Conflict and Fragility

Reports and papers

Plural Security Provision in Beirut

27 Oct 2015 - 15:34
Source: Omar Chatriwala

Efforts to support or reform security arrangements in Beirut, and Lebanon more broadly, will need to contend with how current systems underpin and are underpinned by the political balance among Beirut’s main power brokers, namely, the key political parties. This paper explores plural security provision in Beirut, where multiple state and nonstate actors assert claims on the legitimate use of force.

Certain characteristics of Beirut’s plural security provision emerge as particularly salient.
• Neighborhood-level conflict management and enforcement is tightly linked to national political tensions and even regional and geopolitical dynamics.
• Intricate networking engages and connects security providers and other actors in a functional division of labor, in which political parties play a linchpin role.
• Security provision tends to amount to the rapid and discrete quelling of local sectarian conflict.
• A high level of in-group social cohesion enables plural security provision, and mitigates risk factors that might otherwise contribute to everyday crime and

The report is aimed at an audience of research and policy community members concerned with strengthening security and stabilization policies in a manner that more accurately reflects local realities.