Path Dependence and Foreign Policy: A Case Study of United States Policy Toward Lebanon   [open pdf - 252KB]

From the thesis abstract: "Currently, the US seems to be solely focused on achieving success in the liberation of Iraq and the establishment of a working democracy there. What has been often overlooked is the historical legacy of a tiny nation in the Levant, Lebanon. Many studies show Lebanon as a viable democracy prior to the start of the civil war in 1975. Today, the infrastructure and the institutions for successfully transitioning back to democracy are still present and are already further enforced. Among the Arab states, Lebanon is the most likely to succeed in transitioning to democracy. Considering US national security strategy of propagating democracy and free enterprise, it would be vital to US national security interests to consider Lebanon. Successfully supporting a return to democracy there would not only lessen its appeal as a haven for terrorism, but would also provide the US with a democratic Arab ally in the Middle East. This case study identifies path dependence as a significant factor behind the US policy of disengagement toward Lebanon since 1983. It argues that instead of the vicious cycle of disengagement wrought by the 1980s policy, a new path of engaged political activism could bring a more positive future for Lebanon."

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Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/
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