chapter  5
15 Pages

Sovereignty, International Relations and the Curious Case of Hizballah

This chapter begins with a series of broad reflections on the nature of International Relations (IR) theory, and the extent to which it fails to recognize and differentiate among the various 'contenders' for legitimacy and violence. It engages with the theoretical limits and impossibilities of IR, acting as a bridge between discussions of violence and the United Nations (UN) Special Tribunal on Lebanon (STL). The chapter considers the role of various critical and post-colonial intersessions in contemporary IR, approaches inspired by the work of Edward Said, towards a 'contrapuntal IR'. It finds the clear domestic political role of Hizballah in Lebanese politics, its exercise of violence, particularly as part of its identity of resistance towards Israeli aggression and occupation. The chapter also finds Hizballah's recent ascendency to cabinet in the Lebanese parliament in the spring of 2011. It shows which specific formulations within IR theory enable particular power constellations and forms of legitimacy, authority, and acceptable forms of violence in world politics.