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Drew Mikhael

Research Areas

Lebanon, power-sharing mechanisms in divided societies


The conceptual base for my research is drawn from the field of power-sharing and investigating the procedures employed in consociations as a means of managing ethno-national cleavages. I am investigating if the consociational literature has omitted a variable that can help explain how consociational systems function. In my case study this missing variable is the excluded Palestinian refugee population, who are systematically excluded from most aspects of Lebanese society. This runs counter to the one of the four central tenets of consociationalism, which prescribes that all significant groups must be included and protected in the post-conflict settlement.

The hypothesis is the following:

  • Does the deliberate exclusion of the Palestinian refugees from civic/social and working rights help develop a crosscutting ideal that draws together a fractured polity?

I will be investigating the pacts and settlements of Lebanon under its different consociational guises and most specifically, I will be concentrating on comparing the Palestinian presence before the 1975 civil war to the situation after the Ta’if Accord. Central issues in this thesis will be nested bargaining/negotiating between elites, refugees, constitution making and post-conflict building.

Supervisors: Prof Beverley Milton-Edwards and Dr Neophytos Loizides