Bassel F. Salloukh

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The Aug. 4 explosion that destroyed sections of Beirut left hundreds dead and thousands injured, homeless and traumatized. Less than a week later Lebanon’s prime minister, Hassan Diab, and his Cabinet resigned, blaming “chronic corruption in politics, administration and the state” for the disaster.

My research suggests that a straight line runs from this explosion back to the corruption and nepotism symptomatic of Lebanon’s postwar politics. The current political system rewards political mobilization along sectarian identities, where politicians use state resources to maintain the loyalty of their partisans. Since February, the Diab Cabinet operated much along those familiar lines, which meant it ultimately failed to agree on how to address deep political, economic and social issues.…  Seguir leyendo »