6.2 People, Place and Patterns

This week, even more than throughout the rest of the course, we are dealing with a very topical issue: The Western military invasion of Iraq led to the destruction of its state institutions and brought about the much predicted collapse of social order in that country. In Syria we are witnessing the disintegration of state institutions, caused by internal revolt rather than external attack, but with similarly disastrous humanitarian outcomes. While Jordan has generally managed to avoid being drawn into its neighbours' internal conflicts, Lebanon's fragile political system has shown much greater exposure to neighbouring events, especially in Syria.

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