Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780745334134 Published September 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780745334141 Published September 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

The Politics of Sectarianism in Postwar Lebanon

Bassel Salloukh, Rabie Barakat, Jinan S. Al-Habbal, Lara W. Khattab and Shoghig Mikaelian

The Politics of Sectarianism in Postwar Lebanon

Bassel Salloukh, Rabie Barakat, Jinan S. Al-Habbal, Lara W. Khattab and Shoghig Mikaelian

Distributed for Pluto Press

240 pages | 5 1/3 x 8 1/2 | © 2015
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780745334134 Published September 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780745334141 Published September 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
The Arab Spring unsettled regimes across North Africa and the Middle East, from Morocco to Oman. Lebanon, however, proved immune. How can that be explained? What features of Lebanese politics and governance could account for the system’s ability to withstand the domestic and regional pressures unleashed by the Arab Spring?
 
The Politics of Sectarianism in Postwar Lebanon builds on extensive field work to find the answers to those questions and more. Bassel Salloukh, Lebanon’s leading political scientist, analyses the mix of institutional, clientelist, and discursive practices that sustain the sectarian nature of Lebanon, revealing an expanding sectarian web that occupies ever-more-substantial areas of everyday life in Lebanon. It also highlights the struggles waged by opponents of the system, including women, public sector employees, teachers, students, and NGO-based coalitions, and how their efforts often fail to bear fruit because of sabotage by various systematic forces.
Contents
1. Introduction
2. A Political History of Sectarian Institutions
3. Institutions, Sectarian Populism, and the Production of Docile Subjects
4. Neoliberal Sectarianism and Associational Life
5. Sectarianism and Struggles for Socioeconomic Rights
6. Elections, Electoral Laws, and Sectarianism
7. Between Sectarianism and Military Development: The Paradox of the Lebanese Armed Forces
8. The Postwar Mediascape and Sectarian Demonizing
9. Overlapping Domestic/Geopolitical Contests, Hizbullah, and Sectarianism
10. Conclusion
Notes
Index
Review Quotes
Rex Brynen, McGill University
The Politics of Sectarianism in Postwar Lebanon provides a very thoughtful account of sectarianism in the Lebanese electoral system, military, media, and associational life. Above and beyond this, the authors' theoretically rich post-culturalist lens offers considerable insight into the role played by institutions, discourse, clientalism, economic power, political mobilization, and regional context. This book should be read by all those interested in both Lebanese politics and the broader dynamics of entrenched identity-based politics.”
James Tully, University of Victoria, Canada
“A must-read for anyone interested in what is going on in Lebanon and the Middle East today. Adapting Foucault's tools of 'practices of governance and practices of freedom,' Salloukh and his colleagues show in detail how a complex form of sectarian governance operates in Lebanon, and survey the practices of freedom for democratic change that have developed in response. The diffusion of similar practices in the post-popular uprisings Arab World bodes ill for the future of the region.”
Melani Cammett, Harvard University
“The authors make an important contribution to the study of identity politics in the Middle East by showing how sectarianism is reproduced and reinforced as a socio-political force in Lebanon. Their account examines the ways in which sectarianism plays out in multiple policy areas such as the labor and women's movements, the media, and legal frameworks, and shows how sectarian political forces wittingly and unwittingly undercut the efforts of civil society actors to organize along alternative lines. The book offers a far more compelling treatment than many journalistic accounts of the dynamics of sectarianism and is a valuable complement to existing scholarly literature, which largely focuses on the emergence rather than reproduction and dynamic reconstitution of sectarianism in Lebanon. This is an important approach because it addresses the critical question of why sectarianism persists and why it is so difficult to undo.”
F. Gregory Gause, III, Texas A&M University
“A judicious and well-argued case for why sectarianism continues to dominate the Lebanese political system, even though there is nothing inevitable about that result. Salloukh and his co-authors demonstrate that sectarianism is the result of a carefully constructed and mutually reinforcing system of political, economic, and social institutions, not the product of some primordial Lebanese political culture. But they also demonstrate how hard it is to change the institutions that have entrenched sectarianism in the Lebanese system.”
Steven Heydemann, United States Institute of Peace
“By unpacking and critically assessing the production and reproduction of sectarian identities across a broad range of social, political, and economic domains, and how these processes intersect with and affect governance, political economy, and state-society relations, the authors of this exceptional volume have added immeasurably to our understanding of the role of sectarian identities in all spheres of Lebanese life.”
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