Lebanon is a Middle Eastern country that has been inhabited for more than six thousand years, and today it has a population of four million with over eighteen different religious sects, many of which are Muslim or Christian. The country, however, is in an incessant struggle to institutionalize democracy in its most humane form, whereby everyone is included and democracy is neither the rule of the majority nor a political lobbying arena. Yet how can the people of Lebanon realize their vision of democracy in the face of religious sectarianism and the political system of confessionalism?
In Restoring Lebanon, author, economist, and political theorist Nizar Y. Younes explores the problems inherent to the confessional system of government—a form of government where every religious community secures some portion of the state—and argues instead how this partitioning of government practically results in the disintegration of the state and eradicates any notion of citizenship. In addition to digging further into the root of the barriers to institutionalism and development in Lebanon, Restoring Lebanon offers a roadmap for reform at the political, economic, and cultural levels—a reform geared toward creating a Lebanon that meets the aspirations of the Lebanese people.
Lebanon needs a fair, clear social contract—one that frees the Lebanese from the prison of sectarian confessionalism. A contract by the Lebanese and for the Lebanese can create the country we deserve—one that represents Lebanon’s spirit, culture, and freedom.