Teaching Assistant: Mr Abbas Assi
Political Parties and Democracy in Lebanon since the Syrian Military Withdrawal in 2005
The Syrian military withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005 is considered a turning point in the modern history of Lebanon. The Syrian military presence that lasted for more than thirty years was forced to withdraw under the pressure of the international community and popular protests against Syrian interference in Lebanon’s domestic politics.
As a consequence of the Syrian withdrawal, hopes were raised
by both political elites and scholars that Lebanon was now able to make the
transition to a stable democratic system. However, these hopes did not
materialise. Since 2005, Lebanon has been embroiled in sectarian and political
conflicts which left negative impacts upon the democratisation process.
This PhD thesis therefore aims to investigate the obstacles to the democratisation process that emerged after the Syrian withdrawal. It will argue that the main obstacle is in Lebanon’s consociational model. The main research question is: How does the existence of the consociational form of governance impede the democratisation process in Lebanon after the Syrian military withdrawal in 2005? To answer this question, this thesis will particularly focus on the influence of the Lebanese consociational model on the ability of the political parties to initiate the democratic reforms.
The thesis will explore the influence of the intersection of three main factors on the behaviour of the Lebanese political parties. Firstly, it will explore the influence of the inter- and intra-sectarian conflicts. Secondly, it will explore the influence of the intersection of external factors, such as foreign alliances and Arab Revolutions, with the inter- and intra-sectarian conflicts. It will conclude that the influence of the intersection of these three factors increased the intransigence of the Lebanese political parties to initiate the democratic reforms in post-2005 period.
- International Politics