Revisiting Lebanese Civil War

Murat Tınas


Although the confessional system in Lebanon seems to guarantee the political representation of different groups, it is far from a centralized nation-state model based on the idea of citizenship in modern sense. On the contrary, it has prevented the consolidation of modern nation-state and the integration of different sectarian groups. Additionally after the independence, the feudal lords could be able to hold their socio-economic privileges, and certain families could establish their leadership in various sectarian communities. This complex social structure has been further fragmented during the civil war years from 1975 to 1990. Although there is a fairly extensive literature on the Lebanese civil war, revisiting the war once again is believed to be a very timely study as the intensification of sectarian conflicts leads to the lebanonization of the whole Middle East. This study aims to analyze the civil war by dividing it into certain periods and argues that socio-economic disparities fed by sectarian differences turned into identity-based conflicts with the intervention of regional and international actors, which further deepened the sectarian fragmentation in Lebanon. As a qualitative research, this study draws its sources from both primary and secondary sources in addition to a field work in Lebanon. 

Anahtar Kelimeler

Lebanon, Confessional System, Civil war, Identity, Sectarian identity


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