Regional and Sectarian Stratification in Education in Lebanon: The Impact of the Civil War

Hassan Diab, Université d'Ottawa
Rania Tfaily, Carleton University

We examine the impact of the Lebanese civil war (1975-1991) on disparities in education among the country’s religious sects and regions. Lebanon’s historic patterns of socio-economic development explain much of the country’s earlier rapid and uneven expansion of education. We consider historic and survey evidence, including the 1996 Population and Housing Survey, the most detailed socio-demographic survey since Lebanon’s last census of 1932. We adopt district of registration as a proxy for religious/sectarian affiliation through a novel, detailed classification to assess sectarian differentials by region and regional differentials within each major religious group. Regional/sectarian stratification is examined by education (literate, intermediate, secondary, college) and sex for five-year birth cohorts born over 1927-1981. Findings show that with many young men joining militias, the civil war inadvertently helped close the gender gap in education. It also reproduced pre-existing conditions of lopsided educational development across regions and sects that continue to the present-day.

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Presented in Poster Session 3