The Shifts in Hizbullah's Ideology
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The Shifts in Hizbullah's Ideology

By Joseph Elie Alagha
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Book Description

The Lebanese Shi'ite resistance movement, Hizbullah, is going through a remarkable political and ideological transformation. Hizbullah was founded in 1978 by various sectors of Lebanese Shi'ite clergy and cadres, and with Iranian backing as an Islamic movement protesting against social and political conditions. Over the years 1984/85 to 1991, Hizbullah became a full-fledged social movement in the sense of having a broad overall organization, structure, and ideology aiming at social change and social justice, as it claimed. Starting in 1992, it became a mainstream political party working within the narrow confines of its pragmatic political program. The line of argument in this dissertation is that Hizbullah has been adjusting its identity in the three previously mentioned stages by shifting emphasis among its three components: (1) from propagating an exclusivist religious ideology (2) to a more encompassing political ideology, and (3) to a down-to-earth political program.

De Libanese Shi'itische verzetsbeweging Hizbullah ondergaat een opzienbarende politieke en ideologische transformatie. Ten tijde van de stichting in 1978, door Libanese geestelijken en leiders en met Iranese steun, was Hizbullah vooral een islamitische beweging die zich verzette tegen sociale en politieke omstandigheden. Gaandeweg ontwikkelde de beweging zich tot een 'volwassen' sociale beweging, met een solide organisatie, structuur en ideologie, gericht op sociale verandering en rechtvaardigheid. Vanaf 1992 manifesteert Hizbullah zich als politieke partij. Deze publicatie schetst een veranderende identiteit door een verschuivende nadruk: van exclusivistische religieuze ideologie, via een ruimere politieke ideologie tot een pragmatisch politiek programma.

Table of Contents
  • Table of Contents
  • A Note on Transliteration
  • Acknowledgements
  • Prologue
  • Preface
  • 1. A Survey of Hizbullah’s History (1978 -2005)
  • 2. The Saliency of Hizbullah’s Religious Ideology (1978-1984/5)
  • 3. The Prominence of Hizbullah’s Political Ideology (1984/5-1990)
  • 4. Primacy to Political Program (1991 to 2005)
  • 5. A Specific Perspective on the General Shifts
  • 6. Epilogue: Conclusion and Implications
  • 7. Appendices
    • A Map of Lebanon
    • B Hizbullah’s Statements
    • C Parliamentary Elections Programs
    • D 2004 Municipal Elections Program
    • E Chronology of Events (1975 -2005)
    • F Glossary
    • G Selected Bibliography
  • Notes
  • English Summary
  • Dutch Summary (Nederlandse samenvatting)
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