Civil Society and Political Democracy in Lebanon : A Minor Field Study in 2005
Background & Problem: Democracy in the Arab world has received much attention since the Kuwait war in 1991, both in academics and in the public debate. Lebanon in particular has through its history in the 20th century constantly been facing new challenges for its multicultural society of minorities. Conflicts have dominated several periods with a horrible experience of 15 years of civil war between 1975-1990. Religion and confessional belonging have large influence in the political system, giving Lebanon a character of confessional state. How the political system and civil society is related to concept of democracy is the main object of this study.Purpose: The main purpose of this study is to examine the political structure, civil society and democracy in Lebanon. A literature study is combined with a field study in order to deepen the understanding of the political system, civil society and process of democracy through interviews with actors within civil society, politicians and academics.Method: The scientific approach and method used in this study has a qualitative character with focus on hermeneutics and more specifically on the hermeneutic circle.Theoretical Framework: This chapter introduces the theoretical tools of the theory and concepts used in the study. Focus is on liberal democracy and deliberative democracy, and briefly on consociational democracy. Clarification of concept of state, civil society and democracy is used for further introduction in the case of Lebanon, which are also a part of this chapter. Primary and secondary sources are brought into light in the case of Lebanon, in which the interviews that are conducted during the field study are firmly a background for analysis.Analysis & Conclusions: In the analysis, the focus is on understanding the text (primary and secondary data) in search for fulfilling the purpose and reach for an understanding of civil society and democracy in Lebanon. This chapter deals with the interpretation of the case Lebanon in evaluation of the theoretical framework with discussion on civil society, de-mocracy and political system. Conclusions and reflection upon the study and its results are presented in a final chapter.
School:Högskolan i Jönköping
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:lebanon civil society democracy political system
Date of Publication:03/14/2006