Hizbullah in Lebanese domestic politics : Islamism, nationalism and parliamentary opposition
Nugent, Elizabeth Ryan.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This paper provides an analysis of Hizbullah's Islamic-Lebanese identity and its behavior as a Lebanese political party. In an effort to understand the party's political behavior, the paper begins with a theory section in which Shi'i conceptions of the relationship between Islamism and nationalism as political identities are discussed. What emerges from a close reading of the works of Shi'i scholars affiliated with Hizbullah's ideological background is a reconciliation between Islamism and nationalism. This is possible through a redefinition of the nation-state and nationalism, regarded in most literature on the subject as commanding ultimate loyalty and affiliation. In reconciling nationalism with Islamism, the nation is defined as having its interests correlate with the interests of the umma, and nationalism is thus a form of affiliation and loyalty with Islamism existing as an ultimate form of allegiance and guidance for behavior.; After reconciling Islamism and nationalism, and thus reconciling the ability of the party to work within national structures for the benefit of the Lebanese nation-state while maintaining an allegiance to the Islamic umma, the paper will analyze Hizbullah's parliamentary behavior through its parliamentary bloc, the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc. This section will focus analysis on the bloc's behavior in the eleven votes of confidence that took place between 1992 and 2009. The votes of confidence will be divided up into three sections to demonstrate the progression of the bloc's behavior: 1992-1996, during which period bloc members voted against confidence in the government; 1998-2004, during which period bloc members abstained from voting for or against confidence in the government; and 2005 to 2009, during which period the bloc accepted cabinet positions and voted for confidence in the government.; The paper concludes that based on the conception of the relationship between Islamism and nationalism in Hizbullah's ideological background, there is no contradiction in the party's ability to behave as both an Islamic movement and a Lebanese nationalist political party. From a close analysis of the party's voting behavior since its inception into Lebanese parliamentary politics in 1992, it becomes clear that Hizbullah has played the role of an opposition party increasingly engrained in the political system in order to protect its armed Islamic Resistance and to influence the course of Lebanese politics towards agreement with Hizbullah's Islamic-influenced conceptions of Lebanon's interests.
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