Addressing one of the most pressing issues of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) that is still unresolved almost 30 years later, this book adopts a political, sociological, and anthropological approach to look at periods of transition from conflict to peace in Lebanon.
Inducing a set of questions about the social and political system, the post-conflict state has been pushing for a politics of amnesty and amnesia. The case study delves into the notion of transition from conflict to peace in Lebanon by looking in the case of the estimated 17,000 people who disappeared during the Civil War. Using the concept of liminality to understand the evolution of the issue over the years, the book follows the trajectory of the relatives of the missing, who have formed a communitas – a group sharing strong feelings of comradeship and brother/sisterhood by virtue of finding themselves in the same situation.
Offering a novel way of looking at transitions, the book is a significant contribution to peace studies, and it will be an interest of students and academics working in human rights, political science, and the Middle East disciplines.
Table of Contents
1. Taif: between a peace agreement and a political project
2. Relatives of the disappeared, a communitas in liminality
3. The relationship between the state/regime and the communitas
4. The local external environment and the communitas
5. The communitas and the global discourse of human rights and transitional justice
6. The slide from global to local: mechanisms of liminality and unintended outcomes
Conclusion - Looking beyond the transitory state: Lebanon three decades into the post-conflict
Lyna Comaty is a lecturer in Sociology, Development and Transitional Justice at the American University of Beirut and a social and political activist through various projects she leads with civil society organizations and political parties in Lebanon. Her research interests include political reform, peacebuilding, and development.