Civil and Uncivil Violence in Lebanon

A History of the Internationalization of Communal Conflict

Samir Khalaf

Columbia University Press

Civil and Uncivil Violence in Lebanon

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Pub Date: October 2004

ISBN: 9780231124775

224 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£25.00

Pub Date: April 2002

ISBN: 9780231124768

224 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£70.00

Pub Date: April 2002

ISBN: 9780231505369

224 Pages

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List Price: $31.99£25.00

Civil and Uncivil Violence in Lebanon

A History of the Internationalization of Communal Conflict

Samir Khalaf

Columbia University Press

In this long-awaited work, Samir Khalaf analyzes the history of civil strife and political violence in Lebanon and reveals the inherent contradictions that have plagued that country and made it so vulnerable to both inter-Arab and superpower rivalries. How did a

fairly peaceful and resourceful society, with an impressive history of viable

pluralism, coexistence, and republicanism, become the site of so much

barbarism and incivility? Khalaf argues that historically internal grievances have been magnified or deflected to become the source of international conflict. From the beginning, he shows, foreign interventions have consistently exacerbated internal problems.

Lebanon's fragmented political culture is a byproduct of two general features. First, it reflects the traditional forces and political conflicts caused by striking differences in religious beliefs and communal and sectarian loyalties that continue to split the society and reinforce its factional character. Second, and superimposed on these, are new forms of socioeconomic and cultural stress caused by Lebanon's role in the continuing international conflicts in the region.

Khalaf concludes that Lebanon is now at a crossroads in its process of political and social transformation, and proposes some strategies to re-create a vibrant civil and political culture that can accommodate profound transformations in the internal, domestic sphere as well as mediate developments taking place internationally. Throughout, Khalaf demonstrates how the internal and external currents must be considered simultaneously in order to understand the complex and tragic history of the country. This deeply considered and subtle analysis of the interplay of complex historical forces helps us to imagine a viable future not only for Lebanon but also for the Middle East as a whole.
Eminently readable, with an insider feel for detail and complexity. International Affairs
Civil and Uncivil Violence in Lebanon makes a major contribution to the study of democratic theory. Bill S. Mikhail, Middle East Policy
A book which offers a sustained and original reflection upon the character and dynamics of internal conflict in Lebanon. Oxfam Developemental Resources Review
Khalaf succeeds in crafting a narrative that is engaging, scholarly--and, perhaps most refreshing--hopeful Akram Fouad Khater, International Journal of Middle East Studies
A fascinating history of conflict in Lebanon since the early nineteenth century. Marius Deeb, Middel East Quarterly
1. On Proxy Wars and Surrogate Victims
2. The Radicalization of Communal Loyalties
3. The Drift Into Incivility
4. Peasants, Commoners, and Clerics: Resistance and Rebellion, 1820-1860
5. Revolt and Counter-Revolt: Civil Strife of 1958
6. Lebanon's Golden/Gilded Age: 1943-1975
7. From Playground to Battleground: Preludes to Civil Strife
8. The Scares and Scars of War
9. From Shakib Effendi to Ta'if
10. Prospects for Civility

About the Author

Samir Khalaf is professor of sociology and chair of the Center for Behavioral Research at the American University of Beirut. He is the author of many books, including Lebanon's Predicament, published by Columbia.