Understanding Support for an Islamic Caliphate & Rule in Tripoli, Lebanon: a Social Psychological Perspective

[Speaker] Saab, Rim:1
[Co-author] Harb, Charles:1
1:American University of Beirut (Lebanon)

The phenomenal military expansion of the Islamic State over large territories in Iraq and Syria has captured global attention. The idea of a revived Islamic Caliphate has stirred mixed feelings among Arab populations. Although support for different forms of governance in the Arab world has received considerable attention among social scientists, the literature has focused primarily on differences between secularists and Islamists, ignoring the potential diversity in notions of Islamic Caliphate/rule among different Islamist political groups. We examine the appeal of an Islamic Caliphate/rule among Muslim Sunnis in Tripoli, Lebanon, a major hub for Islamic political groups in the country. We use a multi-method, multi-stage research approach involving interviews, focus group discussions and a quantitative survey. We examine conceptions of Islamic Caliphate/rule among different political groups and identify predictors of support for an Islamic Caliphate/rule, with a particular emphasis on objective and subjective indicators of inequality and mobility.
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