By Ziad Majed
Ziad Majed is assistant professor of Middle East Studies at the American University of Paris and Coordinator of the Arab Network for the Study of Democracy. He is the author of ‘An Rabi’ Bayrout wa al-Dawla Annakisa (The Beirut Spring and the Unachieved State), Dar Annahar, Beirut, 2006 and blogs at www.ziadmajed.net and www.vendredis-arabes.blogspot.com
One of the rare valuable political debates in Lebanon nowadays, when it comes to internal political matters, is the one on consociationalism and confessionalism. The problem is, however, that there are many misconceptions around what consociationalism is, and how the confessional Lebanese system itself is, in fact, consociational. Moreover, why is it that confessionalism1 appears to be so strong and so difficult to replace or to overcome?