What were the reasons behind the terrorist attacks of September 11th? Does the cause of Islamist terrorism relate to the lack of democracy in the Middle East? Through detailed research into the activities of both radical and moderate organizations across the Middle East, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hizbullah, and via interviews with key personnel, Katerina Dalacoura investigates whether repression and political exclusion pushed Islamist entities to adopt terrorist tactics. She also explores whether inclusion in the political process has had the opposite effect of encouraging Islamist groups toward moderation and ideological pragmatism. In a challenge to the conventional wisdom, she concludes that Islamist terrorism is not a direct consequence of authoritarianism in the Middle East and that there are many key factors that generate radicalism.
• Interrogates whether there is a link between authoritarianism and Islamist terrorism in the Middle East • The investigation yields an in-depth consideration of some of the major Islamist organisations across the region, including Al-Qaeda • Concise, accessible account on one of the most important debates in the Middle East
Introduction; 1. Terrorism, democracy, and Islamist terrorism; 2. Transnational Islamist terrorism: Al-Qaeda; 3. Islamist terrorism and national liberation: Hamas and Hizbullah; 4. Islamist terrorism in domestic conflicts: the armed Islamic group in Algeria and the Gamaa Islamiya in Egypt; 5. Moderation and Islamist movements in opposition: the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood/Islamic Action Front; the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the Tunisian Nahda; 6. Islamist moderation and the experience of government: Turkey's Welfare, Justice and Development Party; and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
'In this provocative book, Katerina Dalacoura challenges the fashionable view that the lack of democracy in the Middle East is a significant factor behind Islamist violence - and its corollary, that democratization is the antidote to terrorism. Resisting the notion of some kind of Middle East exceptionalism - the idea that, for religious, cultural or other reasons, the region is uniquely resistant to democratization - the author draws on a wide array of case-studies to test out her thesis.' Roger Hardy, International Affairs