El Sayed, Moaz (2019) Intra-Sunni contestations in contemporary Lebanon: A framing-theory approach to the analysis of political divides within Lebanon’s Sunni demographic (2005-2016). Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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The aim of this research is to examine how the Lebanese Sunni political actors frame intra-Sunni political division in Lebanon. The research draws on Max Weber’s “interpretivist” approach of understanding (Verstehen), which denotes that reality is socially constructed. The research does not offer a causal explanation of the Sunni politics. Rather, it seeks to interpret the subjective understandings and socially constructed ideas articulated by the Lebanese political actors on the political contestations of Sunnis. The operationalisation of framing theory in this research aided an understanding of how intra-Sunni political divides are constructed, manifested and narrated by the Lebanese political actors. The research used a single case study research design with a qualitative approach. The data were collected from Lebanon using semi-structured interviews and analysis of documents. A purposive sampling was employed to select twenty-three respondents including party and religious leaders, rank-and-file members, ministers and MPs.
The findings of this research suggest the interconnectivity between external and internal factors in shaping the framing construction of Sunnis. Externally, the rivalry between Saudi Arabia on the one hand and Syria and Iran on the other hand is essential for shaping Sunni narratives on intra-Sunni contestations. Regional players namely (Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia) have been able to break through Sunnis either through financial or political support or through propagation of slogans such as resisting Israel and defending Palestine. Internally, the research reveals that Sunnis differ in their frames of identity politics, Lebanon’s confessional politics, Islamisation of Lebanon, the stance on Hezbollah and the leadership of Sunnis. This research is the first theoretical-based study involving framing theory on intra-Sunni political contestations in Lebanon. The thesis concludes with some recommendations that collective national efforts are needed to enact laws that strengthen state institutions, prevent foreign funding and abolish confessionalism in order to reduce political tensions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Contributors: Mandelbaum, MM (Thesis advisor)
Sheikh, Naveed (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2019 15:35
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2019 15:35
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7136

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