The Government and Politics of Lebanon
By Imad Salamey
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
Aiming to contribute to the reader’s greater understanding of Lebanese government and politics, this book provides a comprehensive examination of the origin, development, and institutionalization of sectarian consociationalism in Lebanon.
A recurrent proposition advanced in this book is that Lebanese sectarian consociationalism has been both a cure and a curse in the formulation of political settlements and institution building. On the one hand, and in contrast to many surrounding Arab regimes, consociational arrangements have provided the country with a relative democratic political life. A limited government with a strong confessional division of power and a built-in checks and balance mechanism prevented the emergence of dictatorship or monarchy. On the other hand, a chronic weak state has complicated efforts for nation building in favour of sectarian fragmentation, external interventions, and strong polarization that periodically brought the country to the verge of total collapse and civil war.
While examining Lebanese sectarian politics of conflict and concession during different historic junctures many revelations are made that underlie the role of domestic and international forces shaping the country’s future. Presenting an implicit description of the power and functions of the various branches of government within the context of sectarian consociationalism, this book is an important introductory text for students of Lebanese Politics and Middle Eastern politics more broadly.
Why Lebanese Politics and Government? Part I: Political and Historic Context of Lebanese Sectarian Consociationalism 1 World Democracies and Lebanese Consociationalism 2 Origin of Lebanese Political Sectarianism 3 Lebanon Under the French Mandate, Independence and the National Pact Republic 4 The Lebanese Civil War 1975-1990 5 Consociationalism Reformed I: The Ta’ef Republic (1989-2008) 6 Consociationalism Reformed II: The Doha Republic (2008-2011) and its Aftermath Part II: The Lebanese Political System 7 From Politics to Government 8 The International Affairs of Lebanon 9 Elections and Parties Part III: Political Institutions 10 Lebanese Legislative Branch 11 Lebanese Executive Branch 12 Lebanese Judicial Branch 13 Conclusion: State Consociatonalism and Democracy
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.