Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar: "Lebanon skipped the 20th Century; is it ahead of the game?"

Lebanon's feeling of failure to achieve modern statehood is built into the system: its first constitution of 1926 sets temporary measures of communal power sharing that are to be removed when the country and its people achieve maturity. The target of a modern, secular, homogeneous, sovereign state that is able to protect its borders and provide security and services to its citizen has never been reached and the country's history is seen as one of drifting chaotically between conflicts and civil wars. Nadim Shehadi will propose a revision of that narrative in the light of recent developments in the region where there are various attempts at interpreting why Lebanon by contrast is seen as surprisingly stable and sustainable.

Nadim Shehadi is director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.