The main goal of this article is to integrate historical analysis and recent contributions to the study of ethnicity, conflict, and peace. My inquiry begins with a discussion of the state of the art on Lebanon's politics, which attests to an abundance of works on its inter-communal aspects and less consideration to its intracommunal dimension and the linkage between these two spheres. I then analyze a previously unexplored episode from the country's history-namely, the return of Fawzi al-Qawuqji to Tripoli on 4 March 1947-that attests to the importance of the intracommunal dimension of Lebanon's politics and its relationship with the inter-communal sphere. By discussing other, similar cases-in particular, the two civil wars of 1958 and 1975-90-I demonstrate how a better appreciation of the intra-communal dimension of Lebanon's politics, as well as of the close interaction between this aspect and the inter-communal sphere, enhances our understanding of the causes of conflict and peace in this state and particularly the state's "collapse"8 in recent decades and the efforts to reconstruct it since the late 1980s.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Middle East Studies
|Published - Nov 2002