Hezbollah, Neoliberalism and Political Economy

Abstract: Hezbollah, like other Islamic fundamentalist movements in the region, professes an “Islamic way of life” as an objective to achieve and implement in society, but its actual practices can best be understood as harmonious with—and reflective of—the nature of the capitalist environment in which it operates, despite discourses appealing to the popular classes of society. Religious fundamentalist movements should indeed not been considered as fossilized elements from the past. While they may employ symbols and narratives from earlier periods, fundamentalisms are alive, dynamic, and representative of major contemporary trends. Their emergence must thus be fully situated in the political, economic, and social context of the contemporary period. In this perspective, the article analyzes the political economy of Hezbollah and its support for neoliberal policies.

Daher, J. (2020). Hezbollah, Neoliberalism and Political Economy. Politics and Religion, 1-29. doi:10.1017/S1755048320000218 Continue reading

Interview Al-Jazeera English: Rami Makhlouf rejects gov’t demand he step down from Syriatel

Syrian tycoon Rami Makhlouf said on Sunday that authorities set a deadline for him to resign from top mobile operator Syriatel or they would revoke its licence – but he promised not to step down. Makhlouf said the government was piling pressure on him and threatening to arrest him unless he handed over company profits. In a 16-minute Facebook video – the third he has issued publicising a rift with his cousin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – Makhlouf said the collapse of Syriatel, a main revenue earner for the government, would deal a “catastrophic” blow to the economy. Makhlouf was part of the president’s inner circle and has played a big role in financing al-Assad’s war effort, Western officials say, citing his business empire that includes telecoms, real estate, construction and oil trading. Joseph Daher, a Swiss-Syrian academic at the European University Institute in Florence, talks to Al Jazeera.

The Syrian Presidential Palace Strengthens its Concentration of Power: The Rift Makhlouf-Assad

Two videos released by Rami Makhlouf at the end of April and the beginning of May 2020 have resonated like an earthquake in Syria by revealing a public rift with the Presidential Palace. Tensions have been mounting between Rami Makhlouf and Bashar Al-Assad’s clan since at least the summer of 2019.

The rift follows an offensive by Assad’s clan, the dominant actors in the centre of power, to concentrate all power in the hands of the Presidential Palace, including in the economic field, which was the traditional realm of Makhlouf prior to the war.

This campaign is accompanied by economic competition over the remaining sources of rent.

To read the rest of the article:

https://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/67027/PB_2020_21_MED.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

 

LA DETTE, UN INSTRUMENT COLONIAL ET IMPÉRIALISTE QUI TRAVERSE LES ÂGES

article publié dans le journal le Courrier en avril 2013: http://www.lecourrier.ch/107682/la_dette_un_instrument_colonial_et_imperialiste_qui_traverse_les_ages 

La dette a constitué au cours des âges et jusqu’à aujourd’hui l’un des principaux instruments de domination, d’exploitation et de pillage des pays en voie de développement par les pays industrialisés – Etats-Unis et Union européenne en particulier – et les organismes financiers mondiaux. Tout au long du XIXe siècle, les pays endettés étaient menacés par la «politique de la canonnière», qui consistait à tirer depuis la mer au canon sur les côtes des Etats qui ne payaient pas leurs dettes financières. Elle a été abolie par la convention Drago-Porter en 1907. Depuis le milieu du XXe siècle, les pays dominants et les organismes financiers mondiaux imposent, avec la collaboration des élites locales, des mesures tout aussi violentes pour les sociétés des pays endettés à travers d’autres moyens, sans faire usage de la force militaire. Continue reading

Le Premier mai, pour un retour aux sources

Article paru il y a 6 ans dans le journal le Courrier à l’occasion du 1er mai 2014

Les Premiers mai aujourd’hui se situent loin de leurs origines révolutionnaires, liées à la lutte pour une journée de travail de 8heures. Dès le début du XIXesiècle, aux Etats-Unis, l’opposition des travailleurs aux journées œuvrées du «lever au coucher du soleil», longues de 14 à 18heures, ne cesse de grandir. Des mobilisations de plus en plus importantes –qui verront se former les premiers syndicats de différents secteurs– et la crise de 1837 pousseront le gouvernement étasunien à accepter la journée de 10heures dans les administrations publiques. Continue reading