Hezbollah through the populist lens : an analysis of the statements of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah 1992-2009

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dc.contributor.author Hudson, Sarah
dc.date.accessioned 2010-07-01T12:11:53Z
dc.date.available 2010-07-01T12:11:53Z
dc.date.issued 2010-07-01T12:11:53Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10138/17262
dc.description.abstract This research forms a discursive analysis of almost two decades of key statements delivered by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of the Lebanese nationalist militia and political party, Hezbollah. The statements, sourced primarily from a translated compilation edited by Nicholas Noe and published by Verso (2007), reflect the continually evolving populist strategies of a party which has, against many odds, gained a large and impressively cross-sectarian support base in Lebanon and the surrounding region. The aim of the study is two-pronged. It hopes to offer an insightful analysis into the pragmatic politicking of a democratically elected, yet demonstrably lethally armed political party which is possessed of the potential to greatly influence peace and conflict in the region. It also seeks to promote an alternative theoretical perspective to research which continually seeks to locate similar such case studies on an ideologically loaded matrix of'terrorism vs. freedom fighter'. The theory outlined in Ernesto Laclau's 'On Populist Reason' (2005) functions as the framework for analysis. This non-pathological theory of populism provides an excellent lens through which to more objectively examine the way in which popular support is mobilized by what may be essentially democratic, yet highly controversial political movements. After analyzing constructions of 'the enemy', 'the people' and the role of the signifier of resistance over three separate chronological time periods, the research concludes that the politicking of Hezbollah has witnessed a significant discursive shift away from the rhetoric of extremism and towards that of political moderation. This analysis is noteworthy at a time when dominant western political discourses proclaim the dangers of openly 'fundamentalist' or extremist discourses as a threat to the ideals of global liberal democracy. It is concluded that political research should not underestimate the intelligence and pragmatism of groups who build, mobilize and maintain their support as powerful, armed and potentially dangerous non-state actors. A theoretical approach which allows for the insightful analysis of discursive phenomena, within the context of important socio-political factors, retains more likelihood of offering genuine insight into the popular political as it relates to a volatile regional and potentially global context.
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject populism en
dc.subject terrorism en
dc.subject rhetoric en
dc.subject Hezbollah en
dc.subject Lebanon en
dc.title Hezbollah through the populist lens : an analysis of the statements of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah 1992-2009 en
dc.date.updated 2010-07-01T11:28:47Z
dc.identifier.laitoskoodi H725
dc.type.ontasot Master’s thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Pro gradu -tutkielma fi
dc.type.ontasot Pro gradu -avhandling sv
dc.type.dcmitype Text
dc.subject.discipline Political Science, World Politics en
dc.subject.discipline Yleinen valtio-oppi, maailmanpolitiikan tutkimus fi
dc.subject.discipline Allmän statslära, forskning i världspolitik sv
dc.contributor.organization University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science en
dc.contributor.organization Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Yleisen valtio-opin laitos fi
dc.contributor.organization Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för allmän statslära sv
dc.format.content abstractOnly
dc.type.publication masterThesis

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