Religious affiliation and indirect third-party conflict intervention: a hypothesis from the lebanese civil war
Shishmanian, Haig Philip
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Ethnically and religiously-identified groups are frequently involved in conflict. Such conflicts attract forms of third-party intervention which often favor one ethno-religious group over another by means other than direct military intervention on the part of the affiliated third-party government. This study first highlights two themes in two areas of literature: Studies of the role of religion in politics discuss types of religious grouping, understood generally as ‘religious affiliation’, while conflict intervention literature suggests several forms of intervention apart from direct military intervention but lacks a detailed description of a variable encompassing all such forms. This variable is termed ‘indirect intervention’, the definition of which, synthesized from the literature, is this thesis’ first contribution. This thesis also considers that, though contemporary international politics features religiously-affiliated third-parties indirectly aiding ‘brethren’ in conflict, a causal relationship between the two has previously only been postulated and should be explored. By carrying out a hypothesis-generating case study of religious affiliation and indirect intervention in the case of the Western support of the Maronite Arab community’s parties and militias during the Lebanese Civil War, it is iii hypothesized that religious affiliation causes indirect intervention. It is anticipated that the generated hypothesis will be confirmed by future large-N studies of all such cases during a span of time, with a specific emphasis on the dynamics of conflict intervention in the Middle East and North Africa.
Lebanese Civil War