Baracskay, Daniel. “The Evolutionary Path of Hamas: Examining the Role of Political Pragmatism in State Building and Activism.” Terrorism and Political Violence (early view; online first).
Of the two major Palestinian factions, Hamas has demonstrated that it is more radical and willing to use acts of terrorism than Fatah. While some arguments have made the case that Hamas has become more moderate in light of efforts to develop stable institutions of government and societal organizations, there has not been conclusive evidence of this ideological shift. In fact, the continued adherence to the Muqawama (resistance) Doctrine represents a decisive facet of the movement’s enduring pledge to nullify the state of Israel through a prolonged war of attrition. This article examines the role of political pragmatism in the evolution of Hamas. First, it discusses why the moderation argument alone does not provide an adequate understanding of the movement’s evolution, especially since it continues to embrace the use of terrorism and violence as facets of Islamism and as an extension of the Muqawama Doctrine. Second, rather than solely using the moderation argument, this article offers an alternative approach which considers how the combination of strategic policy approaches implemented by Hamas has reflected the role of pragmatism in pursuing its domestic and foreign policy agendas, which are intertwined with the values of the Muqawama Doctrine.