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In Focus

Political Islam and Pragmatic Players

P1080329Despite the fact that the term political Islam has been used for many decades, it still often invokes looks of bewilderment, and intrigue, when mentioned in conversation.  

The Hezbollah Manifesto: Business as Usual for Israel?

videolinksheikhnasrallahOn November 30, 2009, Hezbollah announced the release of a new comprehensive ideological and political platform, the 2009 Manifesto.

Breaking from the past, Syria's economy moves forward

dardariWith international political relations now warming and a spate of top diplomatic emissaries having graced Damascus over the past 12 months, the Syrian economy is in the nascent stages of breaking out of its isolationist past.

The Good Old Days

obama-123_lthumbUnited States President Barack Obama's decision to name Robert Ford, as the new ambassador to Syria, to fill a post that has been vacant since 2005 has been warmly received by the Syrians. 

For Hezbollah, Lebanon is an afterthought

P1060528_lthumbTwo things were unsurprising about Hezbollah’s political document, unveiled on November 30 by the party’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, namely its content and characterization in the media.

Hizballah in war and peace

september2007picFour and a half years after Syrian troops were unexpectedly cajoled out of Lebanon, and more than three years after the end of a (nearly) "open" war with Israel, the Shi'ite movement Hizballah appears not only militarily stronger, as many of its enemies attest, but also politically and ideologically…

The 33-Day War between Israel and Hezbollah

Balance_scaleThe following section addresses aspects of the rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), known as jus in bello, which govern the way each party to an armed conflict must conduct itself in the course of hostilities. It does not address whether Hezbollah was justified in attacking Israel or wheth…

Lebanese Federalism and Decentralization: Its Proponents...

mideast_lebanon_syria_akcf107Lebanon is home to countless religious sects. Maronite Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Shia and Sunni Muslims, Druze, Alawites and Copts, to name a few.

The Lebanese Political Party System

800px-BeirutParliamentThe parties that make up the Lebanese political system are the most Western in the Arab world. Though Lebanon still suffers under an antiquated legal system inherited from the Ottoman Empire and French Mandate period, prior to World War II, the Cedar Republic enjoys a vibrant and competitive party s…

Lebanese economy - a hostage to local and regional politics

The year 2009 is an indication of Lebanon’s potential and of the extent of economic growth and prosperity the country could enjoy in an environment of peace and stability.

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