The 2005 "Cedar Revolution" in Lebanon that ostensibly ended three decades of Syrian hegemony is a complex and provocative incident. A peaceful anomaly in a country characterized by fifteen years of war, particularly in the minds of Western observers, the mass demonstrations in response to former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri's assassination warranted further attention. This thesis explores the historical background events that set the stage for the emergence of this billionaire businessman, the circumstances surrounding his assassination and its consequences, and the different revolutionary theories that could be applied to the resulting "revolution."
A case study is thus undertaken in examining Lebanon's Cedar Revolution. The bulk of this study is concerned with primary sources ranging from United Nations resolutions to Mohandas Gandhi's treatise on nonviolent resistance (though Arabic sources remain inaccessible), as well as with secondary sources dealing with these and other issues. No individual fieldwork is drawn upon in writing this thesis, thus the analysis used is necessarily qualitative (though quantitative analysis is applied in many of the secondary sources, hence is influential).
A double problematic is explored over the course of the study: the extent of Hariri's direct link to the Syrian retreat, particularly through the Cedar Revolution; and, related to this, the potential explanation of these events based on existing theories of revolution. Hariri's influence and assassination is established as a contributing, but certainly not the exclusive, factor in the successful expulsion of the Syrian regime. In regards to theory, the existing models offered by Karl Marx, Gandhi, and previous Color Revolutions help to clarify but not to fully account for the Cedar Revolution. A new theoretical framework based on aspects of these is offered, but many questions connected to the Cedar Revolution are raised over the course of the study, and remain to be answered elsewhere.
Keywords: Lebanon, Syria, Hariri, Cedar Revolution, Color Revolution
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies|
|Keywords:||Cedar Revolution, Color Revolution, Hariri, Lebanon, Syria|
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