Critical Junctures and Missed Opportunities: The Case of Lebanon's Cedar Revolution
Series/Report no.Ethnopolitics;Vol.14 No 1
This article addresses three shortcomings in the path dependency literature on critical junctures: the neglect of negative cases, non-state actors and of power asymmetries. The 2005 Cedar Revolution had the makings of a critical juncture. Yet despite the rise of alternative nongovernmental organizations (ANGOs) seeking to change the sectarian political system, a public ready for change, renewed donor interest and funds, little came of this juncture; Lebanon’s ANGOs are now inactive. This paper questions why. Building on fieldwork conducted between 2006 and 2010, it argues that the Cedar Revolution was a critical juncture and that this critical juncture was marked by a substantial power asymmetry between ANGOs and Lebanon’s sectarian political actors. Nonetheless, the renewed donor interest in promoting a stable and democratic Lebanon could have reduced this power gap; however, the politics of Western democracy promotion ultimately reinforced the hold of sectarian leaders on Lebanon’s political scene.
Clark, Janine A. et Marie-Joëlle Zahar. 2014. "Critical Junctures and Missed Opportunities: The Case of Lebanon's Cedar Revolution". Ethnopolitics Vol. 14 (No) 1: 1-18.