HEZBOLLAH, THE ISLAMIC ASSOCIATION AND LEBANON'S CONFESSIONAL SYSTEM AL-INFITAH AND LEBANONIZATION

Robert G. Rabil

Abstract


This essay examines two Lebanese Islamist parties, Hezbollah and the Islamic Association, putting under scrutiny both their ideological transformations and the particular circumstances attendant to their later participation in Lebanon's confessional political system. The article explores the ideological and political motives behind these parties' infitah (opening up) and lebanonization orientations, as expressed in their religious-political ideologies, political programs, and policies and visions in relation to Lebanon's confessional system. At the same time, this study probes the plausibility of the claim that Hezbollah’s relatively recent integration into the state may have been a venue for it to shed its Jihadi character and transition into a conventional political party.


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