Sectarian Lebanon and its Shi’ites: A fertile ground for Hezbollah
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation deals with the ways in which the Lebanese sectarian system has been used by the Zu’ama clientelist network (the corrupt patronage system in Lebanon) and a foreign actor - Iran, in order to strengthen and maintain an order that ultimately serves the elites. The Shi’ites - being historically marginalised - became the easy target for such sort of political coercion. My thesis makes a historical overview focusing on the Shi’a experience in Lebanon, while at the same time I use Foucault’s theory of governmentality and Gramsci’s concept of cultural hegemony in order to provide a better understanding of the ways in which both a foreign power and the Zu’ama have successfully created and maintained their power. I argue that it is exactly Lebanon’s sectarian system which has continuously proven self-destructive due to the historical and political tendency of “otherising”, as well as the country’s weak government and porous state which provided perfect soil for a number of proxy-wars within the Middle East. The main theme of this paper is Hezbollah - although almost any other political party can equally provide a great study, Iran’s influence on it provides a very complex case study of external and internal power impacts. Lebanon’s sectarian government continues to be a destructive political force in Lebanon, albeit being a place of great cultural and religious diversity. My historical and theoretical study of the ways in which the Shi’ites were subjugated adds to existing literature by using two theoretical frameworks, as well as considering very recent events.