The United States and Lebanon are, in some ways, very different political contexts, and yet organizers face strikingly similar dilemmas and pitfalls in both countries. Both Nicole Carty and Jean Kassir have been actively involved in politics since 2011—Carty in the United States and Kassir in Lebanon. In this episode of “Transnational Trends in Citizenship”—the new season of Order from Ashes—the two activists share their insights.

In their experience, movements go through similar cycles. Carty and Kassir emphasize the importance of developing movement infrastructure to avoid the pitfalls associated with these cycles, and to capitalize on moments of mass mobilization—to seize opportunity. Movements must also be able to create moments, not just react to them. 

A lack of transmission of skills between generations and a disconnect between movements causes stagnation and the repetition of mistakes. Both activists describe learning lessons from movements across the globe in terms of tactics, discourse, and political imagination. And both emphasize careful thinking about learning and the transmission of skills. 

By fostering both transnational and intergenerational learning, movements may have some hope of avoiding the familiar pitfalls.

This podcast is the final of a special eight-part season of Order from Ashes, as part of “Transnational Trends in Citizenship: Authoritarianism and the Emerging Global Culture of Resistance,” a TCF project supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Open Society Foundations. 

Participants include: 

  • Jean Kassir, co-founder of Lebanese media platform Megaphone
  • Nicole Carty, core team member, Momentum, a social movement incubator and training institute
  • Naira Antoun, director, Transnational Trends in Citizenship, Century International