Lebanon: a profile of political and welfare institutions

Rana Jawad

in Social welfare and religion in the Middle East

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9781861349538
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303510 | DOI:
Lebanon: a profile of political and welfare institutions

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Lebanon is an interesting case for research because of its diverse religious groups and because of its weak state. Lebanon has historically stood out among the remaining Arab nations of the region because of its liberal social and political systems, its dynamic laissez-faire economic sector, which has always been open to trade with the outside world, the relative freedom of its press, and the high levels of education of its population. Lebanon has also hosted the wars of the Middle East, which made the country vulnerable to international interference from both East and West. This chapter aims to provide a profile of Lebanon's political context and its welfare institutions in order to focus the discussion on religious welfare in the Middle East. It provides an historical overview of the development of social policy in Lebanon including the ideological and political forces that have shaped the country's incomplete social security system today. Hence, the main aim of this chapter is to depict a nation-state where religious identity coupled with questions of social justice and human well-being have been at the crossroads of sporadic political strife throughout Lebanon's modern history.

Keywords: Lebanon; religious groups; Middle East; political context; ideological forces; political forces; religious identity; social justice; human well-being

Chapter.  6820 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion

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