An Occasion for War: Civil Conflict in Lebanon and Damascus in 1860

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University of California Press, 1994 - History - 302 pages
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Leila Fawaz's pioneering study tells the story of the 1860 civil wars that began in Mount Lebanon and spilled over into Damascus. This period witnessed the most severe outbreak of sectarian violence in the history of Ottoman Syria and Lebanon. The author's close analytical narrative of the dramatic events of that year is set against the broader themes of nineteenth-century social, political, and economic change.

Fawaz shows how social conflict, including "ethnic" civil wars, cannot be explained without analyzing the regional and international currents that play upon both central state power and local autonomy. She also demonstrates the important role of the communal balance between social and political institutions within regions.

Fawaz's new insights into the formation of sectarian identities and conflict will make An Occasion for War essential reading for all students of the modern Middle East.

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About the author (1994)

Leila Fawaz is Professor of Middle East History at Tufts University.

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