"From Bullets to Ballots" considers non-State Muslim organizations at different stages of abandoning violence and pursuing their goals through a political process. Some have successfully made the transition. Others are in mid-stream. Some have tried but backtracked, splintered, or simply abandoned such efforts reverting to pathological violence. Many groups could be case studies, but Phillips has selected the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Hamas, Hezbollah, Kurdistan Workers Party, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, and the Free Aceh Movement, because they cover the spectrum.This book deals with political strategies for moderating violent Muslim movements by engaging them in the political process. In strong criticism of the Bush administration, Phillips notes that the push for democracy may have increased conflict by giving violent groups "the ballot" which they use to gain power. Focusing on non-state Muslim organizations, "From Bullets to Ballots" considers the relationship between ideology and policy. Phillips discusses their origin, ideology, structure and leadership and examines financing, activities, and communications.
He assesses the group's commitment to elections and its acceptance of the responsibility that comes with governance."From Bullets to Ballots" draws on twenty years of Phillips' experience working democratization and conflict prevention in the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and South Asia. His recommendations are primarily directed to the United States because he believes the United States should be a leader in promoting democracy around the world. At the same time, he is convinced that the United States must tread softly, or run the risk of fomenting further violence, undermining future democratic development, and setting back its national interests. This is a provocative, informed, and balanced analysis of the theories behind current policies.