How Hezbollah helps (and what it gets out of it)

By Melani Cammett, Brown University

This piece was originally prepared as a memo for the “Islamist Social Services” workshop and then adapted for publication on The Monkey Cage, October 2, 2014.  

Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite Muslim political party cum social movement and militia, famously provides its constituents a wide array of social services. As my new book “Compassionate Communalism” suggests, the truism that Islamists buy support through the provision of social services depends heavily on context and should be qualified by acknowledging the multiple, simultaneous motivations for delivering and receiving social benefits. Why did Hezbollah, like other religious and sectarian movements, sometimes reach out to broad constituencies and at other times focus its efforts on its hard-core base? Why does Hezbollah offer social services at all? What does it really get for its efforts? Continue reading here.

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