- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: September 2018
- Print publication year: 2018
- Online ISBN: 9781108560511
In the wake of the Arab uprisings, al-Nahda voted to transform itself into a political party that would for the first time withdraw from a preaching project built around religious, social, and cultural activism. This turn to the political was not a Tunisian exception but reflects an urgent debate within Islamist movements as they struggle to adjust to a rapidly changing political environment. This book re-orientates how we think about Islamist movements. Drawing on extensive fieldwork with grassroots activists of Tunisia's al-Nahda, Rory McCarthy focuses on the lived experience of activism to offer a challenging new perspective on one of the Middle East's most successful Islamist projects. Original evidence explains how al-Nahda survived two decades of brutal repression in prison and in social exclusion, and reveals what price the movement paid for a new strategy of pragmatism and reform during the Tunisian transition away from authoritarianism.
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