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The New SectarianismThe Arab Uprisings and the Rebirth of the Shi'a-Sunni Divide$
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Geneive Abdo

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190233143

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190233143.001.0001

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Sectarianism and the Modern State

(p.91) Chapter Four Lebanon
The New Sectarianism

Geneive Abdo

Oxford University Press

The war in Syria, next door to Lebanon, combined with the regional sectarian conflicts after the Arab uprisings exacerbated the sectarian conflict in Lebanon. The Syrian war empowered Hezbollah in Lebanon and across the region. It is common to hear complaints from Lebanese that Hezbollah controls the country. The movement holds great sway in many key institutions, not only the Lebanese Armed Forces, but in the intelligence ministry as well. As Lebanese scholar Bassel F. Salloukh and other authors wrote in 2015: “Hezbollah’s actions tell a story different from the one often portrayed in its official discourse. The party actively sought to infiltrate and/or appropriate causes and institutions that did not initially advocate for narrow sectarian interests, created partisan institutions to shadow and rival those of the state and civil society, and turned co-opted individuals and institutions into mouthpieces of sectarian party politics.”

Keywords:   Hezbollah, Lebanon, sectarianism, Shi’a–Sunni conflict, Syria

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