A comprehensive look at contemporary Lebanon and the ongoing attempts by Israel, Syria and Iran to influence its domestic affairs.
Lebanon is the prisoner of its geography and its history, a prize for invaders since ancient times, a small multi-denominational state still recovering from a bloody civil war in its search for political autonomy and stability. This book examines the country’s recent past since 2005, when a mass movement agitated against Syrian dominance in the wake of the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. Also detailed are the role of Hezbollah and other political groups.
The authors examine the changes that these events brought to Lebanon, be they lasting or ephemeral, and the challenges they represent for a state which, despite the resilience of its power-sharing system of government, remains hotly contested and unconsolidated.
Sectarian tensions have escalated, predominantly between the Sunni and Shia communities, causing outbursts of street-based violence and paralysis in government. This two-bloc system has left Lebanon ungovernable, not simply due to deep-seated political differences, but because of the external linkages which ties the two blocs to their foreign patrons, namely the USA and Iran. As the Arab Spring develops, it also increases Hezbollah’s significance to Iran as the embattled Assad regime struggles to quash the Syrian insurgency.
UK-Edition by Hurst Publishers (2012)
US-Edition by Oxford University Press (2014)
“No book published to date so effectively unpacks the dynamics that define post-2005 Lebanon as does 'Lebanon After the Cedar Revolution'."
Adjunct Fellow Joy Aoun (CSIS), Noref, Nov., 2013.
Summary (in Norwegian)
Drapet på tidligere statsminister Rafik Hariri i februar 2005 utløste et folkelig opprør som fikk tilnavnet «Cedertre Revolusjon» og kan sees på som en forløper til den Arabiske Våren. De store demonstrasjonene i sentrum av Beirut delte folket i to store (pro- og anti-syriske) politiske blokker som siden har kjempet om makten i landet. Boken gir viktige faglige bidrag til å forstå de nye politiske konfliktlinjene, arven etter Hariri og de voksende motsetningene mellom sjiaer og sunnier. To nye særtrekk ved perioden etter 2005 er den sterke involveringen av FN, EU og det internasjonale samfunnet og at de politiske partiene og lederne har mistet kontrollen med sine tilhengere. Konsekvensen av dette er flere alvorlige sammenstøt og nye lokale konflikter som utfordrer nøytraliteten til den libanesiske hæren. Krisen i Syria har forsterket disse motsetningene, lammet regjeringsapparatet og økt frykten for at Libanon på nytt skal bli en krigsskueplass. Boken har vært presentert på bokslipp i flere byer (London, Bergen, Beirut og Lyon) og er et resultat av et faglig samarbeid mellom forskere i England (King’s College), Frankrike (GREMMO), USA (Boston U) og Libanon (AUB). Bokprosjektet ble finansiert av UDs program for "Fred og Forsoning".
'Clear-eyed and often shrewd analysis of the huge political and social changes in Lebanon wrought by the Hariri assassination in 2005. Indispensable even for those who think they know the country well.' — Roger Owen, A. J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History, Harvard University
'They say that if you think you understand Lebanon you haven't been studying it long enough. This book provides a shortcut. It is a must-read if you wish to understand today's reality in this complex, fascinating and ever-attractive country. From community power-sharing to corporate consociationalism, from the state of the army to the image-making around the late Rafiq Hariri, a wide range of topics are covered in great depth.' — Frances Guy, British Ambassador to Beirut, 2006 - 2011
'The expert contributions to this sophisticated volume address the tumultuous politics of post-2005 Lebanon. This is a valiant effort to throw light on the complexity of the country’s conflicts, its diverse internal identities and commonalities, its power-sharing arrangements and their intricate connections to regional and international actors and processes. The authors carefully trace the continuities from and ruptures with the country’s previous history. This is academia at its best, balancing empirical detail with conceptual sophistication and bringing together various disciplinary perspectives.' — Katerina Dalacoura, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, London School of Economics
‘This book presents astute critical readings of post-"Cedar Revolution" Lebanon. Its interdisciplinary analysis of contemporary Lebanese history and politics offers an excellent overview of the on-going struggle over powersharing, state security, economic revitalisation and the post-war recovery.’ — Craig Larkin, University of Exeter
‘Compiled and edited with care, this timely volume is essential for anyone wishing to understand the complex eddies of contemporary Lebanon, showcasing true regional expertise without ever abandoning objectivity or critical independence. As a work that explains the intricacies of Lebanese politics post-Hariri with clarity and precision, this cannot be surpassed.' —Clive Jones, Chair of Middle East Studies and International Politics, University of Leeds
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