Despite the inherent challenges of finding a long-term solution to Lebanon’s refugee crisis, its focus on short-term responses could worsen social and political cleavages and foster new forms of marginalization.
Lebanese religious leaders are often treated as authentic representatives of their sects and are given broad powers over religious affairs. However, their leadership is not organic, nor are they necessarily popular, as these individuals are trained and selected by elite institutions.
Lebanon has been trying hard to join the club of oil and gas producers but a combination of factors dominated by domestic political infighting have always meant that ambition falls well short of reality.
Joseph Bahout is a visiting scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. His research focuses on political developments in Lebanon and Syria, regional spillover from the Syrian crisis, and identity politics across the region.
Perry Cammack is a fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on long-term regional trends and their implications for American foreign policy.
Sayigh is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, where his work focuses on the Syrian crisis, the political role of Arab armies, security sector transformation in Arab transitions, the reinvention of authoritarianism, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace process.