and economic base firsthand. Like most Lebanese, she was raised in an environment based on sectarian allegiance and limited citizen agency. She recalls her experience as a teenager in a politically tense environment in which hate-speech, political violence and fear of the “other” manifested in daily interaction. Growing up, she developed a lasting interest in social emancipation and social movements, dedicating her research to unpacking dynamics of sectarian contestation in heterogenous societies.
Her recent work focuses on the interplay between sectarian constituencies, patronage politics and transnational militancy in Iraq and Lebanon. Of particular note are her analyses of how transnational Shia political ideology and militant groups influence domestic political orders, using Iraq’s Al-Hashd al-Sha’abi as primary case study. Her research combines quantitative and qualitative methods to inspire concrete and constructive reform policies that respond to citizens’ needs - while being sensitive to local dynamics.
Nancy previously worked as a policy researcher in Beirut at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), focusing on social and economic reform processes in Lebanon. She also gained professional experience at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) where she promoted sustainable development across the Arab region. Nancy also is a member of Beirut Madinati, a volunteer-led political campaign against Lebanon’s sectarian order that emerged in 2016. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA in Economics and Political Science from the American University of Beirut (AUB).