Release of English Edition of ‘Islamic Political Movements and Authority in the Arab World’

  • 10 January 2015

The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) has released the English language edition of Islamic Political Movements and Authority in the Arab World: The Rise and Fall, prepared and edited by Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, ECSSR Director General, and Dr. Ahmed Rashad El Safty, ECSSR Researcher, and co-authored by a group of Arab and foreign researchers and specialists. The book is concerned with the follow-up and analysis of various aspects of the phenomenon of political Islam, exploring its future prospects and charting the notable rise and fall experienced by Islamic political movements in recent years.

It discusses the effects and negative repercussions of political religion and religious politics in which Islamic political movements and parties have become involved, leading to greater political and religious polarization in a number of Arab countries. It also provides an explanation for the political rise of Islamists in light of the "Arab Spring,” and their subsequent failed attempts to exercise power and governance. Hence, it raises a number of issues and questions related to the future of Islamic political movements in the Arab world.

The book comprises six chapters in addition to a Foreword, Introduction and Conclusion. Chapter 1, “The So-called ‘Arab Spring’ and the Rise of Islamic Movements: Hegemony and the Regional Balance of Powers,” provides a review of recent events and radical changes in those Arab countries affected by the so-called “Arab Spring.” It is based on a theoretical framework that draws on various recognized international relations theories and concepts, including hegemony, balance of power and conflict modelling, and utilizes both historical and analytical approaches. Chapter 2, “Islamic Political Movements: Challenges to Power and Changes in Discourse,” analyzes Islamic political movements and their rise to power in the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Tunisian Republic and the Kingdom of Morocco, and details their positions and changing political discourses. Chapter 3, “Islamic Parties and the Political Landscape in the Arab World: A Comparative Study of the Religionization of Politics and the Politicization of Religion,” offers a comparative discussion of the religionization of politics and the politicization of religion in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Jordan since late 2010. Chapter 4, “Islamism and Tribalism in Arab Political Change,” discusses Islamism and tribalism and their role in the changes and political processes occurring in the Arab region. Chapter 5 focuses on the Tunisian case and is entitled “Islamic Political Movements in the Tunisian Republic: Continuity and Change in Discourse and Practice.” Finally, Chapter 6, “From Prison to Power and Back: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Experience of Governance in the Arab Republic of Egypt,” focuses on the Muslim Brotherhood’s recent experience in Egypt.

The original Arabic edition of the book was published by the ECSSR in October 2014.