Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

First Advisor's Name

Mohiaddin Mesbahi

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nicholas Onuf

Third Advisor's Name

Charles MacDonald

Date of Defense



This study examines what many scholars have neglected to investigate when addressing post Civil War issues in Lebanon. Most studies have addressed political issues surrounding activities of Shiite movements, such as Harakat Amal or Hizb Allah, while socioeconomic issues have been neglected.

Imam Musa Sadr challenged the power of traditional Shiite leaders by creating official Shiites institutions and movements like Amal. The Iranian Revolution and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 sparked the creation of Hizb Allah which, not only struggled against its foes, but also provided social services to the Shiites. This development program has been central in creating political legitimacy for Hizb Allah, regardless of its military situation, which suggests that socioeconomic development can transform a militia into a legitimate actor on the Lebanese political scene. The survivability of Shiite parties is therefore tantamount to not only their military might, but also to their social involvement.





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