"Over the last few decades, a number of Islamist groups, some listed as terrorist, have increasingly participated in political elections and shown a pattern of moderation. What explains the move away from violence to achieve group goals? Analyzing three cases, Hizbullah in Lebanon, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and Hamas in the occupied Palestinian territories, this thesis examines the causes of moderation and willingness to participate in existing political structures. Using aspects of social movement theory, it is argued that institutionalization and interests of maintaining membership explain why, when political opportunities arise, Islamist groups take the democratic path and forego violence. The conclusions aid in promoting democracy in the region by demonstrating when Islamist groups are willing to participate in formal politics."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx