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What were the reasons behind the terrorist attacks of September 11th and the many others perpetrated by radical Islamist groups? Does the cause of Islamist terrorism relate to the lack of democracy in the Middle East? The assumption that there is a causal link between the two phenomena was widely accepted in the post-2001 period and appeared to inform Western foreign policies in the region, but does the premise really stand up to scrutiny? Through detailed research into the activities of both radical and moderate organizations across the Middle East, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizbullah, and the GIA, and via interviews with key personnel, Katerina Dalacoura investigates whether repression and political exclusion pushed Islamist entities to adopt terrorist tactics. She 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 other political and social factors that generate radicalism or inspire moderation.Read more
- 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
Reviews & endorsements
“Dalacoura’s informed discussion of the trajectories of groups like the Armed Islamic Group and Gama’a Islamiyya that led bloody insurrections in Algeria and Egypt, and those like Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey’s Justice and Development Party that contest power non-violently, makes the case for counter-terrorism policies that appreciate the dynamic range of Islamist movements and promote democracy without claiming that political pluralism is the decisive antidote to armed violence that targets civilians.
– Joe Stork, Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa division, Human Rights WatchSee more reviews
“In this challenging book, Katerina Dalacoura situates her analysis of Islamist terrorism within the theoretical discussion of terrorism in general, in opposition to the thesis of ‘Middle Eastern exceptionalism’…Well researched and admirably argued, her book is a considerable achievement and a most important contribution to the debate; it will be read with profit by all specialists on the region as well as those working in terrorism studies.”
– Hugh Roberts, Director, North Africa Project, International Crisis Group
“Drawing on her deep knowledge of Middle East politics, Dalacoura powerfully challenges pat assumptions about a simple link between democratic deficits and the spread of Islamist terrorism and about possible moderating effects of political inclusion. Conceptually-rigorous, empirically-rich, incisive, and searching, this is a major study on a topic of fundamental, continuing importance.”
– Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
“Islamist Terrorism and Democracy in the Middle East is well-written, thoroughly researched, and provides interesting details about many of the Islamist movements included, such as details about their internal debates over strategies and tactics. In it, Dalacoura raises serious and thought-provoking questions about policies and theoretical debates of tremendous consequence.”
– Middle East Journal
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- Date Published: April 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521683791
- length: 224 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.36kg
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
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.
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