Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Timothy Nordstrom

Relational Format



This thesis sought to explore the effect of participation in party politics on terrorist organizations through a comparative case study of Hamas in the Palestinian Territories and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The project was inspired by the existing literature on party-terror linkages and inclusion-moderation theory. The methodology used to test this relationship required analysis of the histories of the two organizations to identify each organization's years of participation and non-participation in party politics. Then, using the data compiled by the Global Terrorism Database, I calculated the average number of terrorist incidents per year across the phases of participation in party politics for each organization. In summary, the data showed that participation in party politics has no effect on terrorist incidents per year. For Hezbollah, joining party politics led to an insignificant decrease in terrorist activity; while Hamas showed an insignificant increase in terrorist activity upon joining party politics. From this study, I conclude that there were extraneous internal and external factors for each organization that have produced a greater effect on terrorist activity.


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.



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