The risk of Syrian civil war violence spreading towards Lebanon is high. This can be explained by various factors deriving as much from the neighbouring conflict as from other existing factors in Lebanese politics, which have led to the significant
collaboration of Lebanon’s Future Movement and Hezbollah with their respective allies in Syria, and to undermining Najib Mikati’s dissociation policies. However, the leaders of those parties tend to balance their will to preserve their confessional leadership with an image of being the defender of national interests. This limits the possibility of an openly sectarian conflict, but it does not totally eliminate it.
Key words: Lebanon, Syria, civil conflict, confessionalism, spillover
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