Naturalized Citizens: Political Participation, Voting Behavior, and Impact on Elections in Lebanon (1996–2007)

  • Guita G. HouraniEmail author
  • Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous


In 1994, 4 years after the end of the Civil War, Lebanon passed Presidential Decree 5427 naturalizing over 154,931 foreign residents. During the four parliamentary elections that followed, these naturalized citizens demonstrated a higher rate of voter participation than the native-born population. The current debate on the nativity gap assumes that recent naturalization should indicate lower rates of voter turnout, except when machine politics orchestrates the opposite. In Lebanon, the patron–client system seems to be responsible for this inverse nativity gap.


Naturalized Immigrants Lebanon Political participation Voting behavior Nativity status Nativity gap 



The authors thank Dr. R. Stephan and Dr. P. Levitt for their comments, Dr. G. Parolin for reading an earlier version of this paper at a conference in Malmö, Sweden and the late Dr. G. Aoun for informative discussion, and Mr. R. Sassine, Ms. S. Panossian, and Mr. E. Geagea for compiling research material.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lebanese Emigration Research CenterNotre Dame University—LouaizéZouk MosbehLebanon
  2. 2.Faculty of Political Science, Public Affairs and DemocracyNotre Dame University—LouaizéZouk MosbehLebanon

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