Muslims and Christians in Lebanon: Common Views on Political Issues

Journal article

Mullet, Etienne & Fabiola Azar (2002) Muslims and Christians in Lebanon: Common Views on Political Issues, Journal of Peace Research 39 (6).

The aim of the study was to examine the extent to which members of six different communities in Lebanon (Catholic, Druze, Maronite, Orthodox, Shiite, and Sunni) share common views about some of the main political issues facing the country, as presented in the press, on the radio, and on television. Participants from the six communities were to read 15 statements regarding political life in the country (for example, 'A balance of religious communities is indispensable in a country like Lebanon') and rate their degree of agreement with the content of each statement. The members of the six communities largely agreed as regards the degree of personal support they attributed to each proposition. In addition, the mean responses were the same irrespective of the source (president or prime minister) to which the statements were attributed. Only two issues caused mild disagreement between communities: the establishment of secularism in the country, and confidence in the state. Finally, a structural analysis showed that the ratings were structured around three main factors: views regarding the Palestinians, views regarding Syria, and views regarding Lebanon and its institutions.

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