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The Government and Politics of Lebanon

Second Edition

Imad Salamey

The Government and Politics of Lebanon, Second Edition describes the special attributes of Lebanese politics and the functions of its confessional state. It aims to contribute to the reader’s understanding of contemporary Lebanese politics, consensus building, and government. It stimulates discussion concerning the nature of consociationalism as a power sharing arrangement for a divided society. The book captures the complexity of Lebanese politics by revealing the challenges embedded in the management of plurality, including institutional paralysis and system stagnations. The second edition features new and expanded chapters that pay particular attention to state’s adaptations to post-Arab Spring politics. It expands the analysis on the performance of the Lebanese consociational state in light of turbulent regional environment and the various repercussions associated with regional conflict. It is divided into several parts. The first introduces the particular form and foundations of Lebanese consociationalism and provides an elaborate description of its special features. The second part explains the different rules of the game as institutionalized in the country’s international and domestic power sharing arrangements. It describes the international politics of Lebanon and the influence exerted by regional powers in shaping its domestic affairs. It explains the manifestation of domestic parties and electoral systems in the power distribution among the country’s different sectarian and ethnic groups. It analyzes the political economy of communitarian politics. The third part focuses on the contemporary powers and functions of the different branches of government as well as their institutional expression of sectarian interests. The fourth part of the book places Lebanese consociationalism in light of contemporary regional turmoil and describes state’s responsiveness in mitigating and managing conflicts, particularly those associated with the spillover from the Syrian conflict.
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List of Figures and Maps


Figure 2.1Late Nineteenth-Century Lebanese Dress. Maronite from Lebanon, Inhabitant of Jbeil and Christian Woman from Lebanon

Figure 7.1The Political Process

Figure 7.2The Structure of Political Mobilizations

Figure 7.3Branches of Government

Figure 7.4Sectarian Divide along Political Camps (2008)

Map 2.1Of the Christian Nasara Kaymakamligi (District) and Druze Duzi Kaymakamligi, 1842–1861

Map 2.2Of the Ottoman Empire, muta.saraf¯iyaJabalLubn¯an (Autonomous Province of Mt. Lebanon), 1861–1915

Map 2.3The Division of Lebanon during the Sykes–Picot Agreement

Map 2.4Regional Divisions during the League of Nations Mandate

Map 3.1Lebanese Sectarian Distributions.

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