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The war generation and student elections at the American University of Beirut.

On the eve of Lebanon's civil war in the mid-1970s, the American University of Beirut (AUB) was the scene of a powerful protest movement headed by students who controlled the Student Council. Calling for social and political justice, recognition of the country's Arab roots rather than its particular identity, and rejection of Western and Zionist imperialism in the Arab World these mainly-Muslim activists often skirmished with conservative Christian students and led strikes and demonstrations against university policies and administrative actions believed to favor one side over the other.(1) Campus disruptions became so grave that after a 41-day protest against tuition increases was broken up by the police, AUB's president finally suspended the student association in 1974. Nasr and Palmer, who studied student activism during this period, reported that "a general mood of defiance of authority prevails among the active students, checked only by the fear of expected physical injury."(2)

In retrospect, these events seem relatively mild compared to the excesses perpetrated by AUB students during the 1980s when the Lebanese conflict seemed to have degenerated into little more than ruthless turf fights on both sides of the "green line" separating the Muslim and Christians sectors of the capital. As the local power balance shifted during the years of civil strife and the university came under the "protection" of one armed group after another, affiliated students used their political connections to threaten and coerce classmates, professors and university administrators for personal advantage.(3)

It is against this chaotic setting, bred by the destructive turmoil in Lebanese society that we can understand the factors shaping student political attitudes and behaviors today. In the past, AUB's student activists reflected national sentiments and traditional patterns of behavior in their campus interactions. Now that the university arena has re-opened in a modified political climate, will the generation born during the war play the political game in the same way? On the theoretical level, it is essential to learn more about the complex interaction between a society's entrenched values and norms and the sources of change within it. First, the proposition that violent experiences such as civil war affect political learning and may therefore disrupt traditional patterns of political behavior and foster new attitudes must be explored. Simply put, the major question is whether, during the course of the January(4) and December 1994 elections, student activists in AUB's largest faculty, Arts and Sciences (A&S),(5) conformed to the agendas of their political parties as they had before a government of national reconciliation was formed, or whether, they adopted attitudes and codes of behavior at variance with Lebanese political socialization patterns in order to win votes. A word of caution is necessary however: We cannot validate a direct causal relation between war experiences, political changes and electoral behavior empirically, but we can suggest an association between these variables if the evidence warrants it.

Material on the difficulties individuals encounter in abandoning societal norms and values in favor of new trends and ideas no matter how emotionally appealing the latter may be, often occurs in the literature on political socialization.(6) Scholars note that well before the student enters university, he or she has undergone formal and informal conditioning which reinforces the socio-political status quo. In addition, and especially in developing areas, playing the political game by the rules tends to be an important precondition of socio-political mobility. Yet, there is also substantial evidence that a considerable portion of what a person knows and believes comes from incidental learning through reference groups, experience and observation.(7) Sigel, in fact, points out that national crises may play a particularly critical role in the political socialization process as they promote awareness of system flaws and of reprehensible political conduct leading to pressures for system change.(8) The literature on student protest movements suggests that educated youths in particular view the policies and performance of the older generation with a critical eye, thus advocating changes and using the university as a forum for new ideas as well as a place to live out idealistic codes of conduct.(9) If this is the case, AUB students may reject patterns of elite behavior that many blame for enflaming and even causing Lebanon's civil strife, such as cronyism, self-interest, and political confessionalism in favor of new codes of conduct and points of view thought capable of attracting student votes. If such an association does indeed exist, it would contribute to a more complete understanding of the dynamics of political change, the effects of protracted social conflict on young people, and the prospects for a stable pluralistic democracy in Lebanon.

Furthermore, AUB students contribute to an understanding of elite opinion in Lebanon since they have an opportunity to argue and debate in an open forum. The inordinate number of AUB graduates in positions of national, social and political importance is another reason why the actions and attitudes of today's student politicians and their electoral results are worth noting.

An adequate exploration of the interaction between systemic and reformist patterns of behavior in the campus arena requires an examination of the socio-political context of Lebanese politics and a review of the norms of elite and partisan behavior at election times as well as of the patterns of behavior common during the civil war.


One of Lebanon's major problems since its independence in 1943 has been the fact that communal socialization processes and institutions have always taken precedence over those emanating from the center.(10) This behavior has stemmed historically from the persecution of heterodox religions by the central authorities, as well as from intra-group rivalries. The threatening environment thus resulting encouraged the various Lebanese confessional groups to cluster defensively in geographic areas and to develop strong communal bonds and institutions revolving around sectarian identity. Many believe that the recent civil war reinforced these tendencies.

The political formula adopted for the modern nation state in 1943 acknowledged this mosaic nature of Lebanese society by instituting a system of proportional sect representation in the administration and the parliament. The largest sect in 1943, the Christian Maronites, held the presidency and other important positions in the state's security apparatus; the Sunnite Muslims received the premiership, while the Shiites gained the house speakership. Other sects were represented in the cabinet. In the parliament, the ratio of Christians to Muslims was set at 6 to 5 and seats allocated proportionally according to a census carried out in 1932 and never updated.

The tragic events Lebanon faced in the last decade and a half are proof that its system of pluralist democracy could not withstand the internal and external pressures placed upon it.(11) Yet, a revised version of the old formula still governs political relations among the sects today,(12) and traditional practices such as those presented below continue unmodified.

In the Lebanese system, competition for political position, takes place within rather than across confessional communities, reinforcing a tendency among local leaders to establish and maintain sectarian-based political machines.(13) The majority of the "parties" established in recent years as a result of these leaders' mobilization efforts, were therefore, neither integrative nor representative of the country as a whole.

These partisan institutions and processes have had an extremely negative effect on Lebanon's purportedly democratic electoral system.(14) For instance, at election time, the leader of the dominant sect in a district composes a list of candidates reflecting the overall sectarian composition of the area. His challengers, if any, follow suit. Electoral competition between these confessionally-based coalitions revolves around the numbers that each candidate can mobilize within his public. These long-term linkages between him and the public are based on the services and psychic rewards that leaders can provide in exchange for their "clients" political allegiance, and therefore have little to do with ideological and programmatic considerations.(15) The successful maintenance and extension of these clientele networks, which include students who have received educational assistance or who have been granted opportunities for political recognition, provides the votes necessary to return these community elites and their representatives to office time after time, giving the government the character of a permanent association of patrons. It can thus be seen that "democratic process" in Lebanon masks a much older game in which liberal values have little place.

During the civil war, parliamentary elections in Lebanon were frozen, and impotent governments rose and fell. Contending warlords, whose "parties" sprouted military wings defending the confessional heartlands of the battling sects, ran the country relying to varying degrees on external sources for material and financial support. The Christians were aided by Israel, while the Muslim and leftist groups turned to Syria for help. The shadowy Shiite fundamentalist group, Hizballah, which emerged in the 1980s and undertook full-scale resistance to the Israelis and their surrogates in South Lebanon, was assisted by Iran.(16)

Under these circumstances, the conflict reinforced rather than changed existing socio-political patterns since traditional practices could not be mediated and restrained by national institutions such as the army and the internal security forces, virtually ineffective during the war. The result was complete local rule enforced by the militias in various armed and defended power domains.(17) Unfortunately and with negative consequences, the warlords were unable to fully control the hordes of young men who, through ideological conviction or personal interest, had picked up guns and joined the fray. In many cases community "protection" became a euphemism for intimidation and racketeering which provoked turf fights between technically allied and heavily armed partisans.

As Khalaf observed of the war generation, "their heroes and role models have all been inexorably wrapped up in the omnipresence of death, defeat and terror,"(18) for these nefarious conditions prevailed throughout the formative years of today's university students. Indiscriminate killing and long-term gang rule forced almost everyone, for survival's sake, to play the old game, which the militias and their local leaders had adopted for their own purposes.

As noted above, the university was not immune. These conditions prevailed throughout the formative years of today's university students. The students divided AUB's upper campus, where most of the faculty of A&S is located, into various political turfs, and plastered it with political posters and party flags. The poor security conditions prevented many Christian students from crossing the "green line" dividing Christian East and mainly-Muslim West Beirut, leading them to take advantage of AUB's Off-Campus Program, which began in Ashrafiyya in 1983. There, however, they came under the influence of the Christian militias. That AUB continued to function during the constant shelling, kidnappings, and deaths that claimed students and university personnel alike reflects its staff and faculty's hardiness and sense of mission as well as the stoicism of the silent majority of the student body and their parents, who faced intimidation and danger at home on a daily basis.(19)

AUB is well on its way to its former status as a quality teaching and research institute as a result of improved security conditions. After the 1989 Ta'if Document of National Accord was signed by MPs who had remained in office since 1972, hostilities wound down and a government closely allied with Syria was formed.(20) Syrian troops who had entered Lebanon at the government's request in 1988 to re-establish order oversaw the disarming of all militias except those fighting in the South. Stability through de-politicization became the order of the day as the Middle East peace process developed, and Lebanon began costly reconstruction under severe financial duress.

Yet if the 1992 parliamentary elections were any indication, the political outcome of the civil war including constitutional reforms, and increasing Syrian influence in Lebanon's affairs did not affect the communal poles of influence or change any of the old political practices.(21) The elections followed the time-honored formulae and re-confirmed the influence of a narrow circle of political elites who acknowledged Syria's special interests in Lebanon. Those who would not - including the Christian opposition, who boycotted the elections en masse - were by-passed and replaced by other Christians who would.


The previous sections presented the norms, values and beliefs that guide Lebanese political behavior and clarified how these traditional orientations were manifested and even strengthened during the civil war period both off and on campus. At this point, the study will investigate the propositions that: 1) National crises disrupt traditional patterns of political socialization by causing the questioning of entrenched societal norms, values and beliefs and by fostering new modes of conduct and attitudes; 2) certain universal attributes of the student experience make this segment of society particularly prone to adopt such new ideas and behavior and express them on campus; and 3) individuals espousing new political approaches are less likely to make a clear break with the past than to merge traditional and novel political thoughts and practices in a somewhat dialectical manner.

The following research questions were therefore posed as a means of exploring these propositions: 1) As a result of their negative civil war experiences, would A&S student activists competing in the AUB student elections adopt campaign issues oriented around reform of traditional Lebanese modes of political thought and behavior? If so, what students would be in the vanguard of this movement, who would oppose them, and with what results? 2) Would student politicians break sharply with political tradition as a means of indicating their dissatisfaction with "politics as usual" or would they add a certain degree of tolerance for some common practices to new codes of conduct and ideas during the electoral process?

The format adopted by the American University of Beirut for student elections, following its decision to unfreeze student elections after almost two decades, offered a promising means of gaining insight into the manner in which old and new attitudes and modes of behavior interact in the students' search for electoral support since anyone not on academic probation could become a candidate simply by registering with the office of the Dean of Students. It was left up to the candidates themselves to decide what actions and issues might maximize their chances of winning a seat on Student Representational Committees (SRCs) in each faculty and later on the University Student-Faculty Committee (USFC). Furthermore, the long freeze on campus politics meant that campus electoral precedents could not provide formal or behavioral guideposts. The electoral format, therefore, could provide plenty of room for activists to display patterns of behavior and attitudes common to the larger political system, to modify them or even to shun them if they considered the old ways objectionable. Candidate selection, coalition formation, platform construction, campaign strategies, and participation on representational committees could thus be observed under conditions somewhat similar to those of a small group experiment. Observation of electoral activity and related university events during the January and December 1994 elections as well as structured and unstructured interviews with A&S student activists, voters, informed observers and faculty members on the USFC committee were the techniques chosen to address these questions.


Standing student organizations at AUB played an important role in the A&S elections since they furnished most of the candidates. A brief review of the types, functions and interactions of these organization is in order for an understanding of the elections themselves.

AUB has more than fifty official student organizations, which can be broken down into two main categories: clubs and departmental societies. Examples of the latter are the Political Science-Public Administration and Math organizations, both providing scholarly as well as social programs for majors. In order to forestall the "capture" and politicization of these societies by partisan students during the war years, it became customary for departmental chairpersons to select student society officers from among popular students who had declared their willingness to serve and who were known to be free of political entanglements. This strategy was successful although the tactic obviously penalized popular partisan students. The fact that elections to choose society officers were permitted during the last few years may be an indication of diminishing politicization at AUB.

Clubs on the other hand, can be divided into three general types: social work clubs which include the Red Cross and Handicapped Support Association; cultural clubs such as the Lebanese and Arab Heritage Clubs; and social clubs organized around hobbies, such as the music and modeling clubs. According to Dean of Students Fawzi Hajj,

Clubs were established to provide an effective mechanism for students to join, organize and implement co-curricular activities. It is our conviction that student participation in such activities can and should enhance the individual student's learning and total personality development. Co-curricular activities are considered an essential and integral part of the American system of education which is followed by AUB and adapted to the Middle East...(22)

Also present on campus at the time but without official status were cells or branches of almost every national party, whose student leaders and their cohorts formed an active segment of their extensive clientele networks. For their part, these youths attempted to imitate their patrons' behavior by building their own domains on campus.(23) Although improved security conditions ended most of the wartime "services" they could provide their student clients, partisan students have sought opportunities to improve their status in the parent organizations by enlarging student networks, demonstrating their political savvy in outmaneuvering rival groups, and conducting activities calculated to prove their commitment to their parties' goals and policies. The parties in turn aid their youth cadres by distributing funds for activities such as the printing of political handbills, campus exhibitions, and so forth.

Since control of various clubs provided politicized students with the opportunities to pursue their goals, these students tried wherever and whenever possible to initiate or infiltrate campus organizations. The measure of partisan influence at AUB can thus be determined by exploring the extent to which clubs have fallen under the domination of one political faction or another. Table 1 presents a list of AUB clubs along with their political affiliation if any, and the confessional identity of the majority of the members. The Jordanian Cultural Club, the Palestinian Students Club and the Syrian Students Club do not appear in the table since the affiliations of their members are not relevant to the analysis.

Table 1 indicates that several of the clubs are politicized and clarifies their confessional underpinnings. The fact that approximately half of the clubs are dominated by members of one sect is probably due to a Lebanese characteristic since most Lebanese tend to socialize with members of their own faith rather than making a conscious effort not to discriminate against members on the basis of religion. It may also explain why Christian students, thought to be somewhat less numerous at AUB since the war,(24) head only 4 of the 27 clubs. Since many Christians joined AUB's main campus only after the East Beirut branch closed in 1991, they may not as yet have left their mark as club leaders.


As can also be seen, two of the social work clubs - the Red Cross and the Handicapped Support Club - appear to attract students whose commitment to alleviating specific social problems does not have a partisan or confessional character. However, the Student Co-op Club is led by students close to Druze chieftain Walid Junblat's Progressive Socialist Party (PSP): the Social Service Club is the domain of Sunnite Islamists and the Civic Welfare Club is an appendage of the Syrian Social National Party (SSNP), a secular party founded by Antun Saadeh, a Greek Orthodox, who advocated a Greater Syria comprised of Lebanon and other states.

Student partisans also perceive the cultural clubs as important springboards of party ideology and activity on campus For instance, the Arab Heritage Club, initiated by Sunnite students, is now the preserve of the adherents of Hizballah. The formerly clandestine party entered mainstream Lebanese politics in 1992 when it captured the largest party bloc of seats in parliament. Hizballah's campaign stressed the Islamists' record of extensive public and social services and their resistance activities against the Israelis and their Christian surrogates in the South. On the other hand, the Cultural Club of the South was commandeered by Hizballah's rival, the Shiite mass party, Amal. Lebanon's southern region, although under the influence of both Hizballah and Amal partisans, is still recognized as Amal's fief, an arrangement that has not yet been challenged by the fundamentalist party. It is also not surprising that the Lebanese Heritage Club was initiated by SSNP members, whose ideological convictions promote appreciation of Lebanon's Syrian Arab roots and culture rather than its own particular identity. The latter position though is strongly championed by the marginalized Christian opposition.

The majority of the leisure (hobby) clubs remain free of political association, the exceptions being the Games and Communications Clubs which, although initiated by independent students, came under the influence of Hizballah and the PSP respectively.(25) Commenting on the fact that some of the clubs are being misused, Dean Hajj recently observed that "student clubs are not meant to be vehicles for various political groups to promote their own interests." It is noteworthy that the politicized clubs frozen early in 1995 for reasons to be discussed are influenced by the national parties which constitute today's "loyalist camp," the groups which by force of arms and Syrian backing ended Christian/Israeli dominance in Lebanon between 1982 and 1983. Of these, Hizballah affiliates dominate three student associations, i.e. more than any other political group. Also in line with national political trends, none of AUB's clubs are led by students who are affiliated with Christian opposition leaders, primarily because it is not opportune for students to overtly support them at this time. The one main but not exclusively Christian current active at AUB, that of exiled Maronite General and interim government leader, Michel 'Aun, has not manifested an influence on any standing student organizations to date, and generally tends to keep a low profile; however, its supporters participated in the two AUB elections and did particularly well in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture.

Traditional attitudes and patterns of behavior reflected by AUB's student organizations give testimony to the strength and durability of Lebanon's divisive socialization processes. The campus is a microcosm of the national political arena. It thus has appeared virtually certain that partisan students would participate in the student elections. But given the students' general disenchantment with parties since the war and their campus records, it has been less clear whether partisan students would run unopposed or how effectively they would compete against non-partisan opponents.


The university administration's difficult experience with student groups in the 1970s made it amend the constitution of the formerly all-student council in 1981 empowering the President of the university or a person he designates to be president of a mixed student-faculty council (USFC) composed of 6 faculty members and 13 student representatives.(26) In the first round of elections, students from the five faculties of the university were to vote for their respective student representative committees (SRCs), and in the second round, each SRC would elect its representatives to the USFC.(27)

During the second week of January 1994, 370 student candidates signed up at the Office of Student Affairs to contest the 91 allotted seats. Generally speaking, electoral strategies depended on the number of students in each faculty. In faculties with small numbers of students who knew each other well, candidates tended to compete individually rather than as members of electoral coalitions. In Arts and Sciences, however, the students resorted to the traditional Lebanese practice of list construction. Groups of activists who had met to organize and devise strategies divided the thirty-five seats allotted to the Arts and Sciences SRC between freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students and sought to recruit popular candidates from each class. Although the lists were dominated either by Muslims or Christians, (see Table 2) that appears to be a result of happenstance - friendship, similar inclinations and shared activities - rather than any conscious design to exclude one sect or another.(28) On the contrary, one Muslim student activist explained that broadening the appeal of his list by including Christians would have helped, but that there was no time to find them out and recruit them as candidates.

Table 3 also demonstrates that the electoral coalitions consisted of partisans and independents with the exception of the Societies' List (SL), whose leaders were a group of non-partisan young Muslim men serving as presidents or members of departmental societies. These candidates had also been members of "neutral" social service clubs like the Red Cross and Handicapped Support Club, and had also been friends for a considerable period of time. Their list of 29 candidates, including 2 Jordanians and a Palestinian, opposed purely partisan coalitions such as Antum (You, pl.), formed by students affiliated with the SSNP; Li Ajlikum (For You), a coalition of students who were part of the 'Aunist current; and the Student Rights List (SRL) a sizable coalition comprising Lebanese Muslim partisans of various political affiliations and independent students, whose active core were Hizballah members and their close associates. Nine Jordanian and Palestinian students rounded out their list of 25 candidates. Li Ajlikum presented a slate of 12 candidates and Antum 3.
Table 2. Sectarian Affiliations of Lebanese Candidates
on January Election Lists

 SRL Societies' Li Ajlikum Antum TOTALS

Sunnites 5 11 16
Shiites 8 10 1 19
Druzes 2 1 1 4
Christians 2 3 11 2 18
TOTALS(*) 25 29 12 3 69

* SRL total includes 5 Jordanians and 4 Palestinians while
Societies' List includes 2 Jordanians, 1 Palestinian and a
Syrian. The other lists contained only Lebanese.

The election shaped up as a duel between players of the traditional political game, the SRL, and candidates of the SL who took a new direction. Interviews with SL leaders revealed that they considered their campus records as movers in apolitical associations would give them a good chance of winning against the SRL coalition. According to the SL, they would win if they could tap what they felt was student distaste for all political parties. When questioned further on this subject, one of the SL students observed "everyone knows what the parties stand for, how they behaved during the war and how they throw their weight around on campus today." He explained that SL strategists believed that A&S students felt that AUB should be "one place free of politics" and that effective exploitation of the SL's own neutral status would be the best means of achieving victory, guaranteeing representation with no strings attached. They adopted the campaign slogan "service to all" although they did not raise any specific tasks, programs, or issues. SL leaders later admitted that prior to the election they had little idea of what services they could provide or what representational duties their winning actually entailed. Interestingly, a faculty member who had taken part in the student protests in the 1970s recalled that a politically neutral group called al-Sana had taken a very similar position at that time; however, the students' passionate preoccupation with national and regional issues made al-Sana's program of university improvement a cry in the wilderness which soon became mute in the overheated partisan atmosphere.

On the other hand, the members of the Student Rights List (SRL), half of whom were affiliates of Muslim fundamentalist groups, were largely against the Middle East peace process and supportive of active resistance to the Israeli encroachment in the South and in Palestine. Yet, in contrast to the behavior of student partisans in the 1970s, student candidates in this election did not bring up any of these issues, probably because the SRL wished to play down partisanism in light of the campaign mounted against it by the SL Instead, the SRL focused on the management of student affairs by individuals whose organizational experience and political know-how made them better able to stand up to the university administration than their amateurish rivals. Another point worth mentioning about this list is the fact that a popular Christian student, 'Umar Wakim, the son of a radical Nasserite Deputy, was an active member. Hizballah deputies and Wakim are among the strongest critics of the present Lebanese government accusing it of corruption and conflict of interest in tirades from the floor of parliament.

The competition between the two Shiite parties explains why members of Amal, the Shiite mass party and a major player on the national scene, were not included on the SRL list. But it does not explain why Amal affiliates did not participate in any other lists or as independent candidates. Interviews with knowledgeable students revealed that Amal had an extremely negative campus reputation as a gang whose members were not adverse to using strong arm tactics to secure individual advantages during the war years. Realizing that the elections would clearly reveal the depth of their unpopularity and limit any advantage they could still derive from their party ties, Amal members took an early stance against the elections and then apparently decided to boycott them completely. The Amal organization has similar public relations problems within the Shiite community at large as a result of its poor discipline and nepotism. This image contrasts sharply with Hizballah's reputation for high principles and tight organization and this, with the Lebanese government's continued weakness, magnifies the impact of its widespread public and social services.(29)

Hizballah students at AUB prior to 1994 had not demonstrated some of the unethical campus behavior in which their rivals or other partisan groups had indulged, but had displayed energetic commitment to the principles and goals of their parent organization and a high degree of organizational skill. This phenomenon explains why, despite some ideological differences and a certain coolness toward the Shiites as a group, Druze members of the PSP and other partisan and independent students felt no compunction about allying themselves with Hizballah partisans for electoral purposes.

The result of the election, in which 68 percent of eligible A&S students voted, indicated that the voters had endorsed individuals rather than lists, electing an almost equal number of SL and SDL candidates - 17 and 18 respectively. Another explanation for this result, however, is that each list had candidate slots it could not fill. For instance, the SL fielded only one candidate from the first three classes, while popular freshman, sophomores and juniors, 9 of whom were Jordanians and Palestinians, helped the SDL win 18 (among which 5 were by Jordanians and 3 by Palestinians) of the 35 seats on the A&S SRC. On the other hand, the leaders of the Societies' List picked senior, graduate and special students of strong appeal and won 15 of the 35 seats on the A&S SRC. The two remaining seats were won by candidates from the Antum and Li Ajlikum lists who later joined the SL and increased its captured seats to 17. (See Table 3).

SL leaders explained that the gaps in their list occurred because they did not have adequate preparation time; i.e. since their members were not politicians who could contact and recruit peers full-time as a means of demonstrating their party allegiance, they were unable to quickly "plug in" likely candidates. On the other hand, Hizballah and to a lesser extent other partisan groups, began making useful contacts among undergraduates before the elections. For instance, their volunteer work on the university's New Student Program brought them into contact with incoming Lebanese students and considerable numbers of Jordanians and Palestinians arriving on campus. These contacts meant that at election time they had a considerable pool of friendly lower classmen from whom they could choose listmates and draw political support.
Table 3. Political Affiliations of Lebanese Candidates on
January Election Lists

 SRL Societies' Ajlikum Antum TOTALS

Independents 5 26 31

PSP 2 02

Hizballah 2+(3) 05

Sunni Islamic 1+(2) 03

'Aunists 12 12

SSNP 2+(1) 03

Nasserite(s) 1 01

Total Number(*) 25 29 12 03 69

Total Seats Won 18 15(a) 01 01 35

* SRL total includes 5 Jordanians and 4 Palestinians while
Societies' List includes 2 Jordanians, 1 Palestinian and a Syrian.
The other lists contained only Lebanese. Figures in brackets refer
to party associates rather than actual members. a = The number
increased to 17 when successful candidates from Li Ajlikum List and
from Antum List joined.

Here an interesting question arises. Were the foreign students recruited as substitutes for Lebanese undergraduate students who were unwilling to join the Hizballah-led list? Evidence suggests that this was not the case. Rather, perceptions of the shift of the political trend away from traditional Lebanese political behavior might have been an important reason for recruiting Jordanian and Palestinian students. Several students from both the SDL and SL lists asserted that the Jordanians and Palestinians were desirable as listmates because they appeared more open in their campus relationships and more able to address universal issues or to take positions based on principle than their Lebanese counterparts seemed to be. Furthermore, not having any interest in the Lebanese political game or any previous record of campus misconduct as a group gave these students an appealing and "healthy innocence" as one student put it, one which was considered very likely to attract votes.

The results of the A&S election for the SRC demonstrated that the voters did not reject partisan candidates or their listmates out-of-hand as leaders of the Societies' List had hoped would be the case; however, closer scrutiny reveals that the electoral current ran against the partisans on the SRL list. For instance, 8 of the 18 seats won by the SRL went to "neutral" Jordanians and Palestinians and 5 were won by independent students, 2 of whom were women. Only four seats were won by partisan activists - three by Hizballah and one by Wakim, the Nasserite student. This trend was again apparent in the second round of elections to choose A&S representatives to the USFC, in which SL members won 3 out of 5 seats and the remaining seats went to an independent Jordanian student and Wakim of the SRL. As is the case after Lebanese parliamentary elections, the coalitions dissolved immediately after the results of the contest were known, providing those elected maximum flexibility on the representational bodies.


Events on campus prior to the 1994 elections molded the dynamics of the student election campaign and turned the January anti-partisan trend into a witch hunt aimed specifically at Hizballah partisans. The evidence suggests that many students associated certain activities undertaken by the Islamists and their followers in the period immediately preceding the elections with the objectionable practices that typified partisan behavior during the war years.

A 10 percent increase in tuition fees announced prior to fall registration immediately revealed the Islamists' intention to exploit the situation politically. First, Hizballah activists accused student representatives on the USFC of knowing about the increase ahead of time but of doing nothing about it. For its part, the USFC denied the accusation, declaring the increase unacceptable and taking the university's administration officials to task for the sudden increase. Nevertheless, realizing that they could have little effect on the university's decision, students on the USFC decided to make an effort to have the increase benefit the neediest students. In this respect, the USFC proposed a number of measures to cushion the effect of the tuition rise and transmitted their recommendations to university officials. Their suggestions were accepted by the administration and were put into effect immediately.

Nevertheless, Hizballah partisans and their associates branded the USFC's move as capitulation, and called on students to protest the increase in fees by refusing to pick up their tuition statements. Since more than half of the students registered in A&S had already drawn their fee statements, this call appeared as a rather transparent attempt to strengthen their radical credentials and seize a leadership opportunity. After a failed attempt to physically prevent students from obtaining their tuition statements, Hizballah followers were using a microphone to urge students to observe the boycott, when an altercation between the protesters and an officer in the Internal Security Forces (ISF) took place. This set off a chain of events that resulted in Hizballah and other campus radicals leading an angry crowd of students that had gathered around them to AUB's administrative building. There they demanded that the Deputy President come out and address them on the tuition issue.(30) When he advised Hizballah leaders to choose a student group to have a quiet and rational discussion in his office, they refused his offer arguing that the students gathered were equal and that any dialogue should occur out front rather than behind closed doors. In the heat of the moment, the doors of the office building were battered, and a car parked nearby was damaged by students leaders using it as a platform as they addressed the crowd. The students then began a sit-in.

Later that day, the AUB administration decided to call in security reinforcements to clear the compound, which the officers did in an extremely heavy-handed and random manner.

In the following days, many protest participants began to feel that they had been used by Hizballah students who had exploited the situation for self-aggrandizement. In fact, several of Hizballah's erstwhile supporters later reported their chagrin at finding that these activists had all left the campus before the violence and the student round up began. The arrival of Hizballah deputies on campus also raised doubts about the ulterior motives of the radicals, reinforced when a former Interior Minister and Deputy Najah Wakim visited the campus and delivered stirring speeches to the students on democracy, revolution and Lebanon's current inflation.(31) Consciously or unconsciously, the protest movement undertaken to protect student interest, had been transformed into a political opportunity for government opposition leaders. In fact, editorials in several local newspapers went so far as to suggest that the events at AUB were Hizballah's way of tweaking Uncle Sam's nose and had nothing to do with student affairs.(32) As one student later remarked, "a breach was opened and the politicians rushed in."(33)

On the other hand, the USFC had been working quietly to blunt the impact of the unfolding events and to de-escalate the conflict. Interviews with faculty and student members, however, revealed that student representatives felt very frustrated with "the slow motion of due process" when compared with their rivals' free-wheeling tactics and crowd-grabbing appeals. Interestingly, observing very similar behavior on the part of student radicals at AUB in the 1970s, Barakat attributed it to excessive individualism, a Lebanese and Arab trait which impedes cooperation in enterprises of benefit to the society as a whole and which greatly complicates affiliation and institution building.(34)

As passions cooled and as the USFC's proposals to mitigate the impact of the tuition hike were felt, it became clear which students had known best how to handle the administration and which had allowed a legitimate albeit futile protest to get out of hand. Hizballah's punishment came quickly as preparations for student elections began a few weeks later. Hizballah's former electoral partners deserted the coalition en masse and tried to join the Societies' List (SL) sensing that the vast majority of A&S students who now felt themselves victims of the melee would repudiate the Islamists and by association their listmates for "showing a partisan face." Perceiving a chance to get even with Hizballah for what they regarded as an outright "power grab," SL leaders considered accepting some of the defectors on condition that SL members would determine that certain slots on the ticket would be filled by the newcomers, that no party member would be allowed to join, and that partisan associates accepted would compete and behave as independents. However, some SL members argued that to add these candidates would sully their list's image since they believed that both partisans and their associates were unable to put the interests of the student body ahead of the narrow aims of their parent organizations. Other SL members countered that the other parties on campus had shown restraint during the recent campus events and had not behaved in "typically partisan" fashion as had Hizballah It was, of course, obvious that some of the SRL's popular activists would greatly enhance the SL ticket's electoral prospects.
Table 4. Political Affiliations of Lebanese Candidates on December
Election Lists

 SDL Societies' Pure

Independents 6(a) 19 7 33
PSP (4) 04
Hizballah 1+(4) 05
Sunni Islamic Groups (2) 02
'Aunists 4 4 07
Nasserite(s) 3 03
Total Number(*) 18 33 13 64

Total Seats Won 04 27 0

* SDL total includes 3 Jordanians and a Palestinian while
List includes 6 Jordanians. The other lists contained only
Figures in brackets refer to associates; a = predominantly Shi'i
Muslims; b = The number of seats allocated for A&S Student
Representative Committee is 35. The other four seats were won by
unaffiliated independent nominees.

In the end, pragmatism and revenge won out and SL leaders selected a number of the "defectors" for their December list. Several SL members who were disappointed with this decision then resigned and formed the Pure List. Hizballah's list, re-named the Students' Decisions List (SDL), was now mainly composed of independent students, many of whom sympathized with the plight of the common student, felt the tuition rise was exploitative, and supported Hizballah's radical position on the issue (see Table 4). Of the 8 partisans on the list, only one - Wakim - gained a seat, and only 4 of the 18 seats contested were won, two by independents and one by a Palestinian.
Table 5. Sectarian Affiliations of Lebanese Candidates on December
Election Lists

 SDL Societies' Pure

Sunnites 2 9 4 15
Shiites 7 5 2 14
Druzes 6 1
Christians 4 7 6 17

TOTALS(*) 18 33 13 64

* SDL total includes 3 Jordanians and a Palestinian while
List includes 6 Jordanians. The other lists contained only

On the other hand, the SL fielded candidates for 33 of the 35 seats on the A&S SRC and won 27 of them. The winners included 3 associates of the PSP, 2 'Aunists and 6 Jordanians, the rest were independents. Table 5 indicates that both lists included more Christian candidates than there were in the January campaign. Interviews confirmed that this time Christians had been actively recruited as listmates. Finally, the five students elected to the USFC from A&S also represented a clean sweep for independent members of the SL. The group included the presidents of the Business Students' Society, the Women's Club, the Political Science and Public Administration Society, a member of the latter society, and a member of the Red Cross Club.(35)

Another blow to a major source of partisan influence on campus followed on the heels of the election. The problem arose when Druze students accused Hizballah members of trying to take over the Student Co-op by packing its membership with their own members and associates. In a display of strength, the Druze gathered at the Co-op and were ready to fight their rivals. The situation was, nevertheless, controlled by leaders of the parent organizations in cooperation with AUB officials. Several days later, the activities of all politicized clubs were frozen.


The political behavior of students at AUB in January and December of 1994 clarifies why and how socialization processes are sometimes disrupted and political changes introduced. Destructive political behavior exhibited in Lebanon during the civil war on and off campus provided the impetus for a new code of electoral conduct and the introduction of an untraditional political approach. Yet, as theory suggests, a break with old practices was not complete. Rather, an interesting blend of traditional and innovative practices characterized the behavior of A&S activists as they contended for the votes of their classmates. For instance, student "politicians" organized their campaigns along the lines of the existing authoritarian electoral tendencies in Lebanese society. A handful of cronies of similar sectarian background, SL Sunnites and SRL Shiites, assembled coalitions of relatively disparate groups according to a system of proportional representation. With little to hold them together, the electoral organizations dissolved immediately after the elections and were resurrected as far as was possible at the time of the next contest.(36) Furthermore, all but one A&S list in January grouped partisan candidates whose prime motivation for participating in the elections was to expand the influence of their parent organizations. As in the larger system, confessionalism was a fact not an issue in these campaigns.

Nevertheless, a number of changes occurred within this familiar framework. Concern about the achievement criteria for leadership positions generated a lively campus debate about the relative qualifications of the candidates, both partisan and independent, in representing their peers on student committees. On the other hand, the merits of achievement criteria for leadership selection is a highly subversive topic for most of Lebanon's politicians and is rarely a serious issue in Lebanese elections.

In the student election, one list, the SL, modified common Lebanese electoral practices by attempting to live out an idealistic conception of democratic representation. The SL wanted to recruit candidates who would place the needs of all students above any other consideration. By implication, they campaigned actively against the very pillars of the Lebanese system, the tightly-knit and well-endowed machines of the established political elite.

Divisive Lebanese socialization processes may have prevented many students from identifying the deleterious effect of political machines on cooperative effort and unity of action if they had not suffered the disastrous consequences of these machines during the civil war. The current negative examples of partisan behavior within the small world of the university, the persuasive arguments of student "politicians" and the 1994 tuition crisis at AUB, a primer in traditional partisan tactics, reinforced these impressions creating a strong electoral backlash.

The evidence thus suggests that a reformist trend has appeared at AUB, one that bears close observation. The results of the student elections demonstrate that while students do not blindly reject partisans per se, they strongly condemn manifestations of traditional partisan behavior considering them to be extremely harmful to the common good. For those interested in Lebanon's progress toward a healthy pluralist society, the consensus of the A&S students on the topic of partisan behavior and the broad acceptance of achievement criteria as a basis for quality representation are welcome although student demands have little possibility of fulfillment at present in the national political arena. Under these circumstances, the best thing university students might do for their parties is to take up duties as responsible citizens of the campus community. This means that partisans must play fair with their fellow students and begin to use their talents and energies to expand rather than to usurp resources and opportunities provided by the university for all.

Hizballah, in particular, must review its agenda for AUB. Its students are well placed to reach out to all communities and parties, a strategy adopted by the Islamists in recent years. Moreover, organizational discipline and service, party characteristics that provoke admiration among many Lebanese, should be the student partisans' guide if a respected and important voice in campus affairs is a goal. However, this popularity will be lost if the students' are asked to, or choose to, demonstrate their commitment to party lines in a manner disruptive of campus peace.

AUB's student institutions provide a rare opportunity for dynamic young people to develop collective awareness and diplomacy skills by learning and practicing democratic processes that the Lebanese profess to admire. Student elections provide sturdy rules and regulations and encourage fair and open competition and representational duties are taken seriously.

These participatory experiences are crucial for a society whose voluntary associations were all but destroyed during the civil war. Since AUB student leaders are among those most likely to resuscitate these organizations, considered vital to any healthy civil society, politicians who are sincere about social reconstruction should encourage their youth cadres to incorporate what AUB offers in the way of civic training rather than permitting them to torpedo institutions and practices that are unfortunately neither widely understood nor appreciated in postwar Lebanon.


1. See Najib B. Azzam, "The Student Council: a Short history, Outlook (25 January 1972) and Lookout; the Organ of the Student Council Action Committee," 1, 1 (18 January 1972), pp. 1-8, where radical students' views about the AUB administration's political motives are presented and demands for the re-instatement of the Student Council, suspended in June 1971 due to campus disorder and a two-month tuition increase strike, are made. The following authors chronicled and analyzed AUB students' political behavior during this period: Halim Barakat, Lebanon in Strife: Student Preludes to the Civil War (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1977), Nafhat Nasr and Monte Palmer, "Alienation and Political Participation in Lebanon," International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 8: 493-516, "Family, Peers, Social Control, and Political Activism Among Lebanese College Students," Journal of Developing Areas, 9 (April 1975) pp. 377-394. and David C. Gordon, "A Foreign Education: the American University of Beirut," in Lebanon the Fragmented Nation (London: Croom Helm, 1980) See especially pp. 188-204 where students' radical behavior and tumultuous campus incidents recorded in the author's journal for the period 1966-1975 are presented. For background on AUB see Stephen Penrose, That they May have Life: the Story of the American University of Beirut 1866-1941 (New York, 1941), and Bayard Dodge, The American University of Beirut: a Brief. History (Beirut: 1958).

2. Nasr and Palmer, "Family, Peers, ...," p. 393.

3. See Anne Zwicker Kerr, Come with Me from Lebanon: an American Family Odyssey (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1994) for information on the campus environment from 1982 until 1984 when her husband Malcolm, AUB's president, was assassinated on his way to his office in College Hall. College Hall was later blown up and destroyed in 1991. The perpetrators of these events have never been identified.

4. The first election was scheduled for December 1993, but was postponed a month.

5. Arts and Sciences registered 2,690 students in 1994, most of whom were Lebanese. The next largest national groups in this faculty were Jordanians (246) and Palestinians (147).

6. See for example Richard E. Dawson and Kenneth Prewitt, Political Socialization (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1969) p. 26, and M. Oakeshott, Rationalism in Politics and other Essays (London: Methuen, 1962), p. 17

7. See Talcott Parsons and Edward Shils, eds., "Toward a General Theory of Action (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1951), pp. 54-56, and R. Sigel "Assumptions about Change of Political Values," in L.N. Rieselbach and G.I. Balch (eds) Psychology and Politics (N.Y.: Holt, Reinhardt and Winston, 1969), p. 81.

8. Roberta Sigel "Assumptions about the Learning of Political Values," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 361 (September 1965), p. 9.

9. Among the voluminous literature on the subject, the following works are of particular interest: Wight Bakke and Mary S. Bakke Campus Challenge: Student Activism in Perspective (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1971); Edward E. Sampson and Harold A. Korn, Student Activism and Protest: Alternatives of Social Change (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1970); G. Kerry Smith Stress and Campus Response (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1968); Donald K. Emmerson, ed., Students and Politics in Developing Nations (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1968); Lewis A. Feuer The Conflict of Generations: the Character and Significance of Student Movements (New York: Basic Books, 1968); Seymour Martin Lipset, ed., Student Politics (New York: Basic Books, 1967); G. M. Kerr The Uses of the University (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963); Marcial Requelme Student Movements in the United States and Latin America (Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Students' Association, 1963); and the classics; James Coleman Education and Political Development (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965); and Lucian W. Pye and Sidney Verba (eds.) Political Culture and Political Development (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965).

10. See Edward E. Azar, "Lebanon and its Political Culture: Conflict and Integration in Lebanon," in Edward E. Azar et al, The Emergence of a New Lebanon, Fantasy or Reality (New York: Praeger, 1984), pp. 40-43, Halim Barakat, "Social and Political Integration in Lebanon: a Case of Social Mosaic," The Middle East Journal, 27 (Summer 1973), pp. 309-310, and Samir Khalaf, "Ties that Bind: Sectarian Loyalties and the Restoration of Pluralism in Lebanon," The Beirut Review, 1, 1 (Spring 1991), pp. 32-61

11. See the following works for details on the Lebanese political system and its problems: Farid el-Khazen, "The Communal Pact of National Identities: the Making and Politics of the 1943 National Pact," Papers on Lebanon, No, 12 (Oxford: Centre for Lebanese Studies, 1991); Michael C. Hudson, "The Problem of Authoritative Power in Lebanese Politics: Why Consociationalism Failed," in Nadim Shehadi and Dana Haffar Mills, eds., Lebanon a History of Conflict and Consensus, (London: I.B. Taurus, 1988); and Kamal Salibi, A House of Many Mansions; The History of Lebanon Revisited, (London: I.B. Taurus, 1988).

12. See "The Constitution of Lebanon after the Amendments of 21 August 1990," and "Sections of the Ta'if Agreement not Included in the Constitution," The Beirut Review, 1, 1, (Spring 1991) pp. 119-160 and 161-172.

13. See Clyde G. Hess, Jr. and Herbert L. Bodman, Jr., "Confessionalism and Feudality in Lebanese Politics," The Middle East Journal 8, 1 (Winter 1954), pp. 10-26.

14. Information on the format and shortcomings of Lebanon's "democratic" elections, traditional voting patterns and parliamentary behavior can be found in Judith Harik and Hilal Khashan, "Lebanon's Divisive Democracy: the Parliamentary Elections of 1992," Arab Studies Quarterly, 15, 1 (Winter 1993); pp. 41-58, Iliya Harik, "Voting Behaviour: Lebanon," in Jacob M. Landau, Ergun Ozbudun, and Frank Tachau Electoral Politics in the Middle East (London: Croom Helm and the Hoover Institution, 1980); pp. 145-171, and Samir G. Khalaf, "Parliamentary Elites: Lebanon," ibid, pp. 243-271, Meir Zamir, "The Lebanese Presidential Elections of 1970 and their Impact on the Civil War of 1975-1976," Middle Eastern Studies 16, 1, (1971) pp. 49-70, Michael W. Suleiman "Elections in a Confessional Democracy," The Journal of Politics 29,1 (February 1967); pp. 109-128, Michael C. Hudson, "The Electoral Process and Political Development in Lebanon," The Middle East Journal, 20, 2 (Spring 1966); pp.173-186, Jacob M. Landau, "Elections in Lebanon," The Western Political Quarterly 14, 1 (March 1961); pp. 120-147, and Malcolm H. Kerr, "The 1960 Parliamentary Elections, Middle Eastern Affairs, 11, 9 (October, 1960); pp. 266-275.

15. See Samir Khalaf "Changing Forms of Political Patronage in Lebanon," in Ernest Gellner ed., Patrons and Clients (London: Duckworth, 1977), pp. 186-187.

16. Hizballah's implication in the kidnapping of two American professors and an administrator was suspected but denied by party spokesmen. See the following works for analyses of Shiite politics in Lebanon: A. Nizar Hamzeh, "Lebanon's Hizballah from Islamic Resistance to Parliamentary Accommodation," The Third World Quarterly, 14, 2 (1993), pp. 329-332; Shimon Shapira "The Origins of Hizballah," The Jerusalem Quarterly, 46, (1988), pp. 115-130; and Augustus R. Norton, Areal and the Shi'a Struggle for the Soul of Lebanon (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987).

17. Judith Harik analyzes this role in "The Public and Social Services of the Lebanese Militias," Papers on Lebanon, No. 14 (Oxford: The Centre for Lebanese Studies, 1994).

18. Samir Khalaf, "Ideologies of Enmity" Middle East Insight, 6, 1 and 2 (Summer 1988), p. 8.

19. Ibid, pp. 3 and 7. Discussing the routinization of strife Khalaf observes that protest by victims of collective suffering in the form of public demonstrations and strikes to arouse public attention and transform problems into public issues were curiously absent in Lebanon. However, it should be noted that since militias on each side saw their cause as just and armed resistance as heroic, those under their control were expected to support rather than protest the "war effort." Many citizens felt that by participating in organized protests they might be exposing themselves and their families to certain risks. For a feeling of life in West Beirut during Lebanon's prolonged conflict see Jean Said Makdisi, Beirut Fragments: a War Memoir (New York: Persea Books, 1990).

20. Fida Nasrallah analyzes the Document of National Accord and Syria's role in its implementation in "The Treaty of Cooperation and Coordination," in Youssef M. Choueiri, ed., State and Society in Syria and Lebanon (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1993), pp. 103-111. See also Joseph Maili, "'Le Document d'entente Nationale,' un Commentaire," Les Cahiers de l'Orient, 16-17 (Automne 1989, Hiver 1990) pp. 135-217.

21. See Farid el-Khazin and Paul Salem, eds., al-Intikhabet al-ula fi Lubnan ma ba'd al-harb; al-arkam wa al-wakii wa al-dalalat (The First Elections in Lebanon after the War; Numbers, Facts and Evidence) (Beirut: The Lebanese Center for Research, 1993), and Harik and Khashan, op. cit.

22. Circular sent to all AUB students and student clubs by Fawzi M. Hajj, Dean of Students, 19 December 1994.

23. See Hilal Khashan, Inside the Lebanese Confessional Mind (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1992), pp. 145-146, 122-130 and 187-188 Khashan's 1989 survey of students at all Lebanese colleges and universities revealed high scores on indicators of clientelism and authoritarianism and very low scores on democratic orientations. The study also confirmed the importance of sectarian identity among students of all religious groups.

24. Substantial numbers of Christian students attend AUB despite there being several major Christian universities and branches of the Lebanese University and Lebanese American University (formerly Beirut University College) in Christian areas. No statistics on the number of Christian and Muslim students are kept.

25. Nasr and Palmer's 1977 survey "Political Alienation ...," sought an association between university students' political alienation and their campus activism. The authors found Shiite students were the most alienated group with Druze second. However, the Druze were more active in campus protests and activities than any other group, while the Shiites were least inclined to participate. Shiite mobilization as a result of the civil war and Israeli incursions in the south may explain Amal's expanded campus activity in the 1980s and Hizballah's strong influence at AUB today.

26. Elections scheduled for 1981 were canceled.

27. Arts and Sciences would elect 35 students to the SRC, Engineering and Architecture (E&A) 20, Medicine 13, Health Sciences 9, and Agriculture 14. The USFC would seat 5 from A&S, 3 from E&A, 2 from Agriculture, 2 from Medicine and 1 from Health Sciences.

28. The exception is the SSNP's list whose mixed membership attests to the secular appeal of this party.

29. See Judith Harik, "Between Islam and the System: Sources and Implications of Popular Support for Lebanon's Hizballah," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 40., No. 1 (March, 1996), pp. 39-66.

30. Interestingly, Nasr and Palmer found that university students seem to participate in greater numbers when they believe that police may take action against anyone present at a demonstration then when they believe that this action may be taken only against ringleaders. With regard to the activists they note, "It may be that active students see the institutions of (university) government, which they reject, as personalized in policemen and act to defy authority." "Family, peers ...," p. 387.

31. On the other hand, Druze chieftain Walid Junblat whose PSP sponsors needy students, and Prime Minister Hariri's sister Bahia, a deputy closely associated with the charitable Hariri Foundation which provides widespread student assistance, advised their students involved in the protest to disengage immediately. Former prime minister and AUB graduate, Selim al-Hoss, also came to campus to try to calm the situation.

32. See for example al-Hayat, 13 October 1994, p. 2 and al-Shira, 17 October 1994, p. 1.

33. Of eight students interviewed after the 10 October events, all approved of a movement to protect student interests, two indicated the parties just happened to lead the protest, and 4 specifically warned about the politicization of such a movement by the parties. See Lotof Kalash, "What happened at AUB: Students Recount," L'Etudiant, 6 (October-November 1994), pp. 9-14. See also Al-Safir, 10 October 1994, p. 2.

34. Barakat, Lebanon in Strife ..., p. 310.

35. Five of the remaining eight committee members elected in other faculties to the USFC were partisans including one associate of Hizballah from the School of Medicine. It will be recalled that students competed as individuals in the other faculties with the exception of Architecture and Engineering where Li Ajlikum, the 'Aunist list, triumphed over a considerable number of individual Islamist candidates, other partisans and independents in both the January and December elections.

36. Most of Lebanon's important new bosses - those that came to power during or after the civil war - such as Michel al-Murr, Nabih Birri, Hizballah leaders, and so on, followed this traditional procedure at the time of the 1992 parliamentary elections.

Judith Harik is an associate professor in the Department of Political Studies and Public Administration at the American University of Beirut. Lokman Meho received his master's degree from the same department.
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Author:Meho, Lokman
Publication:Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)
Date:Mar 22, 1996
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