The state, ethnic relations and democratic stability: Lebanon, Cyprus and Israel

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The paper compares and contrasts three cases of plural democracies in the Middle East: Lebanon (1943-1975), Cyprus (1960-1974) and Israel (1948-1992). It begins with a classification and review of two bodies of theories: the role of the state in maintaining democratic stability in plural (deeply divided) societies; and the links between ethnic spatial structures and political stability. The role of the state and the geography of ethnicity in the three cases are then analysed in the light of these theories. The comparison highlights four key points: (a) the importance of interethnic proportionality; (b) the importance of ethnic spatial separation; (c) the 'irreversibility of the consociational process' in plural democracies; and (d) the need to integrate both theories of state and theories of spatial relations for explanation of democratic instability in plural societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-332
Number of pages14
JournalGeo Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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