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