Winning Lebanon: youth politics, populism, and the production of sectarian violence, 1920-1958 (2021)
in: Cambridge Middle East studies, 59
By the mid-twentieth century, youth movements around the globe ruled the streets. In Lebanon, young people in these groups attended lectures, sang songs, and participated in sporting events; their music tastes, clothing choices and routine activities shaped their identities. Yet scholars of modern Lebanon often focus exclusively on the sectarian makeup and violent behaviors of these socio-political groupings, obscuring the youth cultures that they forged. Using unique sources to highlight the daily lives of the young men and women of Lebanon's youth politics, Dylan Baun traces the political and cultural history of a diverse set of youth-centric organizations from the 1920s to 1950s to reveal how these youth movements played significant roles in the making of the modern Middle East. Outlining how youth movements established a distinct type of politics and populism, Winning Lebanon reveals that these groups both encouraged the political socialization of different types of youth, and, through their attempts to 'win' Lebanon - physically and metaphorically - around the 1958 War, helped produce sectarian violence.