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Ideological Rigidity and Flexibility of Secular and Religious Terror Groups: The Case of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Hamas


Studies in Conflict & TerrorismJournal abstract

This article explores the ideological rigidity of secular and religious terror groups. Analyzing leaflets disseminated by two Palestinian groups during the First Intifada, it examines if and how each shifted its identity and goals in response to repression, political shifts, or resource changes. The results suggest that while similar catalysts led to ideological reformation among the secular and the religious group, the extent of ideological change within the religious group was more limited. The article argues for the need to disaggregate ideological analysis further in order to identify more subtle shifts, alterations, and omissions, in the positions held by religious terror groups, moving past the exploration of if such changes exist in ideological templates and instead focusing on the extent and type of alterations the different groups allow.

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