Olivier Roy at PostGlobal

Olivier Roy

Paris, France

Olivier Roy is a senior researcher at the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research). He currently lectures at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (IEP) in Paris and has acted as consultant to the French Foreign Ministry (Center for Analysis and Forecast) since 1984. Olivier Roy was also a consultant with UNOCA on Afghanistan in 1988, special OSCE representative to Tajikistan (August 1993 to February 1994) and headed the OSCE Mission for Tajikistan from February to October 1994. He is also the author of Globalized Islam, published by Columbia University Press. Close.

Olivier Roy

Paris, France

Olivier Roy is a senior researcher at the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research). more »

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Lebanon May Mirror Malaysia

Paris, France - Lebanon's problem is that its political system is based on sectarian affiliations. On the positive side it obliges the three dominant communities (Christians, Shi'as and Sunnis) to compromise. It also preserves the religiously neutral nature of the...

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All Comments (2)


Olivier Roy's analysis is fundamentally flawed. The Shi'a-Sunni divide and the Persian/Arab rivalry are both so well known and accepted that they are taught in Middle Eastern Politics 101. Because of these fundamental cultural/political dynamics, the Arab street (mostly Sunni) will never respond positively to an Iranian (Shi'a) call. In addition, with genuine democratization -- in the sense of "one man, one vote" -- individuals may still possess strong political/sectarian affiliation, producing a system where coalitions rule, as in the case of the Israeli experience. A Sunni-Christian- Druze alliance or a coalition of other emerging small parties can overcome the strength of Hezbollah, which represents only one-third of the Lebanese population that is Shi'a.


Sorry, what I can't undersatnd is why the "west" wants to push democracy in the middle east then says democracy will bring Hizbollah to power in Lebanon - as it did Hamas in the Teritories- who will push for an islamic state.
Hizbollah declared they were not interested in an Islamic state in Lebanon. No one in Lebanon accepts an Islamic state. What is needed is an abolishing of the sectarian political system in Lebanon. The Lebanese, who excel in all walks of live in all corners of the world, are capable of living in a true democratic society. What is needed is an end for using Lebanon as a boxing rink for the likes of USA, Israel, Iran, Syria etc. Get the palestinians a home, they deserve as much as the Israelis to be treated in dignity. The crusader fervor/biblical myths that Bush and his kinfolks of evangilicals has no place in the middle east. That is the problem.
There has to be a fair resolutions to the border and teritorrial conflicts in which israel is a party. Once those are settled with the help a fair American intervention the Middle East will naturally evolve into the democratic states the USA proclaim to want.

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