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Multi-ethnic States in the Middle East: The Case of Lebanon

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Multi-ethnic States in the Middle East: The Case of Lebanon

Many Middle Eastern states are home to a multitude of ethnicities, linguistic and religious minorities. Yet, one ethnicity or religious group tend to dominate over others, showing reluctance to share

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Many Middle Eastern states are home to a multitude of ethnicities, linguistic and religious minorities. Yet, one ethnicity or religious group tend to dominate over others, showing reluctance to share power or even accommodating minorities. The case of Iraq under Saddam and Syria under Assad are cases in point. Lebanon is the exception. The power sharing arrangements across sectarian lines was designed to prevent domination of one group over another and also allow for institutional diversity. Despite the civil war experience, the State of Lebanon somewhat manages to protect these safeguards.