Civil Society and Lebanon

Toward a Hermeneutic Theory of the Public Sphere in Comparative Studies

by Michael D. Dawahare


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This study pursues a hermeneutic and dialogic conception of the public sphere. Through a critical assessment of the development of the closely related ideas of civil society and a democratic public sphere,

Specifically, this study explores Ibn Khaldoun's notion of Asabiya and its impact on the constitution of civil society and the public sphere in Lebanon, paying particular attention to the notions of power and authority within the context of this indigenous concept in particular, and Lebanese (and Arab) culture in general.

"Professor Dawahare has applied a set of complex theories to the Lebanese situation, and the result has been to better explain Lebanese politics as well as to probe new theoretical terrain. The study is comprehensive and represents a better use of theory to produce insights into one of the most complex political systems in the Middle East region than many other recent works on the subject. This book will be of interest to both social theorists and Middle East Scholars."
John D. Stempel, Director
The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky

About The Author

Michael D. Dawahare (Ph.D., University of Kentucky) teaches political science at Georgetown College where he also serves as Director of the Office of College Communications. A former journalist, Dr. Dawahare lived and worked in Beirut during the civil war as a correspondent for RKO Radio Networks and as a staff reporter for The Beirut Daily Star. Prior to his tenure in Lebanon, Dr. Dawahare was an NBC News correspondent in Latin America and served as an editor on the radio desk in New York.