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STEVEN ALAGNA is from Kansas City, Missouri where he attended St. Pius X High School. Graduating from Notre Dame in 2011 with a B.A. in Political Science and a focus on International Relations, he also majored in Spanish and minored in Japanese. Steve is currently teaching middle school social studies in Jacksonville, Florida through the Alliance for Catholic Education. Introduction
2 A “norm” is a standard of appropriate behavior for an actor with a given identity.1 In a burgeoning body of International Relations (IR) literature concerning norms and their importance, those norms that do not prohibit a type of warfare, promote the environment, or protect the equality of underrepresented groups seem to have been left out of the discussion. Norms are not inherently peace-promoting or forward-thinking; rather, norms can also promote conflict and violence. They are socially constructed regulators of behavior that only contain as much meaning or power as is ascribed to them by the identity that they govern. Unfortunately, the discipline of IR has focused almost exclusively on norms that promote peace and cooperation while ignoring norms that promote conflict. In what has proven to be an indispensable contribution to the discussion on norms, Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink have developed a model to describe the development and trajectory of norms. The Norm Life Cycle,2 which traces the lifespan of the norm from emergence to internalization, has become the baseline for the study of a number of different norms. However, this model has not been applied to norms that promote conflict, leaving the development of these norms unknown. Do they follow the same trajectory as the more peaceful norms? In other words, would they fit into the model of the Norm Life Cycle? To answer this question, I examine the “martyrdom norm” in Palestine as a case study. The martyrdom norm gives legitimacy to the tactic of suicide terrorism in the eyes of the Palestinian people. Rather than lamenting the lives of those who have killed themselves in a terrorist attack, cultural norms call for celebrations with wedding-like parties, congratulations to the family of the attacker, and posters, graffiti,, websites, and songs played in honor of the “martyr.” Palestinian streets are full of posters and graffiti that glorify the martyr as executors of 1 Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics, and Political Change,” International
Organization 52, no.4 (1998): 891. This definition is credited to Peter Katzenstein, 1996. 2 Finnemore,and Sikkink. "International Norm Dynamics.”
3 suicide attacks. The norm has such strong influences on the tragic use of suicide bombing as a tactic, which makes the issue of such a norm’s emergence and development especially pertinent. I argue that this martyrdom norm follows the trajectory described by the Norm Life Cycle, and that this might provide some preliminary evidence that conflict-promoting norms follow the same trajectory as the more heavily studied norms that promote cooperation. This thesis is organized into four parts. First, I review the literature on the cause of terrorism and suicide terrorism. In this section I highlight the limitations of a material-based explanation of suicide terrorism and I argue that there is a normative basis for this behavior. Moreover, I identify the culture of martyrdom, or the martyrdom norm, as this normative basis. After the literature review, I move to a theoretical discussion of norms that will provide a conceptual toolbox for my analysis. Here I define norms and discuss how they are related to identities. I also discuss in detail Finnemore and Sikkink’s Norm Life Cycle, incorporating Koh’s Transnational Legal Process Theory and its contributions in explaining certain mechanisms of the life cycle. In the following section, I discuss the methodology of my thesis. Since I will use process tracing to show that the martyrdom norm in Palestine follows the same track as peace-promoting norms, in the methodology section I elaborate on the nature and advantages of the case study method and the process tracing technique. Finally, I anticipate the kind of analysis I will do in the next section. The fourth section is devoted to testing the historical evidence on the emergence and consolidation of martyrdom in light of the Norm Life Cycle. I detail each mechanism of the model, showing how the martyrdom norm first emerges because of Hamas’ role as “norm entrepreneur.” Next, the norm reaches a popular tipping point and cascades to enjoy broad
4 acceptance. Although the norm is currently not internalized at the final stage of the cycle, this is no reason to reject the hypothesis that the martyrdom norm follows the Norm Life Cycle. Indeed, few norms become fully internalized, but we do not say that only internalized norms follow the Cycle. In this section, I confirm the hypothesis that the culture of martyrdom norm follows the Norm Life Cycle, but in the process of my analysis, I add new mechanisms of persuasion to the model: financial incentives and familial support. Finally, in the concluding section, I explore the wider implications of my findings, considering their place in the larger discussion of norms and how they can help bring an end to suicide terrorism in Palestine.
Causes of Terrorism and Suicide Terrorism Before discussing the underlying norms behind suicide attacks, a review of the literature concerning the causes of terrorism and suicide terrorism is in order. Defining "terrorism" has proven to be a struggle worthy of a literature review in itself,3 but for the purposes of this paper, "terrorism" will be understood according to the U.S. Code’s definition: "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents."4 This definition is best because it highlights the political nature of terrorist attacks and the idea that, conventionally, terrorism is a means for a political end. Suicide terrorism, a form of terrorism, includes a terrorist attack that necessitates the willful termination of the attacker's life in the execution of the attack. The tactic of suicide bombing has been used in a wide variety of contexts and settings (ranging from Asia to Europe to Africa), but it has especially transformed the nature of one of the 3 See first chapter of Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006). 4 22 USC Sec. 2656f. 2010.
5 world's most enduring conflicts--that between Israel and Palestine.5 In the context of this conflict, Hezbollah conducted the first suicide bombings in 1983 and a series of attacks continued for the next few years.6 However, it was not until 1993 and 1994 that suicide attacks were perpetrated in Israel proper7 by Palestinian Hamas.8 Since then, Palestinian suicide terrorism has become a constant threat for Israelis, and between 2000 and 2005, 515 people were killed and 3,500 were injured by Palestinian suicide attacks.9 In response, IR and sociological theory have produced ample research in an attempt to ascertain the foundational causes of terrorism and suicide terrorism. Tannewald describes “cause” as “something that brings about a particular event,”10such as terrorism. Some of the causes of terrorism most applicable to the case of Palestinian suicide terrorism include conventional terror as (1) a last recourse and (2) a means to promote self-determination and nationalism. I will explore these ideas, along with their counter-arguments.
5 David Brooks, "The Culture of Martyrdom: How suicide bombing became not just a means but an end," The
Atlantic, June 2002. 6 David Cook and Olivia Allison, Understanding and Addressing Suicide Attacks: The Faith and Politics of Martyrdom Operations, (Westport, CN: Praeger Security International, 2007):. 23. 7 Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 2nd ed. (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2008): 182. 8 Cook and Allison, Understanding, 29. 9 Efraim Benmelech and Claude Berrebi, “Human Capital and the Productivity of Suicide Bombers,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 21, no.3 (2007): 223. 10 Nina Tannenwald. “Ideas and Explanation: Advancing the Theoretical Agenda,” Journal of Cold War Studies 7, no.2 (2005): 29.
6 Causes of Terrorism Last Recourse One foundational cause of terrorism is its perception as a kind of last recourse for disenfranchised people with no other options.11 According to Ward Thomas, terrorism is chosen by people who cannot play by the conventional rules of politics or war because they do not have other means or channels of influence, such as communication channels or adequate military capabilities.12 Indeed, in the case of Israel and Palestine, Palestinians may very well feel as though their peaceful legal and political recourses are unavailable or dysfunctional.13 Furthermore, Palestine could hardly pose a conventional military threat to Israel's top-notch armed forces and so many Palestinians believe that Hamas must resort to terrorism and other unconventional methods in order to channel their influence. Self-Determination Another frequently mentioned cause of terrorism is self-determination and nationalism.14 This theory claims that those who commit terrorist acts often do so with a territorial goal in mind that cannot be met with the extant means of the disenfranchised group. Kydd and Walter argue that "territorial change," that is, "taking territory away from a state either to establish a new state...or to join another state," is one of the top objectives of many terrorist attacks.15 Of course, the struggle over territory is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.16 Dowty recreates the logic 11 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 76, 115; Ward Thomas, The Ethics of Destruction: Norms and Force in
International Relations, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001): 80. 12 Thomas, Ward, Ethics of Destruction, 80. 13 For instances of Palestinians feeling left out of the peace process, see Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 76, 115. For their lack of general legal recourse see Eric Hazan, Notes on the Occupation, (New York: The New Press, 2007): 67-68. 14 Andrew H. Kydd and Barbara F. Walter, "The Strategies of Terrorism." International Security 31, no.1 (2006): 52. 15 Kydd and Walter, “Strategies,” 52. 16 See also Cook and Allison, Understanding, 28, and David Newman, "The Formation of National Identity in Israel/Palestine: Construction of Spatial Knowledge and Contested Territorial Narratives," in Promotinv Conflict or Peace Through Identity. ed. Nikki Slocum-Bradley. (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2008):
7 behind Palestinian self-determination in the following way: "Were they not Arabs, sharing a common language, common culture, and common history as heirs to a great world civilization, from Morocco to Iraq? Were they less entitled than Europeans...to national self-determination as a nation-state based upon this ethnic identity?"17 This logic, he would argue, would be transformed into an ethic of exile and resentment, ultimately leading to violence and the development of the “thrown stone” as a symbol for the intifada and Palestinian unity.18 It is important to note that the First Intifada, a large-scale popular uprising against the Israeli occupation, was a catalyzing force in establishing a base of support for the creation of an important political actor in Palestine – Hamas. Hamas would prove to be a fundamentalist organization that is the primary user of terrorist tactics for political ends.19 All in all, territorial questions and self-determination are oft-cited root causes of terrorism within Israel and Palestine. These two underlying causes of terrorism overlap and interact in different ways. There is probably no single cause that uniquely and inevitably leads to terrorism; rather, complex combinations of variables can considerably widen the realms of possibility to include terrorism.20
Logic of Consequences and Logic of Appropriateness As it is, these initial causes may help, in part, to explain the phenomenon of terrorism in general, but they have little explanatory power when dealing with suicide terrorism. What would make an individual agree to a martyrdom operation as opposed to other forms of terrorism? It does
61-80. 17 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 57. 18 Dowty Israel/Palestine, 92, 132. During the intifada, children would commonly throw stones at Israeli forces. The stone became a symbol of Palestinian resolve and determination in the face of poverty imposed by the occupation. 19 Dowty, Israel/ Palestine, 132. 20 Louise Richardson, "The Roots of Terrorism: An Overview." in The Roots of Terrorism. ed. Louise Richardson. (New York: Routeledge, 2006).
8 not follow from the last recourse or the self-determination arguments that an individual should select the tactic of suicide terror over other means. The decision to commit suicide in the process of an attack is not one that seems to fit within conventional definitions of rationality. A “rational” action is one that maximizes perceived utility and minimizes costs; “rationality” refers to adherence to benefit-maximizing behavior. In IR theory, there is an important distinction between the "logic of consequences" and the "logic of appropriateness."21 A decision is made through the logic of consequences when only material benefits are taken into account. This is limited to what would normally be considered strategically rational, utility-maximizing decisions. The logic of appropriateness, on the other hand, is operating when decisions are made based on normative, social, ideational, or non-material reasons. One easy way to identify the operation of the logic of appropriateness is when an agent undertakes an action that does not maximize utility in an attempt to conform to social standards or ideas of normative correctness. However, norm- and interest-based behavior are not always mutually exclusive and oftentimes it is impossible to cleanly ascribe a behavior to only one logic.22 As Brooks points out, "suicide bombing has become the tactic of choice, even in circumstances where a terrorist could have planted a bomb and then escaped injury. Martyrdom became not just a means but an end."23 It was mentioned earlier that terrorism is widely considered to be a means to a political end, rather than an end in itself. The irrational use of suicide terrorism, even when other options are available, implies that the decision to undertake a martyrdom operation can be explained by looking at norms.
21 James G. March, and Johan P. Olsen, "The Institutional Dynamics of International Political Orders,"
International Organization 52 no.4 (1998): 949. 22 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 888; Thomas, Ward, Ethics of Destruction, 33. 23 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.”
9 When IR’s two logics are applied to suicide bombing, it would seem that even if suicide bombing has some strategic value, it would defy the logic of consequences for two reasons: first, because it is not rational, and second, because it is chosen even when other rational means are available. Since the tactic necessitates the willful extermination of one's own life, it subverts traditional rationality. As Brooks notes, the tactic "creates its own logic and transforms the culture of those who employ it."24 With this in mind, the underlying "logics" behind the common explanations for suicide terrorism can be distinguished.
Causes of Suicide Terrorism Organizational vs. Individual Motivations With the two “logics” in mind, we turn to how motivations differ between actors. In identifying the root causes pertaining to suicide terrorism, a distinction is made between organizational and individual motives,. A motivational hierarchy ranges from the attack organizers who are driven by ideological and strategic goals, to the individual bombers, who are motivated by more personal reasons.25 Organizations' motives are typically centered on the overall success of the organization on a more panoramic level. Examples of organizations' motives include the planning and execution of asymmetric warfare, intergroup competition between radical groups, and the value of suicide attacks as a strategic means to political ends.26 Thus, organizational causes seem to operate more closely according to the logic of consequences. The organization is most concerned with the material and strategic success of each attack.27
24 Brooks, “The Culture of Martyrdom.” 25 Cook and Allison, Understanding, 138-139. 26 See Cook and Allison, Understanding, 133. 27 For more information on the strategic value of suicide terrorism as a tactic, see Robert Pape, Dying to Win:
The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, (New York: Random House, 2005).
10 The individual motives are what distinguish suicide bombing from other forms of terrorism. While the organizational motives of two groups – one engaging in more conventional terrorism and the other in suicide terrorism – might be identical, individual motives differ because these are the causes that would compel an individual to volunteer for an operation at the cost of his or her own life. In other words, it is at the individual level that suicide bombing defies rationality, and therefore the individual motives provide a better normative explanation for suicide bombing attacks. Because individual motives must incorporate some kind of logic that defies an individual's rational choice to live, they will provide more insight into the underlying norms that promote the behavior of the executors of suicide terrorism. These more normative individual explanations include religion and the martyrdom norm. Table 1 describes the difference between organizational and individual motives. Type of Motivation Organizational Individual Examples material success, military strategy, intergroup competition desperation*, religion, culture of martyrdom Logic logic of consequences, utilitarian logic of appropriateness, normative *except for desperation
Table 1 Desperation Although it is not a normative cause, the first explanation that is commonly cited is individual desperation. Essentially, individuals without means will turn to suicide terrorism as a last resort. Cook and Allison argue that poverty is a root cause of suicide terrorism, and that impoverished people would be more likely to turn to suicide operations over other forms of terrorism as a reflection of their desperation.28 In other words, if an individual perceives that he or she has nothing worth living for, then that person might be more likely to enlist in a martyrdom 28 Cook and Allison, Understanding, 16-17.
11 operation, especially if the blame can be placed on Israeli action. As Hisham H. Ahmed notes, "Most experts feel that there is a common denominator among 'suicide bombers', that is the lack of a horizon, a lack of hope, that they are people who had lost faith in life."29 These arguments, however, are empirically denied by the finding that most Palestinian suicide bombers have not been members of the lower economic classes. Nasra Hassan, a journalist, interviewed nearly 250 Palestinians involved in martyrdom operations, including soonto-be attackers, attackers who survived their operation, those involved with the planning and organizing of operations, and the families of attackers.30 Out of all of the people she interviewed, she writes that not one "conformed to the typical profile of the suicidal personality. None of them were uneducated, desperately poor, simple-minded, or depressed."31 Indeed, many were welleducated, well-off people.32 Desperation is not, then, a convincing cause of suicide terrorism. If, on the other hand, it were empirically found that most suicide terrorists are indeed poor and desperate, then it would be more likely that the logic of consequences supports reasoning for suicide bombing. A more material explanation, such as one related to poverty, might lend credence to the argument that the decision to volunteer for a suicide bombing operation is closer to rationality. However, since this is not the case, we can reasonably infer that this more material or consequential explanation can be rejected. Religion While the argument that suicide bombers are usually desperate and poor is a 29 Hisham H. Ahmed, "Palestinian Resistance and 'Suicide Bombing," in Root Causes of Terrorism: Myths,
Reality and Ways Forward. Ed. Tore Bjorgo (New York: Routledge, 2005): 96. 30 While citing statistics dealing with the socio-economic background of known attackers could potentially strengthen my argument, it would appear that this data set does not exist. Inherently, the clandestine nature of suicide operations makes such data difficult to collect, and so Hassan’s survey, which is commonly cited in the literature concering suicide terrorism, might be as close to a statistical study as is currently available. 31 Nasra Hassan, "Letter from Gaza, 'An Arsenal of Believers: Talking to the 'human bombs.'" The New Yorker. November 19, 2001, http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2001/11/19/011119fa_FACT1. 32 Hassan, “Letter”; Cook and Allison, Understanding, 127.
misconception, the idea that most bombers are deeply religious seems to be well grounded.33 Perhaps the most convincing basis of suicide terrorism is religion, and all that it entails, including influential religious leaders, manipulation of scripture, and its role in enabling a "culture of martyrdom," which will be discussed more in-depth below. Cook and Allison argue that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is becoming increasingly Islamized.34 Similarly, Ahmed writes that Islam is "a mobilizing ideology to indoctrinate believers into not accepting oppression and subjugation."35 Islam may not be a direct cause or an isolated independent variable for suicide terrorism, but it certainly seems to play an influential role. As Mark Juergensmeyer puts it, “real grievances,” such as economic or social hardships, are often framed and articulated in religious discourses and decried by influential religious leaders within the context of a religious framework. He argues that religion might not be the "initial problem," but rather "the medium through which these issues are expressed."36 Indeed, for example, the will of Hanadi Jaradat, a female suicide attacker37, was rife with religious language that expressed real grievances: I know that I shall not bring back Palestine. I fully know this. However, I know that this is my duty for Allah. Believing in the principles of my faith, I respond to the call. I now inform you that, Allah willing, I shall find what Allah has promised to me and to all of those who take this path--gardens which Allah has promised us, in which we will live forever...it is my duty to the religion of Allah--and my own obligation to Him--to defend it [Palestine]. I have nothing before me other than this body, which I am going to turn into slivers that will tear out the heart of everyone who has tried to uproot us from our country.38 33 Cook and Allison, Understanding, 126. 34 Cook and Allison, Understanding, 31-32. 35 Ahmed, “Resistance,” 100. 36 Mark Juergensmeyer, "Religion as a Cause of Terrorism," in The Roots of Terrorism, Ed. Louise
Richardson. (New York: Routledge, 2006): 141. 37 Jaradt's attack was a famous attack in 2003 on the Maxim Restaurant in Haifa 2003. It sparked negative reactions and public comments from President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. Twenty-one people were killed. "Suicide bombing of Maxim restaurant in Haifa: October 4, 2003." Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 21 January 2004. 38Will of Hanadi Jaradat qtd. in Cook and Allison, Understanding, 39.
13 In this will, the previously cited causes of terrorism can be identified. Jaradat seems to say, in spite of her statelessness or self-determination (“I know that I shall not bring back Palestine”) and despite the fact that she has “nothing before me” (last recourse), she still decides to become a martyr (“my duty for Allah”). She has no expectations for herself other than to “respond to the call.” The "social hardships" that Juergensmeyer cites might have included witnessing her younger brother being killed by Israeli forces on the night before her brother's wedding.39 It is also interesting to note that Jaradat was a law student who was weeks away from graduating.40 Hassan mentions that most individuals that volunteer for martyrdom operations have lost a close friend or relative in the Israeli conflict.41 Jaradat had real grievances that influenced her decision, but she does not make a rational calculation to recover Palestine or her lost family. Rather, she decides to become a suicide bomber out of a religious conviction. In this way, religion can become a kind of intervening variable that mediates between "real grievances" and the end result of suicide bombing. Religion itself is perhaps not a primary cause, but it is a key ingredient of the larger culture of martyrdom, and it can heighten and catalyze other causes in order to prompt an individual to become a suicide bomber. The picture becomes more complex, however, as we begin to see what catalyzes the catalyst – namely, influential religious leaders. At this point, the distinction between organizational and individual motivations becomes less clear. While individuals might be influenced by these leaders, the leaders themselves might be a mechanism or cog of the organization planning the attack. In the introductory chapter of World Religions and Norms of War, Vesselin Popovski argues that an individual's belief that a suicidal action will serve some
39 Arnon Regular, "Profile of the Haifa Suicide Bomber," Ha'aretz. 5 October 2003. 40 David Blair, "Revenge Sparked Suicide Bombing," The Daily Telegraph 6 October 2003. 41 Hassan, "Letter."
14 higher purpose, will destroy enemies, and is mandated by God, is the result of somebody's external manipulation.42 That "somebody" is often the critical nexus to suicide terrorism. Nasra Hassan says, "A charismatic figure is a key ingredient in inspiring martyrdom."43 Influential Islamic leaders publish fatwas, or Islamic scholarly legal documents. Cook and Allison express surprise at the sheer amount of fatwas supporting suicide attacks in comparison with the scarcity of those fatwas that condemn suicide attacks.44 Religious leaders who often interpret certain Qur’anic verses to promote deontological violent attacks write these fatwas.45 In other words, without these influential leaders, much would be lost in the ways of religious justifications for suicide terrorism. Influential leaders can be an important step along the causal chain leading to suicide attacks. This phenomenon also overlaps with the desperation and self-determination causes: as the appeal of extreme Islam with young Muslims represents a kind of reclamation of their lost heritage, it also serves as a way to fight back against past injustices. Thus, influential leaders need not only be religious; they can be attack organizers who may or may not cite religion to recruit more suicide bombers. Extremism (especially religious extremism) combined with an identity that demands retaliation against the "West" or an occupier, provides for a space conducive to suicide terrorism. Influential leaders operate by providing signals of extremism for the sake of extremism.46 In other words, organizations try to "outbid" each other, attempting to prove that they are the most 42 Vesselin Popovski, "Religion and War," In World Religions and Norms of War. ed. Vesselin Popovski, et
al. (New York: United Nations University Press, 2009): 16. 43 Hassan, Nasra. "Suicide Terrorism," In The Roots of Terrorism, ed. Louise Richardson (New York: Routledge, 2006): 31. 44 Cook and Allison, Understanding, 12-13. 45 Amira Sonbol, “Norms of War in Sunni Islam,” in World Religions and Norms of War, ed. Vesselin Popovski, et al (New York: United Nations University Press, 2009): 289, 295. 46 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 225, Sonbol, “Norms of War,” 301. Kydd and Walter note a similar phenomenon they call "outbidding" and disucss it from 76-78.
15 fervent believers of the Palestinian cause.47 Dowty defines extremism as "the belief that one's own cause is so righteous that it justifies, or even demands, the use of any means, no matter how violent or immoral they be according to ordinary standards."48 He goes on to explain that extremists on each side can "count on each other" to perpetuate a cycle or dialogue of violence that perpetuates negative perceptions of the enemy and refuels people's motivation to take revenge.49 Extremism can be a kind of cycle that propels itself, and in the process it breeds terrorism. Of course, religious extremism in particular plays a special role in the commission of terrorist attacks. The Culture of Martyrdom The influential leader's quasi-institutionalized endorsement of suicide attacks based on Qur’anic verses adds to what Jerrold Post calls a "culture of martyrdom."50 He explains that this culture is the result of entrenched religious rhetoric, groupthink, and social values. In other words, suicide operations are discussed in highly religious discourse in the larger community. I define the culture of martyrdom as the ideological and social structure that underlies the legitimization of suicide bombing. It includes all of the signs that show that martyrdom has a positive social value. The culture of martyrdom is not a behavior in itself (although suicide bombing is), but rather a norm that proscribes or endorses a specific behavior and gives meaning to it. Recall that a norm was defined as “a standard for appropriate behavior for an actor with a given identity.” Following the definition of a norm, the culture of martyrdom prescribes suicide bombing as a morally correct, religiously justified behavior for a Palestinian. To be a good Palestinian means to be willing to become a martyr, or in the very least to support martyrdom and to participate in a culture that supports suicide terrorism. Thus, the culture of martyrdom is the 47 The term "outbidding" can be attributed to Kydd and Walter, “Strategies,” 76-78. 48 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 225 49 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 225.. 50 Jerrold M. Post, "The Psychological Dynamics of Terrorism." In The Roots of Terrorism. Ed. Louise
Richardson. (New York: Routledge, 2006): 22.
16 norm, and in this thesis, I will use “the culture of martyrdom” and “the martyrdom norm” interchangeably. Experts recognize group loyalty as a critical factor in an individual's execution of a martyrdom operation, highlighting the importance of the social dimension of these missions,51 and social pressure is placed on people to congratulate the families of recent suicide attackers.52 For example, after a suicide attack takes place in Palestine, organizers will traditionally put on a kind of religious wedding ceremony for the family of the attackers, which actually does "not receive condolences but congratulations,"53 thereby perpetuating the image of the heroic martyr and creating and ethic of martyrdom.54 After an attack, the attacker is celebrated as a hero. In his or her hometown, posters and graffiti featuring green birds, the symbol of suicide bombers, are proudly displayed and press releases go out.55 Brooks argues that martyrdom has become the primary focal point of the Arab media, which covers not only the details of the attack, but also images of proud parents at celebration ceremonies held for the families of the newest martyrs.56 The culture then becomes so entrenched with heroic images of the martyrs that children are formally socialized to admire the attackers, and they see suicide bombers as "rock stars, sports heroes, and religious idols rolled into one."57 This same culture of martyrdom which incentivizes suicide bombing also discourages backing out of an agreed-to suicide operation, as such an act brings much shame both to the
51 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.” 52 Hassan, “Letter.” 53 Ahmed, “Resistance,” 100. 54 Cook and Allison, Understanding, 36-37. 55 Hassan. “Letter.” 56 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.” 57 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.”
17 potential attacker and to his or her family.58 Thus, not only is there social praise, but also social shame. Such social pressure is a strong indicator of norms underlying the behavior of suicide bombing, specifically the culture of martyrdom.59 Indeed, the normative culture of martyrdom is perhaps the most important cause of suicide terrorism in Palestine. David Brooks cites a national Palestinian poll that shows a 70 to 80% approval rating of the practice of suicide bombing. This is a higher approval rate than any of the political organizations of Palestine, including Fatah and Hamas, the latter of which employs the tactic.60 Indeed, suicide bombers are so highly revered in Palestinian culture that attack organizers are solicited by more volunteers than they can handle. One Hamas leader told Hassan: "It is difficult to select only a few. Those whom we turn away return again and again, pestering us, pleading to be accepted."61 The cultural affinity for suicide bombing becomes very apparent in the particular names for the same phenomenon: what Israelis call "suicide bombing," Palestinians refer to as "martyrdom."6263 Hassan noted that one precondition for her interviews was that she was not allowed to use the term "suicide," because it is strictly forbidden in Islam. According to her, the preferred term is "sacred explosion."64 58 Post, “Psychological Dynamics,” 22. 59 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 892. 60 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.” 61 Hassan, “Letter.” 62 Ahmed, “Resistance,” 90-91. 63 The two sides refer to the same objective phenomenon in different ways, which is indicative of the different
discourses surrounding suicide terrorism or martyrdom operations. Discourses are a kind of contextual, linguistic practice with a purpose. For instance, referring to the phenomenon as "suicide terrorism" or "suicide bombing" serves to delegitimize the practice at a linguistic level, while calling it a "martyrdom operation" confers legitimacy. Postmodern constructivist scholars of IR seek to uncover and problematize power structures within dominant discourses. Indeed, postmodernists might see the predominant use of the phrase "suicide terrorism" in this paper as an acknowledgement of the dominance of the Israeli discourse, or a reflection of the power difference between Israel and Palestine. For more on strategic discourse, see Michael J. Shapiro, "Strategic Discourse/Discurisve Strategy: The Representation of 'Security Policy' in the Video Age," International Studies Quarterly 34 no.3 (1990): 327-340. My definition of "discourse" is an adaptation from this article. For more on legitimacy and discourse, see Harmonie Toros, "'We Don't Negotiate with Terrorists!': Legitimacy and Complexity in Terrorist Conflicts." Security Dialogue 39, no.4 (2008): 407-426. 64 Hassan, “Letter."
18 In sum, two causal chains or two logics can be traced as common explanations for suicide terror. The first is a “logic of consequences” explanation (Figure 1); the other is the normative “logic of appropriateness” (Figure 2). In the utilitarian logic, individual poverty and desperation magnify or precipitate a lack of hope, which in turn spurs an individual to volunteer his or her own life. In the normative explanation, the culture of martyrdom is what directly leads a person to agree to a martyrdom operation, but "real grievances," such as the loss of a loved one, are sometimes the initial catalyst that impels the person to subscribe to such a culture. The grievances are interpreted and contextualized within Islam, which is in turn manipulated through influential leaders to magnify the normative culture of martyrdom. To better understand the causal chains of suicide terrorism, it is helpful to view them in terms of variables. An independent variable is the concept that is the causal phenomenon of a theory. In the consequential logic, one could say that an individual’s lack of hope is what spurs him or her to commit suicide terrorism. Because of this, “lack of hope” is the independent variable. Similarly, in the normative logic, the culture of martyrdom is the cause of individual consent to suicide terrorism, so it is the independent variable. Independent variables can also be modified or magnified by condition variables, which influence the magnitude of the effect that the independent variable has on other variables.65 In the logic of consequences causal chain, poverty can act as an augmenting force, or even a prerequisite to a lack of hope. Similarly, Islam and influential leaders are both variables that magnify, interact with and make possible the culture of martyrdom. Therefore, these are condition variables. In addition to condition variables, I list “real grievances” as a cause that is more remote to the process.66 These grievances do not necessarily result in suicide terrorism, and therefore it would be misleading to label them as an 65 Van Evera, Guide to Methods, 11. 66 Van Evera mentions remote causes on p13-14.
19 independent or even a condition variable. In both logics, the dependent variable is suicide terrorism. This is the phenomenon we hope to explain. Logic of Consequences: lack of hope →suicide terrorism
Independent VariableDependent Variable
Figure 1: The Logic of Consequences Logic of Appropriateness: real grievances→culture of martyrdom → suicide terrorism
Remote Cause Independent VariableDependent Variable
× influential leaders
Figure 2: The Logic of Appropriateness Both chains seem complex, but due to the empirical argument that suicide bombers are not poor, uneducated, or without hope, the normative chain seems most plausible. Poverty, last recourse, and territorial issues might be common explanations of conventional terrorism or terrorism in general: they might even be at work in instances of suicide terrorism. By themselves, however, they do little to help explain the suicide terrorism phenomenon. Individual desperation is similarly less convincing as a more material explanation, although sometimes “real grievances” can be made normative by Islam and influential leaders. Thus, a normative explanation must be at work. Arguably the most plausible explanation is the larger culture behind the martyrdom norm that is so heavily entrenched in the daily lives of Palestinians. Because of its causal foundations for suicide terrorism, the martyrdom norm’s trajectory is important to ascertain.
Norms, Norm Processes, and The Model Since it has been established that the martyrdom norm is the main basis for suicide terrorism in Palestine, it is important to learn more about norms and how they operate. This section will deal with what norms are, how they function, and their importance in the discipline of IR, drawing on the extensive literature on norms. It will also review the literature concerning the processes of norm emergence and consolidation, including Finnemore and Sikkink's Norm Life Cycle and Koh's "transnational legal process,"67 as well as modifications to these models made by other authors. Finally, improving these models, I will present a modified version for the expected trajectory of the martyrdom norm.
Norms In order to review the literature on norms, we first need to define the concept. "Norm" is generally agreed to mean "a standard of appropriate behavior for actors within a given identity." Richard Herrmann adds that "most norms take the form: moral people do X, in situations A, B or C unless Q and/or R prevail." Thus, norms are not only dependent on identity but also on situation, and situations can be perceived differently.68 Furthermore, norms have both "prescription," or a built-in mechanism that denotes appropriate behavior, and "description," because the norm is founded on collective understandings of observable, repeated interactions.69 Because of these multiple meanings, and because appropriateness comes to be defined by the norm, some argue that
67Harold Hongju Koh, "Why Do Nations Obey International Law?" The Yale Law Journal 106, no. 8 (1997):
2599-2659. 68 Richard K. Herrmann, "Linking Theory to Evidence in International Relations," Handbook of International Relations. ed. Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse and Beth A. Simmons (London: Sage Publications, 2002): 130. 69 Thomas, Ward, Ethics of Destruction, 7.
21 norms have built-in punishments for behaviors that violate the norm.70 However, norms are not only limiting factors on power and behavior, but they can also become a source of power for the influential "wielders" of the norm, and they can also constitute new patterns of behavior.71 Norms are extremely dynamic and not inherently peace-promoting; indeed, norms can promote both justice and injustice,72 peace and war,73 or have no ethical content at all.74 But, Finnemore and Sikkink carefully point out that, as a logical corollary to Katzenstein's definition, there can be no "bad" norms, because each norm must be seen as appropriate by the group or individual that operates under it.75 However, these norms can still lead to undesirable outcomes. Additionally, since norms are based on collective understandings, they can vary in strength and agreement.76 In other words, weaker norms have less widespread agreement, while there is more universal agreement on stronger norms. Norms are identifiable based on their followers – individuals, organizations, and states that give the norm "material expression."77 Herrmann provides three more ways to test the existence of the norm.78 The first is presence of the norm in codified laws, or institutionalization. If a norm is widely accepted enough to prompt a law codifying the norm, then a norm is in play. The second method is observing a norm in repeated 70 Gary Guertz, International Norms and Decision Making: A Punctuated Equilibrium Model
(Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2003): 33. 71 Thomas, Ward, Ethics of Destruction. 11, 30; and Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 891. 72 Guertz, International Norms, 21. 73 Herrmann “Linking Theory to Evidence,”130. 74 Thomas, Ward, Ethics of Destruction, 27. Thomas writes that some norms are "instrumental or perhaps ritualistic," or even logistical. Not all norms deal with ethical content. 75 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 892. I think this argument is somewhat misleading. Perhaps it is improper to label a norm as "bad," but certainly norms can be seen as conflict-promoting rather than peace-promoting, as Guertz and Herrmann point out. Norms can also be seen as inappropriate by outsiders or nonsubscribers to the norm in question. 76 Finnemore and Sikkink “International Norm Dynamics,” 892. 77 Karen Brown Thompson, "Women's Rights are Human Rights," in Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms, ed. Sanjeev Khagram, James v. Riker, Kathryn Sikkink (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002): 110. 78 All three are in Herrmann, “Linking Theory to Evidence,” 129.
22 behavioral patterns. For instance, it can be determined whether or not a norm exists based on reactions to its violation, because it will lead to disapproval.79 Perhaps counter-intuitively, normviolating behavior might be more indicative of a norm than norm-abiding behavior because, while norm-abiding behavior might generate praise, the norm could be so deeply internalized that normabiding behavior is simply expected, and it will generate no reaction at all.80 The third method identified by Herrmann is uncovering the norm in dominant discourses. Similarly, Richard Price notes that when a normative change has occurred, there is a shift in the dominant discourse to move the burden of proof onto opponents of the norm.81 Norms are becoming increasingly crucial in International Relations theory.82 It has already been discussed how norms can explain the underlying forces behind seemingly irrational behavior.83 Additionally, norms can empower non-state actors without, and even against, state action by helping civil society mobilize and form networks.84 Furthermore, scholars recognize the role of norms as a key structuring power: even in an anarchic system, many regard norms to be as important or more important than structures of material power in effecting regime change.85 In other words, norms and normative changes can act as countervailing forces to anarchy, the fundamental problem of IR. Just as realism looks to state power as the structuring force, 79 Denise Garcia, "Warming to a Redefinition of International Security: The Consolidation of a Norm Concerning
Climate Change," International Relations 24, no.3 (2010): 272. Garcia calls this the best test for a norm's existence. Also, Finnermore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 892; Guertz, International Norms, 33. 80 Finnemore and Sikkink, “Internaitonal Norm Dynamics,” 892. 81 Richard Price, "Reversing the Gun Sights: Transnational Civil Society Targets Land Mines," International Organization 52, no.3 (1998): 631. 82 Kathryn Sikkink, "Restructuring World Politics: The Limits and Asymetries of Soft Power." Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms, ed. Sanjeev Khagram, James v. Riker, Kathryn Sikkink (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002): 301. 83 See discussion on Logic of Consequences and Logic of Appropriateness 84 Daniel C. Thomas, “Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy,” in Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms, ed. Sanjeev Khagram, James v. Riker, Kathryn Sikkink (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002): 71, 73, 93. 85 Sikkink, “Restructuring World Politics,”302-303, 306.
23 constructivists and critical theorists look to norms as having, at least, equal weight. Thus, in an IR discourse in which mainstream scholars focus on material concerns, state-centeredness, and anarchy, norms can add a new dimension to these fundamental IR topics. One key distinction to make is the difference between norms and behavior. The difficulty in differentiating behavior and norms, in particular when conducting empirical work, necessitates a cautious approach to studying the norm independently from the behavior it generates. A norm is a standard of behavior, not the behavior itself.
Identities At the most basic level, an identity is a perception of the self or of one's own group as opposed to an "other."86 Identities can be formed through socialization and discourse and they are reflexive and relational, meaning that they reflect perceptions of the self but have their meaning in relation or comparison to another actor.87 Of course, since “actors with a given identity” 88 determine social norms, norms and identities are intimately related. In fact, norms and identities are so interrelated that their connection makes both more difficult to isolate and study.89 Norms are defined by identity, and a person will not act based on a norm that does not pertain to her or his personal identity. For example, Slocum-Bradley discusses how group identities and perceptions of self as belonging to a certain group and having a certain identity can drive norms to be conflict-promoting as well as peace-promoting, noting that even violence can
86 Nikki Slocum-Bradley, "Introduction: Borders of the Mind," in Promoting Conflict or Peace through
Identity, ed. Nikki Slocum-Bradley (Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2008): 1. 87 Slocum-Bradley, “Introduction,” p.3 and Nikki Slocum-Bradley, "Crossing Mental Borders: Constructing a Laissez-Passer for Peace," in Promoting Conflict or Peace through Identity, ed. Nikki Slocum-Bradley (Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2008): 209. 88 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 891. 89 Thomas, Ward. Ethics of Destruction, 44-45.
24 become "appropriate."90 Slocum-Bradley cites authors who have given examples of how group identities and key figures come to form cultures in which genocide and terrorism are seen as legitimate.91 This is of particular interest to this study, as it shows how identities have legitimized violent norms like the culture of martyrdom. Of course, the culture of martyrdom is tightly bound to its related identities and the larger identity felt by the Palestinian people due to the common experience of the Israeli occupation.
Norm Process Models IR literature has produced various models examining the development and internalization of norms. This section will describe Finnemore and Sikkink's "Norm Life Cycle" model of how a norm becomes internalized followed by a description of "Transnational Legal Process Theory," which is more concerned with the intersection of norms and law, but can still shed helpful insights into intervening steps on the way to internalization.
The Norm Life Cycle Finnemore and Sikkink present an important contribution to the discussion of norm development with their Norm Life Cycle. Many scholars have used the life cycle as a model to trace the development of a number of different norms, including anti-landmine norms, antichemical and nuclear weapons norms, anti-child soldier norms, and even anti-plastic shopping bag norms. This list may illustrate what I recognize as a fundamental problem with this body of literature: nearly all attention is paid to norms that promote peace, especially if they limit the legitimate use of a certain type of war tactic. Recall that norms are not inherently positive or 90 Slocum-Bradley "Introduction" p12. 91 She cites Fujii (2002) and Moghaddam (2006).
25 peace-promoting. However, nearly all of the literature that concerns norms, including that which concerns norm processes, focuses on these peace-promoting and warfare-limiting norms. In the analysis section, I will use the model of the life cycle to trace the trajectory of the martyrdom norm, which does not promote peace, but rather encourages a type of warfare. Essentially, the life cycle is composed of three stages with a critical "tipping point" separating the first two stages: norm emergence, a tipping point, norm cascade, and norm internalization.92 In my discussion, I will draw from Richard Price’s case of the anti-landmine norm to illustrate each step. Norm emergence, the first stage, deals with the early stages of norm development. In this stage, "norm entrepreneurs" are attempting to persuade a critical mass of actors to subscribe to the norm.93 The actors that constitute norm entrepreneurs can be individuals or organizations.94 Finnemore and Sikkink say that these norm entrepreneurs can be motivated by “altruism, empathy,” ideational concerns, and commitment.95 Some of these motivations, however, seem to be more relevant for peace-promoting norms, as it would seem unlikely that someone advocating for suicide terrorism would do so in the name of empathy. Nevertheless, in the process of persuasion, these entrepreneurs are, through discourses and actions, strategically framing and building the norms themselves, since a norm is a collective intentionality.96 In order to persuade a critical mass of actors, norm entrepreneurs might engage in various strategies. Price names four: (1) disseminating information, (2) forming issue networks, (3)
92 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 895. 93 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 895. 94 Finnemore and SIkkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 899. 95 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 898. 96 Sanjeev Khagram, James V. Riker and Kathryn Sikkink, "From Santaigo to Seattle: Trnasnational Advocacy
Groups Restructuring World Politics," in Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms, ed. Sanjeev Khagram, James v. Riker, Kathryn Sikkink (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002): 12-13; Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 897
26 grafting, and (4) shifting the burden of proof onto those who do not follow the norm being promoted.97 First, in issue dissemination, entrepreneurs can highlight certain information and play it up in the media or to a strategic audience. Price calls this “agenda setting,” and in his discussion of the norm against landmines, he gives the example of an information campaign that included shocking statistics and images highlighting the atrocity of landmines and the devastating effect on their victims.98 Secondly, norm entrepreneurs can also form networks to further their cause. The formation of issue networks means galvanizing support for the norm across a broad range of different organizations. In Price’s case, issue networks were formed between the UN, NGOs, and influential individuals.99 The third technique, "grafting," is defined as "the combination of active, manipulative persuasion and the contingency of genealogical heritage in norm germination."100 In other words, grafting has to do with strategically framing the new norm so that it fits in well and complements norms that are already more deeply rooted. For example, Price describes how norm entrepreneurs framed AP landmines as a weapon of mass destruction in order to benefit from the already-existent strong norm in play against WMD.101 However, apart from grafting, norm entrepreneurs can also promote their norm via deliberately inappropriate acts, such as civil disobedience, as a demonstration.102 As Finnemore and Sikkink point out, "invoking a logic of appropriateness to explain behavior is complicated by the fact that standards of appropriateness are precisely what is being contested."103 The fourth technique is shifting the burden of proof, which often means “shaming” those who do not follow the new norm and “emulating” those that do.104 97 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 617. 98 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 619-623. 99 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 623-627. 100 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 617. 101 Price , “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 628. 102 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 897. 103 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 898. 104 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 635.
27 Again, those states that had enacted a landmine ban used these mechanisms in order to persuade other states to subscribe to the anti-landmine norm.105 By whatever means, norm entrepreneurs in the first stage are attempting to persuade a critical mass of actors to follow the norm. Once this occurs, the process passes through a theoretical threshold: the "tipping point."106 But, what constitutes a critical mass? Finnemore and Sikkink admit that they are unsure, but that it could possibly be around one-third of actors.107 However, some actors are more important than others, depending on the norm itself. Again, in the case of the landmine ban norm, a large state that has traditionally and widely used landmines is a more critical state than a more isolated, smaller state that has less to do with landmines. So, some theoretical threshold or "tipping point" exists that marks the achievement of a critical mass of actors. After this critical mass is achieved, the norm enters the second stage, which is "norm cascade." In this stage, persuasion by the entrepreneur and domestic interests become less important.108 Rather, peer pressure-like imitation becomes the primary dynamic, as actors socialize and conform to the norm out of a desire for legitimacy.109 In this stage, the norm begins to "cascade" throughout the aggregate of actors, as an increasing number of actors attempt to emulate each other and shame those that have not yet joined the norm bandwagon.110 Price argues that when Britain, France, and South Africa (critical, mine-using states) enacted landmine bans, the tipping
105 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 635-637. 106 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 895. 107 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 901. 108 Finnemore and Sikkink “International Norm Dynamics,” 902. For a counter-argument that argues that
domestic influences might be more important than socialization, see Leisbet Hooghe, "Several Roads Lead to International Norms, but Few Via International Socialization: A Case Study of the European Union," International Organization 594 (2005): 861-898. 109 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 895, 902. 110 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 635.
28 point was achieved and the norm began to cascade throughout the system.111 Finnemore and Sikkink describe the cascade as a kind of "contagion," in which there is outside social pressure for each actor to behave according to its own identity. In this stage, the authors argue, appropriateness comes to be redefined and the norm enjoys broad acceptance.112 At the far end of the cascade is stage three: internalization. Across the IR literature of norm processes, this term is perhaps the most misrepresented.113 Finnemore and Sikkink intended internalization to mean that the norm has achieved "taken-for-granted" status.114 At this stage, the norm is so widely accepted that obedience to it might be merely out of habit or via obedience to the law, an institutionalized form of the norm.115 At this point, the norm is no longer up for debate and has been fully integrated into decision-making, probably even at an unconscious level. A norm might be so powerful and deeply internalized that it becomes unconscious and violating it would be "unthinkable."116 Examples of norms that have become internalized include anti-incest and antislavery norms. Both incest and slavery were common social practices, and because the norms that prohibited them have become internalized, both are considered to be unthinkable now. However, norms do not always reach internalization.117 Indeed, even a norm that passes through the norm cascade can "ossify," or become less pertinent.118 Also, some norms are more effective at achieving internalization than others. Finnemore and Sikkink argue that the actual content of the norm can be important; perhaps norms that prevent bodily harm and promote 111 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 635. 112 Finnemore and Sikkink “International Norm Dynamics,” 902. For a criticism of this view, see Michael J.
Gilligan and Nathaniel H. Nesbitt, "Do Norms Reduce Torture?" The Journal of Legal Studies. 38, no.445. (2009). Here, the authors argue that the socialization process does not actually change state interests. 113 Many authors, including those dealing with Transnational Legal Process Theory, use the term "internalization" to mean what Finnemore and Sikkink would call "institutionalization," or codification of the norm into laws. More on this will be discussed in the section on the next norm process. 114 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 895. 115 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 904-905. 116 Thomas, Ward, Ethics of Destruction, 38. 117 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 896. 118 Garcia, "Warming,” 275, 290.
29 equality are more likely to complete the cycle than other norms.119 Indeed, the cycle is flexible and not path-dependent, and norms do not always move through the cycle in the same way.120 However, it is important to note that a norm need not be internalized in order to influence behavior. Recall that a norm enjoys “broad acceptance” and shifts the definition of appropriateness in the norm cascade stage. Internalization is merely the extreme end or completion of the norm cascade.121 Transnational Legal Process Theory One critique of the Norm Life Cycle is that it is often too linear, and that it does not account for the development of norms at the intersection of law and politics.122 The Transnational Legal Process is similar to the Norm Life Cycle, but it is more focused on international law and it answers the question as to why states would obey an international law when there is no higher order that enforces such a law.123 The process explains how norms become internalized at the domestic level and how occasional obedience becomes habitual. The process has three steps: interaction, interpretation and internalization.124 As Koh states, "one or more transnational actors provokes an interaction with another, which forces an interpretation or enunciation of the global norm applicable to the situation. By so doing, the moving party seeks not simply to coerce the other party, but to internalize the new interpretation of the international norm into the other
119 Finemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 907-908. Similarly, Price, “Reversing the Gun
Sights,” 622-23 argues that images of human carnage are particularly effective means of expediting the process of broad norm acceptance. 120 Rumbidzai Mufuka, "Understanding an Abnormal Norm: The Life Cycle of the Cuban Embargo," International Affairs Journal 3, no.1 (2009): 38. In this article, the author describes a norm that moves back and forth between stages and actors. 121 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 904. 122 Garcia, “Warming,” 274. 123 Koh, “Why Do Nations Obey,” 2645-6, 2649 124 Koh, “Why Do Nations Obey,” 2646.
30 party's normative system."125 Thus, this process describes how the norms embodied in international laws become internalized on the domestic level. For the purposes of this thesis, the transnational legal process theory is introduced for two reasons: (1) for its description of internalization, and (2) for the level of analysis where internalization takes place. First, Koh distinguishes a number of types of internalization:126 political internalization takes place when policy makers adopt an international norm into policy, legal internalization is when international norms are incorporated into domestic laws, judicial internalization happens when domestic litigation spurs judicial constructions to be consistent with the international law, and legislative internalization occurs when laws are passed that uphold the international norm. Finally, social internalization occurs when public legitimacy and widespread obedience are conferred upon the norm. Social internalization also implies a kind of incorporation of the norm into the identity of the actor, itself.127 It is important to note that what Koh calls "internalization" does not line up with Finnemore and Sikkink's concept of "internalization." Rather, Finnemore and Sikkink might call this phenomenon "institutionalization," or the codification of the norm into laws. On the domestic level, this often takes place in the authors' "norm cascade" stage as more states adopt the norm. However, Koh’s idea of “social internalization,” when taken to the highest degree, can line up with Finnemore and Sikkink’s idea of internalization. Second, the transnational legal process theory is useful because of its level of analysis. While the Norm Life Cycle is concerned explicitly with international norm development, the Transnational Legal Process Theory is about explaining domestic obedience of international laws. 125 Koh, “Why Do Nations Obey,” 2646. 126 Koh, “Why Do Nations Obey,” 2656-7. 127 Galit A. Sarfaty, “The World Bank and the Internalization of Indigenous Rights Norms,” The Yale Law
Journal 114, no.7 (2005): 1810.
31 Thus, the two models operate on different levels of analysis. The life cycle traces norms from the first image to the systemic level, looking at how international norms become internalized internationally. In contrast, the legal process traces a norm from the third image to the second, looking at how international law leads to domestic obedience and interpretation, influenced by key individuals. If the martyrdom norm were to achieve internalization, it would probably look like a mix between Finnemore and Sikkink’s and Koh’s idea. Perhaps more accurately, it would look like Koh’s social internalization to the extreme: located at a more local level of analysis, the norm would achieve widespread communal incorporation.
My Model At least one author has attempted to adapt the Norm Life Cycle to the domestic level. As Rumbidzai Mufuka traces the development of the Cuban embargo norm, she argues that as the international norm collapsed, Congress and US actors attempted to "reinvigorate the cascade domestically," and the critical actors shifted from nation-states to Congress.128 While Mufuka's arguments might not persuade everyone, at the very least they demonstrate that it might be possible to adapt the Norm Life Cycle to other levels of analysis. Much like Mufuka, my norm process model will change the level of analysis of Finnemore and Sikkink's Norm Life Cycle. My model uses the life cycle as a skeleton with some changes to incorporate the changes in levels of analysis. Essentially, in tracing the development of the martyrdom norm, I will see if the norm follows this sequence of steps: (1) norm emergence: norm entrepreneurs persuade a critical mass of individuals; (2) a tipping point is reached after a critical mass of individuals subscribe to the norm and it cascades as individuals interact and socialize with
128 Mufuka, “Understanding an Abnormal Norm,” 37-38.
32 other members of the community; and (3) internalization: the community adopts the norm and it gains a kind of "taken-for-granted" status, or is adopted into a law. I largely replace "state" actors with individuals in Finnemore and Sikkink's cascade stage, and I replace the international system of their final stage with a kind of communal internalization, not unlike Koh's idea of social internalization. I will look for historical evidence and explore specific mechanisms to trace the martyrdom norm through this chain of steps. My methodology will be discussed in the next section.
Methodology With the above information about norms in mind, I argue that the martyrdom norm follows the trajectory of the Norm Life Cycle. The method of investigation will be a case study, and in order to conduct this within-case study, I will use process tracing to associate the historical evidence with the life cycle along with finding more mechanisms to improve the model. This section will explain what is meant by “case study” and “process tracing,” and the advantages that both hold in creating and improving theory.
Large-N Stuies and Case Studies Scholars distinguish between large-N and small-n studies, and the difference between the two lies in the number of cases studied.129 While large-N studies work with a large pool of data or samples, sometimes attempting to derive theory from as many different data points or cases as possible, case studies (small-n studies) use a small number of cases and look more in depth into a particular case, or "an instance of a class of events," where "class of events" refers to some kind of
129 Van Evera, Guide to Methods, 17.
33 interesting phenomenon or object worth studying.130 Indeed, a case study is often an attempt to build or test a theory based on an investigation into an interesting occurrence. Moreover, case studies have some key advantages over large-N studies. One such advantage is conceptual validity, or the ability to see the variables in question in their given context. This is especially beneficial when the variables or objects of study are difficult to quantifiably measure, such as "freedom" or norms.131 Case studies can also prove to be more promising than large-N studies in developing new hypotheses, especially when dealing with deviant cases, or cases that appear to be abnormal.132 Finally, case studies are superior in exploring the causal mechanisms between independent and dependent variables, especially if those mechanisms are complex, such as instances of equifinality or path dependency.133
130 Van Evera, Guide to Methods, 17-18. 131 George and Bennett, Case Studies, 19. 132 George and Bennett, Case Studies, 20. 133 George and Bennett, Case Studies, 21-22.
34 Case Selection The Palestinian martyrdom norm is an important case because it provides a tangible example of a strong, conflict-promoting norm at work. The case is one of the few instances of suicide terrorism about which plenty has been written, allowing me to explore the applicability of the Norm Life Cycle model. Since cultural support for suicide terrorism is so strong in Palestine, as will be shown in the following section, the Palestinian martyrdom case provides a good object of study to better understand a larger class of under-studied norms. By adding a conflictpromoting norm to the body of literature concerning norm trajectories, the Palestine case will improve and expand the life cycle model.
Process Tracing One very important strategy for investigating a case is process tracing. In process tracing, an "investigator explores the chain of events [...] by which initial case conditions are translated into case outcomes. The cause-effect link that connects independent variable and outcome is unwrapped and divided into smaller steps; then the investigator looks for observable evidence of each step."134 Thus, process tracing explores the links between possible causes and outcomes.135 In so doing, intervening causal processes and variables are identified that serve as the mechanisms between the independent and dependent variables,136 and process tracing explores the "footprints" left by these antecedent conditions.137 Process tracing can both test theory and develop theory.138 In this investigation, process tracing will be developing a new theory by applying an existing theory (Finnemore and Sikkink's 134 Van Evera, Guide to Methods, 64. 135 George and Bennett, Case Studies, 6. 136 George and Bennett, Case Studies, 206. 137 Van Evera, Guide to Methods, 74. 138 George and Bennett, Case Studies, 209.
35 Norm Life Cycle) to a new situation and a new level of analysis. Indeed, Van Evera believes that "we can fashion theories by importing existing theories from one domain and adapting them to explain phenomena in another,"139 and that is exactly what this investigation will do. The process of deriving a theory from process tracing will necessarily be inductive,140 which is fitting because Finnemore and Sikkink recognize the inductive nature of normative theories.141 Similarly, it has been said that process tracing provides a good middle ground between history and political theory.142 Again, since norms are so deeply rooted in historical context, and since the goal of this paper is to explore the development of a particular norm in time, process tracing is a natural methodological choice. This study’s primary method will be a linear process tracing because the Norm Life Cycle seems to follow a cause-effect path. Norm entrepreneurs promote the norm until it reaches a tipping point. Then, other actors socialize and spread the norm further until it cascades and is eventually internalized. Stage one causes stage two, which causes stage three if the norm fully completes the cycle. One helpful illustration is the domino example.143 In this illustration, there is a row of dominos ready to cascade, where only the first and the last domino are visible. A screen separates the middle (intervening) dominos. Without having seen the act of pushing the dominos, the two end dominos have fallen over, but it is unclear whether or not the cascade began from one particular side (linear causality), or from both simultaneously (convergence). In order to determine a theory, the screen must be removed and the observer must study the middle dominos. Based on
139 Van Evera, Guide to Methods, 27. 140 George and Bennett, Case Studies, 7. 141 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 888. 142 George and Bennett, Case Studies, 223. 143 See George and Bennett, Case Studies, 206-207.
36 this observation, a step-by-step theory can be developed that will explain how the cascade progressed. Testing Hypotheses and Proving Causation In process tracing, there are four types of tests that determine causation. The first is the weakest—the “straw in the wind” test. It is not necessary or sufficient to establish causation, but it can raise doubts or increase the probability of a hypothesis.144 The second test is the “hoop” test, which is more demanding in that it sets up a kind of hurdle or a criterion that the evidence must meet. In this sense, it is a necessary but not sufficient test to prove causation.145 The third kind of test is a “smoking gun” test, which is when the tester sees a kind of “smoking gun” or exact proof that there is causation. It is not necessary, but it is sufficient.146 These first tests have no implications for rival hypotheses: even the smoking gun does not make it impossible for another cause to also have a smoking gun.147 However, the last test, the “doubly-decisive” test, is both necessary and sufficient to prove causation, and it confirms one hypothesis while disproving all rival hypotheses.148 This can occur with a combination of a smoking gun and a series of hoop tests that reject all other possible hypotheses, and it is the most difficult test to meet. Using these tests, I will show that the historical evidence confirms my theoretical hypotheses, and that the causal chains of the historical events fit within the framework of the mechanisms of the Norm Life Cycle. Evidence
144 David Collier, “Process Tracing: Introduction and Exercises,” University of California, Berkeley Department
of Political Science, 2010: 5. 145 Collier, “Process Tracing,” 5. 146 Collier, “Process Tracing,” 6. 147 Collier, “Process Tracing,” 5-6. 148 Collier, “Process Tracing,” 7.
37 As an example of process tracing in a case study, I will again turn to Richard Price’s discussion of the spread of the anti-landmine norm. In this study, Price selects the landmine ban case to demonstrate the ways in which transnational civil society operates in achieving political goals. He presented historical evidence for each of his theoretical “pedagogical methods” that civil society can use to promote a norm. He also showed historical proof of the norm reaching a critical mass and a tipping point, leading to cascade. Additionally, by process tracing, he was able to test the theory that civil society’s actions constrained state sovereignty, arguing that this conclusion is too simplistic.149 Process tracing is a method that combines history and theory. Similar to Price, I will present historical evidence for each causal step or mechanism in the life cycle model. My evidence will therefore be mostly secondary sources. The clandestine nature of Hamas and other pertinent actors makes it more difficult to attain primary sources, and the language and geographical barriers make interviews and other types of evidence unfeasible. However, the secondary sources will provide ample evidence for each mechanism or step. In some parts of the argument, I also cite public opinion polls that I have aggregated across time. This will show the historical trends in public approval of attacks against Israel. In the "Analysis" section that follows, each step of the martyrdom norm's development will be explained and compared to an adapted model of the Norm Life Cycle. In order to prove that the martyrdom norm, a conflict-promoting norm, follows the same trajectory as a peace-promoting norm, all of the intervening variables and antecedent conditions must be accounted for and explainable by the theory, and the actual events must unfold according to the hypothesized causal chain. Consequently, my principal hypothesis is that the martyrdom norm follows the norm life cycle. The norm fits into the template of each stage, and I explore the mechanisms of each one 149 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 641.
38 with historical evidence. Over the course of the process tracing, the method will unveil improvements and new mechanisms that can improve the initial model.
Analysis: Process-Tracing the Norm Life Cycle Although the Norm Life Cycle was developed to explain norm processes within and among states in the international system, for this study, my context will be Palestine, and my actors will be individuals. My central hypothesis is that the martyrdom norm follows the Norm Life Cycle model. In addition to this, I will have sub-hypotheses regarding each step of the process. First, I expect to see that there is an emergence stage for the martyrdom norm in which norm entrepreneurs are promoting the norm through persuasion, which includes Price’s four pedagogical techniques. Second, the norm should reach a critical mass of individuals, shifting the burden of proof onto those opposed to martyrdom, and the norm will enjoy wide acceptance. Finally, if the norm is to be internalized, then it will show signs of having a kind of “naturalized” status in which life without the norm becomes difficult to imagine. However, I do not suspect that the martyrdom norm has achieved internalization in Palestine at this point.
39 Hypothesis 1 Norm Emergence: Acting as norm entrepreneurs, Hamas promotes the martyrdom norm via issue dissemination, framing, issue networks, grafting, shifting the burden of proof, and “financial incentives and familial support.” In this stage, we should expect to see norm entrepreneurs, acting as individuals or as organizations, working to persuade a critical mass of actors to subscribe to the culture of martyrdom. The primary persuasive mechanisms of these entrepreneurs include information dissemination, framing, forming issue networks, grafting, and shifting the burden of proof onto opponents of the norm. These correspond to Price’s “pedagogical techniques” of persuasion.150 These mechanisms are the intervening variables that connect the very initial stages of the norm’s emergence to the norm cascade, or broad acceptance. I propose that Hamas fulfills the role of the norm entrepreneur and employs all of Price’s pedagogical techniques, in addition to new kinds of mechanisms that I will call “financial incentives and familial support.” Therefore, to test the hypothesis, I will present evidence that Hamas strategically crafts the culture of martyrdom for its own aims using at least some of the mechanisms listed above. Background Hamas executed the first suicide bombing in Palestine in April of 1993, leading up to the Oslo peace talks.151 In 1993, in the Declaration of Principles, often called the Oslo peace talks, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) mutually recognized each other and set out the framework for Israeli withdrawal.152 It became clear that the PLO was seen as the legitimate negotiating partner for Israel, and that the two sides would work towards a two-state solution.153 150 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 617. 151 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom,”; Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 182-183. 152 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 142-143. 153 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 144.
40 However, Hamas and other hawkish organizations rejected Oslo, arguing that the PLO was too weak to advocate the Palestinian right of return.154 In other words, in the eyes of Hamas, Oslo had the effect of disproportionately legitimizing Israel, which it explicitly condemns in its 1988 charter,155 and it also gave political power to its rival Fatah party, which comprised the PLO.156 As a result, Hamas felt extremely threatened by the Oslo accords.157 Since the talks had effectively ended the Palestinian intifada, or the popular uprising of the Palestinian people, Hamas changed its strategy and escalated a campaign of violence to spoil the peace talks.158 This campaign included the first modern Palestinian suicide attack on Israel.159 At the time of this attack, which was a suicide car bomb in the parking lot of a restaurant where Israeli soldiers were eating, Israelis were especially surprised because the suicide bombing tactic was more associated with Lebanon and Hezbollah.160 Hamas probably saw the success Hezbollah’s suicide attack campaign had enjoyed in prior years, causing Israeli forces to withdraw from southern Lebanon in the 1980s.161 Hezbollah had crafted a culture of martyrdom by glorifying the martyr as a heroic figure, and in its 1993 attack, Hamas followed this model.162 Hamas even used Hezbollah’s strategic template of finding and training an attacker, having him or her write a letter and put out a video of testimony.163 However, since Palestinian culture was not yet accustomed to martyrdom, Hamas had to work harder to justify the tactic of suicide bombing, 154 Sean F. McMahon, The Discourse of Palestinian-Israeli Relations: Persistent Analytics and
Practices (New York: Routledge, 2010): 27; Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 144. 155 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 181. 156 Ami Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2005): 58. 157 Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela, The Palestinian Hamas: Vision, Violence, and Coexistence, 2006 ed (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000): 72. 158 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 66-67. 159 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 145. 160 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 55. 161 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 181. 162 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 160, 162. 163 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 66.
41 especially amidst the perception that it might spoil the peace talks that enjoyed high levels of public support.164 According to a poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, (CPRS) some 65% supported the main issues of the talks and only 13.5% believed that the opposition must utilize violence to express their views while 80.3% believed that the “opposition must utilize democratic dialogue.”165 Thus, at this juncture, the Palestinian public was opposed to using violence as a means to send a political message. In response to this, Hamas took on a “quasi-apologetic” approach, and attempted to justify the attacks in pragmatic terms: Hamas’ political chief, Musa Abu Marquz, was quoted in Filastin al-Muslima, a Hamas publication based in London, saying “the military activity is a permanent strategy that will not change. The modus operandi, tactics, means, and timing are based on their benefit. They will change from time to time in order to cause the heaviest damage to the occupation.”166 Although suicide bombing is not explicitly referenced, it is to be understood as a military strategy that might be employed if it is determined that it can be most effective.167 Slowly and strategically, Hamas began to craft the culture of martyrdom to create a society more amenable to the suicide bombing tactic. Hamas was able to take advantage of its “communal infrastructure” of its involvement in mosques, schools, and welfare programs to recruit attackers and also garner public support.168 Its campaign included publishing posters of martyrs, broadcasting songs honoring the martyr on the radio, holding rallies and setting up internet sites to promote martyrdom as a societal virtue.169 164 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 69. 165 CPRS Poll #1 (September 10-11, 1993). All CPRS polls can be found at
http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/cprspolls/index.html. 166 Filastin al-Muslima (June 1994) quoted in Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 66-67. 167 Hamas organizers were acting out of the logic of consequences to increase the legitimacy of the norm when it was not yet legitimate. 168 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 82. 169 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 162-163.
42 Martyrdom posters170 typically showed the martyrs in front of an image of the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the Dome of the Rock and were posted in the streets, in mosques, and even in schools.171 Sometimes they include captions such as “Glad tidings from a heroic suicide bomber.”172 Similarly, along with posters, graffiti is often used by Hamas to take credit for attacks and glorify the martyr. One example of this read: “The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] and Ez Ed Din Al Qassam Brigades announce to our Palestinian people the martyrdom of the hero Ismail Ashur Brais, who carried out the Rafiah Yam martyrdom mission on 6 November 2002. May God grant him forgiveness and bestow upon you long life.”173 Both graffiti and posters are commonly used to provide public praise for the martyr. Songs, which were often performed at student militant rallies put on by Hamas, contained lyrics that glorified martyrdom. For instance, these lyrics were sung at a rally in 2005: “Write your life in blood/Be silent/Do not speak/Silence speaks louder than the ring tones”174 The entire rally was a marketing campaign.175 Eventually, after the efforts of Hamas, public support for the tactic increased and children even began playing a playground gamed called “the shahid [martyr] game” in which they would act out a suicide operation.176 Indeed, Ami Pedahzur writes that organizations promote a “culture of death” to gain popularity for their missions and to use suicide bombing for strategic purposes.177 He says that 170 For images of examples of martyrdom posters, see Appendix I. 171 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 162. 172 Justus Reid Weiner and Noam Weissman, “Hamas’ Determination to Perpetuate the Israeli-Palestinian
Conflict: The Critical Role of Hate Indoctrination,” Jerusalem Viewpoints no. 545 (2006): http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp545.htm. 173 Zaki Chehab, Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement (New York: Nation Books, 2007): 97. 174 Matthew Levitt, Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006): 131. 175 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism,162. 176 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism,163. 177 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 28-29, 44. That being said, while arguing that no particular culture will give rise to the culture of martyrdom on its own, Pedahzur recognizes that certain cultures might be more easily persuaded by organizations than others. He cites an antecedent condition for this: a long sense of repression by a
43 social support for the operations is constructed and mobilized in a calculated, top-down way, and that cultural affinity or acceptance of suicide bombing does not occur as a function of religious or Arab culture, but rather that this acceptance is solicited by the political organizations planning attacks.178 Rather, religion and culture are rhetorical tools that can aid in the training and recruitment of suicide bombers.179 As proof of this, Pedahzur argues that Palestinian culture, which has always been Islamic and Arabic, has not shown continuous use of suicide terrorism. Rather, he sees attacks organized into campaigns that last around three years and are centered on political goals of the organizations that execute them.180 Because of this, it can be inferred that suicide terrorism is used strategically by Hamas, which provides its motivation for the formation of the culture of martyrdom. In the same way that the chief of Hamas’ military stated that the organization would take a pragmatic approach, using whatever tactic is most effective, Hamas’ desire to use suicide terrorism provides the motivation to craft the culture of martyrdom. This points to the discussion of the two “logics” in the literature review, which stated that organizers operated within the logic of consequences while the individuals acted through the logic of appropriateness. Even though the martyrdom norm will provide the normative basis for the logic of appropriateness that leads to suicide bombing, the norm was still constructed and promoted with utilitarian motivations. Finnemore and Sikkink, however, do not make room for this in their model of the Norm Life Cycle. They write that norm entrepreneurs act out of altruism, empathy, and ideational commitment.181 I think that this might be limited to the cooperationpromoting norms; At least, I do not see any inherent reason as to why norm entrepreneurs must act out of a logic of appropriateness. Perhaps this is one of the differences between the development
disproportionately strong oppressor (p159). 178 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism,158, 164. 179 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 164. 180 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 158. 181 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 898.
44 of conflict-promoting norms and peace-promoting norms, and “utilitarian motives” can constitute an addition or improvement to the model. Issue Dissemination Although Hamas’ clandestine nature and prolificacy in internal leaflets and correspondence complicate the systematic study of its information distribution, it has made public statements and given press releases.182 For instance, Hamas has strategically persuaded the Palestinian public of the importance of armed attacks against Israel, especially in the context of peace talks that disproportionately benefit its rival, the Fatah party, which controlled the Palestinian Authority (PA). Indeed, suicide bombing campaigns seem to be correlated with important peace talks between Israel and the PA, which would serve to legitimize the PA in the minds of the public and pose a threat Hamas.183 One important instance of this is during the Oslo peace talks of the early 1990s. Since the talks would legitimize the importance of the PA as a critical player in the negotiations, Hamas launched a propaganda campaign against the Declaration of Principles, while simultaneously ramping up its military attacks.184 It is not difficult to see the connection between this kind of persuasion and Hamas’ military initiatives: during the intifada preceding the Oslo talks, Hamas’ military apparatus and security department distributed leaflets to the Palestinian public, signifying that Hamas viewed such an information campaign as a military, rather than a political, issue.185
182 Mishal and Sela cite a number of internal correspondences, which are in Arabic. Thus, I am limited to their
translated citations and partial summaries. Additionally, many of Hamas’ press releases from before 1999 appear to be untranslated. 183 Hassan, “Letter.” 184 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 68. 185 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 156.
45 One publication was an apologetics book that sought to reconcile the tactic of suicide terrorism with Islamic moral values, arguing that suicide bombers are Islamic “martyrs.”186 Although it was published in Damascus and it remains unclear as to whether or not Hamas actually published the book, it is widely believed that the organization strategically promoted such a publication.187 It is noteworthy that even in this publication, limitations are placed onto the scope of suicide operations, stating that martyrdom operations should not occur without public consent,188 highlighting the importance of Hamas’ need to foster a culture that will legitimize such operations. This publication will be discussed again under “grafting.” Apart from the posters, songs and graffiti mentioned above, another way in which Hamas disseminates information to the Palestinian public is through demonstrations. Indeed, in the time of the intifada, Hamas established an entire “political activity unit” charged with the responsibility of conducting public demonstrations, including “stoning, building barricades, burning tires… writing slogans, enforcing strikes,” etc.189 While these actions might seem less connected to suicide bombing, they are still promoting a culture of martyrdom by increasing Hamas’ legitimacy and by promoting a collective, unitary quality to the community. The chief of this political division, Musa Abu Marzuq, argued that “military activity is a permanent strategy that will not change. The modus operandi, tactics, means, and timing are based on their benefit. They will change from time to time in order to cause the heaviest damage to the occupation.”190 Since this political branch is conducting demonstrations against the occupation, and since the main strategy 186 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 77. The apologetics book is: Khalid al-Kharub, “Harakat Hamas Bayn al-Sulta alFilastiniyya wa-Isra’il: Min Muthallah al-Qiwa Ila al-Mitraqa wal-Sandan” [Hamas movement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel: From the triangle fo forces to the hammer and anvil], Majallat al-Disarat alFilastiniyya, no. 18 (1994). Because this book is very difficult to find and is in Arabic, I am limited to the translations and citations offered in the Mishal and Sela book. 187 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 76. 188 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 77. 189 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 156. 190Filastin al-Muslima, June 1994 [an Arabic London newspaper]quoted in Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 67.
46 against the occupation is Hamas’ military attacks, these kinds of demonstrations share an important link with suicide bombing and contribute to an overall culture of martyrdom. Framing One important way a norm entrepreneur can promote the norm is with strategic language. In its promotion of the suicide bombing tactic, Hamas frames the issue in terms of pragmatic retaliation in order to further promote public support of martyrdom.191 For instance, in February 1994, after the massacre of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, perpetrated by an Israeli, Hamas took advantage of the situation by using it as the reason for escalating its suicide car bombing campaign.192 After two suicide attacks on April 6 and 13th in 1994, Hamas publically announced that they were retaliatory operations in response to the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre. Incidentally, these attacks also coincided with the Cairo agreement negotiations.193 Similarly, the 1995 murder of “The Engineer,” or Tahya ‘Ayyash, led to a new suicide campaign in February and March 1996.194 Tahya ‘Ayyash is credited with being the first to propose the idea of human bombs to Hamas195 and he was considered an icon by Hamas sympathizers. His assassination at the hands of Israeli forces set off a campaign so violent and brutal that Mishal and Sela consider it the “worst terrorist assault ever unleashed against Israel.”196 It was instrumental in creating a newly heightened sense of insecurity and unrest in Israel.197 This campaign was framed as a just response to Israeli actions and most of the attacks were performed by Hamas followers that called themselves “disciples of the martyr Tahya ‘Ayyash.”198 191 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 81. 192 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 69. 193 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 73. 194 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 75. 195 Hassan, “Letter.” 196 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 75. 197 McMahon, Discourse, 141; Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.” 198 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 75.
47 Incidentally, McMahon argues that Israeli forces strategically provoke many Hamas attacks so that it can justify tightening its siege of Palestine.199 The example he gives was the assassination of Hamas’ military leader, Salah Shihada in June of 2002. After the intensification of suicide attacks (In 2002 alone, 211 were killed and 1448 injured by suicide attacks),200 Israel was able to justify taking a harder line with Palestine. Indeed, the assassination lines up with Israel’s launching of Operation Defensive Shield, which led to the reoccupation of West Bank Palestinian municipalities.201 All in all, whether or not Hamas plans and executes the attacks in direct retaliation, it is undeniable that the framing and justification of the attacks in terms of pragmatic retaliation make the operations more palatable to the public. Issue Networks Another of Price’s pedagogical techniques for norm entrepreneurs, issue networks are also complicated by Hamas’ clandestine nature. However, Hamas is known to have a “communal infrastructure” that transcends churches, schools, and welfare programs.202 Hamas’ overlaps with church and educational organizations might be a special case of issue networking, but it also makes it more difficult to demark the borders of the organization. Outside of Hamas’ interactions and affiliations with these communal networks, there is an empirical example of various groups coming together to promote an instance of martyrdom. In one set of suicide attacks in August and September 1997, Hamas had attempted to dissociate itself with these attacks, stating that the attackers were from abroad. However, it was discovered that the perpetrators were affiliated with Hamas’ military wing and a complex network of Hamas connections ranging from Palestine to Jordan to Lebanon, and they were assisted and mobilized by 199 McMahon, Discourse, 143-44. 200 Martin Gilbert, The Routledge Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 9th ed (New York: Routledge,
2002): 162. 201 Dowty, Israel/Palestine, 237. 202 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 9, 82.
48 the clergy from mosques from these areas.203 So, the overlap between Hamas and Islamic churches seems to be an important way in which Hamas organizers as norm entrepreneurs promote martyrdom operations. Grafting Recall that grafting occurs when the norm entrepreneur attempts to frame the norm in terms that agree with preexisting, well-established norms.204 It is a specific framing technique. By grafting the martyrdom norm to widely accepted Islamic ideas, this practice proves to be another example of the overlap between norm entrepreneurs and Islam. Hamas organizers, in framing armed attacks as the most pragmatic way to end to the occupation,205 associate martyrdom as the means to the achievement of the Palestinian state. Therefore, martyrdom is grafted into the framework of the strong norm for Palestinian self-determination. Perhaps a better example of grafting, however, is the Hamas publication that reconciles the use of martyrdom operations with Islamic teachings.206 Since Islam explicitly forbids suicide,207 suicide bombing does not cleanly fit in with Islamic war ethics.208This publication reconciles the two and frames suicide operations in terms of Islamic martyrdom or jihad. Since this publication, martyrdom has almost always been discussed in religious language, and this provides an excellent example of strategic grafting. Similarly, attack organizers can strategically interpret verses of the Qur’an to promote a culture of suicide bombing. Even though Islam stresses the importance of life and the immorality of suicide, influential leaders are able to interpret some lines in the Qur’an to support the idea of 203 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 78. 204 See Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 617, 627-631. 205 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 69. 206 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 76-77. 207 Sonbol, “Norms of War,” 283. 208 Sonbol, “Norms of War,” 301.
49 martyrdom.209 Sonbol writes that Qur’anic verses, such as “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain, and you hope from Allah what they do not hope; and Allah is Knowing, Wise,”210 can be interpreted by a religious leader to promote martyrdom. Similarly, other verses discuss the importance of war against invaders who threaten Islamic identity. Cook and Allison note that pro-martyrdom ideas might not be especially difficult to graft with Islamic teaching for radical Muslims,211 and influential individuals and charismatic figures are known to be important ingredients in inspiring suicide bombers.212 The fatwa is one mechanism that fuses Islamic teaching with the idea of martyrdom, often citing Quran verses. A fatwa is an Islamic legal document published by a religious leader, and any fatwa that discusses martyrdom does so in religious terms. Hassan writes that fatwas can confer legitimacy on suicide bombing, and although there are fatwas supporting and condemning the tactic, the “okay to do” edicts are taken more seriously and are more prevalent.213 One example of a pro-martyrdom fatwa is by Dr. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi: The martyr operation is the greatest of all sorts of jihad in the cause of Allah. A martyr operation is carried out by a person who sacrifices himself, deeming his life [of] less value than striving in the cause of Allah, in the cause of restoring the land and preserving the dignity. To such a valorous attitude applies the following Qur’anic verse: “And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah; and Allah hath compassion on (His) bondmen.” (Qur’an, 2:207)214 In this last sentence, Qaradawi explicitly synthesizes the idea of martyrdom with a Qur’an verse — a clear instance of grafting. Dr. Qaradawi might not be directly affiliated with Hamas (although 209 Sonbol, “Norms of War,” 288-289. 210 Qur’an 4:104 quoted in Soonbol, “Norms of War,” 288. 211 Cook and Allison, Understanding, 17-18. 212 Richardson, “Overview,” 31. 213 Hassan, “Suicide Terrorism,” 31. 214 “The Qaradawi Fatwas,” Middle East Quarterly 11, no.3 (2004): 78-80. http://www.meforum.org/646/theqaradawi-fatwas#_ftn3. The full fatwa, dated March 22 2004 can be found online at http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/english/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID =68511
50 Hamas’ elusive and indefinable boundaries complicate even the idea of “membership”), but he is nevertheless closely connected. Qaradawi is an important and prominent theological leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.215 The Muslim Brotherhood was the basis for Hamas’ establishment, and Hamas is one of the main political parties that support the Brotherhood.216 Thus, Dr. Qaradawi and other Islamic scholars that publish pro-martyrdom fatwas do have important links to Hamas, and the fatwa proves to be another important mechanism in which Hamas can entrench societal values in order to promote a culture amenable to martyrdom. Shifting the Burden of Proof It is difficult to describe the early phases of a shift in the burden of proof and the discussion of this technique will perhaps become clearer under the heading of norm cascade, in which the burden has already been shifted. Consequently, showing evidence of such a shift will further demonstrate the work that has been done by Hamas to promote the martyrdom norm. However, one mechanism that Price describes in the shifting of the burden of proof is emulation.217 Hamas promotes emulation of the culture of martyrdom in its strategic creation of the martyr’s heroic image. In its early stages of using suicide terrorism, Hamas sought to influence the public by putting up posters, playing songs on the radio, holding rallies, and establishing internet sites — all of which sung the praises of the martyr.218 Martyrdom is made into a virtue. Hassan even describes a “martyr of the month” calendar, in addition to the prevalence of graffiti and poster images of green birds, the symbol of the martyr.219 Similarly, Hamas strategically films a video testimony of the martyr before the operation, and then publishes this video to media 215 Oliver Guitta, “The Cartoon Jihad,” The Weekly Standard 11 no.22 (2006).
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/704xewyj.asp 216 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 16. 217 Price, “Reversing the Gun Sights,” 635. 218 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 162-163. 219 Hassan, “Letter.”
51 services.220 Brooks describes the importance of loyalty to the group, a kind of emulation, as a mechanism to promote a culture of martyrdom.221 New Mechanisms: Financial Incentives and Familial Support Although these mechanisms are not discussed in Price’s techniques or in Finnemore and Sikkink’s life cycle, providing financial incentives for subscribers to the norm and familial support for the norm are two additional techniques that Hamas uses to promote the martyr culture. Perhaps these mechanisms are related to “emulation,” but it would be misleading to say that they constitute shifting the burden of proof. Apart from forms of ideational persuasion, Hamas even employs a material tactic to increase support of martyrdom: cash rewards. Hamas puts a substantial amount of its resources into providing money for the families of martyrs.222 Hassan writes that although the average logistical cost of a suicide operation is around $150, Hamas pays from $3000 to $5000 to the family of the martyr.223 Additionally, Hamas’ charity organizations often pay rent for the families of martyrs whose houses were destroyed by Israeli retaliation in an effort to disincentivize familial support for martyrdom.224 In 2003, three Hamas charity organizations came together to provide $18,000 per month to a family whose home was destroyed by Israeli forces. In instances such as this, the family becomes an important channel of Hamas’ influence and Hamas benefits from public endearment as neighbors see Israelis destroying houses and Hamas providing humanitarian relief by rebuilding them.225Again, it is important to stress that material and normative factors are interconnected in complex ways and that it is not surprising that material incentives are used to further legitimize a particular norm. This does not preclude the possibility 220 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom,”; Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 179; Hassan “Letter.” 221 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.” 222 Mishal and Sela, Hamas, 156; Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 38. 223 Hassan, “Letter.” 224 Levitt, Hamas, 123. 225 Levitt, Hamas, 123.
52 that once the norm is sufficiently legitimate, it can lead to a certain behavior even without material incentives. In addition to financial support, the family also receives the video testimony of the attacker226 and they are thrown a kind of wedding ceremony where they receive congratulations from neighbors.227 Thus, emulation of the martyrdom cultural norm is facilitated by Hamas’ financial and emotional support of the attacker’s family and these kinds of ceremonies promote the creation of a heroic martyr image.228 In sum, through posters, religious rhetoric, the creation of the heroic martyr image, public video testimonies, and financial rewards for bombers’ families, organizations like Hamas strategically construct a culture amenable to suicide bombing.229 This is consistent with the role norm entrepreneurs play in promoting a norm through persuasion, information dissemination, grafting, etc. To confirm the hypothesis that we can see norm entrepreneurs promoting the martyrdom norm, there must be evidence of individuals or organizations persuading, disseminating information, changing the burden of proof, grafting and/or forming issue networks to promote the culture of martyrdom. We have seen evidence showing that Hamas, in a strategic ploy to spoil the Oslo talks and undermine Israeli and PLO power, sculpted a culture more supportive of suicide terrorism through persuading (leaflets and demonstrations), framing (as justified retaliation), disseminating information (posters, music, media), use of issue networks (churches, schools, etc), grafting (associating Martyrdom with Islamic principles), and shifting the burden of proof (emulation of the heroic martyr image). This passes a smoking gun test and proves the 226 Hassan, “Letter.” 227 Hassan, “Letter.” 228 Cook and Allison, Understanding, 36-37. 229 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 38, 179.
53 hypothesis.230 Thus, the martyrdom norm, like any other norm, was promoted by Hamas acting as norm entrepreneurs in the norm emergence stage.
Hypothesis 2 Norm Cascade: The martyrdom norm reached a critical tipping point and cascades to wide support. This is made apparent by some kind of spike in public opinion, as well as socialization that is guided by non-Hamas actors Finnemore and Sikkink estimate that a tipping point might exist around the one-third mark of actors (in this case, individuals).231 Wherever the critical mass tipping point may be, once norm entrepreneurs have successfully promoted the norm to the point of crossing the threshold of the tipping point, it should enjoy broad acceptance and quickly spread throughout the rest of the community. Here, appropriateness is redefined as actors are socialized to adopt the new norm and the norm entrepreneur’s efforts become less important as society seems to take up and promote the norm on its own. For this to occur with the martyrdom norm, we should observe evidence of public support for martyrdom operations hit a kind of exponential influx point and we should see other individual actors besides Hamas promoting the norm through socialization. We might also see evidence of individuals pressuring non-norm followers in a way that shows that the burden of proof now lies on the non-subscriber to the martyrdom norm. In sum, evidence of the norm cascade of the martyrdom norm would comprise (1) public opinion polls demonstrating a broad support for martyrdom and (2) socialization of the norm by actors other than Hamas. Public Opinion
230 Collier, “Process Tracing,” 6. A smoking gun test is a sufficient, but not necessary, test to prove a hypothesis. 231 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 901.
54 Observing Palestinian public opinion provides an important benchmark for the public’s support of suicide operations, and therefore, for the martyrdom norm. This will indicate whether or not a “tipping point” has been reached, and a kind of drastic increase would provide good evidence of a norm cascade, in which the norm is being spread quickly through socialization. The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) has conducted public opinion polls of Palestinians from September 1993 to the present.232 By going through these polls, it is possible to see the trajectory of public support for martyrdom operations and armed attacks against Israel across time. While inconsistencies in wording and frequency of the questions do pose some problems (questions did not appear in all polls, and were sometimes worded differently), by looking at a number of trends and questions holistically, a broad picture can be painted to better understand Palestinian public support for suicide operations. For instance, Figure 3.1 shows Palestinian public support for “armed attacks against Israeli targets,” although after May 2002, the question was changed to “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel.” Because of this, it would appear that public support for attacks greatly diminished after December 2001. However, this is probably more of a function of the wording of the question and not of actual public support changes. In July 2001, both forms of the question appeared, and 85.9% of respondents supported armed attacks against Israeli targets, while 58.1% approved of attacks against “Israeli civilians inside Israel.” This latter figure is the benchmark that should be compared to the approval ratings after December 2001, when only the “Israeli civilians” question appeared in surveys. Thus, when this adjustment is made, it becomes apparent that after the spike in 2001, support of martyrdom does not decline so rapidly. Adjusting for this: the chart might look more like Figure 3.2. Here, the stickiness of public support becomes more apparent. 232 All polls up until April 2000 can be found online at http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/cprspolls/ and polls after
2000 at http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/index.html.
Figure 3.1: Public Support for Armed Attacks Against Israeli Targets/Civilians233
Figure 3.2: Adjusted Public Support for Armed Attacks Against Israeli Targets/Civilians234 Nevertheless, these charts give only a partial indication of Palestinian support for martyrdom operations, because the questions referred to “armed attacks” rather than suicide attacks. Still, as the introductions to the poll results indicate, many of the polls took place in the
233 See data for all charts in Appendix II. 234 This adjusted chart is by no means scientific; it is merely a visual aid. I adjusted for the change in question
wording by roughly adding 23 to each percentage, because that was the rough difference between the “civilian” question and the “Israeli target” question in the June 2001 poll.
56 context of highly publicized suicide attacks, and this is probably what came to mind when the respondents took the survey. The PCPSR also used suicide-bombing instances as examples of “armed attacks,” demonstrating that the organization did not consider suicide terrorism to be a separate phenomenon, and that suicide terrorism was to be included in “armed attacks.”
Figure 4: Palestinian Public Support for Armed Attacks Against Israeli Settlers In August/September 1995, PCPSR introduced the issue of “armed attacks against Israeli settlers [in Palestinian territories].” The question did not appear again until December 2001, and it was present in the poll until the end of 2004. After an initial low point in 1995 (69.2%), approval for these attacks hovered 75%. Figure 4 makes it quite clear that Palestinians felt animosity towards the Israeli settlers, and armed attacks against them, including suicide bombings, were more than acceptable — they were popular. Although this poll begins after Hamas’ information campaign to legitimize suicide terrorism, it demonstrates overwhelming public support for attacks (including suicide attacks) against the settlers in the West Bank and Gaza.
Figure 5: Palestinian Public Support for Specific Instances of Suicide Attacks One good indicator that isolates suicide operations, as opposed to other armed attacks, comes from looking at specific instances of attacks asked about in a few polls. In this graph (Figure 5), although it has fewer data points, the spike between July 1996 and October 2003 becomes apparent, which lines up with the spikes in Figures 3.1 and 3.2 that take place in 2001. This series of correlated spikes seems to fulfill the hypothesis that there would be a kind of exponential jump in public approval ratings to indicate that the norm has reached a tipping point. The spike itself represents the cascade, and evidence of passing at least a hoop test that the martyrdom norm has cascaded.235 Socialization In this stage of the norm life cycle, the influence of the norm entrepreneur becomes less important because the norm enjoys wide acceptance and takes on its own momentum. Thus, acceptance of the norm is more related to a dynamic of contagion than one of persuasion. Therefore, we should be able to see evidence of actors other than Hamas promoting the culture of martyrdom. One way in which we can see that this is true is through the media. Brooks argues
235 Collier, “Process Tracing,” 3.
58 that martyrdom operations have become the central focus of Arab media, and he writes that “reporters who speak with Palestinians about the bombers notice the fire and pride in their eyes.”236 After attacks, Palestinians see news stories with TV interviews with the attacker’s happy, proud parents.237 Indeed, rather than feeling grief at the loss of their child, parents often demonstrate a sense of pride and satisfaction.238 This is evidence that there has been a shift in norms. By observing the reactions of others, and noting that norm-promoting behavior generates praise, it would seem clear that this reaction is evidence that the martyrdom norm is widely accepted. Similarly, in addition to parents becoming new actors that promote the idea of martyrdom, Hassan writes that there is social pressure to congratulate the families of suicide attackers.239 However, parents become spreaders of the martyrdom norm, as well. One poignant example is of Miriam Farhat, the mother of three suicide bombers. She talks about crying in 2002 as her son, who was about to carry out a suicide mission, read his will. She said: “I am your mother! It is not easy for me to ask you to leave, I cry for you day and night. Don’t misinterpret my tears. They are the tears of a mother who is about to give her son in marriage to the beautiful houris in Paradise. You must obey your orders, and maintain your fight until the moment you meet God.”240 She goes on to say that she was relieved when she heard the news of her son’s successful mission a few hours later. Thus, this mother, who at the time of this send-off was not a Hamas official, became a promoter of the norm, although she is not a norm entrepreneur. This corresponds to the cascade stage of the cycle and the idea of a larger socialization of the norm.
236 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.” 237 Brooks says this is indicative of a “culture of revenge.” 238 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.” 239 Hassan, “Letter.” 240 Chehab, Inside Hamas, 86.
59 Public support of the martyr is high, and Asad writes that the suicide bomber is often seen as a strong moral leader.241 This is important because it implies that the suicide bomber did the appropriate action prescribed by the norm. This is in accordance with the model, which says that by norm cascade, standards of appropriateness are being redefined. Eric Hazan discusses his experience of seeing city walls with pictures of the martyrs after an attack and the phenomenon of local people taking pride in an attacker from their area.242 In addition, he writes that children in schools tell stories of their favorite martyrs.243 Similarly, Brooks describes fifth and sixth graders studying poetry about suicide operations and university students using fake blood and body parts strewn about the room to recreate and celebrate a suicide attack on a Sbarro’s pizzeria.244 Some Palestinian classrooms are even decorated with posters of martyrs.245 Brooks writes, “Palestinian children grow up in a culture in which suicide bombers are rock stars, sports heroes, and religious idols rolled into one.”246 Additionally, in 2002, which would be after the tipping point, Fatah (Hamas’ rival political party) begins to adopt the suicide bombing method. Pedahzur writes that Fatah’s decision to begin using suicide terrorism was less a strategic decision and more that they were “drawn into it.”247 This is consistent with the hypothesis because it occurs after the cascade, meaning that Hamas’ influence is less important because other actors begin to promote the norm, even inadvertently. The fact that Fatah was more “drawn into” employment of the tactic highlights the “contagion” aspect of socialization in the cascade stage.
241 Talal Asad, On Suicide Bombing (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007): 63. 242 Hazan, Notes, 3. 243 Hazan, Notes, 29. 244 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.” 245 See Appendix I. 246 Brooks, “Culture of Martyrdom.” 247 Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, 63, 68.
60 At this point, it would seem that through the media, interactions between families, and even children, the norm is being promoted by actors other than Hamas. The burden of proof has shifted off of justifying attacks and onto those who would be reluctant to congratulate an attacker’s family. This provides strong evidence of a norm cascade, and the second hypothesis is met.
Hypothesis 3 Norm Internalization: I do not think the martyrdom norm has been internalized. For a norm to be internalized, it must achieve a kind of “taken-for-granted” status,248 to the point where violating it might seem “unthinkable.” In the same way that incest and slavery are both unthinkable in our society today, yet they both were socially acceptable in past times, an internalized norm might not even be thought of as a norm anymore. Public opinion polls about incest and slavery would surely be nearly unanimous, although we would not even consider conducting such a poll, because the norms have been so internalized and these issues have become taboo. And while we might still consider the level of support for armed attacks against Israel civilians to be too high (around 50%), martyrdom is nowhere near the level of an internalized norm. This does not mean, however, that the norm cannot still influence people’s behavior and decisions. In intermediary stage two, norm cascade, appropriateness is redefined. Norms can redefine appropriateness without being internalized in the same way that we can still see general trends of appropriateness in issues that are not taken for granted. Tannenwald writes that an idea’s acceptance or reception does not necessarily mean an internalization of that idea.249 For example,
248 Finnemore and Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics,” 895. 249 Tannenwald, “Ideas and Explanation,” 32.
61 we might say that most people are generally anti-war, but it would be going too far to say that an anti-war norm has been internalized and that we consider war to be unthinkable. Another disambiguation that might be necessary is the distinction between Finnemore and Sikkink’s understanding of “internalization” and the “internalization” of the Transnational Legal Process Theory, which was mentioned in an earlier section. The culture of martyrdom might have indeed reached this latter version of interpretation. Koh writes about a kind of “social internalization” in which the norm achieves widespread public legitimacy and obedience. This has happened in the norm cascade stage, but a more extreme version of Koh’s “social internalization” would look similar to Finnemore and Sikkink’s idea of “internalization.” It would simply occur on a different level of analysis. Nevertheless, just because the martyrdom norm has not completed the Norm Life Cycle, this does not mean that the norm does not follow the cycle. In fact, many norms do not reach Finnemore and Sikkink’s high standard for internalization. Overall, from norm emergence to norm cascade, the martyrdom norm follows the same mechanisms as other norms that go through the cycle, and my hypothesis is confirmed.
Conclusion Summary This thesis sought to answer whether the martyrdom norm followed the Norm Life Cycle model. After a review of the literature concerning the causes of terrorism and suicide terrorism, it was determined that the decision to volunteer for a suicide operation must have a normative basis, the martyrdom norm. Then the discussion moved to a larger explanation of norms and their importance in IR, and Finnemore and Sikkink’s three-staged Norm Life Cycle model was
62 introduced. The following section discussed the case study and process tracing methodologies, and types of evidence. Finally, the analysis section was the actual process tracing of the martyrdom norm through the stages of the Norm Life Cycle. From the analysis, we can conclude that the martyrdom norm follows the same trajectory as the “good” norms that have been studied through the Norm Life Cycle. Still, slight additions to the model were necessary to fully incorporate this case into the model. In the first stage, norm emergence, we saw evidence of Hamas acting as norm entrepreneur, persuading the Palestinian public through issue dissemination, framing, forming issue networks, grafting, and shifting the burden of proof. This is in line with the traditional model. We also saw evidence of new mechanisms, namely financial incentives and familial support. These mechanisms might prove to be important additions to the Norm Life Cycle model and should be considered in future applications of the model. Additionally, we saw evidence that norm entrepreneurs do not have to act within a logic of appropriateness in their promotion of the norm. Although Finnemore and Sikkink imply that norm entrepreneurs act out of appropriateness in their discussion of altruism, empathy, and ideological commitment, appropriateness is not always the most accurate portrayal of entrepreneurial motivations. It might be accurate to say that Hamas acted out of ideological commitment to a Palestinian state, so in this sense, the martyrdom norm’s promotion could possibly be seen as altruistic, but I think this might be stretching the concept too far. Of course, it is nearly impossible to determine whether or not Hamas was acting out of a logic that was purely utilitarian or purely altruistic. There are complex interactions between the two logics, and because of this, I think the model should be expanded to include logic of consequences explanations for norm entrepreneur
63 motivation, rather than limiting the discussion to altruistic and normative reasons. Indeed, we saw evidence that Hamas promoted the norm to strategically improve its own legitimacy in Palestine. The martyrdom norm seemed to conform to the traditional model more in the intermediary second stage, norm cascade. Here, we saw evidence from public opinion polls of a tipping point and an ensuing cascade around 2001. We also saw historical evidence of socialization of the norm, in which Hamas’ efforts became less important because the norm took on momentum of its own. Consequently, we saw actors other than Hamas promoting the norm. Although the norm is not internalized, this is no reason to reject the hypothesis that the martyrdom norm follows the Norm Life Cycle. Many norms are never internalized, but they can still have an impact on actors’ behavior. Palestine may become a country in which the martyrdom norm will become totally internalized. . Norms Case studies and process tracing often aim to develop or improve theory. Through a process tracing of the martyrdom norm, we have seen new mechanisms that can improve the Norm Life Cycle model. In this sense, this thesis can contribute to the dialogue on norms by making small expansions on one of the discipline’s most important tools in norm discussions. Additionally, the dynamics of conflict-promoting norms can be added to the discussion. We know that, for the most part, we can say that these kinds of norms follow the same life cycle as the more studied, peaceful norms. Hopefully, conflict-promoting norms will receive more attention from IR scholars in the future.
64 Improvements In the future, this study could be improved by more first-hand evidence of the martyrdom norm at work. Conducting interviews with Hamas organizers, attack planners, would-be attackers, or families of attackers could help give personal meaning to the theory, in addition to uncovering prime examples of the theory at work. If Hamas’ materials (posters, propaganda, leaflets, publications, statements, etc.) were more attainable, this could also contribute to the study. In addition, complete public opinion polling with consistent questions could provide more insights into the widespread approval enjoyed by the tactic of suicide bombing. One question that is not answered is whether the departures from the Norm Life Cycle model can be attributed to the fact that I was studying a conflict-promoting norm. In other words, are conflict-promoting norms more likely to have a logic of consequences-motivated norm entrepreneur than a peace-promoting norm? Can we find other new mechanisms (such as my financial incentive and familial support argument) by studying other conflict-promoting norms? Are conflict-promoting norms less likely to be internalized? These are all important questions that could be explored by other studies and by a greater understanding of the dynamics of conflictpromoting norms. Malleability and Conflict Resolution What are the implications of this study on the real world? In other words, how can the findings of this study be translated into concrete actions or policies? We know that the martyrdom norm has profound effects on the public legitimacy of suicide terrorism. To curb this behavior, a number of steps can be taken. First, fight fire with fire. Hamas as norm entrepreneurs had to persuade the public in order to promote the martyrdom norm. In the early stages of norm development, entrepreneurs compete
65 against one another in promoting their norms. Thus, to undercut the martyrdom norm, we could have taken steps to delegitimize Hamas as an organization and made them less credible in the eyes of Palestinians by empowering the competing entrepreneurs who were trying to persuade a critical mass of the public of Hamas’ illegitimacy. However, now that the norm emergence stage has passed, Hamas’ actions are less important, and they do not have to compete against opposing norm entrepreneurs because the norm has achieved wide acceptance. Therefore, rather than stopping the development of the martyrdom norm via competition, it might be wiser to undertake a new norm at the beginning of the cycle. Again, this would require new norm entrepreneurs who would disseminate information, form issue networks, graft, etc. The ultimate goal would be to achieve normative change and redefine martyrdom as inappropriate. Other techniques might be not to delegitimize Hamas (and other organizations that now use suicide terrorism), but to highlight the legitimacy of their non-violent operations. Perhaps this could be the content of the new norm that is promoted through persuasion and then socialized through a larger audience. Rami Khouri writes that Hezbollah and Hamas both use non-violent strategies and attacks to achieve political ends.250 By legitimizing and strengthening these tactics, perhaps we could lessen the strategic need or desire for suicide operations from the organizational standpoint. Non-military solutions could be much more effective in achieving Palestinian’s goals because they would not be posing themselves against the much stronger Israeli army, and they would also garner more international support.251 There have been successful instances of Palestinian non-violent struggle and civil disobedience to attain political ends. If these tactics can 250 Rami G. Khouri, “Free at Last! Free at Last! Allahu Akbar, We Are Free at Last! Parallels between Modern
Arab and Islamic Activism and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement,” in Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East, ed. Maria J. Stephan (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009): 80. 251 Mary Elizabeth King, “Palestinian Civil Resistance against Israeli Military Occupation,” in Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East, ed. Maria J. Stephan (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009): 139.
66 be seen as more legitimate, then suicide terror can end and we can move closer to a two-state solution or a final solution to the ongoing conflict. Overall, the tactic must involve changing the public perception of martyrdom. Suicide terrorism is what Palestinians make of it, and now the tactic is being made legitimate. Even Hamas organizers recognize the importance of public consent for these types of operations. If public opinion on the tactic can be changed, then the culture of martyrdom will dissolve and suicide terror will be less prevalent in Palestine. In addition, Palestinian organizations will be seen as more legitimate authorities, which will open the door for more successful peace talks. In the end, Palestine’s very future might lie in the hands of the people that confer legitimacy upon the martyrdom norm.
Appendix I: Examples Martyrdom Posters
These posters depict two Hamas suicide bombers, Osama Ayed Bahar and Nabil Habiyeh. They are hanging outside of Bahar’s house, which was to be demolished by Israeli Defense Forces. The Dome of the Rock can be seen behind the two men.252
This poster shows Hamas suicide bomber Isa Budier and was found outside his family’s demolished home.253
252 Quique Kierszenbaum, photographer, “IDF Demolishes Suicide Bomber’s Homes,” September 19, 2002.
Photograph. From Life. http://www.life.com/image/1394417 (accessed March 22, 2011). 253 Paula Bronstein, “Suicide Bomber home Dis,” August 13, 2002. Photograph. From Life. http://www.life.com/image/1333497 (accessed March 30, 2011).
This poster depicts two Hamas martyrs responsible for 2003 suicide attacks. The poster also shows Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Hamas’ leader, in the center, along with the Al-Aqsa mosque in the bottom corner. The inscription atop the poster is a verse from the Qur’an translated as “Among the [religious Moslem] believers there are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah: some of them [have already fulfilled their vows and] found their death [in battle]; and some still wait [their turn]. However, they have not in any way broken [their vows].”254
This photo shows Hamas’ martyr posters displayed in a Palestinian elementary school.255
254 “Mosques in the Palestinian Authority-Administered Territories Are Used as Platforms for Provoking AntiIsraeli and Anti-American Hatred, and a [sic] Hothouses for Training Terrorists: Al-‘Ein Mosqu in al Bireh as a Case Study,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, November 2003. http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/html/final/eng/sib/mpa_11_03/alein_1203_a.htm (accessed March 30, 2011). 255 “The exploitation of Palestinian youth by Palestinian terrorist organizations,” Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, March 2004. http://www.terrorisminfo.org.il/malam_multimedia/html/final/eng/sib/4_04/y_apc.htm (accessed March 30, 2011).
This poster, which depicts a Hamas suicide bomber student, was found posed in a mosque. The caption reads “The Islamic Bloc at the Open University of Jerusalem escorts, with gladness and rejoicing [as for a bridegroom; and at the same time announces with sorrow the death of] its hero, who died a shaheed [martyr]for the sake of Allah while carrying out a suicide bombing attack,” and above the depiction of al-Aqsa mosque, the caption reads “When al-Aqsa mosque cries out: I beg you, come to my aid—all the blood in my veins answers the call.”256 The poster at left depicts a Hamas female suicide bomber holding a child. Both are wearing Hamas headbands. This image appeared in Filastin al-Muslima, a Hamas publication based out of London.257258
256 “Mosques in the Palestinian Authority.” 257 “The exploitation of Palestinian youth.” 258 For more examples of Hamas’ martyr posters, see Anzalone, Christopher, July 29, 2009, “Cyber Shrines &
Cyber Martyrs: HAMAS Commemorates the ‘Martyrdom’ of Senior Military Commander Salah Shehadah,” Views from the Occident, http://occident.blogspot.com/2009/07/cyber-shrines-hamas-commemorates.html.
70 Appendix II: Poll Data Data from Polls on Public Support for Armed Attacks “against Israeli targets”/”Israeli civilians”/”Civilians inside Israel”
Poll # DATE % TOTAL 32.7 33.4 46 32.5 % strongly support % support 32.7 33.4 46 32.5 46 Jan-00 43.3 39.4 44 51.6 85.9 81.8 52 52.3 53.2 57.3 54.4 47.5 53.1 50.1 46.1 40.1 37.5 46.3 37.8 39.7 52.4 56.1 57.4 48.2 30.8 20.6 23.1 25.2 32.2 26.9 25.1 26.9 23.1 27.4 22.5 9.7 11.3 10.3 9.4 14.2 24.7 16.6 43.3 39.4 44 51.6 37.7 51 31.4 29.2 28 25.1 27.5 22.4 26.2 27 18.7 17.6 27.8 35 27.5 30.3 38.2 31.4 40.8 47 Feb-00 48 Apr-00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 49.7 43.6 50.8 41.2 40.8 44.6 44.7 38.5 35.7 39.5 35.6 49.7 43.6 50.8 41.2 40.8 44.6 44.7 38.5 35.7 39.5 35.6 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Jul-00 1-Jul 1-Dec 2-May 2-Aug 2-Nov 3-Apr 3-Jun 3-Oct 3-Dec 4-Mar 4-Jun 4-Sep 4-Dec 5-Mar 5-Jun 5-Sep 5-Dec 6-Mar 6-Jun 6-Sep 6-Dec 7-Mar 7-Jun 7-Sep 7-Dec 8-Mar 8-Jun 8-Aug 8-Dec 9-Mar 9-May 43 47.2 43.8 49 48.2 12.5 17.9 10.5 14.4 13.8 30.5 29.3 33.3 34.6 34.4 66.5 54.8 48.1 54.2 27.9 15.9 13.9 16.4 38.6 38.9 34.2 37.8
12 Sep-94 13 Nov-94 14 Dec-94 15 Feb-95 16 Mar-95 17 May-95 18 Jul-95 Aug/Se 19 p-95 20 Oct-95 21 Dec-95 22 Mar-96 23 Jun-96 24 Sep-96 25 Dec-96 26 Mar-97 27 Apr-97 28 May-97 29 Jul-97
30 Nov-97 31 Dec-97 32 Mar-98 33 Jun-98 34 Mar-98 35 Aug-98 36 38 39 41 42 44 Oct-98 Jan-99 Jan-99 Jun-99 Jul-99 Oct-99 37 Nov-98
43 Sep-99 45 Dec-99
33 9-Aug 34 9-Dec 35 10-Mar 36 10-Jun 37 10-Oct 38 10-Dec
Data from Polls on Public Support for Armed Attacks against “Israeli settlers”/ “settlers in the West Bank and Gaza”
Poll # 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 DATE Sep-94 Nov-94 Dec-94 Feb-95 Mar-95 May-95 % TOTAL % strongly support % support 47 48 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 Feb-00 Apr-00 Jul-00 1-Jul 1-Dec 2-May 2-Aug 2-Nov 3-Apr 3-Jun 3-Oct 3-Dec 4-Mar 4-Jun 4-Sep 4-Dec 5-Mar 5-Jun 5-Sep 5-Dec 6-Mar 6-Jun 6-Sep 6-Dec 7-Mar 7-Jun 7-Sep 7-Dec 8-Mar 8-Jun 8-Aug 8-Dec 9-Mar 9-May 9-Aug 9-Dec 10-Mar 10-Jun 10-Oct 10-Dec 92.1 89.3 91.8 93.9 91.2 89.3 86.2 90.9 75.2 92.2 83.1 50.8 45.9 53.2 50.8 55.3 51.9 52 50.8 42.3 50.5 44.5 41.3 43.4 38 43.1 35.9 37.4 34.2 40.1 32.9 41.7 38.6
Jul-95 Aug/Sep19 95 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 Oct-95 Dec-95 Mar-96 Jun-96 Sep-96 Dec-96 Mar-97 Apr-97 May-97 Jul-97 Nov-97 Dec-97 Mar-98 Jun-98 Mar-98 Aug-98 Oct-98 Nov-98 Jan-99 Jan-99 Apr-99 Jun-99 Jul-99 Sep-99 Oct-99 Dec-99 Jan-00
Data from Polls on Specific Instances of Suicide Terror
% TOTAL 21.1 40.3 35.5 75 40.4 34.1 % strongly support % support
Poll # Date 1996 22 Mar 1996 27 Apr 1996 29 Jul 2003 9 Oct
Description "Armed attacks… against Israelis in Jerusale, Tel Aviv and Ashkelon "armed attack against the Israeli Café in Tel-Aviv last month" 47.9% oppose "Several suicide attacks against Israelis… the past few weeks." 55.5% oppose Maxim Restaurant: Jaradat! "bombing attack in the religious school in Jerusalem inside Israel… eight Israeli students were killed in addition to the Palestinian attacker, do you support or oppose this attack?" "bombing attack in Dimona in Israel…one Israeli woman was killed in addition to the two bombers, do you support or oppose this attack?"
2008 27 Mar 2008 27 Mar
73 Public Support of Hamas Data from Polls on % of People that Would Vote for Hamas in an Election
Poll # 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 DATE Feb-94 Mar-94 Apr-94 May-94 Jun-94 Aug-94 Sep-94 Nov-94 Dec-94 Feb-95 Mar-95 May-95 Jul-95 Aug/Sep95 Oct-95 Dec-95 Mar-96 Jun-96 Sep-96 Dec-96 Mar-97 Apr-97 May-97 Jul-97 Nov-97 Dec-97 Mar-98 Jun-98 Mar-98 Aug-98 Oct-98 Nov-98 Jan-99 Jan-99 Apr-99 Jun-99 Jul-99 Sep-99 Oct-99 Dec-99 % support 13.9 15.6 15.9 12.3 13.7 13.9 10.1 17.4 16.6 14.4 12.4 12.3 13.1 16.6 13 9.7 5.8 7.8 8.1 9.7 8.6 10.3 8 9.3 11.9 11.6 9.1 12.1 13.4 12 12.2 10.9 11.2 12.3 12.2 10.4 11.2 10.4 9.7 9 46 47 48 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 Jan-00 Feb-00 Apr-00 Jul-00 1-Jul 1-Dec 2-May 2-Aug 2-Nov 3-Apr 3-Jun 3-Oct 3-Dec 4-Mar 4-Jun 4-Sep 4-Dec 5-Mar 5-Jun 5-Sep 5-Dec 6-Mar 6-Jun 6-Sep 6-Dec 7-Mar 7-Jun 7-Sep 7-Dec 8-Mar 8-Jun 8-Aug 8-Dec 9-Mar 9-May 9-Aug 9-Dec 10-Mar 10-Jun 10-Oct 10-Dec 10.3 10.2 12.9 10.3 16.7 16 15.5 19.8 16.6 17.4 22.2 20.9 20.1 20.3 24 22 17.6 25.1 30.1 27.3 27.7 36.7 32.9 29 29.3 26.7 21.9 20.7 20.5 24.7 21.7 20.4 20.4 23 23.9 18.9 20.8 21.7 18.9 18.1 18.8
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