Negative external intervention and peace in Lebanon

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Michael Kerr reviews the largely negative impact of external interventions in Lebanon with regard to consolidating peace. These are primarily driven by external (often conflicting) strategic interests, and interact with Lebanon’s sectarian political power sharing system to encourage and embed rivalry amongst Lebanese leaders seeking external patronage. The online version of Michael Kerr’s article includes a comparative analysis of power sharing and external relationships in Lebanon and Northern Ireland.

Armed groups and sovereignty

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Joseph Bahout examines armed groups in Lebanon and their various agendas, internal and external. He focuses on Hezbollah: its relations with both its domestic constituency and with Syria, and its role as a resistance force to Israel. He reflects on the potential impact of the Syrian crisis, and the challenges that overlapping agendas present within Lebanon – for dialogue and internal consensus, and for stability and sovereignty.

Internal choice or external fate?

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Marie-Joëlle Zahar challenges prevailing perceptions of the Lebanese as powerless victims of their external environment. She suggests that the roots of Lebanon’s vulnerability are internal and emanate from state weakness, as suspicion among Lebanese communities and endemic distrust of Beirut to uphold citizens’ interests encourages Lebanese leaders to actively seek protection from abroad.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Chandra Lekha Sriram asks if the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, set up to investigate the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, can support a broader function for transitional justice and peace. To date, both the creation and subsequent operation of the tribunal have been politically divisive, generating parliamentary stand-offs and government collapse.

Box 5 - Priorities for peace in Lebanon: opposing outlooks from 8 & 14 March Alliances

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Interviews with Ali Fayyad (8 March Alliance/Hezbollah MP) and Samir Frangieh (member of the General Secretariat of 14 March Alliance and a former MP) present ‘opposing outlooks’ from Lebanon’s two main political blocs. They discuss: internal and external sources of tension; implications of Taif for contemporary political stability; developing the social contract in Lebanon; and priorities for the future.

Whose Lebanon? A post-war history of people, power and peace initiatives

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
In this article, Accord 24 co-editors Alexander Ramsbotham and Elizabeth Picard offer a brief reflection on Lebanon's recent history. They outline the challenges facing a durable peace in Lebanon, including a lack of political reform, threats to Lebanese sovereignty, and an inegalitarian economic development.

Looking back to move forward in Lebanon

Lebanon’s model of post-war power sharing and liberal economic growth has been widely praised, but it has failed to deliver for most people. More than 20 years on from the Taif agreement that ended the civil war, Lebanon is not a post-conflict society. Our new Accord analysis – which comes as insecurity in Syria poses a renewed threat to Lebanon’s precarious stability – examines options for developing a more positive peace. An accompanying policy brief sets out priorities for change.

Policy brief – Reconciliation, reform and resilience: Positive peace for Lebanon

Jul 2012
A fundamentally different approach is needed to transform precarious stability in Lebanon into durable peace. Repeated outbreaks of political violence since the 1989 Taif Peace Accord show that Lebanon’s model of power sharing and liberal economic growth, while widely praised, has in reality failed to deliver a noticeable peace dividend. This 6-page policy brief summarises the findings of Accord 24 and sets out 10 priorities for change.

EU policymaking and building a 'positive peace' in Lebanon

Lebanon is still not a post-conflict society. Power sharing and liberal economic growth have failed to deliver stability – more than two decades on, the fragile peace is punctuated by repeated outbreaks of political violence. Civil war sectarian animosities and power struggles have become entrenched. The international community has a role to play in transforming ‘negative stability’ in Lebanon into ‘positive peace’ and we've recently been in Brussels presenting our recommendations to EU policymakers.

People's peacemaking perspectives: Lebanon – Policy brief

May 2012
The findings in this Policy Brief draw on perspectives and ideas from Lebanese and international actors and analysts, many of whom are engaged in Lebanese political or social life or in programmes supporting peacebuilding and development. They have also contributed through reflection, discussion and articles included in an upcoming edition of Accord, which informs and strengthens peace processes by documenting and analysing practical lessons and innovations in peacebuilding.