Lebanese Republic: between Political Confessionalism and Political Pragmatism

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One of the most interesting phenomena, that were associated with the functioning of the Lebanese power structures, is the principle of consociative (consociational) democracy in the country. It is expressed in the form of political confessionalism. At the same time, the principles of the functioning of political system of Lebanon have experienced and continue to experience significant changes during the almost 80 years of the history of Lebanese Republic. The understanding of the nature and the definition of the stages of this evolution will allow us to get the understanding of the prospects for further political development of this country, which is important for a Middle East region.

The author of the articles hares the opinion of the researchers who believe that Lebanon is gradually transforming from a consociational to a majority democracy. Already at the time of the formation of the Lebanese Republic on the basis of a confessional principle, a declarative recognition of the temporary nature of the using of this principle was announced. In 1990, the amendments made to the Lebanese constitution contained provisions that are creating real opportunities for the implementation of the course of the deconfessionalization. In 2005, a radically new political system of Lebanon was formed on the wave of the Cedar Revolution. Although in the basis, it retains a confessional aspect, however, at the same time it represents a confrontation between wopoly-confessional political blocs. This (2021) year, a very small, but real, anti-confessional opposition political bloc has formed on the wave of mass dissatisfaction with the existing political system in Lebanon. This block plans to take part in the parliamentary elections in 2022. At the same time, the use of a anti-confessional rhetoric is often practiced in the highest political circles of the country. This phenomenon testifies to the growth of the popularity of a above-stated rhetoric. Finally, the influence of the external factors often promotes the overcoming the interfaith barriers by local political elites.

Today, a Lebanese society finds itself half way between a traditional political confessionalism and a non-confessional political pragmatism. This political modus vivendi can be defined as a pragmatic confessionalism.


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How to Cite
Zelinskyi, A. (2021) “Lebanese Republic: between Political Confessionalism and Political Pragmatism”, Problems of World History, (15), pp. 151-171. doi: 10.46869/2707-6776-2021-15-8.

Author Biography

A. Zelinskyi

Zelinskyi Andriy – Doctor of Historical Sciences, Senior Research Fellow, Leading Research Fellow of the State Institution “Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”.


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