Strategic change in terrorist movements: Lessons from Hamas

Hillel Frisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Existing literature is weak in explaining strategic change among terrorist movements, especially regarding the question of why these organizations often switch between contesting the external enemy, usually the government or the occupying power, and the internal arena in which they compete against fellow rebel groups. A rebel force facing diminishing returns from a formerly successful tactic with no equally effective tactical substitute in sight is likely to switch from conflict against a government to achieve dominance in the rebel camp. The terrorist movement will switch from the external to the internal arena even if such substitution compromises the overall goals of the rebel camp. The following article explores these dynamics in Hamas's strategy in the latest round of conflict between the movement and Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1065
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009


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