The Role of Iran In Construction of Hezbollah’s Identity as a Non-State Actor in the Middle East After the 1979 Islamic Revolution
Ansari Jovini , Mehdi
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Since its establishment throughout the critical period of Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) in the Middle East, Hezbollah has performed as both a powerful player within the Lebanese political system and a key regional non-state actor that received considerable international attention. Hezbollah as a Shi’a militia has a history of numerous struggles with Israel. It carries a strong and enduring alliance with the Iranian regime through its constructed Shi’a revolutionary identity. In fact, there is undeniable importance within the International Relations (IR) discipline in thinking about religious incentives and leadership in shaping the political identity of this non-state actor’s in the Middle East. On the other hand, there are little works to suggest that religious incentives for creating political movements are acting as a systematized and documented instrument of the foreign policy of a state. This is the reason for the current study to scrutinize the complex mechanism that Shi’a Islamic tradition, led by Iranian religious leaders in influencing their sympathizers across the region. This study shows how Iran tries to gain stronger partnership with political movements - in the form of a non-state actor especially Hezbollah - to support its revolutionary agenda against the hegemony of the United States in the Middle East. Despite the fact that religious identity construction through Islamic traditions and teachings are neglected in theorizing in the IR discipline, social constructivism as the theoretical approach is progressively being employed in this study by focusing on formation and exchanges of collective borderless identity phenomena such that could be observed in the construction and expansion of Shi’a revolutionary identity in the Middle East by Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
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