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ISLAMISTS IN POWER? INCLUSION, MODERATION, AND THE ARAB UPRISINGS

Jillian Schwedler ()
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Jillian Schwedler: University of Massachusetts, USA

Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), 2013, vol. 05, issue 01, 1-18

Abstract: Political inclusion is a major concern for democratizing states. Among the many groups excluded and repressed by the former regime, which should now be included? Which should be excluded? And who decides? With the extraordinary events of the Arab uprisings that began in 2011, a wider range of political actors than ever before have become directly engaged in debates and processes of political transition. The new political institutions, however, remain unstable and the distribution of power between them unclear. This paper explores the inclusion-moderation hypothesis with special attention to Islamist groups. It examines the literature on Islamist moderation prior to the Arab uprisings and asks whether the central tenets of those arguments hold in the dynamic environments of the post-revolutionary contexts, particularly in Tunisia and Egypt, where Islamists have done well in free and fair elections. I argue that in unstable and changing institutional contexts, the logic of the inclusion-moderation hypothesis is less likely to be present, particularly when more extreme opposition groups challenge Islamists to prove their core commitment to a conservative religious political vision.

Keywords: Islam; inclusion; moderation; institutions; Salafi; Arab uprisings; Tunisia; Egypt; Jordan; Yemen (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1142/S1793812013500065

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