The Art of the Impossible: The Foreign Policy of Lebanon

Bahgat Korany and Ali E. Hillal Dessouki

in The Foreign Policies of Arab States

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163609
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970375 | DOI:
The Art of the Impossible: The Foreign Policy of Lebanon

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From a theoretical perspective, Lebanon's foreign policy captures the dynamic overlap between domestic and foreign politics, and is a “two-level game” par excellence. Disagreement among Lebanon's variable sects and subsects over foreign policy choices often avalanche into violent confrontations. In the process, Lebanese politicians compromise the sovereignty of their state and its foreign policy independence for instrumental political ends. In post-Syria Lebanon, foreign policy has reemerged as a battleground between overlapping local and external actors bent on redefining Lebanon's position in the international system and the region's geopolitics. Lebanon has thus returned full circle, to that foundational moment in 1943, when negotiating a new domestic consensus entailed agreement on the state's foreign policy choices.

Keywords: Syria; multisectarian army; Arab–Israeli conflict; Saad al–Hariri; March 14 alliance

Chapter.  12671 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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