Beyond Identity: What Explains Hezbollah’s Popularity among Non-Shi‘a Lebanese?

Özcan S.

Politics And Religion, vol.1, pp.1-29, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s1755048321000018
  • Title of Journal : Politics And Religion
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-29


This study delves into how non-Shi‘a Lebanese assess Hezbollah and

its activities. Having provided empirical evidence that Hezbollah has garnered

positive perception in Lebanon, it asks what explains a substantial increase or

decrease in favorable attitudes toward Hezbollah among Christians, Sunnis,

and Druze? It argues that those who perceive Hezbollah as a resistance

organization, as it often describes itself; the political alliance across sectarian

groups; as well as insecurity caused by armed groups such as Sunni militant

groups and ISIS, all combine to moderate people’s views toward Hezbollah.

Using an original, nationally representative face-to-face survey in Lebanon in

2015 and employing a multivariate statistical method, it finds that those who

hold unfavorable views of the United States, those who support the political

alliance of which Hezbollah is part, and those who support the Assad regime

in Syria are likely to have a positive perception of Hezbollah and or its

activities in the region.