Armed Hostilities

Hezbollah: A Case Study of Global Reach

This paper would seek to analyze and discuss one of the most pertinent issues that have caught the world by storm and with each day passing becomes an even greater a concern; Terrorism. This issue is most televised, reported about and in fact generally talked about most in any political arena in the world of today. Terrorism would be viewed in terms of the impact that it has on the current governance model and the consequences that have been borne by the different governing structures.

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According to the definition provided by Goran Hyden it is defined as the running of public or private governments with certain social purposes (Hyden, G). However, in the world of today,governance has certainly gone beyond the local boundaries as defined by the Commission of the Global governance.

“‘Governance’ is ‘the sum of the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is the continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and co-operative action may be taken”. (Rhodes, R. A. W,2007)

Hence, the issue of global terrorism certainly falls within the context of global governance as it is the responsibility of all national governments to ensure that all proper methods are taken in order to ensure security and peace. This paper made use of social and economic models such as the varying models of governance for the purpose of countering the different repercussions of terrorism and different activities related to it. Policies relating to decentralized control and legitimacy of government would be outlined in the following paper which was used to tackle the consequential effects of terrorism.

The current status quo regarding the issue of global terrorism has seen countries creating alliances, non-state actors and international organizations such as the UN which have exerted a strong influence on the way that state actors have acted regarding this issue. The US is the most active state actor; USA forged alliances with EU, UK in order to create a model which vested on using military force and strength in order to eliminate the effect of global terrorism.

In terms of national activity, the arrests which have been taking place world over have been in connection to all those found connected to international terrorist organizations.

It has proved to be a strict crackdown policy in terms of the way the governments have sought to implement the policy of complete eradication of terrorism and guarantee security and safety for all those innocent.

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According to the definition provided by the United States Code, Section 2656f (d) international terrorism is defined as” involving citizens or the territory of more than one country.”

Hence, this clearly excludes domestic actions relating to terrorism which could however national or international impacts have as well. Terrorism in its entirety is defined as the “premeditated, politically motivated, violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents usually intended to influence an audience.

The above introduction has provided an insight into what is actually meant by the word terrorism and the international terrorism and the rest of the paper will seek to analyze one of the current policy debates regarding the issue of global terrorism by providing all the material related to it such as examples and events.

The current political debate regarding this issue has been represented by the case study of one of the most renowned groups around the world whose activities have made them a cause of much controversy. Their hard-lining stance and fundamentalism have caused them to be labeled as a terrorist organization by many.

The current world order has faced a dynamic shift in which it has faced the creation of international governing authorities and the creation of an international legal structure. Hence, creating demand for newer transnational and supranational institutional features. Thus, the war on terror is bound by the approval of the international institutions which has made the entire case of domestic legitimacy quite weak.

However, their issues continue to be a matter of much political debate and this case study would seek to analyze and understand what have the far-reaching effects of this organization.

The case study that would be analyzed was brought forward by the author of the case study Levitt (2003) in a conference regarding the “post-Modern Terrorism: Trends, scenarios, and Future threats?”

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This conference took place in Israel and the organization which provided the platform for this conference was the International Policy Institute for Counter-terrorism.

The United States current administration has outlined a comprehensive strategy/ policy regarding the global terrorism. The policy outlined by Barack Obama has caught the attention of the world since it has a direct or indirect impact on the entire world.

In the words of Obama:

“After 9/11, our calling was to devise new strategies and build new alliances, to secure our homeland and safeguard our values, and to serve a just cause abroad, “Just because the President misrepresents our enemies does not mean we do not have them. When I am President, we will wage the war that has to be won.”

However, the policy as outlined was met by certain criticism in terms of governance legitimacy as the Bush administration’s onslaught in Iraq was questioned by many as a matter which was no longer the concern of one particular nation and hence, required the approval of all state and non-state actors. The model of democratic legitimacy was brought forward by Scharpf (2003) democratic legitimacy and under the context of this model the governing capability of the US could be questioned as it was resorting to the use of illegitimate governance methods.

There have been shifts in the governance models as outlined by a paper by Kees van Kersbergen and Frans van Waarden (2001). The shits of governance from the national bodies to bodies such as the UN and WTO etc have created a more rigorous checks and balances system for nations. As a result of the monopolistic position which the US had acquired in terms of the war on terror with regard to Iraq, it was held accountable for using its governance beyond what was considered a legitimate move.

The recent shifts in the governance model have hence, made the national governance models (Stoker, 1998)weak and the requirement of international approval has created an invisible system of check and balance which is in turn governed by non-state actors such as the UN. The case study targets the issue of an international terrorist organization such as the Hezbollah. Therefore, in order to ensure that global organizations such as Hezbollah are kept under check the governance capability of the local governments has to be developed and maintained beyond the status quo.

The national governance model of the US allows it certain legitimacy in capturing the above-mentioned terrorist group but the recent shifts in governance no longer allow it to do so. The evolution in international governance has had a lasting impact on the entire model of governance as international organizations, regimes, institutions, treaties, agencies and the like are seen as new forms of international governance that are necessary for dealing with typically transnational or worldwide problems, such as world trade and environmental pollution.

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The case study pointed out the importance of connecting dots that have existed between these terrorist organizations as by merely catching the leader of one specific organization complete elimination cannot be achieved as a result of the fact that these organizations have strived to organize themselves as a collective force. Hence, the underlying threat is always present due to these deeply embedded connections.

The current US administration views this group as a terrorist group with global reach and hence, the policy aims to cut down on its support system in order to weaken its power base. However, what has to be taken into account is the fact the striking back option would celery not be an easy feat for the US administration to achieve.

The case study has sought to establish the connection between the global contexts that any organization, specifically the Hezbollah, has. As a result of the global reach does that group become a matter of global concern as well?

According to the author of the case study, the success of the war against terrorism can only be achieved if the relationship between these groups and their sponsors is understood and validated.

According to the author of this case study this has proven to be the case for several groups who have pooled resources together irrespective of differing points of view and hence, that has resulted in groups having the capacity to act collectively rather than smaller groups with lesser impacts.

The example quoted in this case study has been that of Al-Qaeda having established connections with a number of international terrorist groups dispute having varying points of view.

Hence, in order to achieve the above the states would need to create a system of alliances through which they would be able to foster a stronger attack on these terrorist elements. Also, the creation of the international governance model has created a system of accountability in which nations have been having allowed greater freedom to act collectively than if they were to act alone. This was witnessed in the case of Afghanistan and the war on terror.

According to Scharpf (1997; 1999) democratic legitimacy is a two- dimensional concept, which refers to both the inputs as well as the outputs of a political system.

The input in this case would be the citizens’ preferences to be in connection with the actions of the government and the output would be the goal’s achievement. Hence, the war on terror was carried out by keeping in mind the preferences of the nationals and the recent opposition of measures such as Guantanamo bay resulted in its shutdown.

Hence, democratic legitimacy has created a system of operating in which the wishes of the people act as a binding force on the way that countries seek to operate and function. This idea caught more and more ground that the individuals could also have a key role in the policy-making process in the complex world of today as pointed out by Quinlivan(2001).According to Marciano (2005)this could result in the governments facing less political opposition.

Hence, in the recent governing structures the voice of the people has become quite significant and hence, the recent fierce opposition to all the war on terror maneuvers resulted in an overhaul by the current administration. The case study’s ideas revolving on global terrorism hence, if were to be put into effect would be done so after having met the approval of the “public”.

One of the key reasons for the Hezbollah continuing to remain strong has been the key support that it has been able to gather from its own locals hence outlining the strength of the citizen’s vote.

According to a paper by Michael Zurn (2004), these international institutions have created a system of denationalized governance structures which though are questionable for their lack of accountability yet have created a decision-making process that binds all state actors. Hence, in the case of the case study the collective response to the activities of the Hezbollah would be the only solution which would be available for the countries. The paper brings forth a system that is the status quo and which is the best possible option to eradicate the roots of global terrorism through use of collective strength of national systems.

According to a paper written by Michael Donovan who is presently a CDI research analyst, the reasons why the striking back option would not be an easy feat is due to the fact that most of the Arabs view this group as a result of its growing political strength and in fact this group at present holds a number of seats in the Lebanese Parliament as pointed out by Donovan.

According to the author of this research paper, to add to the woes of the US government the government of Beirut does not believe that Hezbollah can be categorized in the same bracket as the Al-Qaeda as a result of its strong allegiance to the Lebanese state and its struggle for the Palestinians. Hence, in terms of governance and the legitimacy of a strike back would become a cause of much controversy therefore resulting in a wary stance by the US administration.

According to the Council of Foreign relations, the history of Hezbollah is lined up with examples of incidents of where the use of violent means and arms have been used in order to eliminate all those who have been portrayed by them to be a threat to Muslim interests and causes especially the Israelis.

The recent accession to government by this group has been shown as a clever political move to venture into areas of greater power by the findings of this research paper. Hence, even this paper has sought to provide an understanding as to the global reach of this group which has links with Syria and Iran. Hence, the newer system of governance in which international alliances are formed for the sake of protecting vested interests has resulted in strengthening the power base of these terrorist organizations as well. In the interests of domestic governments such as the USA, the eradication of Hezbollah would seem to be more problematic but if the case was to be addressed by international alliances that could result in a consensus of opinion and hence, the sway of greater national opinions would be able to ensure a successful solution to the problem.

Hence, the fact that this group has been viewed by many as a threat to international peace and security has made it a case of much concern for the international world who has sought all ways to eliminate the power of all those who have global reach and access which has clearly proven to be the case for Hezbollah.

According to a report by Press TV, in which a statement of the Foreign Secretary David Miliband was quoted:

“Make absolutely clear out determination to see United Nations Security Council resolution 1701, which calls for the disbanding of militias, among other things in Lebanon, taken forward with real speed.”

Being an international institution the United Nations has never favored this organization which it has always viewed with disdain for its fundamentalist actions and hence, the views and opinions of the case study’s author are mirrored by the UN. It has accused the Hezbollah of hiding behind the human shield of the Lebanese and of creating turmoil and unrest between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Hence, this organization mirrors the international contempt that is held for this organization and in terms of the international governing system that would result in the creation of an international agreement as to the actions which would be taken in this regard.

The case study further highlights the global connections between the Hezbollah and other international terrorist organizations which also have access to Hezbollah’s global reach level signifying the extent to which terrorism has spread and hence is required is the existence of international alliances in order to counter the above.

A few studies have pointed out the global reach of this particular organization such as the one carried out by the Treasury Department which announced a crossover between the Hezbollah institutions and other terrorist organizations. Hence, in the world of today when domestic models of governance are no longer the lone political authority, the international institution’s policies and mandates have resulted in the creation of a new world order which has had consequential effects on the war of terror.


Rhodes, R. A. W. (2007) ‘Understanding Governance: Ten Years On in Organization Studies Vol 28(08): 1243-1264.

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Kersbergen, K & Waarden, F(2001)” Shifts in Governance :Problems of Legitimacy and Accountability” Whitepaper on the theme ´Shifts in Governance´ as part of the Strategic Plan 2002-2005 of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Boede,M & Cornip, J” Input and output legitimacy in interactive governance”

Quinlivan, A., (2001).Community empowerment in Irish local government: Strategic planning in Blarney, Paper to be presented at the EGPA conference in Vaasa.

Marciano (2005)Benevolence, Sympathy, and Hume’s Model of Government: How Different Is New Political. History of Political Economy. 37: 43-70 Duke University Press

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