Taavi Sundell organised the “Production and Governance of Human Capital in the Middle East” research seminar at the Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME) in Beirut, Lebanon. The seminar brought together researchers from Finland, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to explore the concept of human capital in the contexts of education governance, political economy, humanitarian aid, and property rights. These were examined both in the Middle Eastern context and from a more theoretical perspective.
The seminar included the following presentations:
- Aneta Hayes, Keele University: “Charting the Evolution of Academic Capitalism and Human Capital in the Middle East: Critical Insights from Higher Education Research in the Arabian Gulf and Non-formal Education in Lebanon.”
- Tim Di Muzio, University of Wollongong: “Capitalizing ‘Human Capital’: The Rise of the Indebted Student.”
- Tero Erkkilä, University of Helsinki: “Rankings and Global Knowledge Governance: Human Capital and Education.”
- Taavi Sundell, FIME: “Capital and Human Capital in Lebanon’s Post-2019 Collapse.”
- Teivo Teivainen, University of Helsinki: “Human Capital as Self-Ownership?”
- Antti Toivanen, Tufts University: “Theory of Human Capital and Education Programs in Humanitarian Aid: Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza as Cases.”
The presentations heard in the seminar room, as well as the discussions that continued outside of it during the evenings in Beirut and on the third day while exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Lebanon in a minibus, provided participants with an excellent opportunity to exchange their latest thoughts among familiar colleagues and get acquainted with the research conducted by previously unknown colleagues.