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Social Policy as Method of Gaining Legitimacy for Non-State Actors: Comparative Analysis of Taliban Hezbollah

Student: Margarita Medvedeva

Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences

Educational Programme: Political Analysis and Public Policy (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2021

Nowadays international relations (IR) process involves not only states. There are also lots of significant non-state actors who affects IR. In global politics non-state actors are represented by international NGOs, TNCs, religious and terroristic organisations, criminal networks, and unrecognised states. In the scope of this paper are organisations which appear to be hybrids of several types of this classification. Firstly, they emerged as combat groups. Secondly, the basis for their unity is religion. Thirdly, both movements have contradictory relations with other countries. Lastly, Hezbollah has interesting position of being non-state actor which evolved into a party in Lebanese government, but still have structures which operates as non-state actors. The Taliban used to be in power at the edge of XX and XXI centuries. However, both of organisations are significant actors on the international arena. Despite the actorness on the international level mentioned organisations have power over a certain territories. Therefore, they have support of inhabitants of those areas. It is impossible to keep control over a big city without silent support of its citizens. They are in charge of providing people with public goods, welfare and keep an order in governed territories. Since their emergence and for now the Taliban and Hezbollah have key roles in vivid processes in Afghanistan and Lebanon. Thus, this master thesis will examine how pursuing of social policy by non-state actors affects their positions.
 As a result author comes to the conclusion that social policy does play important role in legitimisation of armed non-state actors. However, ideology is primary to the social policy in both external and internal legitimacy. For domestic support shared values distinct one political force from another, mobilise masses for proclaimed course. The same values define political allies and rivals on the international arena. If the course of an armed non-state actor runs counter to aims of a state, that non-state actor is turned down for legitimacy, even if it gained it inside the country. Additionally, the idea of social help here takes its origin in religious identity of the movements and is widely needed due to the poor conditions of living.

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