How Elites Can Maintain their Power in the Middle East: The Junblat Family as a Case Study

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    Elites are more than the producers of wealth and power; elites reproduce themselves and control the masses by means of norms and values. For many years, the Junblat family of Lebanon has based its leading role on the idea of protecting the Druze community's interests and rejuvenating Druze glory. Despite the enormous political, economic and social transformations the area has witnessed, the Junblat family has succeeded in maintaining a continuous tradition of leadership and power from the early seventeenth century to the present. This article will argue that the explanation behind the durability of this political power lies in what might be called the ‘ideology of adjustment’ on one hand and preserving organic communication with the masses on the other. Many conclusions can be drawn from the case of the Lebanese Junblat family regarding behavioural patterns and structures of traditional elites in the Arab Middle East. The most important is that traditional elites have no commitment to ideology other than to the degree that it allows them to adjust, serves their self-preservation and helps them to gain as much power as they can.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)343-369
    Number of pages27
    JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 4 May 2015

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Cultural Studies
    • History
    • Sociology and Political Science


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