Hizbullah’s Identity Construction

Joseph Alagha

Hizbullah’s Identity Construction

Joseph Alagha

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

308 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $52.50 ISBN: 9789089642974 Published June 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

As the dominant political force in Lebanon and one of the most powerful post-Islamist organizations in the world, Hizbullah is a source of great controversy and uncertainty in the West. Despite the significant attention paid to this group by the media, the details of Hizbullah’s evolution have frequently confounded politicians—and even scholars. In this important study, Joseph Alagha, a scholar with unprecedented access to the organization, exhaustively and objectively analyzes Hizbullah’s historical evolution and offers a revolutionary new perspective on the political phenomenon of the organization.

Hizbullah’s Identity Construction is a timely examination of one of the world’s most turbulent regions; a major contribution to the study of contemporary Islamic political movements in the Middle East; and a refreshing departure from the bland hagiographies and ad hominem attacks that are all too common in studies of Hizbullah’s murky history. Superbly documented and argued, and rooted in broad knowledge of contemporary Islamist political thought, this study brings much-needed clarity to a hot-button subject.
“Joseph Alagha remains one of the most thorough and careful analysts of Hizbullah’s political ideology and practice. Scholars, analysts, and policy makers will find in this work a veritable treasure trove of research and insights into this complex organization.”—Michaelle Browers, Wake Forest University

A Note on Transliteration


List of Abbreviations


Introduction and Analytical Framework

1 Prologue: Brief history over the past three decades

2 Analytical framework

3 The controversy

4 Synopsis of the book


1 Tolerance and Discrimination: Ahl Al-Dhimma in the Islamic Order



2 Interpretation and Authority: Wilayat Al-Faqih


3 Political Violence: Terrorism and 9/11


4 Political Violence: Suicide Operations


5 From Cooptation to Contestation to Political Power


6 The Doha 2008 Accord and its Aftermath


7 The Eighth Conclave: A New Manifesto (November 2009)


8 Epilogue: Future Prospects – Disarmament and the Peace Process




Additional Reading


Selected Bibliography


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