Religion in Hizbullah’s political strategy
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 17:46 authored by Mariam Farida
The aim of this thesis is to conduct a multidisciplinary investigation of the role and function of religion in Hizbullah’s political strategy. In turn, the investigation has been undertaken in the context of contemporary security studies and terrorism studies, with consideration also given to International Relations Theory and Social Mobilisation Theory. The rationale for this investigation emerged from the belief that, as a non-state actor, Hizbullah’s use of religion represents an important and interesting case regarding the relationship between religion and security studies contextualised around Lebanese domestic politics primarily and regional politics more broadly. The design of this study combines quantitative research paradigms with rich description. A thematic analysis of Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah’s speeches from 2000 to 2013 was conducted to examine how religious principles and tools were ‘contextualised’ by the speaker to serve Hizbullah’s political agenda. This included how religious rhetoric was employed by the Party to sustain its culture of resistance. This study found that Hizbullah’s use of religious rhetoric in its Party speeches and application of religious tools in its decision making supported its turn to political pragmatism and its capacity to act as a rational non-state group. Thus, the Party should not simply be deemed as a guerrilla or terrorist organisation. This finding is significant for our understanding of the concepts and issues in security and terrorism studies. This finding is also important as it highlights the use of religion by Hizbullah as a non-state actor to purse a pragmatic approach to political and resistance action-taking and to justify actions or to mobilise populations to facilitate social change.