Reference : Non-State actors and the security of small states :the case of Hezbollah in Libanon.
Scientific journals : Article
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
Non-State actors and the security of small states :the case of Hezbollah in Libanon.
[en] Acteurs non-étatiques et sécurité des petits Etats: le cas du Hezbollah au Liabn.
Bayramzadeh, Kamal mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Département de science politique >]
Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Villanova University
41, No 1
Yes (verified by ORBi)
United States of America
[en] Non-State actors, Security of Small states ; Iran-Hezbollah ; The case of Hezbollah
[en] Non-state actors and the security of small states: the case of Hezbollah in Lebanon
Hezbollah is a non-state actor; however it is a governmental and regional actor that plays a crucial role on Lebanon’s political stage and figures significantly in Iran’s regional strategy. Since its founding, Hezbollah has gone to war several times with Israel, which had occupied Southern Lebanon. In a strategic alliance with Iran and Syria, its fighters have participated in the war on Syrian territory against Islamic State (ISIL) to defend the strategic interests of Hezbollah. If these interests are to be pursued, the Syrian regime must be supported, because its overturn would result in the weakening of Hezbollah. Lebanon’s military and political situations have been greatly impacted by Hezbollah’s participation in this alliance. Since its founding, Lebanon has been at the heart of a rivalry between regional and global powers. The presence of non-state actors, notably of various Palestinian groups in the 1970s and 1980s, contributed to the civil war and led to sectarian conflicts. Due to the interference of the different actors, Lebanon has not experienced political stability, its military security has always been threatened and the nation has never been fully in a position to re-establish its sovereignty across its entire territory: “The first result of the civil war is the destruction of Lebanese political society and the weakening of a state which has always been fragile, or absent. The vacuum left by the ‘consensus state’ as a result of the National Pact will be filled by the dynamism of the opposing groups”1. Although the civil war ended in 1990, three political factors have prevented the emergence of a strong state in Lebanon. Firstly, the extension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Lebanon. Secondly, the differences between the various ethnic and religious layers of Lebanese society. This specificity makes it difficult to forge a strong identity national, to the extent that some have called Lebanon a nation-less state. Thirdly, the new shape of power relations in the Middle East after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The latter led to Iran’s rise in power. As a result, the hegemonic struggle between regional powers, especially Saudi Arabia and Iran, influenced Lebanon’s military and political security. Iran supports Hezbollah and views Lebanon as it's strategic depth [its rear base] in its rivalry with the State of Israel, whereas Saudi Arabia helps the Sunnis and is concerned about Tehran’s rise in the region, notably in Lebanon.
The central question posed in this study is to what extent and how the extension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Lebanon, as well as the hegemonic struggle between the regional powers in the Middle East, undermine the military security of a small state like Lebanon and influence its political security? This theory can be broken down into a series of sub-questions: What are the security challenges in the activities of a non-state actor such as Hezbollah in Lebanon? Why does Iran view Lebanon as its strategic depth? What underlies the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Lebanon? What is Hezbollah’s role in Iran’s regional strategy? Is there a link between military and political insecurity in Lebanon and foreign interference? Our study has two parts. The first, our theoretical framework, will enable us to explain the concept of security and its typology. In part two, we will initially analyze the political and security specificities of Lebanon, and then look at Hezbollah’s role in the country.
CEFIR, Center for International Relations Studies
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