The Government and Politics of Lebanon
Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- List of Figures and Maps
- List of Tables
- Foreword: Why the Government and Politics of Lebanon 2nd Edition?
- Part I: Political and Historic Context of Lebanese Sectarian Consociationalism
- 1. World Democracies and Lebanese Consociationalism
- 2. Origin of Lebanese Political Sectarianism
- 3. The National Pact Republic
- 4. The Taef Republic
- 5. The Doha Republic
- 6. The Arab Spring Republic
- Part II: The Lebanese Political System
- 7. From Politics to Government
- 8. The International Affairs of Lebanon
- 9. Elections and Parties
- 10. The Political Economy of Lebanon
- Part III: Political Institutions
- 11. Lebanese Legislative Branch
- 12. Lebanese Executive Branch
- 13. Lebanese Judicial Branch
- Part IV: Prospects
- 14. State Consociationalism and Democracy
- Appendix A: Lebanon Taef Constitution
- Appendix B: Security Council Resolution 1559
- Appendix C: Security Council Resolution 1595
- Appendix D: Security Council Resolution 1757
- Appendix E: Security Council Resolution 1701
- Appendix F: Lebanese Political Parties
|List of Figures and Maps
|List of Tables
The contributions of many students, research assistants, interims, and colleagues are responsible for bringing this book to life. For several years, students of Lebanese Politics helped turn my classes into a forum for debates and discussions. The fact that the classroom often exemplified the greater Lebanese plurality, encompassing students from all walks of gender, regional, sectarian, economic, and political backgrounds, enriched the intellectual deliberation and exchanges of ideas. Students often pointed to youths’ aspirations and visions. They often held common and, other times, antagonizing aspirations for a responsive and representative government. Their views imprinted the many topics and issues addressed in this book.
|Foreword: Why the Government and Politics of Lebanon 2nd Edition?
The ancient political question regarding which form of government is the best continues to puzzle the minds of contemporary political thinkers. The choice has proven increasingly critical to the survival of nations as more countries have begun their political journeys toward democracy. The fact that societies and nations vary by historic, geographic, economic, religious, regional, cultural, and racial peculiarities now more than ever has required delicate considerations in the formulation of political choices. Indeed, the global diversity of nations and societies has transformed the choice of governance, making it among the most critical decisions in determining the existence, stability, and tranquility of nations.
Political experiences have taught us the grave consequences that await nations when their governance choices are made without cultural and political considerations. Many multiethnic, postcolonial states in Africa and the Middle East, among others, have suffered the consequences of ill-founded governing institutions. In 1994, the Hutu-dominated Rwandan government provoked a campaign of ethnic cleansing that resulted in the massacre of more than one million Rwandan Tutsis. In South Africa, the system of apartheid led to racial segregation and eventually to racial and ethnic conflicts throughout the postcolonial period. In fact, the governing choice for a plural society has proven to be among the most crucial political decisions, particularly in divisive and transitional societies.←xv | xvi→
Democratic consociationalism has been proposed as one of the possible suitable forms of governance for societies that are deeply divided along ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural, and racial lines. In 1943, Lebanon became one of the earliest states to adopt consociationalism. This resulted in mixed outcomes: On the one hand, compared with other co-Arab states, consociationalism has provided the country with an exceptional democratic political life. It has resulted in a limited government with a strong confessional division of power and a built-in checks and balances mechanism, rendering impossible the emergence of dictatorship or monarchy. On the other hand, the many weaknesses of the state have undermined nation building in favor of sectarian fragmentation and strong polarization that have periodically brought the country to the verge of total collapse and civil war. Whether the Lebanese form of democratic consociationalism is an appropriate governing model for a divided society continues to puzzle political scientists and divide them between enthusiasts and critics.
What is evident, however, is that the studies of contemporary Lebanese consociationalism have lacked a systematic and comprehensive evaluation. This is obviously because of the contention over different interpretations of Lebanese political history, a fact that has prevented Lebanon from adopting a unified history textbook. This book aims to take on the daunting task of providing the first comprehensive, scholarly examination of contemporary Lebanese politics throughout its different consociational experiences, knowing in advance that this may stir both praise and criticism. But perhaps it is only through this instigated inquisition that the research can progress and scholars can magnify their inquiries to improve interpretations.
It shall be noted throughout this book that the study of Lebanese politics is unique in various ways, most importantly because of the fact that it continues to evolve around the struggle of state and nation building. A century-old protracted national identity crisis has kept Lebanese divided over the role and function of the state. The result has been the emergence of a dynamic polity contested by a static state institution, rendering the study of Lebanese politics and government in a state of permanent flux. Indeed, a foreign observer can note that Lebanese politics is vibrant, constantly changing, and critically intertwined by global developments. No country as small as Lebanon has so persistently attracted world attentions and interventions. The country’s charming nature, cultural and religious diversity, relative liberalism, strategic location, and global accessibility have captivated foreign imaginations. During its internal strife and many other crises, invasions, and wars, the stakes were heightened to involve other countries, with implications for ideological struggles, East-Western relations, and worldly ←xvi | xvii→religious coexistence. Consequently, Lebanon has come to strongly impact and to be impacted by regional and international politics.
Another claim advanced in this book is that the Lebanese consociationalism is fundamentally static, contributing to a recurrent cycle of political stalemates and paralyses. The state’s robustness is the outcome of a delicate sectarian balance of power that has opposed institutional modification. Fearing the loss of sectarian privileges, sectarian elites have obstructed genuine structural reforms, a reality that has prevented the country from developing modern and transparent public institutionalism. The rigidity of the state institutions has turned any effort for reform or change into a conflict-ridden process leading to major outbreaks in communal violence.
The second edition provides an update to Lebanese politics, in which the major ramifications of post-Arab Spring politics are discussed. The political economy of Lebanon is particularly examined in a new chapter that highlights major challenges confronting the very foundations of consociationalism in the post-Arab Spring era. Thus, four subsequent Lebanese consociationalist republics are introduced: National Pact, Taef, Doha, and Arab Spring.
To capture the political dynamic of the consociational state in Lebanon throughout different historic periods, this book is divided into several parts. Chapter 1 provides a general typology of political systems that are widely implemented in the world as a way to introduce the Lebanese consociational system and its rational. Then, Chapters 2 to 6 provide a general historic overview of Lebanese consociational politics. They examine the general foundations of sectarian consociationalism as established by the various pre-and post-independence power-sharing arrangements. They discuss sectarian politics of conflict and concession as well as the underlying domestic and international driving forces at different historic junctures. Chapters 7 to 10 analyze the contemporary politics of Lebanon, including the role played by foreign countries, the political economy, sectarian groups, political leaders, political parties, and elections. Chapters 11 to 13 introduce the power sharing arrangements as institutionalized by the consociational governments of Lebanon. They focus on the contemporary powers and functions of the different branches of government, as well as their institutional manifestations of sectarian consociationalism. Chapter 14 concludes with prospects for the sectarian state in light of contemporary political changes and regional upheavals.
Hence, the aim of this book is to contribute to the reader a greater understanding of Lebanese politics and government. It seeks to instigate a dialog among general readers and students about the nature of consociationalism and its ←xvii | xviii→suitability as a form of governance for plural and divided societies. Such a dialog can not only help Lebanon assert and/or revise its governing structure but may very well assist similar states in the Middle East and elsewhere to establish an appropriate formulation of governance.
|World Democracies and Lebanese Consociationalism
This chapter examines different political systems around the world and introduces the particular form of governance established in Lebanon. Various ideological, federal, and consociational democracies are examined; in turn, case studies are presented to better inform debate. Lebanon’s consociational power-sharing form of government is explored through the social foundations that shape the political institutions of the country.
Politics of Democratic Systems
- XVIII, 304
- ISBN (PDF)
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- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Softcover)
- ISBN (Hardcover)
- Publication date
- 2021 (March)
- New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2021. XVIII, 304 pp., 11 b/w ill., 18 tables.