This Chapter is based on field research carried out in the South Lebanese Christian enclave of Alma El Chaab. Ethnographic material, particularly but not exclusively, on Jihad and martyrdom traditions from this border town, will help to address critical challenges to the legitimacy of governance during the so-called 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war. Personal experience and interviews conducted in demanding circumstances will help to shed light on the citizenship debate in the conflicting scenario of this culturally mixed environment. The discussion builds towards a critique of ‘multiculturalism’ and of its local implementation that takes fully into account the often overlooked attitudes of Middle-Eastern Christian minorities to security issues. Drawing on anthropological literature on legitimacy, management of power and political representation (Prato 1999, 1993; Pardo 2000) and, departing from existing lines of research on consociationalism (Lijphart 1968 and 1999; Kerr 2005) and Christian minorities in the Middle East studies (Valognes 1994) as well as from the ongoing debate within Lebanese Christian traditions and their changing positions towards the Arab world (Betts 2005; Sabra 2006), to examine the ways in which the application of multicultural norms and their manifestations, in the form of actions that are regarded as legitimate or illegitimate, pose a serious, irreconcilable threat to decision-making in a failing state challenged by external threats. It impacts on citizens’ lives to the extent that they quickly change attitudes when faced with superimposed decisions, shifting their loyalties beyond sectarian affiliations.

Erosion of Legitimacy: A Lebanese Case of Collapsed Governance

MOLLICA, Marcello
2010

Abstract

This Chapter is based on field research carried out in the South Lebanese Christian enclave of Alma El Chaab. Ethnographic material, particularly but not exclusively, on Jihad and martyrdom traditions from this border town, will help to address critical challenges to the legitimacy of governance during the so-called 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war. Personal experience and interviews conducted in demanding circumstances will help to shed light on the citizenship debate in the conflicting scenario of this culturally mixed environment. The discussion builds towards a critique of ‘multiculturalism’ and of its local implementation that takes fully into account the often overlooked attitudes of Middle-Eastern Christian minorities to security issues. Drawing on anthropological literature on legitimacy, management of power and political representation (Prato 1999, 1993; Pardo 2000) and, departing from existing lines of research on consociationalism (Lijphart 1968 and 1999; Kerr 2005) and Christian minorities in the Middle East studies (Valognes 1994) as well as from the ongoing debate within Lebanese Christian traditions and their changing positions towards the Arab world (Betts 2005; Sabra 2006), to examine the ways in which the application of multicultural norms and their manifestations, in the form of actions that are regarded as legitimate or illegitimate, pose a serious, irreconcilable threat to decision-making in a failing state challenged by external threats. It impacts on citizens’ lives to the extent that they quickly change attitudes when faced with superimposed decisions, shifting their loyalties beyond sectarian affiliations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3120334
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