The Position of a Weak State in an Unstable Region: The Case of Lebanon

The Position of a Weak State in an Unstable Region: The Case of Lebanon

  • 9 September 2002

The speaker said that the prospects for a long-term reconciliation in weak states like Lebanon depend to a great extent on recent dramatic changes in the global system. These changes, which were dramatized by the September 11 attacks on the United States last year, were preceded by the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, which established the US as the world’s only superpower. In this context, the speaker said that because of the September 11 attacks, security strategy is becoming globalized. Fighting terrorism has now become a top priority in US foreign policy. Concepts like preventive diplomacy and pre-emptive strikes are replacing old ones like deterrence and containment. Intra-state conflicts are becoming more dangerous than inter-state conflicts in challenging the emerging world system and US hegemony in this system. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Yearbook 2002, the speaker noted, identifies four factors that are of key importance in shaping a new global security system. In addition to the spread of information technology, the other three factors include the inability of a number of weak states to control developments in their territory, external security and, finally, the growing importance of non- military aspects of state security. The speaker concluded that these factors are particularly important to understand Lebanon’s predicament. However, these factors existed in Lebanon before the emergence of the current world system, specifically since 1967. The speaker reviewed the new structural changes at the global and regional levels, which influence the stability of Lebanon, including the remnants of the war of 1967, and the repercussions of the September 11 attacks. Further, he confirmed that Lebanon’s stability and continuity as a viable state does not depend solely on the action of the Lebanese themselves, as it also greatly depends on the balance of power in the external Middle East environment.

Share

LECTURER

Monday 9 September 2002

-

Monday 9 September 2002

-