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South Lebanon: a violent border or a weak state?

Governance
Political Violence
Security
Daniel Meier
Sciences Po Grenoble
Daniel Meier
Sciences Po Grenoble

Abstract

The 50-years old reputation of South Lebanon as a vantage ground for violence, from massive military invasion to armed resistance, can highlight the changing paths of the relationships between borders/borderlands, state infrastructures and violence. Thanks to the two examples of the Palestinian fidayyins in the early 1970s and the Hizbullah military actions since 2006, I will show how Lebanon’s sovereignty and statehood changed in forty years as well as the local players. More precisely, I will conduct my research in three main directions. Firstly, the perception of the border between Lebanon and Israel/Palestine in order to remind the key differences between the Palestinian combatants and the Hizbullah militiamen towards the Lebanese state. Second, the border infrastructures need to be detailed through the narrative of the Lebanese or Israeli state and the testimonies of the fighters in order to better see its implications for the military operations. Third, this latter dimension will be explored through the guerrilla methods as well as the large-scale military operations launched by Israel. The three axis of investigation should lead to a better understanding the Lebanese state’s capacity to control its sovereignty, namely with the case study of South Lebanon, including the role played by the UN local mission since the drawing and marking of the Blue Line.