Lebanon/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.8 Social cohesion and cultural policies

There is no clear definition of the term “social cohesion”. However, it is used to describe cases in which individuals relate “to each other through common social and cultural ties” (www.annabaa.org)

Lebanon still needs social cohesion which falls under its banner minority and communities cultures in which such synergy and coherence of cultures that melted in the crucible of live up to the level of sound citizenship, due to the lack of availability of this social cohesion.

Durkheim says " the degree of social cohesion depends on the nature of groups, organizations and communities that have significant and direct impact on individual behavior, but this impact has not produced efficiency and has not led to social cohesion in Lebanon, which was and is still in massive need for a social cohesion that can unite the cultures of minorities and sects and help them integrate theses culture in a sound context of citizenship. The lack of social cohesion results in cultural disintegration, which constitutes a major threat on citizenship".

Especially since the cultural policies designed by ministries of culture don’t target minorities, rural areas and youth in a well-studied manner. Different cultural activities, events and production Lebanon is witnessing are financed by the World Bank and implemented by the civil society organizations and popular associations with the participation of the International Opportunity Fund – UK, UNDP, UNICEF and the Lebanese Transparency Association.

It suggests reasons to undertake cultural projects to gather the youth of different categories and religions on a common concern in addition to the cultural activities in the field of theatre, cinema and music to improve the Palestinian camps youth (Hip Hop music). Rural areas are not targeted by the state or the competent ministries’ cultural projects while economic development projects recently started. Cultural projects still depend on individual initiatives like Roger Assaf initiative to introduce theatre in the border villages and work with people in the camps. Other initiatives are undertaken by Lebanese Women Associations but this doesn’t compensate the role of the state or the ministry which is supposed to possess the required tools to spread and activate culture

Such as the work done by some Lebanese women's associations, but this does not compensate the role of the state or the ministry that is supposed to possess equipment and tools and allow them to spread and promote the cultural act. There must be a strategy for the democratization of culture, and the distribution of cultural goods of all citizens, whether they live in Beirut, or the provincial cities of small, or urban areas and in all parts of the country and all social groups should be ensured access to the theater, music, libraries, etc. The state must support the art of public institutions and cultural activities, whether the organization work is at the national, regional or local levels. If the state takes these measures, social coherence will established.

Chapter published: 07-04-2016