Architecture_MPS: Volume 10, issue 1 now available (open access)

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Subject Fields: 
Urban History / Studies, Social Sciences, Middle East History / Studies, Architecture and Architectural History, Humanities

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UCL Press is delighted to announce the publication of a new issue of the open access journal Architecture_MPS (Architecture_Media, Politics Society).

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Postscript: Beirut Life and Debt Version 2.016

This essay continues a project begun a decade ago with the article, “A Matter of Life and Debt: The Untold Costs of Rafiq Hariri’s New Beirut.” This new article, or “Postscript,” begins by examining the reception of that first investigation and responds to one criticism directed at the original essay: that it proffers an unfairly pessimistic profile of the reconstruction effort generally and of its prime mover specifically, the now-deceased Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. This paper follows a cost/benefits analysis of the project and the company behind it, Solidere, and examines two other Solidere-styled developments abroad, both results of the company’s attempts to monetize its so-called “brand.” The first of these, “Abdali,” is in Amman. The second of these comprises a trio of projects that SI prepared for Sheikh Zayed City in metropolitan Cairo. The paper argues that Solidere’s failure to disclose the dubious financial dealings behind such projects further erodes the credibility of a company for whom the notion of “business as usual” works first and foremost to benefit the few at the expense of the many.

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About Architecture_MPS

Architecture_MPS was established as an Open Access journal in 2012 and addresses the growing interest in the social and political interpretation of the built environment from a multi-disciplinary perspective. It draws on experts who can bring emerging issues of international importance to the English-speaking community, and it has published high-profile academics and emerging voices from multiple countries, including notable international figures such as Noam Chomsky and Kenneth Frampton. By linking its publications with a range of research programmes and conferences it further raises awareness of the social importance of architecture. Find out more at

About AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society)         

AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society) is an international nonprofit research organisation. Its journal is Architecture_MPS. The journal is published by UCL Press. Read the current issue here.  The research organisation includes academics and universities internationally. It has two current programmes: 1. Housing-Critical Futures | 2. The Mediated City. Find out more at

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