The Arab uprisings have put Lebanon under increased strain. While the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt caused limited reverberations, the war in Syria echoed in the fine-tuned political and confessional balance of Lebanon. Over one million refugees, equal to one-quarter of Lebanon’s population, have moved in from Syria. The country’s economy and its already weak public infrastructure have been impacted heavily. Hizbullah’s engagement in Syria has posed questions about Lebanon’s disassociation policy. Terrorist attacks by ISIL and the growing risk of radicalization across the confessional spectrum have left the country at unease. However, Lebanon’s political elites have vowed to shield the country from regional turbulences. Lebanon recently saw a series of demonstrations because of the inability of the government to manage the garbage crisis, but it has been far from witnessing a large-scale citizen uprising similar to the 2005 Cedar Revolution or the revolts next door. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the current situation in Lebanon, and a detailed assessment of the difficulties which the country is currently facing.
"Waehlisch, Felsch and their contributing authors, have produced a book on Lebanon today that is as dynamic, diverse and absorbing as the country itself. It captures both the subtle and blunt workings of the Lebanese governance system that is unique, sometimes frustrating, but certifiably durable to date. This book clarifies how Lebanon works and how it has weathered recent Middle Eastern upheavals and wars, while also shedding light on important regional dynamics that are central actors in the country. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Lebanon today."
Rami G. Khouri, American University of Beirut, Lebanon / Harvard Kennedy School, USA.
"In the upheavals that have transformed the Middle East over the past five years, Lebanon has been uncharacteristically absent from the headlines. And yet, the Arab uprisings have had a tremendous impact upon the country. This excellent collection of essays explores the legacy of the Syrian civil war and other regional conflicts upon Lebanon's demographic balance, political contract, infrastructure and social services, foreign policy, and economy. It is an essential text for any scholar, policymaker, or general reader concerned with Lebanon and its future."
Elias Muhanna, Brown University, USA.
"A treasure trove of new ideas and fresh research with valuable insights not only on Lebanon but also on developments in the region since the Arab Spring. It responds to a necessity that emerges in times of radical change: a re-evaluation of everything we thought we knew."
Nadim Shehadi, Director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University
1. Lebanon and the Arab Uprisings: In the Eye of the Hurricane
Martin Wählisch and Maximilian Felsch
Part I: Stability, Unity and Confessional Balance
2. Lebanon’s Consociational Politics in the Post-2011 Middle East: The Paradox of Resilience
3. The Role of Hizbullah in the Syrian Conflict
4. Jihadism in Lebanon after the Syrian Uprising
Aaron Y. Zelin
5. The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Lebanon
Part II: Humanitarian, Economic and Social Challenges
6. Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Coping with Unprecedented Challenges
Sam van Vliet
7. The Blind Spot: Palestinian Refugees from Syria in Lebanon
8. The Economic Cost of the Arab Uprising on the Lebanese Economy
Marcus Marktanner, Maureen E. Wilson and Sandra El-Saghir
9. The Fight for Oil and Gas: Regional Rivalry, the Arab Uprisings and Lebanon’s Energy Sector
Part III: Foreign Policy, Regional Ties and International Relations
10. Lebanese Foreign Policy and the Arab Uprisings
11. Syrian-Lebanese Relations: The Impossible Dissociation between Lebanon and Syria
12. U.S.-Lebanese Relations: Long-term Schizophrenia
13. EU-Lebanese Relations: Shifting EU Policies in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings?