Religious fundamentalism, liberal nationalism, and sectarian solidarity among Lebanese

Authored by: Mansoor Moaddel , Jean Kors , Johan Gärde

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Politics and Ideology

Print publication date:  August  2021
Online publication date:  August  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367417826
eBook ISBN: 9780367816230
Adobe ISBN:


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Ideology and foreign intervention have historically played a significant role in the making of sectarian solidarity in Lebanon. This chapter assesses the effects of religious fundamentalism, attitudes toward intervention by foreign patrons, and liberal nationalism on this solidarity. It first conceptualises and measures sectarian solidarity, fundamentalism, liberal nationalism, and attitudes toward foreign patron intervention. It then considers the effects of religious confession, trust in others, xenophobia, political engagement, residence in Beirut, and social class. Analysing the data from a nationally representative sample of 3,039 Lebanese, the results show that sectarian solidarity is positively linked to religious fundamentalism, attitudes toward foreign patrons, xenophobia, and residence in Beirut, but negatively to liberal nationalism, trust in others, political engagement, and age. It has a U-shaped relationship with socioeconomic status, the middle class being less sectarian than either the upper or lower classes. The Shia and the Druze are significantly more sectarian than other confessions. This analysis shows that sectarianism will decline if fundamentalism and foreign intervention are weakened, liberal values and trust in others strengthened, and the middle class expanded.

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