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The collapse and reconstruction of Lebanon.

Najem, T. (1998) 'The collapse and reconstruction of Lebanon.', Working Paper. University of Durham, Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Durham.


Events in Lebanon during the 1975-1990 period, often referred to as the Lebanese “Civil War”, were never far from media headlines. For many people in the world, Lebanon became synonymous with anarchy, reflected in incidents ranging from random violence, car bombings and kidnapping to major military conflicts such as the 1982 Israeli invasion. Lebanon was regarded by many people as a hotbed of anti-Westernism which should be ostracised by the international community. Academic focus on Lebanon during this period was also extensive. Numerous books and journal articles were published on various aspects of this extremely complex conflict, or conflicts to be more precise. However, the quality of the publications varied considerably. On the one hand, some excellent and very detailed studies were published. Many of these, however, either concentrated on a limited aspect of the conflict, or were published at the beginning of the conflict, and they soon became dated. On the other hand, many publications tended to be polemic, reflecting either the authors’ ideological bias or their sectarian/religious sympathies. In spite of the extensive number of publications, very few studies have actually provided a succinct account of the causes of the breakdown of the Lebanese political system, or the impact of the war on the system. The purpose of this paper is to fill this void in the literature by providing the reader with a very concise analysis of the causes of the breakdown of the post-1943 Lebanese political system, and the effects of the subsequent war on the system. The paper is divided into three parts. It begins with an examination of the post-1943 Lebanese political and economic order, and then proceeds to explain why that order collapsed. Second, a brief discussion of the war is given, examining primarily the effects of the conflict on the political and economic system. Finally, the paper discusses briefly the post-civil war political system and provides insight into the future stability of the order.

Item Type:Monograph (Working Paper)
Keywords:Political system, Government, Conflict, Civil War, Economic collapse.
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Record Created:28 Mar 2008
Last Modified:20 Oct 2010 12:26

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