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Title: 'The Chosen People' and the 'House of Many Mansions' : managing deep divisions in the Yishuv and Lebanon during the Mandate Period
Author: Kheir, Zaha
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 0518
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This dissertation asks why Israel, a deeply divided society facing the same difficulties as other post-colonial states, was able to establish a stable democratic regime upon independence whereas its neighbour, Lebanon, with similar characteristics, established an unstable democracy. The question has wider implications for deeply divided post-colonial societies elsewhere and has gained greater currency in an age of civil strife and democratic retreat. By carefully tracing the political process that stretched from the advent of colonial power in the Middle East through the 1950s, this dissertation helps to explain how these two states came to follow divergent regime trajectories. The key argument here is that during the mandate period, the community which would become the core of the Israeli state (known as the Yishuv) was able to develop a dominant vision of the state that guided post-independence policy and deactivated potentially destabilizing deep divisions. It was transformed from a vertically divided society into a horizontally divided society, making its regime less inclusive yet more stable. This development was aided by institutional mechanisms put in place by the British mandatory. In Lebanon, on the contrary, the mandatory power deepened and entrenched deep divisions. The institutional mechanisms put in place led to the multiplication of the number of politically relevant divisions in an already vertically divided society thus precluding the emergence of a shared vision of the state. The Lebanese state embraced diversity and protected minorities but its political system suffered from instability soon after attaining independence.
Supervisor: Robins, Philip ; Penslar, Derek Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available