The politics of normative intervention and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Michelle Burgis-Kasthala *, Adham Saouli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lebanon's turbulent history has seen many political assassinations, but only one, the assassination of PM Rafic Hariri, led to the establishment of an international tribunal – The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) – in 2009. Why was the STL created? This study suggests that the creation of the STL constituted a ‘normative intervention': purposeful attempts by domestic and international actors to transmit norms and institutions to a country to realize political goals. Normative interventions, particularly in divided societies, trigger ‘normative contestations’, which are shaped by the identities and interests of various actors. The result reveals that normative interventions deepen existing political cleavages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-97
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Intervention and Statebuilding
Issue number1
Early online date12 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)
  • Lebanon
  • Hizbullah
  • Normative intervention
  • Assasination


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