Lebanon and Libya have undergone critical political events in recent years. However, demands for reform from civic institutions during these transitions have not led to concrete political decisions.
Civil Society and Political Reform in Lebanon and Libya reveals the deeply-entrenched historical patterns and elements of continuity that have led to path dependent outcomes in the political transitions of both countries. Motivated by personal experiences as an activist in Lebanon, the author draws together a wide range of data from participant observations, nation-wide surveys, interviews and focus groups in a careful analysis of these two civil society-led reform campaigns. The study demonstrates how the combination of weak states and power-sharing agreements marginalizes civic organisations and poses institutional constraints on the likelihood of reform.
Written by an active participant in the political events discussed, this book offers new insight into two countries which present comparable and informative case studies. As such, it is a valuable resource for students, scholars and policymakers interested in civil society, politics and reform in the Middle East and North Africa.
Table of Contents
Preface 1 Introducing the Journey 2 Explaining "Partially" Critical Junctures 3 Lebanon: Intricacies of a Sectarian Power-sharing System 4 Activism and Electoral Non-Reform in Lebanon 5 Libya: Intricacies of a Stateless Society 6 Libya’s Activists Struggle for a New Constitution 7 Moving past "Partially" Critical Junctures Annexes Annex 1 List of Interviewees Annex 2 Libya Survey Questions Annex 3 Lebanon Election Observation Methodology Annex 4 Note on Transliteration
Carmen Geha is a visiting assistant professor at the American University of Beirut and a founding partner of Beyond Reform & Development. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews.