Carnegie Mellon University

Chloe Thompson

Chloe ThompsonMajors: Global Studies and Hispanic Studies
Minor: Creative Writing
Adviser: Colin Clarke
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Part of the Establishment: Comparing the Provisional Irish Republican Army and Hezbollah’s Dual Identities

I will compare the development of the militant group/ Lebanese political party Hezbollah with the development of the Provisional Irish Republican Army to analyze the Westphalian model of a nation-state in the modern world. Hezbollah began as a military organization designed to resist the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, which began in 1982. Today, Hezbollah is still an active militant group, but it is also a political party within the Lebanese government. I will investigate the development of Hezbollah’s political identity, as well as the unique nature of a group with both political and insurgent aspirations. The Provisional Irish Republican Army, in contrast to Hezbollah, has transitioned from an insurgent group to a true political party that calls itself Sinn Fein. The PIRA managed to transition successfully from one kind of group to another; I will examine what factors enabled the organization to do so and discuss whether similar elements could be present in Hezbollah’s case.


Currently, I am studying abroad in Granada, Spain. The majority of my formal training in issues relating to the modern world and political systems have come from my global studies major, in classes such as “Introduction to Global Studies,” “Diplomacy and Statecraft” and “Introduction to Historical Research.” My informal training has been through my own interest; I find non-state actors really interesting, and read about them regularly. I think what interests me most about groups like terrorist organizations and nonprofit groups alike is that they illuminate the potential failings of the model of the state in a modern age. Non-state actors fulfill roles and address needs that modern states can’t or won’t respond to, whether it’s controlling ungoverned territory or providing humanitarian aid. I want to spend my senior year learning how and why non-state actors and states interact in the ways that they do.

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