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Doing politics differently in Lebanon

New spaces for cooperative dialogue for youth party leaders

This project brought together the leaders of the youth wings of political parties to discuss peace and conflict issues, and build trust between them.

More than 20 years after the end of the civil war, the main causes of conflict in Lebanon have not yet been fully addressed. Communities remain divided along partisan and sectarian lines, and political power is highly fragmented. Yet, peacebuilding interventions are often limited to civil society engagement. We believe that engaging both political actors and civil society is necessary for peace.

Through a combination of dialogue, learning and outreach activities, we helped the youth leaders to develop the capacity to seek peaceful change. These individuals not only represented large constituencies and a population particularly vulnerable to conflict, but also may go on to be the future community and political leaders of their country.

This project led to a distinct change in attitudes and relationships among youth leaders across political divides, bringing with it encouraging prospects for peaceful future collaboration.