Lebanon

Lebanon is home to a rich variety of groups from different religious backgrounds. Home to Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, and Maronite Christians, the nature of the interaction of these groups has ramifications for politics across Lebanon. In the not too distant past, the country was devastated by a 15 yearlong civil war that decimated society, yet peace has been kept across the state by a power-sharing system of government that provides each group with a political voice. It does, however, also institutionalize sectarian difference within the fabric of the state and lead to political stagnation as consociational systems of government provide veto powers to prevent the escalation of difference. Whilst sectarian difference is a prominent feature of Lebanese politics, it is far from the only factor, as we shall explore.