Decolonising Lebanon’s post-conflict sense of national identity via curriculum change and history education: An impossible task?

Authors

Nina Madaad

Minerva Nasser-Eddine

Abstract

This paper investigates an important example of national identity formation in the Arab world and the role played by education and historiography. In Lebanon, like other states in the Middle East that became independent of colonial rule, a new form of national identity gradually developed following independence. Conflicting notions of national identity arose which resulted in a form of neo-traditionalism whereby political identities remained fluid and under-developed. Instead of developing a post-national decolonised identity, a debilitating and destabilising paradigm emerged, leading to the failure of decolonisation. By examining the failures of the construction of post-independence national identity, the paper will argue that these factors have led to instability and an overall crisis of legitimacy in Lebanon. By analysing these failures, recommendations are made to emphasise the importance of the role of history in education and how it may contribute to reconciliation and nation-building through civic participation. 

Keywords

National identity formation, Postcolonialism, Nationalism, Curriculum reform, Post-conflict history teaching, Lebanon

How to Cite:

Maadaad, N., & Nasser-Eddine, M. (2021). Decolonising Lebanon’s post-conflict sense of national identity via curriculum change and history education – An impossible task? Historical Encounters, 8(2), 140-155. https://doi.org/10.52289/hej8.208

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  • Published 6 May 2021

  • Double Blind Peer Reviewed

  • Author Retains Copyright

  • Distributed under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License