The resignation of Saad Hariri in January 2011 was surrounded by frantic analysis. Did the backing, new Prime Minister Najib Mikati received from Hezbollah, means that the Shia movement had taken over the government? Could Mikati’s arguments of “independence” be taken seriously?1 Much of the analyses focus on one of the most interesting aspects of this changeover - how important was the fact that both prime ministers (Hariri and Mikati) were billionaire businessmen? The paper aims to explore the interplay of new business elite’s economic interests with the politics of confessionism and foreign alliances. What explains the rise of new businessmen and variations in their relative success as politicians and investors in Lebanon? This question will be measured along three dimensions: success in reaching political office; in gaining control of institutions to further their economic agenda; and in gathering a popular following. In order to address these three questions, the careers of four new contractors - Rafik and Saad Hariri, Najib Mikti and Issam Fares, will be examined. The paper based on historicalcomparative and analytical methods of research. The role of above mentioned four contractors is observed with the evaluation approach in the context of confessional, social-economic and political situation of Lebanon. The research methodology also incorporates the issues of a class analysis with the refinement of the sociology of the business elite in Lebanese politics.
Վ. Լ. Ավագյան
Հ. Խ. Նաջարյան
Л. А. Ханларян
Հովսեփյան, Լևոն Հովհաննիսյան, Արծրուն