Debating IR

Probing the philosophical underpinnings of the international system and anything else of interest.


Saturday, January 28, 2006


I have to agree with Jon, I also don't see why realists would care about the election in Palestine. Any claims Hamas has about being an Islamic party would appear to a realist as some kind of cover. The intrests of the state would remain essentially the same, regardless of who is in charge (ie Power Power Power). Realists would probably not expect Hamas to do anything too crazy, as such actions would predictably diminish the power of the nascent Palestinian state.

We didn't get to discuss the liberal perspective much in class. I think that liberals would either see the victory by Hamas as evidence of the decline of the state or as a strengthening of the state, depending on which aspect of Hamas we choose to focus on.

If we focus on the islamist aspect of Hamas, and its role in a broader pan-islamic movement then we could see its victory as a threat to the idea of a nation state.

At the same time, Hamas won its victory through a democratic process. This gives legitimacy not only to Hamas as the ruling party, but also to the very democratic structures that allowed them to be elected. Such a view would support the idea that Hamas is actually better suited to running the country than the Fatah party.

The second view could well be more accurate, however it also seems to be less significant vis-a-vis IR since it is more concerned with domestic factors.


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