Robert G. Rabil, Ph.D.
Professor
LLS Distinguished Professor of Current Events

Department of Political Science
Florida Atlantic University
Social Science 384-I
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Office: (561) 297-3215
Cell: (561) 302-0470
E-mail: rrabil@fau.edu

Twitter: @robertgrabil

© Copyright 2017. Robert Rabil

Opinions and arguments of material posted on this website are personal and do not necessarily reflect those at Florida Atlantic University.

Design by Wesley A. Mills

White Heart

Set in two worlds apart, where one is torn by violence and the other celebrates freedom and industriousness, White Heart―inspired by true events―juxtaposes in allegorical and anecdotal expression human frailties with resilience in a fictional collection of short stories. The transcendence, metaphor and candour of the stories shape the author’s belief in the supremacy of human compassion, peace and courage over malevolence, depravity and violence. Though the author’s experiences in Lebanon and United States define the scope and spectrum of the stories, the thematic depth of the stories is inspired by the character of the author’s uncle, who was called White Heart for his profound good heartedness, unwavering courage, readiness to help those in need, and staunch appreciation of life even in the face of adversity and tragedy. Though the pain and bereavement of losing his only son to indiscriminate state violence affected the very core of his being, the luster of his indefatigable character never lost its radiance.

Purchase : 

The Syrian Refugee Crisis In Lebanon

This book examines the unfolding of the Syrian refugee crisis in relation to the spillover of the Syrian civil war in Lebanon and against the background of Lebanon–Syria relations and Lebanon’s socio-political, cultural, legal, and economic conditions. It surveys Lebanon’s response plans to the refugee crisis as part of the development of the international response plans to address the protection and needs of the Syrian refugees and Palestinian refugees from Syria, as well as the impacted host communities and institutions. At the same time, this book emphasizes the dramatic shift in popular and institutional attitudes towards the refugees as a response to and as a growth of the sheer magnitude of the refugee crisis, which made Lebanon the only country in modern history with the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world. By examining these attitudes against the background of achievements and failures of the response plans, the impact of the crisis on state institutions on the local and national levels, and the collective consciousness of a nation barely surviving the scars of its civil war, this book not only underscores the deepening tragedy of Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, but also the consequential tragedy of many Lebanese, who have been forced into poverty and whose livelihoods have been affected by insecurity and the almost complete collapse of social services. As a result, the tragedy of the Syrian refugee crisis has become an international crisis affecting vulnerable persons across nationalities, and, unless it is addressed diplomatically and its response plans sufficiently funded, the tragedy will only deepen across continents.

Purchase : 

Salafism In Lebanon

Salafism, comprised of fundamentalist Islamic movements whose adherents consider themselves the only "saved" sect of Islam, has been little studied, remains shrouded in misconceptions, and has provoked new interest as Salafists have recently staked a claim to power in some Arab states while spearheading battles against "infidel" Arab regimes during recent rebellions in the Arab world. Robert G. Rabil examines the emergence and development of Salafism into a prominent religious movement in Lebanon, including the ideological and sociopolitical foundation that led to the three different schools of Salafism in Lebanon: quietist Salafists, Haraki (active) Salafists; and Salafi Jihadists.

 

Emphasizing their manhaj (methodology) toward politics, the author surveys Salafists' ideological transformation from opponents of to supportive of political engagement. Their antagonism to Hezbollah, which they denounce as the party of Satan, has risen exponentially following the party's seizure of Beirut in 2008 and support of the tyrannical Syrian regime. Salafism in Lebanon also demonstrates how activists and jihadi Salafists, in response to the political weakness of Sunni leadership, have threatened regional and international security by endorsing violence and jihad.

 

Drawing on field research trips, personal interviews, and Arabic primary sources, the book explores the relationship between the ideologies of the various schools of Salafism and their praxis in relation to Lebanese politics. The book should interest students and scholars of Islamic movements, international affairs, politics and religion, and radical groups and terrorism.

Religion, National Identity, And Confessional Politics In Lebanon

Tracing the rise of Islamism in Lebanon and its attempt to Islamize society and state by the reverse integration of society and state into the project of Islamism, this book looks at Lebanon against a background of weak and contested national identity and capricious interaction between religious affiliation and confessional politics, and attempts to illustrate in detailed analysis this "comprehensive" project of Islamism according to its ideological and practical evolutionary change. The author demonstrates that, despite ideological, political and confessional incongruities and concerns, Islamism, in both its Sunni and Shi'a variants, has maintained a unity of purpose in pursuing its project: jihad against Israel and abolishment of political sectarianism.

Purchase : 
Purchase : 
Purchase : 

Embattled Neighbors: Syria, Israel, & Lebanon

Portraying it as a conflict between similar nationalisms (Jewish and Arab), Rabil (Iraq Foundation, Washington, D.C.) explores the conflict-ridden relationship between Syria and Israel with a focus on the role of their competing efforts to assert control over Lebanon by proxy war. He attempts to comprehensively cover the range of political considerations impacting both regimes, including the domestic political forces of all three countries, the role of the United States as the regions sole superpower, security and water concerns, and the impact of the various peace conferences.

Israel's ongoing dispute with Syria and Lebanon gravely undermines the potential for peace in the Middle East. Charting the course of this triangular relationship since 1948, Robert Rabil successfully integrates the domestic and international dynamics of the key players to reveal the complexities of this seemingly intractable conflict.

 Winner of  "Choice Outstanding Book of the Year Award" 2005!

   Syria, The United States, And The War On Terror In The Middle East 

 

Ever since Syria won its independence from France in 1946, it has been a crucial player in Middle Eastern politics. Over the years, relations between the United States and Syria have fluctuated as Washington has tried to balance its commitment to Israel's security with its support for Arab regimes in order to protect vital and strategic interests in the Arab world. The Arab-Israeli conflict is, however. no longer the only focal point of the relationship. Now, terrorism has entered the fray. On the State Department's "terrorism list" since 1979, Syria became even more persona non grata as far as Washington was concerned when Damascus vocally opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The American war in Iraq, occupation, and promotion of democracy throughout the Middle East pose a strong challenge to the Syrian regime. The new Syrian leadership, in power only since 2000, faces immense challenges--protecting Syria's regional status and surviving internal and external threats. Against this background, Syria and the United States have set themselves on a collision course over terrorism, arms proliferation, Lebanon, the Middle East peace process, and Iraq. Syria is, nevertheless, extremely important to the United States, because it can be a force for either stability or instability in an extremely volatile region. Recent events have put the spotlight on Syria's policies and actions. After the assassination of a Lebanese politician, protests in Lebanon led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops. While the withdrawal averted an immediate threat of bloodshed, the Bush administration accused Syria of being a source of instability in the Middle East, with Secretary of State Rice charging that Syria was still active in Lebanon and was supporting foreign terrorists fueling the insurgency in Iraq. The U.S.-Syrian relationship is of critical importance to the United States' efforts to promote democracy throughout the Middle East. At the same time, the United States has been pressuring Syria to clamp down on terrorism within its own borders. Rabil provides a history of the modern U.S.-Syrian relationship, putting the latest events in the context of this contemporary history, and placing the relationship in the context of Middle Eastern politics.

Purchase :