Integrating Islamist Militants into the Political Process : Palestinian Hamas

The striking victory of Hamas in the elections of January 2006 raises questions about the integration of Islamists into the Palestinian political system. This project, which is part of a larger program of research on the role of political parties in the Middle East and North Africa, endeavours to answer the question: to what extent will Hamas' integration into the political system lead to changes in its political and social attitudes and policies? The original hypothesis of the research was that analysis of Hamas' political and social agenda might show gradual moderation in the movement's behaviour and attitudes.

In light of recent events, research will now map where there has been either moderation or radicalization. Changes in Hamas' political attitudes will be measured by the extent to which Hamas moves closer to, or farther from, the "pulse of the street," with respect to acceptance of the principles of democratic governance, acceptance of the legitimacy of the peace process, and a more liberal social agenda, with a focus on attitudes towards women. Researchers will interview key interlocutors to detect changes in the movement's views and conduct surveys on the response of Hamas' constituency to change (or lack of it) in the movement's positions.

The results will be published and made available to interested parties, both domestically and internationally.

The research will be undertaken by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. The Centre is led by the well-known researcher and pollster, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, whose work is disseminated and discussed in North America, Europe and the region.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, September 1, 2006

End Date

Sunday, February 28, 2010


36 months

IDRC Officer

El-Rifai, Roula

Total funding

CA$ 246,170


Middle East, West Bank and Gaza, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Khalil Shikaki


Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research

Institution Country

West Bank and Gaza

Institution Website