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Islamists and the Politics of the Arab Uprisings

Governance, Pluralisation and Contention

Edited by Hendrik Kraetzschmar, Paola Rivetti

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Scrutinises the political strategies and ideological evolution of Islamist actors and forces following the Arab uprisings

What role does political Islam play in the genealogy of protests as an instrument to resist neo-liberalism and authoritarian rule? How can we account for the internal conflicts among Islamist players after the 2011/2012 Arab uprisings? How can we assess the performance of Islamist parties in power? What geopolitical reconfigurations have the uprisings created, and what opportunities have arisen for Islamists to claim a stronger political role in domestic and regional politics? These questions are addressed in this book, which looks at the dynamics in place during the aftermath of the Arab uprisings in a wide range of countries across the Middle East and North Africa.

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1. Political Islam and the Arab Uprisings

Paola Rivetti and Hendrik Kraetzschmar

Part I: Islamists and Issues of Political and Economic Governance

2. Participation not Domination: Morsi on an Impossible Mission?

Mariz Tadros

3. Governing after Protests. The Case for Political Participation in Post-2009 Iran

Paola Rivetti and Alam Saleh

4. The Group that wanted to be a State: The ‘Rebel Governance’ of the Islamic State

Truls H. Tønnessen

5. Islamic and Islamist Women Activists in Qatar Post-Arab uprisings: Implications for the Study of Refusal and Citizenship

Wanda Krause and Melissa Finn

6. Is Islamism Accommodating Neo-liberalism? The Case of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

Angela Joya

7. A Critique from Within: The Islamic Left in Turkey and the AK Party’s Neo-Liberal Economics

Nazlı Çağın Bilgili and Hendrik Kraetzschmar

Part II: Islamist and Secular Party Politics

8. Rise and Endurance: Moderate Islamists and Electoral Politics in the Aftermath of the ‘Moroccan Spring’

Mohammed Masbah

9. Does Participation Lead to Moderation? Understanding Changes in Egyptian Islamist Parties post-Arab Spring

Barbara Zollner

10. Islamist Political Societies in Bahrain: Collateral Victims of the 2011 Popular Uprising

Marc Valeri

11. Kuwait’s Islamist Proto-parties and the Arab Uprisings: Between Opposition, Pragmatism and the Pursuit of Cross-Ideological Cooperation

Luciano Zaccara, Courtney Freer and Hendrik Kraetzschmar

12. Secular Forms of Politicised Islam in Tunisia: The Constitutional Democratic Rally and Nida’ Tunis

Anne Wolf

13. Political Parties and Secular-Islamist Polarisation in Post-Mubarak Egypt

Hendrik Kraetzschmar and Alam Saleh

Part III: Intra-Islamist Pluralisation and Contention

14. The Complexity of Tunisian Islamism: Conflicts and Rivalries over the Role of Religion in Politics

Francesco Cavatorta

15. The Reconfiguration of the Egyptian Islamist Social Movement Family after Two Political Transitions

Jerôme Drevon

16. Iraq’s Shi‘a Islamists after the Uprisings: The Impact of Intra-sectarian Tensions and Relations with Iran

Ibrahim al-Marashi

17. The Impact of Islamist Trajectories on the International Relations of the Post-2011 Middle East

Katerina Dalacoura

Part IV: The Sunni-Shi’a Divide

18. Islamism in Yemen: From Ansar Allah to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Vincent Durac

19: Sectarianism and Civil Conflict in Syria: Reconfigurations of a Reluctant Issue

Laura Ruiz de Elvira Carrascal and Souhail Belhadj

20. Out of the Ashes: The Rise of an anti-Sectarian Discourse in post-2011 Iraq

Chérine Chams El-Dine

Part V Conclusion

21. Conclusion: New Directions in the Study of Islamist Politics

Jillian Schwedler

List of Acronyms



The Contributors

About the Author

Hendrik Kraetzschmar is an Associate Professor in the Comparative Politics of the Middle East and North Africa at the University of Leeds. He is editor of democracy and Violence: Global Debates and Local Challenges (2010) and The Dynamics of Opposition Co-Operation in the Arab World (2013).

Paola Rivetti is a Lecturer in the Politics of the Middle East and International Relations at Dublin City University. She is co-editor of Continuity and Change Before and After the Arab Uprisings: Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt (2015).


In a field that has quickly become overcrowded with repetitions, Kraetzschmar and Rivetti have put together a series of original contributions on an important but understudied aspect of the Arab Spring uprisings, namely the consequences of the uprisings on Islamist activism across the Middle East. I highly recommend this book for anyone wishing to better understand Islam’s engagement with politics in the Middle East in the post-2011 era.

- Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University-Qatar

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