The paper analyzes the transformations occurred in the two most active and relevant communities in Lebanon after the end of the civil war, namely the Sunni and the Shiites, in the light of Arab uprisings and of the changes in the regional balance of power. If the meta-narrative of the ‘sectarianization’ of the Middle East, especially after 2011, has powered the interpretation of the regional events as marked by the struggle between Sunni and Shiites, the analysis of the transformations of the above mentioned communities in Lebanon and of their impact on the internal and external level, provides one of the best examples against this simplistic representation: the sectarian contraposition is deeply rooted in Lebanon, a pars constituent of its system, but, despite the rhetoric, both communities tend to have more pragmatic and accommodating attitudes instead of exacerbating sectarian confrontation as the afore-mentioned meta-narrative tends to impose. While it is true that each community has witnessed the radicalization of certain positions and that, over the years, major changes are taking place, those have been fuelled by the meta-narrative that is emerging at the regional level and not by a desire to bring the country to the brink of the abyss.
AitaSamirBaudoinDupretGhazzalZouhairCourbageYussefal-DbiyatMohammed“L’Economie de la Syrie peut-elle devenir sociale? Vous avez dit économie sociale de marche?”La Syrie au présent: Reflets d’une société2007Arles, Actes Sud541588
AzaniEitanHezbollah—a global terrorist organization—situational report as of September 20062006Submission to the US House Committee on Internatio nal Relations—Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation28 September
NoblePaul C.KoranyBaghatDessoukiA. E. Hillal“From Arab System to Middle Eastern System. Regional pressures and constraints”The foreign policies of Arab States: the challenges of globalization2008CairoAmerican University of Cairo67165
VolpiFrederic“Explaining (and re-explaining) political change in the Middle East during the Arab Spring: trajectories of democratization and of authoritarianism in the Maghreb”Democratization2012161122
For an historical view see Dakhlallah (2012). Some scholars argue however that although weak institutions such as the Arab League and the gcc are still playing a role in regional politics. See for example Phillips (2014).
This term appears in Hinnebusch (2001 p. 67and following).
See Lamloum (2009) and Koch (2008).
See Khashan (2011).
Malik Misbah“Hariri’s visit to Damascus receives mixed reactions in Lebanon” in Al Horfa21 December 2009 (http://goo.gl/rGSq6f accessed 3 October 2014).
However as Patrick Seale (2012) pointed out the forces of March 14 are perceived by the Syrian National Council as the imperialist forces given the support they receive from Saudi Arabia and the West and in a regional perspective without Asad the ties between Lebanese Sunnis and Syrian opposition forces would be ultimately very weak.