Starting as a revolutionary Shiite militia, Hezbollah now dominates the political and military landscape of Lebanon, and has expanded its influence and reach in the region. This Policy Paper analyzes Hezbollah's emerging role in the region as well as the potential for conflict with Israel in the near future.
The crisis between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri appears to be largely about Yemen, says Paul Salem, Sr. Vice President for Policy Analysis, Research, and Programs at the Middle East Institute.
Most of the literature that seeks to explain sectarianism in Lebanon focuses on its history or on the regional and geopolitical dynamics associated with it. Relatively few studies have examined the internal factors that shape the process of sectarianization and sustain sectarianism today. However, if one does not first understand the present dynamics of sectarianism and the material and structural factors that shape it, then exploring the history of the phenomenon in an attempt to locate its “roots” is unlikely to be very illuminating. This essay seeks to shed light on the current political economy of sectarianism in Lebanon so as to advance our understanding of this phenomenon.