Civil Society and Lebanon: Toward a Hermeneutic Theory of the Public Sphere in Comparative Studies

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Universal-Publishers, 2000 - Philosophy - 142 pages
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This study pursues a hermeneutic and dialogic conception of the public sphere. Through a critical assessment of the development of the closely related ideas of civil society and a democratic public sphere, Specifically, this study explores Ibn Khaldoun's notion of Asabiya and its impact on the constitution of civil society and the public sphere in Lebanon, paying particular attention to the notions of power and authority within the context of this indigenous concept in particular, and Lebanese (and Arab) culture in general. "Professor Dawahare has applied a set of complex theories to the Lebanese situation, and the result has been to better explain Lebanese politics as well as to probe new theoretical terrain. The study is comprehensive and represents a better use of theory to produce insights into one of the most complex political systems in the Middle East region than many other recent works on the subject. This book will be of interest to both social theorists and Middle East Scholars." John D. Stempel, Director The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky
 

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Contents

Introduction Civil Society the Public Sphere and Asabiya
9
Critical Approaches to Civil Society and Public Sphere Theory
24
Local Knowledge A Hermeneutic Conception of the Public Sphere
58
Chapter Four Asabiya Sectarianism and the Origins of Lebanon
79
Civil Society Asabiya Mythology and Modern Lebanon
92
Chapter Six The Narratives of Contemporary Lebanon
110
Contemporary Lebanon the Future and the Limits of Difference
124
Democracy Asabiya the Public Sphere and Lebanon Some Theoretical Conclusions
131
Bibliography
135
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Page 21 - Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning.

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About the author (2000)

Dawahare teaches political science at Georgetown College where he also serves as Director of the Office of College Communications. He is a former journalist.

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