Hamas: The New Establishment?

Herman, Lyndall
September 2013
American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences;Autumn2013, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p93
Academic Journal
This paper addresses the evolving role of the Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas - following its integration into "the establishment" in the aftermath of the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections. By becoming the establishment in Gaza, Hamas and its leadership moved beyond earlier ideologically based concerns over legitimizing Israel's existence. This move followed the evolutionary framework outlined by Jon Anderson. This paper contends that Anderson's framework, which addresses the stages through which new media moves - from pioneer, to activist, to official (Islamic) discourse - can be applied to social movements to better understand their evolutionary processes. Within the limits of this paper, I will aply this framework to Hamas and its evolution and then trace this transition by analyzing both the secondary and primary literature. The nominal turning points that mark these three phases include the emergence of Hamas (1988), the claiming of an activist mantle (the mid-to-late 1990s), and its becoming the official discourse (i.e., the establishment) by winning the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections.


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