Coexistence in Wartime Lebanon: Decline of a State and Rise of a Nation (Paperback)
For fifteen years, Lebanon's disparate confessional groups waged a bloody and protracted civil war. Still today, power-sharing between Sunni, Shi'i, Christian and Druze groups is a precarious balance, greatly affected by and in turn affecting events across the Middle East. But even during times of conflict, Lebanon's communities have managed a modicum of coexistence: agreeing on the importance of maintaining the Lebanese state and sharing the fear of being the player left standing in a macabre game of musical chairs. Tracing the origins of the civil war, Theodor Hanf shows that it was primarily a surrogate war over Palestine which escalated into a conflict between the diverse Lebanese communities. Hanf's central theme is the problem of conflict and conflict regulation between these groups, a theme which continues to have resonance over two decades since the end of the civil war. This highly influential book - now available in a paperback edition - delves into vital issues, such as how conflicts were peacefully regulated before the war, and how the country came to be a battlefield for proxy wars and analyses the prospects for permanent coexistence.
About the Author
Theodor Hanf is Visiting Professor of Political Studies at the American University of Beirut and Honorary Professor of Political Science at the University of Freiburg.