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The Political Transformation of the Maronites of Lebanon: From Dominance to Accommodation

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The aim of this article is to examine the shifting trends in Maronite social and political behaviour in the context of Lebanese politics by drawing on a number of recent surveys. The examination focuses on six dimensions related to feeling towards sectarian leaders; perceived self-identity; political estrangement and political efficacy; intra-group attachment; propensity for inter-group cooperation; and preferred political arrangement. The findings suggest positive intra-group attachment, strong preference for Maronite leaders and at the same time dislike for some of them, with a feeling of pride and distinctive Lebanese nationalism. Respondents manifested unfavourable attitudes towards cooperation with other Lebanese religious groups, particularly the Muslims. Finally, the answers point to low support for a Christian autonomous entity and overt preference for a unitary political system.
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Keywords: Lebanon; Maronites; political efficacy; political estrangement; religious groups; sectarianism; self-identity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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