Minister Rafiq Hariri on 14 February 2005, was seen by many as an opportunity for Lebanon's fragile political system to move towards a more stable form of democracy. But contrary to these expectations, in the years since Syrian military withdrawal in April 2005, Lebanon has been plagued with sectarian and political unrest and conflict. Abbas Assi here explores the obstacles that impeded the democratic transition process and how subsequent events since 2005 have bolstered this trend. By looking at these, Assi examines how the intersection of the influence of external factors and powers with domestic conflicts has shaped the behaviour of political parties and has had implications on their ability to reach compromises and initiate democratic reforms. This book is a vital reference for those studying politics of Lebanon and the Middle East more broadly.