The Government and Politics of Lebanon

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Routledge, 2014 - Political Science - 236 pages

The book examines the evolution of the Lebanese government, its structure and functions, and its political history since the 1800s to the present day through the framework of democratic consociationalism. The main theme of the study concentrates on claims that Lebanese politics and government are unique in that they continue to evolve around the ongoing struggle of nation-building and, in particular, the centuries-old protracted national identity crisis that has kept the Lebanese so divided over the role and function of the state. The book offers major insight to Lebanese government and politics through an examination of the interaction of internal and external political actors and examines factors shaping Lebanon’s political culture and trajectory. Lebanon’s vibrant and constantly changing political climate has persistently attracted world attention and intervention.

To capture the political dynamic and institutional paralysis of the consociational state in Lebanon, this book is divided into two parts. The first provides a general overview of Lebanese consociational politics. It examines the general foundations of sectarian consociationalism as founded by the various pre and post-independence power-sharing arrangements. It discusses sectarian politics of conflict and concession as well as the underlying domestic and international driving forces at different historic junctures. The second part of this book introduces the power sharing arrangements as institutionalized by the consociational governments of Lebanon. It focuses on the contemporary powers and functions of the different branches of government as well as their institutional manifestations of sectarian consociationalism.

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About the author (2014)

Imad Salamey is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Lebanese American University. His research interests focus on topics of democratic transition, power sharing, Islamist movements, and governance in Lebanon and the Middle East. His most recent article publications include The Collapse of Middle Eastern Authoritarianism and Democratic Transition and Sectarian Populism: The Case of Lebanon.

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