By isolating the new Hamas government diplomatically and financially, the US and its allies have succeeded in bringing the Palestinian Authority to the brink of collapse. In a new policy brief, Living with Palestinian Democracy, Carnegie Senior Associate Nathan Brown predicts that the West Bank and Gaza, already in a deep depression, will descend into political chaos that serves nobody’s interest. Government and opposition leaders in the region regard the West's reaction to Hamas as a test of its sincerity in the push for regional political reform.

Brown, a leading expert on Palestinian politics, argues that a longer-term strategy based on support for Palestinian democracy is part of the solution to the impasse. Brown acknowledges the serious international complications triggered by the Hamas victory, but argues that it also presents an opportunity for meaningful political reform.

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Nathan Brown is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment. He is an expert on Palestinian reform and Arab constitutionalism.