Lebanon’s ruling elites have sabotaged talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offered the last hope for reforms that could save the country’s economy and improve life for millions of suffering people.

On this episode of the Order From Ashes podcast, researchers Sami Zoughaib, from The Policy Institute in Lebanon, and Sam Heller, from Century International, reveal how Lebanon’s elites have misled the public on the reality of the country’s dire situation.

Without some course change, Zoughaib and Heller argue, Lebanon will not have the IMF program it needs to halt its economic collapse. But public pressure could still force elites to act responsibly—or at least hold those elites accountable.

The two researchers discuss the findings in their new report, a joint production of Century International and The Policy Institute in Lebanon. It is part of “Networks of Change: Reviving Governance and Citizenship in the Middle East,” a Century International project supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Open Society Foundations.



  • Sami Zoughaib, economist and research manager at The Policy Initiative in Lebanon
  • Sam Heller, fellow, Century International
  • Thanassis Cambanis, director, Century International