6. The Arab Spring Republic
The quickly unfolding events of the Arab Spring soon proved unbearable for a minimum ruling governing coalition. The spectacle of collapsing Arab authoritarian regimes and raging violence in Syria alarmed all sectarian groups about the potentially grave consequences of a spillover. A massive influx of Syrian refugees, along with the military intervention of Lebanese armed groups in the Syrian conflict, brought tensions to the fore. Domestic polarization and periods of stalemate led to Parliament extending its own term and the presidential post being left vacant. But, in this case, consociationalism demonstrated exceptional resiliency in the management of domestic disputes amid regional storms. It mitigated confessional polarization and responded to the changing regional balance of power. Following stiff negotiations between the political parties, a grand coalition government was formed, a president was elected in accordance with the Doha rules of conduct, and a new electoral system was instated, ushering in a new era that consolidated confessional groups’ grip on power and defused potential reasons for collision. A new consociational republic had been instated, with shares of power reconfigured along the lines of the new emerging regional balance of power.
The Arab Spring
In 2011, peaceful protests swept major Arab cities, demanding political freedom and representation. The movement was able to force the ouster of Tunisia’s President Zein El-Abidine Ben Ali, President Husni Mubarak of Egypt, and President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, while Libya’s President Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebels. In other countries, such...
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