New Forms of Sectarianism: A Conversation with Bassel Salloukh (S. 5, Ep. 8)

pablo-16On this week’s POMEPS Conversation podcast, Marc Lynch speaks with Bassel Salloukh, an associate professor of political science at the Social Sciences Department at Lebanese American University.

“Many countries are becoming like Lebanon where people start thinking of sectarian/tribal/ethnic divisions and identities as primordial. And then the only way to get out of the conflict is through the institutionalization of these identities into a new, power-sharing pact. But what that does is to freeze these identities and make it very difficult to move away from.”

“At the end of the day, the major problem is that people start looking at these identities as primordial. And they start behaving as if these identities have always been with us as part of these ancient hatreds. It becomes very difficult to come up with a counter-narrative.”

Music for this season’s podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

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Read More from Salloukh:
The Politics of Sectarianism in Postwar Lebanon (co-authored). London: Pluto Press, forthcoming 2015.
Strong Actor in a Weak State: The Geopolitics of Hezbollah, (co-author) in Mehran Kamrava, ed., Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).
Sect Supreme: The End of Realist Politics in the Middle East, Foreign, 14 July 2014.
The Arab World after the Popular Uprisings: A Spirit Restored? in Kirsten Fisher and Robert Stewart, eds., Transitional Justice and the Arab Spring (London: Routledge, 2014): 17-35.