The Sectarian Political system.Towards Eradicating Confessional Tensions.English

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Executive Summary
Lebanese citizens are bound socially, economically, politically and personally to a sectarian system that perpetuates itself in continuous cycles of violence and subjugation. In its preamble, the Lebanese Constitution states that “Lebanon is a democratic, parliamentary republic founded on respect for public liberties, the foremost of which are freedom of opinion and belief, and on social justice and equality in rights and in duties for all citizens without discrimination or distinction.” Yet existing government policies and practices do not reflect the principles of justice, fairness, and equality.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) play an essential role in promoting citizenship and democratic values, and should deploy efforts to free citizens from the binds of religious sects as a first step to eradicating confessionalism and reducing sectarian tensions.

With the 2013 parliamentary elections approaching, there is a golden opportunity for civil society to pressure Members of Parliament (MPs) for electoral law reform and better political representation. Advocates of a civil status law also have an opportunity to capitalize on a 2009 Ministerial Decree that allows citizens to remove reference to their sect in personal records. Moreover, civil society should strengthen its demands for citizenship education and a unified history book, especially since the Ministry of Education is currently in the process of reforming civic education in public schools.

This brief proposes three mutually reinforcing policy areas promoting a non-confessional proportional electoral system, a civil status law, and a civic education curriculum.

In light of the above, this policy proposal aspires to:

 Ensure free, fair, and non-sectarian political representation that promotes citizen rights;
 Reshape citizen-state relationships through civil status reform; and
 Promote citizenship values and social cohesion through education reform and adoption of a unified history book.

These interrelated steps will help overcome sectarian tensions and advance efforts to replace the confessional system with a just, democratic, and civic system.

Adoption and implementation of these policies requires a long-term process that involves new, innovative strategies at the local and national levels aimed at linking the suggested reforms to the legitimacy and stability of the Lebanese democratic system. CSOs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should work on multiple fronts to raise awareness of these issues, pilot actions with a maximum number of citizens, and support government in implementing reforms.

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The Sectarian Political system.Towards Eradicating Confessional Tensions.English

  1. 1. Towards Eradicating Confessional Tensions POLICY BRIEF
  2. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Lebanese citizens are bound currently in the process of reforming socially, economically, politically civic education in public schools. and personally to a sectarian system that perpetuates itself in continuous This brief proposes three mutually cycles of violence and subjugation. reinforcing policy areas promoting In its preamble, the Lebanese a nonconfessional proportional Constitution states that “Lebanon is electoral system, a civil status law, a democratic, parliamentary republic and a civic education curriculum. founded on respect for public In light of the above, this policy liberties, the foremost of which are proposal aspires to: freedom of opinion and belief, and on social justice and equality in rights Ensure free, fair, and non-sectarian and in duties for all citizens without political representation that discrimination or distinction.” promotes citizen rights; Reshape citizen-state relationships Yet existing government policies and through civil status reform; practices do not reflect the principles of justice, fairness, and equality. Civil Promote citizenship values and society organizations (CSOs) play an social cohesion through education essential role in promoting citizenship reform and adoption of a unified and democratic values, and should history book. deploy efforts to free citizens from the These interrelated steps will help binds of religious sects as a first step overcome sectarian tensions and to eradicating confessionalism and advance efforts to replace the reducing sectarian tensions. confessional system with a just, democratic, and civic system. With the 2013 parliamentary elections approaching, there is a Adoption and implementation of golden opportunity for civil society these policies requires a long-term to pressure Members of Parliament process that involves new, innovative (MPs) for electoral law reform strategies at the local and national and better political representation. levels aimed at linking the suggested Advocates of a civil status law also reforms to the legitimacy and have an opportunity to capitalize on a stability of the Lebanese democratic 2009 Ministerial Decree that allows system. CSOs and nongovernmental citizens to remove reference to their organizations (NGOs) should work onThis policy brief was developed by Beyond Reform & Development , part of Brd/I Group S.A.L., sect in personal records. Moreover, multiple fronts to raise awareness in close collaboration with experts, activists and civil society organizations. civil society should strengthen its of these issues, pilot actions with a Lebanon, 2012 demands for citizenship education maximum number of citizens, and and a unified history book, especially support government in implementing since the Ministry of Education is reforms. 1
  3. 3. Framing the IssueThe ProblemLebanon’s confessional system affiliations. The problem requiresof government is a common a new mechanism to redefine thedenominator that is blamed for relationship between citizens andviolence, under-development, and the state based on their rights andthe inability of citizens to influence responsibilities rather than sectarianpolitical outcomes. Sectarian affiliations.diversity is not unique to Lebanonas the same pluralism exists indifferent countries around the Situation Brief The Urgencyworld. However, sectarian identitiesare used to justify a discriminatory Although the Lebanese With the upcoming parliamentarysystem that remains prone to Constitution emphasizes equality elections of 2013, the escalationcorruption, foreign intervention, and in its preamble, state institutions of sectarian discourse, and thecontinuous cycles of violence. This and political processes remain deterioration of security andpolicy brief is based on the premise sectarian because: economic conditions, civil conflictsthat the confessional system renders will increase. A policy to eradicaterelationships between citizens and 1. Citizen rights and benefits are confessionalism and improve thethe state dependent on religious based on sectarian belonging. state-citizen relationship within aintermediaries and clientelism. 2. Citizen-state relationships, free, just civil state is the only way including personal status, are out of a vicious cycle of recurringOnce depicted as a peaceful governed by sectarian rather than conflicts.means to resolve sectarian conflict, civil laws.confessional power-sharing hasbecome institutionalized in an 3. The judicial system is ineffectiveineffective governance system that and manipulated by confessional ”leads to perpetual tensions and interests. Only when individualspolitical deadlock. Manifesting become real citizens in 4. Political parties are sectarian-itself in all aspects of government Lebanon can we plan and based and do not compete oninstitutions, political culture, and start a systematic and national policies and issue-basedthe economy, confessionalism has structural change process.blocked attempts at reforming platforms. 5. The education system does not ”Lebanon’s democracy towards Dr. Paul Salem, foster citizenship values and social Director of the Carnegiejustice, inclusion, and effectiveness. Middle East Center. cohesion.What is needed is a rights-based 6. The electoral system is basedapproach through which all citizens on allocation of seats by confessionare treated equally within the rule and does not allow for free and fairof law regardless of their religious representation.2 3
  4. 4. Looking at Existing Policies, Lawsand PracticesConfessionalism dominates the political discourse and citizens’ consciousness.Yet concrete measures to eradicate it and improve governance have been 1 Social Cohesionsuboptimal. This section presents existing policies, laws, and practices, and 2 Free & Fair Representationtheir shortcomings. In assessing the current legal framework, we used fourkey indicators that are essential for any policy option aimed at eradicatingconfessionalism and reducing sectarian tensions: 3 Justice & the Rule of Law1. promote social cohesion 4 Civil & Political Rights2. ensure free and fair representation3. promote justice and the rule of law4. protect civil and political rights Policy Law Assessment Practice ing & religious courts > When it comes to rights associated with birth, marriage, death, to sectarian belong- Civil status laws tied Policy inheritance, political freedoms, and civic participation, citizens Law Assessment must belong to a sect to be recognized by the state. Practice > Religious courts, funded by the government, control civil status matters based on each citizen’s confessional affiliation. > The existing electoral system does not respect Article 24 of the divided per recognized sects > The existing civil status laws frame citizens’ relationships with the Constitution, which calls for an electoral law that does not follow Majoritarian electoral system based on seats state through their sects. sectarian distribution of power. > The electoral law falls short of the democratic standards called for by civil society due to the absence of an independent elections > There is no specific law to regulate political parties in Lebanon. Regulating political commission, pre-printed ballots, women’s quota, lowering of the These groups fall under the 1909 Ottoman Law of Association that voting age, voting by the diaspora, and a proper framework for guarantees freedom of association. parties campaign finance and media regulations. > Political parties are sectarian-based and have no incentive but to > The majoritarian system does not fulfill true representation as represent sectarian interests. districts are defined based on sectarian majorities. > Political parties supply social services to their constituents directly or through the public institutions they control. > The judicial system lacks autonomy, from the appointment of dependent on other judges to legal proceedings and outcomes. > The existing curriculum, teaching methods, and teachers’ Civic education in Judicial system state powers > A lack of human and technical capacity in the justice sector leads capacities leave students with weak citizenship education. schools to inefficiency in establishing the rule of law. > There is no unified history book to provide collective memory, > The legislative framework required to ensure social and economic foster social cohesion, and value diversity. justice is based on outdated texts that do not respond to citizens’ > Private schools, predominantly sectarian-based, are of better current needs and priorities. quality than public schools and attract more students.4 5
  5. 5. Considering Policy Options “ Sectarianism is not a result of religiosity, but is rather used for political ends. The following table describes policy options for reducing sectarianism based on ” Dr. Randa Antoun, Associate Professor at thorough research and participatory consultations with stakeholders around the the American University of Beirut country. Each policy is based on different assumptions, has a specific objective and strategies, and offers both advantages and disadvantages. Policy Assumptions Objectives Strategies Advantages Disadvantages Experts’ Take Policy options options1 > A free and fair > Reform the existing > Build a critical > Improves > Requires a large and “The electoral law is 1 Electoral Law Electoral Law proportional, non- electoral law to adhere mass that calls for a representation based on organized critical mass a fundamental pillar Reform Reform of the democratic sectarian electoral system with international new electoral law as a issue-based platforms of reform-minded actors system.” guarantees agenda- standards and respect the means to develop the rather than sects, and to achieve change. Amin Wehbeh, Member based representation and Constitution in eliminating country and prevent enables a new generation of Parliament enables accountability. sectarian division of seats. civil strife. of political leadership.2 > Schools and > Reform the civic > Develop and advocate > Builds on previous > Low capacity in “We need to develop 2 Civic Education Civic Education universities can promote education curriculum, for a civic curriculum efforts and precedents schools and universities an educational system that promotes belong- Reform Reform social cohesion and adopt a unified history and a history book, adopted by civil society to implement a new ing to country and enable civic participation book, and enable teachers and provide technical and some private schools. curriculum. citizenship values.” based on citizen rights to deliver the new assistance to Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Dean of and duties. curriculum. incorporate it into the the Faculty of Arts and Sci- education system. ences at Haigazian University3 > Freeing citizens from > Ensure passage of > Persuade cross- > Decreases the > Religious and "Civil society can bene- 3 Civil Status Law Civil Status Law sectarian status laws an optional civil status sectoral civil society influence of religions sectarian leaders are fit today from regional events and uprisings will combat clientelism law by Parliament and and political groups to courts and encourages powerful opponents of to push for a fair civil and reframe a direct enforce implementation promote civil marriage inter-communal this policy option. status law.” relationship between mechanisms. as a basic freedom. marriages and Dr. Paul Salem, Director of citizens and the state. acceptance. the Carnegie Middle East Center4 > Issue-based political > Set standards for > Develop a law > Exposes the > Existing political “Sectarianism was 4 Political Parties Political Parties competition and internal political party governance proposal and lobby for it shortcomings of existing parties are resistant to built into Lebanese society and politics, party transparency lead to and funding, and create as a means for political political parties and change. and can be unbuilt. It Law Law enhanced responsiveness monitoring mechanisms reform, and establish a invites new party is not innate to us.” to citizen needs and to enhance performance. monitoring mechanism structures as model Dr. Tamirace Fakhoury, priorities. for party funding. representatives. Professor at the Lebanese American University5 > An efficient justice > Reform the judicial > Adopt a governance > Reestablishes citizens’ > High resistance to “Our judiciary system 5 system protects citizen system to ensure its model for the judicial trust in the judicial change and low capacity should be strong and Judicial Judicial Reform Reform protected from exter- rights, ensures equity, autonomy and efficiency. system that ensures system and the rule of in judicial bodies. nal influence.” and fosters the rule of law. autonomy, transparency, law as an alternative to Sleiman Takieddine, Lawyer and efficiency. sectarian clientelism. and Legal Expert 6 7
  6. 6. Recommending PolicyReshaping the Citizen-State Relationship The Ta’if Accord that ended the Lebanese civil war states in its preamble:“The abolition of political sectarianism is a national priority.” Due to its “ Sectarianism was built into Lebanese society and politics, and can be unbuilt. It is not innate to us. entrenched and complex nature, eradicating sectarianism requires a multidimensional approach. The sectarian system manifests itself both on a ” Dr. Tamirace Fakhoury, Professor at LAU personal and collective level, as well as on national and local level.While all of the five proposed options mentioned above would create a solidfoundation for replacing the confessional system with a civic and just democrat-ic system, this policy brief recommends an approach focused on the first threepolicy options—electoral law reform, civic education reform, and civil statuslaw—as the most urgent and actionable by CSOs, NGOs, and community-basedorganizations (CBOs). This three-pronged approach focuses on reshaping thecitizen-state relationship through measures aimed at empowering citizens atthe political, personal and cultural levels:Pillar PillarReform the electoral law to ensure Promote a new civil status law that On the long run, it is important These options, in addition to thefree, fair, and non-sectarian reshapes citizens’ relationship with to complement these efforts to implementation of some elementsrepresentation that promotes citizen the state independent of religious reshape citizen-state relationship of the Lebanese Constitution, suchrights. This will allow citizens intermediaries. This will help to by working on:current situation as Article 22 related to the creationto elect their representatives free citizens from the influence and presents three key challenges: of a Senate and Article 95 related tobased on platforms and ensure a clientelism imposed by confessional establishing a national commissionproportional, non-sectarian electoral leaders, political groups, and Designing and implementing new to eradicate sectarianism—all ofsystem, opening the door for a new religious institutions. standards for Political Parties which will require political will atgeneration of political leadership governance, the highest levels, would help createfree from sectarian boundaries. an overall enabling environment to Reforming the judiciary to ensure reduce sectarianism. Pillar autonomy, transparency and Improve civic education by efficiency. introducing a citizenship curriculum and a unified history book that promote citizenship values, social cohesion, a culture of tolerance, and collective memory, replacing sectarian subjugation and polarization.8 9
  7. 7. The Way ForwardPillarReform the Electoral LawAs this policy brief is being written, Civil society groups are Launch simultaneous campaigns Empower candidates representingthe electoral law is being debated demanding participation in the that break down the demands for civil society’s agenda to run forwithin parliamentary committees parliamentary committee discussions, reform among different stakeholder parliamentary seats, such asand among political parties. The but are being revoked by political groups. Using coordinated actions, through the “Take Back Parliamentnext step will be to place the law on blocs within Parliament. these groups should seek to link Campaign” (www.vote2013.org), andthe agenda of Parliament’s General each of the reforms to citizens’ seek to form new blocs committedAssembly for a vote. The current There is no indication that right for better representation and to reforming the electoral systemsituation presents five challenges: proportional representation will publicize flaws in the electoral and eradicating sectarianism from pass in a way that allows candidates process and gather citizen support to within Parliament. Parliamentary committee and voters to be represented outside continue advocating for reforms. discussions on the electoral law do the confines of sectarian groups.not present a real opportunity forreforming key articles that wouldenhance political representationas they are focused on districting The Civil Campaign for Electoraland maintaining the status quo of Reform (CCER), a national civilpower distribution among the main society coalition spearheaded by thesectarian groups in the country. Lebanese Association for Democratic Past Proposals & Reform Efforts Elections (LADE), has been pushing The timeframe between for electoral reform since it was concluding parliamentary committee launched in 2006, with mixed results. > The National Commission for the Reform of the Electoral Law developed,discussions, placing the law on the As the parliamentary elections of in 2006, a law proposal based on proportional representation with largeagenda of the General Assembly, and 2013 approach, CSOs and NGOs districts that calls for key reforms in line with international standards suchvoting on it might not allow sufficient must make strategic choices that as creation of an independent elections commission, use of pre-printedtime for civil society to influence the include one or all of the following: ballots, lowering of the voting age, establishing a women’s quota, andprocess or the outcome. enabling diaspora Lebanese to vote. Any reform will require a Join CCER and actively lobby from > CCER launched a campaign, in 2006, to advocate for the above reforms.substantial number of executive within Parliament while monitoringdecrees and follow-up decisions discussions on the proposed reformsthat may distort implementation so that key articles to improve the > In 2005, the Cabinet formed the National Commission for Electoral Law,of the reforms (similar to the out- process and enhance representation chaired by former minister Fouad Boutros, which developed a mixedof-country-voting reform that was are not removed or diluted by electoral law proposal combining proportional representation with theenacted in 2008 but not implemented the parliamentary committees or majoritarian system.during the 2009 parliamentary elections). General Assembly.10 11
  8. 8. The Way ForwardPillarPromote a New Civil StatusLawThe current legal framework binds In recent years, several NGOs Launch a local and national- join calls for reforming the electoralcitizens to their sectarian identities including CHAML (Non-Sectarian, level campaign calling for citizens to system so that non-sectarian citizensand does not allow for a direct Non-Violent Young Lebanese Citizens), remove reference to their sect from can also be represented in staterelationship with the state based on Tayyar Al-Mujtamah Al-Madani, personal records. Such a campaign institution.citizen rights and responsibilities. Nahwa Al-Muwatiniya, and the should aim at reaching a criticalThis issue has been on the agenda of Civil Center for National Initiative, mass of people who do not have acivil society for decades, but there was alongside lawyers and intellectuals, sectarian identity in their personalno mechanism to promote civil status have been promoting civil marriage records, creating the need for civicreform until a Ministerial Decree was and a new civil status law. With the laws to govern their personal andissued in 2009 allowing citizens to lead-up to the next parliamentary political rights. This group could thenremove their sect from their personal elections, civil society can play anrecords. The current situation important role in pushing for aregarding civil status laws presents serious national dialogue on thesethe following challenges for civil issues through one or more of thesociety to consider in the next phase: following approaches: Past Proposals & Reform Efforts The influence of religious Join CHAML’s advocacy campaignleaders and institutions has been a to mobilize public support and > The first draft law on civil status was prepared in 1971 by legal expertstremendous obstacle in enabling any pressure Parliament to discuss the and advocates Abdullah Lahoud, Norma Melhem, and Joseph Moghaizel,government to enact civil marriage draft civil status law presented in and was adopted by the Democratic Party. laws or to reduce the role of religious 2011.courts in settling personal status > In 1996, former Lebanese President Elias Hrawi proposed an optionalissues. civil status law. Launch a new campaign that collaborates with religious leaders > In 1997, the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP) also proposed a There is no consensus among to arrive at a compromise for an draft civil status law to Parliament.civic activists as to whether a optional civil status law to ease fearssecular civil status law should from abolishing sectarianism whilebe compulsory or optional, which allowing citizens to choose not to > In 2007, the Civil Center for National Initiative in collaboration withundermines civil society’s ability be represented by their sectarian Nahwa Al-Muwatiniya and Tayyar Al-Mujtamah Al-Madani, launchedto mobilize citizens for change. identities alone. a campaign to mobilize citizens to remove reference to their sectarian affiliation from the civil registers which led to the issuance of a decree in 2009 by former Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud declaring it a constitutional right.12 13
  9. 9. The Way ForwardPillar Past Proposals & Reform EffortsImprove Civic EducationLebanon’s educational system is an Several NGOs, including Tayyar Al- > In 2007, the Ministry of Education developed a strategy that includesextension of sectarian politics and Mujtamah Al-Madani, Nahwa Al-a main contributor to confessional Muwatiniya, and the Lebanese Center reforming civic education, which was approved by the Cabinet in Maytensions. Schools and universities for Civic Education (LCCE), have been 2010.are a common site for recruiting working on civic education programs. > In 2009, Nahwa Al-Muwatiniya launched “Daleel”, an active citizenshipyouth into sectarian political parties Civil society can build on these effortsas well as a key indicator of the by forging alliances with parents’ curriculum that was adopted by some private universities.schisms that exist in Lebanese committees, teachers, civil servants > As part of the 2009 Human Development Report titled “Towards asociety. The Ministry of Education, at the Ministry of the Education, andwith support from the European the business sector to adopt one or Citizen’s State”, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)Union, is currently developing a civic more of the following approaches: developed a comprehensive study on civic education in schools.education curriculum that presents >civil society with an opportunity to Launch a campaign to monitor In 2010, a ministerial committee was formed, including civil societyinfluence national discourse on this the current debate within the representatives, to develop a comprehensive reform plan for civicissue. The current situation presents Ministry of Education, participate in education.civic actors with the following the discussions, and publicize the deliberations to the public. > In 2010, a committee was assigned by the Ministry of Education to studychallenges: the first draft of the Lebanese history curriculum, which was developed Any proposal for integrating a new Launch a nationwide campaign to by a group of historians.curriculum in the public education propose criteria for a civic educationsystem requires the involvement program that responds to citizens’ > In 2012, the Ministry of Education received funding to reform civicof the Ministry of Education and expectations and helps enhance the education.Cabinet’s approval. quality of public education. The weak capacities of publicschools and Lebanese universities, Form a committee of expertsboth in terms of human resources and practitioners to offer technicaland infrastructure, make it difficult to assistance and build the capacitydevelop new curricula and modernize of teachers and professors toteaching methodologies. implement a new civic education curriculum that includes citizenship The absence of consensus on the education and a unified history book.events, dates, and interpretationof Lebanon’s contemporary history Launch an initiative to documenthinders the adoption of a unified and present a new history bookhistory book. The debate on this issue that is impartial but offers studentshas been dominated by the fears an accurate description of events,and polarization fueled by sectarian allowing them to form their ownleaders. analysis and personal judgments.14 15
  10. 10. Future Action SHORT TO MEDIUM TERM LONG TERM National Level Local Level National Level Local Level Outcome Expected Reform the Electoral Law Parliament passes important reforms, such as lowering of the voting age, Outcome Expected Reform the Electoral Law diaspora voting, use of pre-printed ballots, and creation of an independent Parliament adopts a new proportional, non-sectarian electoral system elections commission Empower existing NGO coalitions, Link proportional representation Focus the civil society coalition’s Build t h e capacity of local civic movements, and social media to local needs and development campaign to putting pressure on Strategy stakeholders to put pressure on Strategy activists to monitor and publicize priorities, while nominating new the Cabinet to issue decrees and entities at the governorate, district, parliamentary committee discussions candidates independent of existing monitor government institutions’ and municipal levels to publish and General Assembly voting on the sectarian parties to run for compliance with the laws passed information as per the passed laws. proposed reforms parliamentary seats by Parliament Outcome Expected A comprehensive civil status law is passed by Parliament and citizens’ Outcome Expected Civil marriage is on the agenda of Parliament and the Cabinet, and linked to the Promote a New Civil relationship with state institutions is not bound by a sectarian legal Promote a New Civil basic rights of citizens framework Status Law Status Law Create a national coalition Nominate individuals interested in Enable a critical mass of citizens Build a network of progressive representing different sectors, serving on a National Committee to Strategy to remove reference to sect in Strategy “mukhtars” willing to assist senior officials, and reputable Eradicate Sectarianism and begin their personal records, and ally citizens in removing reference to judges to call for a civil status law lobbying for separating religious with couples doing inter-religious their sect in personal records and lobby for it with all political affairs from state institutions and marriages groups courts Outcome Expected Outcome Expected Public schools and Lebanese universities adopt an active citizenship A number of private schools and universities adopt a new civic education curriculum and a unified history book that enhances social cohesion, values Improve Civic Education Improve Civic Education curriculum and start implementing it for secondary-level classes diversity, and promotes a sense of civic responsibility Partner with municipalities, CSOs, Lobby MPs to support and adopt NGOs, and CBOs to provide active Launch a national initiative Develop civic education guidelines, the new civic education curriculum citizenship programs to youth led by capable teachers and Strategy Strategy monitor the Ministry of Education and unified history book by linking groups in several villages, and civil servants calling for a new reform process, and pressure for these demands to local development, document success stories/case civic education curriculum that adoption of these guidelines social cohesion, and stability at the studies to support implementation includes a unified history book community level of the civic education guidelines16 17
  11. 11. Illustrative ActivitiesDuring the last decade, several initiatives have aspired to eradicate sectarianismfrom the Lebanese political system. In all past attempts, religious and political “ The issue requires a new mechanism to redefine the relationshipleaders have interfered to oppose any reforms that threaten the interests of between citizens and the state, one that is based on rights and “sectarian elites and political parties. Most recently in 2011, and inspired by the responsibilities.Arab uprising, a civic movement began calling for an end to the confessionalsystem under the slogan “the people want the fall of the sectarian regime".Though it mobilized more than 20,000 people in one of its demonstrations, themovement could not sustain itself due to political, organizational, leadership, andresources challenges, as well as lack of a clear agenda. Despite the failure of pastattempts, there is consensus among civil society around the need to maintain thepressure on government to adopt meaningful reforms aimed at chipping away atthe confessional system, especially as the 2013 elections, a window of opportunityfor change, are drawing nearer and citizens’ readiness to act is increasing.The following are suggestions for illustrative activities based on expert roundtables,interviews, and focus groups, which can be adopted by CSOs, NGOs, and CBOs topress forward towards a just, democratic civic state.Illustrative Activities at the with the Education Center for Research Illustrative Activities at the Organize local campaigns to motivate and Development, an autonomous citizens to remove reference toNational Level: entity under the trusteeship of the Local Level: sectarian affiliation from their Organize a mass campaign advocating Ministry of Education, to reform the personal records. civic education curriculum. Engage local constituents in lobbying for electoral reform ahead of the next their MPs to support a new electoral Partner with inter-sectarian married elections. Use alternative media to influence law. couples and enable them to advocate Nominate election candidates who voters by showcasing the negative for a civil marriage law. Participate in elections monitoring represent non-sectarian interests and effects of the sectarian system on Develop informal civic education and highlight the negative impact of agendas. the economy, civil peace, and the programs and deliver them in local the existing electoral law on sectarian education system.. schools; then document and share Launch a national campaign tensions. Expose the unmet needs of citizens in the experience with the Ministry of mobilizing citizens to remove any Follow up with the Constitutional areas such as employment, health, and Education. reference to sectarian affiliation from Council and Prosecutor General their personal records electricity services as direct results on cases of vote-buying by political Conduct citizenship programs in rural of sectarian representation and the parties and sectarian leaders. areas that are strongholds of sectarian Advocate for a new civil status law. absence of national development leaders. Discredit MPs who enter Parliament Develop programs and materials agendas. Conduct community-level dialogue as part of a sectarian agenda. compiling cases and tools for active Promote and publicize cross- Nominate local leaders to lead a sessions that foster collective memory citizenship education and propose confessional dialogue and interactions national campaign calling for the and encourage reconciliation. them to the Ministry of Education. aimed at reconciliation and establishment of a Senate and making Monitor the reform project undertaken overcoming societal divisions. the state impartial to sectarian by the Ministry of Education and engage interests and influence.18 19
  12. 12. Engaging with Different Partial List of ReferencesStakeholders “As-Safir wa MADMA: Thiltha al-Lubnaniyein Yarfoudoun al-Fikra” (“Two-Thirds of theThe suggested policy option must be endorsed by key stakeholders and policy- Lebanese Reject the Idea”). (1998). Ma‘loumat, No. 32: 75-8.makers to be implemented. The influence that the various stakeholders yield Draft Electoral Law for 2013 (2006). Civil Campaign for Electoral Reform. Retrieved from:on the decision-making process will determine how they should be engaged http://www.ccerlebanon.org/pictures/manualpdf/DraftLaw+%20Maps(Low%20Res)%20(1).pdfand the messages they should receive. Below is a list of stakeholders to be Daleel: Introduction to Active Citizenship (2008). Nahwa Al-Muwatiniya.considered. The National Human Development Report: Towards A Citizens State (2009). United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Retrieved from http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/national/arabstates/> President of the > Political parties > Public & private schools lebanon/NHDR_Lebanon_20082009_En.pdf Republic > Lawyers & > Public & private universities Al Habbal, J. (2011). The Institutional Dynamics of Sectarianism: Education and Personal> Cabinet of Ministers Judges > Syndicates Status Laws in Post-War Lebanon. (Thesis for the Lebanese American University).> Ministry of > Civil servants > Bar Association Anderson, L. (1987). The State in the Middle East and North Africa. Comparative Politics, 20: 1-18. Education > Constitutional > Media Antoun, R., Associate Professor at the American University of Beirut (September 13, 2012).> Municipalities Council > Voters Personal interview by N. Menhall, BRD/I.> Ministry of Interior > Electoral > Academia & Beydoun, A. (2004). “Confessionalism: Outline of an Announced Reform.” In Options for & Municipalitie candidates Research Institutes Lebanon, edited by Nawaf Salam, 75-96. Oxford: The Centre for Lebanese Studies.> Judicial branch > United Nations > NGOs, CSOs & CBOs Edgar O. (1998). Civil War in Lebanon, 1975-92. Palgrave Macmillan. agencies > Lebanese diaspora El-Khalil, A. (1988). “The Role of the South in Lebanese Politics.” In Lebanon: A History of Conflict and Consensus, edited by Nadim Shehadi, and Dana Haffar Mills, 305-14. London: I.B. Tauris. > Youth groups Ekmekji, A., Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Haigazian University (September 19, 2012). Personal interview by A. Hmayed, BRD/I.Each of these entities requires a different strategy and approach to ally it with Fakhoury, T., Professor at the Lebanese American University (September 25, 2012).the suggested policy. The following table highlights the incentives for the key Personal interview by N. Menhall, BRD/I.stakeholders to adopt or support the proposed policy. These incentives can form Frayha, N. (2004). “Developing Curriculum as a Means to Bridging National Divisions inthe basis for developing communication messages to persuade the stakeholders Lebanon.” In Education, Conflict and Social Cohesion, edited by Sobhi Tawil, and Alexandrato take action. Harley, 159-203. Geneva: UNESCO International Bureau of Education. Gellner. E. (1977). “Patrons and Clients.” In Patrons and Clients in Mediterranean Societies, edited by Ernest Gellner, and John Waterbury, 1-6. London: Gerald Duckworth. Stakeholders Incentives Hess, C., and Bodman, H. (1954). “Confessionalism and Feudality in Lebanese Politics.” Rebuild trust and credibility by modernizing the legal, Middle East Journal 8: 10-26. Parliamentary Blocks & political, and education system to respond to the needs of Hottinger, A. (1966). “Zu‘ama’ in Historical Perspective.” In Politics in Lebanon, edited by Committees youth specifically and of the general public more broadly Leonard Binder, 85-106. New York, London, and Sydney: John Wiley & Sons. Hrawi, E. (1998). The Civil Marriage Project. Decrease violence and confessional tensions by setting Hudson, M. (1988). “The Problem of Authoritative Power in Lebanese Politics: Why Cabinet & strategies to ease the fears of religious groups while making Consociationalism Failed.” In Lebanon: A History of Conflict and Consensus, Ministries state institutions impartial to the parochial interests of edited by Nadim Shehadi and Dana Haffar Mills, 225-39. London: I.B. Tauris. sectarian groups at the expense of the public interest Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Voter Turnout Data for Lebanon http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?CountryCode=LB Civil Reclaim their role, credibility, and authority to ensure respect Khalaf, S. (1977). “Changing Forms of Political Patronage in Lebanon.” In Patrons and Clients Servants & for the Constitution, protect civil peace, and foster social in Mediterranean Societies, edited by Ernest Gellner, and John Waterbury, 185-206. London: Constitutional cohesion Gerald Duckworth. Council Khalaf, S. (2002). Civil and Uncivil Violence in Lebanon: A History of the Internationalization Political Parties of Communal Conflict. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Reclaim their role and authority while becoming more & Electoral Salem, P., Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center (September 20, 2012). respected by citizens Candidates Personal interview by N. Menhall, BRD/I. Takydine, S., Lawyer and Legal Expert (September 25, 2012). Become more informed on the means of eradicating Personal interview by N. Menhall, BRD/I. NGOs, CSOs, sectarianism and more influential in promoting a solution to & CBOs Wehbe, A., Member of the Parliament (September 10, 2012). existing shortcomings in the democratic process Personal interview by N. Menhall, BRD/I20 21

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