Hamas and Hizbollah: A Social Movement Analysis
Broome, Amy E.
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This honors thesis proposes re-conceptualizing terrorism within a Social Movement Theory framework in order to move past the current delegitimizing discourses within terrorism studies towards a more nuanced and full understanding of the phenomenon of non-state violence. The Social Movement Theory framework is applied to the case studies of Hamas and Hizballah to show the extent of its applicability, and to demonstrate the inherent complexities of these organizations, which, despite certain similarities, differ largely from one another. Hamas and Hizballah are examples of what Social Movement Theory calls horizontally segmented regimes because of their use of violence alongside their political campaigns and social welfare programs. These several aspects are all dynamically and consciously interwoven by the Hamas and Hizballah leaderships in order to achieve set political goals, which are pragmatically adjusted in response to changing realities. I conclude that this depth of knowledge on the goals, strategies, and contexts of these organizations will be beneficial for the formulation of stronger foreign and international policy in relation to those organizations currently labeled as terrorist.
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