Reconciliation, reform and resilience: Positive peace for Lebanon
Publication date: 
2012
Issue number: 
24

What accounts for the vulnerability of Lebanon’s politics? The state is weak relative to society. The state is also soft: its boundaries are permeable to foreign influence

Marie-Joelle Zahar, Accord 24 special adviser

Lebanon is not a post-conflict society. 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.

Lebanon’s collective amnesia has been fostered by political elites who played a role in the civil war and have refused public debates that could implicate them

Sune Haugbølle, Accord 24 special adviser 

Peace deficit for the Lebanese is threefold: social, governmental and regional-international. Lebanon’s conflict system feeds on complex interaction between levels (official and unofficial) and environments (internal and external). Peacebuilding responses to promote reconciliation, reform and sovereign resilience demand equal attention and need to be addressed strategically and simultaneously, to identify leverage points within the system to affect positive change.

Selective implementation of the Taif Agreement has belied the essence of its stated objectives. Arbitrary and partial application of reforms … have in fact exacerbated confessional tension and competition

Karam Karam, Accord 24 special adviser

Accord 24 includes more than 30 articles and interviews of peacebuilding experience in Lebanon from diverse perspectives and disciplines: applied and analytical, and from inside and outside the country. Together they show that peacebuilding response strategies that can influence leverage points within the system and support Lebanese ownership can make an impact to promote positive change.

The Lebanese are not passive victims of a violent fate determined beyond their country’s borders. Individually and collectively, they are responsible actors capable of shaping their own future

Elizabeth Picard and Alexander Ramsbotham, Accord 24 editors

This Accord project forms part of a larger EC-funded piece of work on People’s Peacemaking Perspectives, to provide analysis and practical programming recommendations for several regions affected by fragility and violent conflict, informed by local peoples’ insights and expertise.