Nationalism in Ottoman Greater Syria 1840-1914 the divisive legacy of Sectarianism
Francioch, Gregory A.
Baylouny, Anne Marie
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As a result of being a leading world power within the community of nation states, the United States is confronted with the weighty task of how best to employ its influence in creating conditions for a sustainable, peaceful, and just international system of interactions between nation states. Syria and Lebanon pose some of the most challenging problems to policymakers working to achieve these conditions. Exploring the historical origin of nationalism and sectarianism in Ottoman Greater Syria prior to the outbreak of World War I in 1914, may offer important insights as to unique regional attitudes and sensitivities with respect to democratic reform. This study seeks to demonstrate that nationalists in Greater Syria within the context of a reforming Ottoman Empire prior to World War I failed to form a cohesive political expression of intentions through united action, thus allowing the formation of separate Lebanese and Syrian states. The legacy of an incoherent national identity as a result of competing sectarian visions is an internally divided Lebanese state that struggles to overcome its ineffectual democratic institutions and a Syrian state encumbered by an entrenched authoritarian regime.
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