Hezbollah: armed resistance to political participation
Morrissey, Colin J.
Baylouny, Anne Marie
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Social movement theories have evolved rapidly during the latter half of the twentieth century, and they offer an enhanced understanding of the organizational dynamics in Hezbollah. Armed resistance theories have also evolved, and shed some light on the decision making process of the organization. These theoretical frameworks coalesce to show that Hezbollah’s resolute radical agenda was malleable as the situation changed. As the movement grew, it demonstrated the same concerns as all large groups. This thesis asks two important questions: why did Hezbollah moderate its political stance, and what lessons can we learn from this case study? This thesis analyses Lebanon’s Hezbollah from 1982 to 1992. The analysis centers on the evolution of the organization’s political program, and outlines a distinct shift in organizational goals. This thesis argues that Hezbollah shifted from a movement that was determined to establish a radical Islamist centered government to one that works within the Lebanese system. The motives behind the shift in political ideologies are important, because they offer options to those who seek to moderate radical political forces.
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