As tensões intra-islâmicas
: a oposição entre sunitas e xiitas no contexto geopolítico do Médio Oriente

  • Francisco Henriques de Jesus Soromenho Marques (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The Middle East is nowadays a region marked by instability as a consequence of some political and military events, like the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the so-called Arab Spring. In less than a decade the countries in the region experienced great changes, driving to instability and violence. In this scenario of imprevisibility and contestation the intra-islamic tensions between Sunnis and Shia Muslims were revived. The geostrategic rivalry between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran for gaining regional influence has been the basis for the appearence of radical forces, Sunni and Shia, both willing to spread political models inspired by the most fundamentalist interpretations of Islam. Manifestations of intra-Islamic tensions will be analysed from their appearance, to current manifestations of this phenomena like the military and terrorist action developed by the Islamic State in the Middle East. Through History and analysis of contemporary events, the roots of the rivalry, often violent, between Sunnis and Shias will be looked after and an explanation of its consequences to the Muslim world as well as to the international community will be tried. IntraIslamic tensions are one of the most relevant contemporary international phenomena and western public opinion is getting more aware about the complexities of Islam as a heterogeneous and disunited civilizational bloc.
Date of Award2015
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorLuís Valença Pinto (Supervisor)


  • Islam
  • Sunni
  • Shia
  • Middle East
  • Geostrategy
  • Geopolitics


  • Mestrado em Ciência Política e Relações Internacionais: Segurança e Defesa

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