Multi-confessional armies are often seen as being weak and prone to disintegration. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) is a case in point. From its inception it was formed as a multi-confessional force meant to serve as a neutral political arbiter, but it experienced civil war fragmentation and dissolution (1975–1990). Post-war restructuring and reform rebuilt the force, but the threat of disintegration along confessional lines has remained. However, the LAF is consistently ranked as the country’s most trusted public institution, its last resort amidst repeated government collapse and state failure. The LAF strives to embody a national ideal: a united force, raised above sectarianism. Even so, the Syrian civil war has strained the LAF’s cohesion and threatens its neutrality – its most valued assets in a deeply divided society.
Civil-military relations in Lebanon: Conflict, cohesion and confessionalism in a divided society
Knudsen, Are John and Tine Gade
Also in this volume:
Fishers, Monks and Cadres: Navigating State, Religion and the South China Sea in Central Vietnam, co-published by NIAS Press and the University of Hawai'i Press (Paperback February 2021)
The non-oil tax reform in Angola: Escaping from petroleum dependency?
Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Aslak Orre and Francisco Paulo
The Extractive Industries and Society
War in resource-rich northern Mozambique – Six scenarios
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Urbanisation, informality, and corruption. Designing policies for integrity in the city
The Limits of Law: Abortion in the Middle East and Northern Africa
Irene Maffi and Liv Tønnessen
Health and Human Rights Journal
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Sunnism, Salafism, Sheikism: Urban Pathways of Resistance in Sidon, Lebanon
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Close your eyes and picture “a humanitarian”. What do you see?
Understanding the inferno on Lesbos: – We need new perspectives on migration to solve this situation