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Islamist Terrorism and Democracy in the Middle East

Katerina Dalacoura



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Cambridge University Press
04 August 2011
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.
By:   Katerina Dalacoura
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 228mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 14mm
Weight:   360g
ISBN:   9780521683791
ISBN 10:   0521683793
Publication Date:   04 August 2011
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Undergraduate ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
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.

Reviews for Islamist Terrorism and Democracy in the Middle East

'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 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 Watch 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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