Author: Natalia Bahlawan | Pages: 6–28
The paper analyses the functioning of the Lebanese confessional model in practise and its dynamics after the 1975–1990 civil war. A growing wave of public discontent with sectarianism in the postwar period has called the legitimacy of the system into question. The paper investigates the sources of confessionalism's setbacks by focusing on two issues: the impact of confessionalism on the functioning of political institutions at the highest level as well as on the procedures for electing political representation (its electoral system). It illustrates the ways in which a model of consociational power sharing, democratic in principle, can degenerate towards an oligarchic regime.