The European Union’s Engagement in Conflict Processes and Conflict Spillovers: The Case of Lebanon Since the Onset of the Syrian War

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Series Details Volume 22, Number 1, Pages 39-58
Publication Date 2017
ISSN 1384-6299
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The article explores the European Union’s (EU) conflict response to Lebanon in the wake of Syria’s war and its spillover effects. Seeking to boost the polity’s ‘resilience’, the EU has deployed resources and strategies to stabilize the country, enhance its social cohesion and promote ‘effective governance’.

The EU has furthermore integrated Lebanon in its broader response to the outcomes of the Arab uprisings and the Syrian conflict. While the EU has become more attuned to Lebanon’s conflict environment, it has had limited effectiveness in handling Lebanon’s conflict processes against the benchmark of its declared goals.

The EU’s realist-normative dilemmas and inability to address Lebanon’s core issues of contention emerge as constraining factors. The bloc is more effective in mitigating short-term strains through cooperating with the government on convergent interests such as security and refugee governance than playing an impactful role in conflict resolution.

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