Hamas and Palestine: The Contested Road to Statehood analyses the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, between 2005 and 2017. The book expounds how Hamas has employed a dual resistance strategy, consisting of political and armed resistance, as a mechanism to achieve, maintain, and defend its continued political viability. Hamas entered politics to transform the role of the Palestinian Authority from an administrative institution into one driving the Palestinian quest for independence. To achieve this the analysis explains how Hamas implemented a process of soft-Islamisation in Gaza. This was intended to build the institutional capacity of the Authority based on the bureaucratisation and professionalisation of key institutions, while selectively increasing the role of Islam in society.
The book provides a detailed explanation of key shifts in Hamas’s political behaviour as it adapts to the vagaries and vicissitudes of governing Gaza, despite the imposition of Israel’s political and economic siege. Employing the Inclusion-Moderation theoretical framework, the book traces Hamas’s transformation from a non-state armed group into a legitimate actor in Palestinian politics. The book’s analysis also highlights the key role that Hamas’s national liberation agenda has on shifting its behaviour towards adopting more moderate and inclusive policy stances. Specifically, the analysis demonstrates how Hamas has made measurable shifts in it political behaviour towards accepting the primacy of the two-state solution, and its dealings with Israel and the Peace Process.
The book provides a comprehensive assessment of Hamas’s time in government and its capacity to deal with the vicissitudes of governing. It is a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Middle East Politics.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Empirical Ambiguities and Theoretical Considerations 2. Hamas: Balancing Pragmatism, Principles, and Purpose 3. Between a State and Occupation: Surviving Israeli State-Building 4. The Political Learning Curve: The Promises and Perils of Electoral Participation and Success 5. Governing Gaza: The ‘Slow Assassination’ of Hamas 6. Fighting to Survive: Hamas and its Confrontations with Israel 7. The Vacillating Power-Sharing Dynamics of the Territories 8. The Impermanence of Regional Alliances Conclusion
Martin Kear is a Sessional Lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. His research interests include political participation by Islamist groups and the role of political violence in the narrative of Islamist groups.