Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections and controls the Gaza Strip, yet both Israel and the United States reject engagement with the Islamic Resistance Movement. The uncompromising rhetoric in Hamas' founding Charter as well as the terrorist attacks it has carried out against Israel have resulted in the belief that Hamas is an extremist terrorist organization and a total spoiler that cannot be reformed.
This thesis posits that the current policy is inaccurate and that Hamas is better categorized as a Social Movement Organization acting as a limited spoiler. In order to assess whether Hamas is held captive by its radical ideology or whether it can balance it with pragmatic political practice, this work will take the components of Social Movement Theory and apply them to organization. It will look at the way Hamas uses Resource Mobilization and Framing, as well as how it responds to the changing Political Opportunity Structure in the Palestinian Territories.
The findings show that Hamas is not a fanatical terrorist organization nor a total spoiler, but a complex social movement whose structure and actions are in line with those expected of a pragmatic organization. This does not imply that Hamas will reject its Charter or renounce violence without pressure being applied to it, but it does support a different solution to the Hamas problem than what current policy dictates.
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Hamas, Islamic, Movement, Resistance, Social|
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