Les Phalanges Libanaises: Identity Construction and the Perception of the Self & Other

Aseel Yehia Azab


The purpose of this paper is to study the identity construction of the Lebanese Phalange Party, postulating that its view of the Other is deeply entrenched within its own development. Strongly regarded as a model of Fascist thought and action, the Phalange, as a popular manifestation of Maronite nationalist thought, Lebanonism, seems to be destined for eternal clash with a similarly endless Other, but this latter is not formulated on religious basis only: the conceptual idea behind the other remains the same throughout the Kataeb’s history of conflict, but its face changes as the nature of the threat to the Phalange’s political and economic interest changes. The Myth of the one, static Muslim Other, is thus challenged and deconstructed; and taking into consideration the traditional political and economic features of Lebanese society, their interplay with the state’s institutions, and the Phalange’s role as a tool of mobilisation, a more complex interpretation of the construction of the self and Other is presented.


Phalange Party; Kataeb; identity

Full Text:



Alami, Ahmad. “من مشروع التقسيم لمشروع السلطة.” Al-Jusūr 6 (1983): 155–164. Sakhr. Web. 13 April 2016.

Aulas, Marie-Christine. “The Socio-Ideological Development of the Maronite Community. The Emergence of the Phalanges and the Lebanese Forces.” Arab Studies Quarterly 7.4 (1985): 1–27. JSTOR. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Engelund, Sara Ryshmihr. “Introductory Essay: “The Other” and “Othering”.” New Narratives: Multicultural Literature at the University of Oslo, n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. .

Entelis, John P. Pluralism and Party Transformation in Lebanon: Al-Kataʼib, 1936-1970. Leiden: Brill, 1974. Print.

Entelis, John P. “Structural Change and Organizational Development in the Lebanese Kata'ib Party.” Middle East Journal 27.1 (1973): 21–25. JSTOR. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Gemayel, Bashir. “Presidential Inauguration Speech.” Ein Rummeineh. 23 Aug. 1982. Chahadatouna. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.

Gemayel, Bashir. Bashīr al-Jumayyil fī al-ṭarīq ilā al-riʼāsah: 1/1/1982-23/7/1982. Beirut: Muʼassasat Bashīr al-Jumayyil, 1985. Print.

Gemayel, Pierre. Bayān Katāʾibī khaṭīr fī kitāb maftūh: Aradnā Lubnān waṭanan lā kanīsatan aw jāmiʻan. Beirut: Kataeb Party, 1954. Print.

Gemayel, Pierre. Connaissance des Kataeb: Leur doctrine et leur politique nationale, dans les déclarations, messages, articles et lettres officielles, depuis 1936. Beirut: Kataeb, Departement des Etudes, 1948. Print.

Hourani, Albert. “Ideologies of the Mountain and City.” Essays on the Crisis in Lebanon. Ed. Roger Owen. London: Ithaca, 1976. 33–43. Print.

Hottinger, Arnold. “Zu'amā' and Parties in the Lebanese Crisis of 1958.” Middle East Journal 15.2 (1961): 127–40. JSTOR. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.

Karsh, Efraim, Michael Kerr, and Rory Miller. Conflict, Diplomacy and Society in Israeli-Lebanese Relations. London: Routledge, 2010. Print.

Kataeb.org. الكتائب اللبنانية, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Kaufman, Asher. Reviving Phoenicia: The Search for an Identity in Lebanon. PhD thesis. Brandeis University, 2000. Print.

Khalaf, Tewfik. “The Phalange and the Maronite Community: From Lebanonism to Maronitism.” Essays on the Crisis in Lebanon. Ed. Roger Owen. London: Ithaca, 1976. 43–59. Print.

Khashan, Hilal. “The Evolution of Israeli–Lebanese Relations: From Implicit Peace to Explicit Conflict.” Israel Affairs 15.4 (2009): 319–34. Taylor & Francis. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Lebanese Political Parties: The Kataeb Party [videorecording]. Prod. The Lebanese National Broadcasting Company. Arab Film Distribution, 2003.DVD.

Maasri, Zeina, and Fawwāz Ṭarābulsī. Off the Wall: Political Posters of the Lebanese Civil War. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009. Print.

Morris, Benny. “Israel and the Lebanese Phalange: The Birth of a Relationship, 1948–1951.” Studies in Zionism 5.1 (1984): 125–44. Taylor & Francis. Web. 21 Oct. 2015.

Rabil, Robert G. “The Maronites and Syrian Withdrawal: From "Isolationists" to "Traitors"?” Middle East Policy 8.3 (2001): 23–43. EBSCO. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Reynolds, Jack. “Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, and the Alterity of the Other.” Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 6.1 (2002): 63–78. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.

Sarukkai, Sundar. “The 'Other' in Anthropology and Philosophy.” Economic and Political Weekly 32.24 (1997): 1406–409. JSTOR. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Stoakes, Frank. “The Supervigilantes: The Lebanese Kataeb Party as a Builder, Surrogate and Defender of the State.” Middle Eastern Studies 11.3 (1975): 215–36. JSTOR. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Suleiman, Michael W. Political Parties in Lebanon; the Challenge of a Fragmented Political Culture. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1967. Print.

Ṭraboulsi, Fawwaz. A History of Modern Lebanon. London: Pluto, 2007. 187–218. Print.

Zisser, Eyal. “The Israeli–Syrian–Lebanese Triangle: The Renewed Struggle over Lebanon.” Israel Affairs 15.4 (2009): 397–412. Taylor & Francis. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.

Zisser, Eyal. “The Maronites, Lebanon and the State of Israel: Early Contacts.” Middle Eastern Studies 31.4 (1995): 889–918. Taylor & Francis. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.