Between Revolution and State Evolution: The Palestinian National Movement, Hybrid Warfare, and the West

  • Dan Diker

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The Palestinian cause has become one of the most symbolic and broadly recognized political issues on the international human rights agenda. This thesis posits that the Palestinian National Movement’s (PNM) success is the product of its decades-old “hybrid warfare strategy” inspired by Chinese, Soviet and Islamist ideologies. To explain this phenomenon, this thesis applies the Copenhagen School’s securitization theory, reengineering it as “Hybrid Warfare Securitization theory,” in which the securitizing actor issues multiple speech or practice acts to multiple audiences masking a meta-objective that fuses nominally contradictory securitizations. HWST is a model that explores the transmission of speech and practice acts to audiences, and is inspired by studies of ontological, nondemocratic and authoritarian securitizations from Maoist China and Soviet Russia, applied to the PNM.

    This thesis explains the PNM’s hybrid warfare strategy by tracing the origins of the Palestinian National Movement’s ideology and political influences in Arab, Islamic and Marxist political philosophies. The thesis focuses on the PNM’s decades-long success in psychological and sensationalistic terror warfare, international diplomacy and solidarity-building, lawfare, and media influence in the West, which largely came to accept PNM messages under the historical influences of neo Marxism, postcolonialism, and critical theory in its own academic, political, and ultimately, public discourses. This dissertation concludes that the PNM’s hybrid warfare strategy has resulted in “legitimacy inversion” by which central tenets of Israel’s international legitimacy have been transferred to the PLO, thereby depreciating Israel’s international legitimacy.

    This thesis concludes that the PNM’s hybrid warfare strategy influences the ability of non-state actors to undermine the legitimacy of democratic sovereign states.
    Date of Award2024
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorChristian Kaunert (Supervisor), Joana Lopes De Deus Pereira (Supervisor) & Sarah Leonard (Supervisor)

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