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The Foreign Policies of Arab StatesThe Challenge of Globalization$
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Bahgat Korany and Ali E. Hillal Dessouki

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774163609

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774163609.001.0001

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The Art of the Impossible: The Foreign Policy of Lebanon

The Art of the Impossible: The Foreign Policy of Lebanon

(p.283) 8 The Art of the Impossible: The Foreign Policy of Lebanon
The Foreign Policies of Arab States

Bahgat Korany

Ali E. Hillal Dessouki

American University in Cairo Press

From a theoretical perspective, Lebanon's foreign policy captures the dynamic overlap between domestic and foreign politics, and is a “two-level game” par excellence. Disagreement among Lebanon's variable sects and subsects over foreign policy choices often avalanche into violent confrontations. In the process, Lebanese politicians compromise the sovereignty of their state and its foreign policy independence for instrumental political ends. In post-Syria Lebanon, foreign policy has reemerged as a battleground between overlapping local and external actors bent on redefining Lebanon's position in the international system and the region's geopolitics. Lebanon has thus returned full circle, to that foundational moment in 1943, when negotiating a new domestic consensus entailed agreement on the state's foreign policy choices.

Keywords:   Syria, multisectarian army, Arab–Israeli conflict, Saad al–Hariri, March 14 alliance

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