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  • Inaugural Bernard Lewis Memorial Prize given to Cambridge author

Inaugural Bernard Lewis Memorial Prize given to Cambridge author

The Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) has awarded Banu Eligür, author of The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey, with the inaugural Bernard Lewis Memorial Prize.

The prize was created this year to recognize a member of ASMEA who has demonstrated superior scholarship and dedication to objective truth in the field of Middle East studies.

The association president noted that Eligür’s “willingness to investigate complex issues in modern history speak[s] to [a] commitment to academic freedom, ASMEA’s raison d’etre, and a key principle of Prof. Lewis’ approach to the scholarly profession.”

The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey explains why political Islam, which has been part of Turkish politics since the 1970s but on the rise only since the 1990s, has now achieved governing power. Drawing on social movement theory, the book focuses on the dominant form of Islamist activism in Turkey by analyzing the increasing electoral strength of four successive Islamist political parties: the Welfare Party; its successor, the Virtue Party; and the successors of the Virtue Party: the Felicity Party and the Justice and Development Party. Based on extensive primary and secondary sources as well as in-depth interviews, it provides the most comprehensive analysis currently available of the Islamist political mobilization in Turkey.

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