Skip navigation
Skip navigation

The Lebanese conflict : a sociological study of its causes and resolution

Abul-Husn, Latif

Description

This thesis argues that the existing conflictual tendencies in the Lebanese social structure have generated long term and continued cleavages and disharmony in Lebanese society and polity. Many interpretations have been offered to explain this conflict, but previous research on its genesis and outcome has focused mainly on variables whose main focus lie outside the social structure. This study deliberately avoids an analysis of external factors. It, rather, concentrates on the role played by...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorAbul-Husn, Latif
dc.date.accessioned2014-01-21T01:27:19Z
dc.date.available2014-01-21T01:27:19Z
dc.identifier.otherb18359061
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/11187
dc.description.abstractThis thesis argues that the existing conflictual tendencies in the Lebanese social structure have generated long term and continued cleavages and disharmony in Lebanese society and polity. Many interpretations have been offered to explain this conflict, but previous research on its genesis and outcome has focused mainly on variables whose main focus lie outside the social structure. This study deliberately avoids an analysis of external factors. It, rather, concentrates on the role played by domestic factors in the aetiology, dynamism and resolution of the Lebanese conflict. It is assumed that the external factors have played a contributory rather than a causal role in the conflict. The first premise of the theoretical scheme is that the basic causes of the conflict in Lebanon are inherent in its social structure, which failed to generate a change within itself. The objective is to explore the dynamics, in a historical perspective, of this social structure in order to determine the conflictual tendencies inherent in it. The second premise is that the persistence of conflictual tendencies in the social structure tends to keep the socio-political order perpetually unstable. As a corollary to the first premise it is argued that conflictual tendencies are inevitable in pluralist societies. Some systems have evolved successful adaptive mechanisms and strategies to contain destructive responses, but the Lebanese system did not. It is further argued that the endemic nature of conflictual tendencies, compounded with the failure or even flaws of the adjustment mechanisms are sufficient to initiate and maintain conflict. The premises suggested here are analyzed in relation to conflict theory as envisaged by Marx, Dahrendorf, Coser and Ibn Khaldun. Marx's vision of the economic determinacy of the conflict process, and the supremacy of the economic factor in the generation of conflict had been contested by Dahrendorf’s vision of political determinism and the primacy of the authority structure in the genesis of conflict. The argument developed in this thesis is that Marx's and Dahrendorf's models need to be revised in order to capture the empirical situation in Lebanon. The validity of the revised model is assumed in terms of its ability to explain the formation and behaviour of the conflict groups. For this purpose Ibn Khaldun's concept of asabiya is offered to supplement Dahrendorf's concept of Authority. On the basis of a causal analysis of the conflict in Lebanon it was concluded that Marx's doctrine of economic determinism must be rejected in favour of Dahrendorf's concept of 'authority' and by Ibn Khaldun's vision of asabiya and its role in the aetiology, growth and demise of power groups. In considering the resolution of conflict, this study applies a theoretical strategy developed from conflict management to deeply divided societies such as Lebanon. It explains the manner in which Lebanon managed its communal conflict in three distinct settings: The 1860 civil war, the post independence era (1943-1975), and the 1975 conflict. Each of the three settings investigated exhibited similar conflict management patterns; the first setting established the basis for power sharing, involving authority differentiation and marked communal interdependence. The second setting witnessed a period of relative and apparent stability due to the implementation of the power-sharing principle within a consociational context. The third setting manifested analogous conflict patterns and corresponding conflict resolution strategies in spite of the time lapse involved. Power-sharing and communal interdependence remain a viable option for the resolution of the existing conflict. The three settings provide the study with an empirical base to suggest that pluralist societies are not condemned to continuing conflict as long as they apply conflict resolution strategies based on flexible, but solid, consociational principles. On the other hand such societies cannot free themselves totally from conflict, basically because conflict is a natural phenomenon in human society.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.titleThe Lebanese conflict : a sociological study of its causes and resolution
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorSaha, Lawrence
local.contributor.supervisorSaikal, Amin
dcterms.valid1993
local.description.notesSupervisors: Dr. Lawrence Saha and Dr. Amin Saikal. This thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1992
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d74e5f26b08d
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

Download

File Description SizeFormat Image
Abdul-Husn_L_1992.pdfWhole Thesis6.5 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail


Items in Open Research are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Updated:  19 May 2020/ Responsible Officer:  University Librarian/ Page Contact:  Library Systems & Web Coordinator