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Religions 2018, 9(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9020051

Who Benefits from Consociationalism? Religious Disparities in Lebanon’s Political System

Department of Sociology, Baylor University, Waco, TX 97326, USA
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 3 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract

This study examines the extent to which confessional identities in Lebanon are responsible for shaping individual views toward their government. Specifically, I investigate disparities between religious groups in their perceptions of democracy and democratic principles as applied in Lebanon. Using nationally representative data from the Arab Barometer’s survey of Lebanon, I find that when compared to Maronite Catholics, Druze, and Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims consistently give higher evaluations of the democratic condition of Lebanon. When compared to members of other religious groups, Shia Muslims are also more trusting of government institutions and perceive Lebanon to be freer. I find little evidence that the application of consociational theory equally and proportionally represents the political needs of the religious groups intended to be served. Rather, my findings reveal religious disparities in evaluations of democracy and political institutions in Lebanon, supporting critics of consociationalism who argue that consociationalism essentializes group-identity to political disputes. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; ethnicity; Lebanon; Middle East; politics; consociationalism religion; ethnicity; Lebanon; Middle East; politics; consociationalism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Vaughan, K. Who Benefits from Consociationalism? Religious Disparities in Lebanon’s Political System. Religions 2018, 9, 51.

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