Recognizing that these two groups are increasingly relevant to U.S. national security, Gleis and Berti provide a comparative analysis of their histories and political missions that moves beyond reductionist portrayals of the organizations' military operations.-- William Martel, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Chapters place Hezbollah within the Middle East security environment, analyzing the rise of the Party of God within the context of Iranian-inspired Shi'a activism, examining the ideological underpinnings of the movement, and addressing its dominant political position post Arab Spring. This authoritative volume introduces the party's full range of activities, including resistance, propaganda, organized crime, and educational facilities. The content highlights Hezbollah's role as a social welfare provider—specifically, the types of aid given, the source of financing for the endeavor, and the challenge this role presents to the Lebanese state.
It is crucial to the interests of the West to grasp the complexities of the Arab world. In this clear, concise volume, Sandra Mackey provides a unique view of this tortured and tortuous region through the lens of Lebanon.
A small, fractured country at the gateway of the Arab east, Lebanon signals the challenges that the Arab world poses to itself and to the West. As Mackey vividly demonstrates, the Lebanese have experienced every issue currently roiling the Middle East: borders contrived by others, a weak state housing weak institutions, a Palestinian presence, civil war, resistance to societal and political change, Sunni/Shia sectarianism, occupation, militant Islam as a political ideology, conflict over the common identity essential to turning a fragile state into a viable nation, a troubled democratic tradition, and war perpetrated by forces inside and outside its borders. Lessons learned from these conflicts will ease understanding and resolution elsewhere.
In Global Security Watch—Lebanon, author David Sorenson explores Lebanon's arcane—almost dysfunctional—political structure and economic system, as well as the complex religious makeup of a country that is home to Christians, Jews, and Arabs with no majority faith. Sorenson also looks at how the nation has often served as a focal point of diplomatic and military conflict for other nations, including Syria, Iran, and Israel, as well as how ill-informed American policies toward Lebanon have ultimately harmed American strategic interests in the Middle East.
A recurrent proposition advanced in this book is that Lebanese sectarian consociationalism has been both a cure and a curse in the formulation of political settlements and institution building. On the one hand, and in contrast to many surrounding Arab regimes, consociational arrangements have provided the country with a relative democratic political life. A limited government with a strong confessional division of power and a built-in checks and balance mechanism prevented the emergence of dictatorship or monarchy. On the other hand, a chronic weak state has complicated efforts for nation building in favour of sectarian fragmentation, external interventions, and strong polarization that periodically brought the country to the verge of total collapse and civil war.
While examining Lebanese sectarian politics of conflict and concession during different historic junctures many revelations are made that underlie the role of domestic and international forces shaping the country’s future. Presenting an implicit description of the power and functions of the various branches of government within the context of sectarian consociationalism, this book is an important introductory text for students of Lebanese Politics and Middle Eastern politics more broadly.
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.