Hamas' political transformation and engagement, 2003-2013
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I plan to publish papers from my thesis during this 18 months.
This thesis aims to explore the process of Hamas’ political transformation and engagement between 2003 and 2013 as well as the implications of the transition. In general, conventional scholarship research on Hamas and its transition in politics focuses either on the discussion of its tendency to violence or on its orientation towards moderation. However, both analyses fail to capture the essence of Hamas’ political transition over the ten years under discussion. This thesis argues that Hamas’ transition is interrelated with its perception of resistance. That is to say, Hamas’ transition aimed to keep its resistance work intact. Hamas believed that because of its Zionist ideology, Israel would continue to occupy and colonize at Palestinians’ expense. Furthermore, past negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel had not helped Palestinians but on the contrary, had intensified the Israeli occupation. Therefore, nothing but resistance would restore Palestinians’ rights and defend them against Israel’s aggression. Ever since its inception in 1987, resistance has been Hamas’ only strategy and its means to end the Israeli occupation. It is worth noting that Hamas sophisticated the concept of resistance into a ‘resistance project’ from 2003 onwards, and then enforced it after taking over Gaza in June 2007; and for Hamas, the elements of resistance are comprehensive. In order to end Israeli occupation, armed struggle is its major tactic but this includes: the necessity of the national unity of Palestinians, the need for substantial support from the Arab and Muslim states and the understanding of the West. This thesis argues that as long as the Israeli occupation is in place, it is inevitable that Hamas’ engagement in politics will be irreversible and its work on resistance will continue, irrespective of the circumstances. However, it might appear in a different form.
PhD in Palestine Studies