Civil and Uncivil Violence in Lebanon: A History of the Internationalization of Communal Conflict
In this long-awaited work, Samir Khalaf analyzes the history of civil strife and political violence in Lebanon and reveals the inherent contradictions that have plagued that country and made it so vulnerable to both inter-Arab and superpower rivalries. How did a fairly peaceful and resourceful society, with an impressive history of viable pluralism, coexistence, and republicanism, become the site of so much barbarism and incivility? Khalaf argues that historically internal grievances have been magnified or deflected to become the source of international conflict. From the beginning, he shows, foreign interventions have consistently exacerbated internal problems.
Lebanon's fragmented political culture is a byproduct of two general features. First, it reflects the traditional forces and political conflicts caused by striking differences in religious beliefs and communal and sectarian loyalties that continue to split the society and reinforce its factional character. Second, and superimposed on these, are new forms of socioeconomic and cultural stress caused by Lebanon's role in the continuing international conflicts in the region.
Khalaf concludes that Lebanon is now at a crossroads in its process of political and social transformation, and proposes some strategies to re-create a vibrant civil and political culture that can accommodate profound transformations in the internal, domestic sphere as well as mediate developments taking place internationally. Throughout, Khalaf demonstrates how the internal and external currents must be considered simultaneously in order to understand the complex and tragic history of the country. This deeply considered and subtle analysis of the interplay of complex historical forces helps us to imagine a viable future not only for Lebanon but also for the Middle East as a whole.
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1 On Proxy Wars and Surrogate Victims
2 The Radicalization of Communal Loyalties
3 The Drift into Incivility
Revolt and Counter Revolt
Preludes to Civil Strife
Achrafieh Amir ammiyyah Arab Arab League armed army associated Bashir became become Beirut belligerent century Chamoun character Charles Malik Christian civil strife collective strife collective violence communal confessional conflict confrontations country’s crisis cruelties displayed Druze economic efforts Egyptian enmity episodes escalating factions fear feudal fighting foreign forms further global Greater Lebanon groups Hence Hizbullah hostility identity ideological incited incivility initial insurgents interlude internal intervention involved iqta Israeli issues Jumblat Kata’ib Khazins Kisrwan kitsch leaders Lebanese loyalties magnitude manifestations Maronite militias mobilization Mount Lebanon Muslim one’s Ottoman Palestinian particularly Pasha peasants percent perhaps political culture popular protest protracted proxy radical Rashid Karami regimes regional reinforced religious rivalries Saeb Salam Salibi sectarian sheikhs Shi’ites Sidon social society socioeconomic solidarity sources sovereignty strategies struggle Sunni sustained Syria Ta’if tensions tion traditional transformed Tripoli Umar Pasha undermine unrest uprisings urban victims village wars