Rethinking Political Islam

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Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.2 X 1.0 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution and author of Islamic Exceptionalism and Temptations of Power.

William McCants is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he directs the Project on US Relations with the Islamic World. He is the author of The ISIS Apocalypse and Founding Gods, Inventing Nations.


"This collection is a remarkable and probably unique overview, historically grounded but also looking towards the future of the conflict-torn Middle East. We are shown how the balance between religious, political and welfarist motivations for Islamist movements has been highly variable, but some recognition is allowed here, which many other commentaries withhold, of the long-standing element of ethics and public service." -- Jonathan Benthall, Times Literary Supplement

"The contributors look at expressions of political Islam in 12 Middle Eastern countries with a view to highlighting the wide range of approaches adopted by Islamist actors, and the widely differing outcomes these approaches have produced. Space is given to the views of Islamist activists and leaders themselves." -- Survival: Global Politics and Strategy Vol.60.2

"Rethinking Political Islam is admirable and inspiring, and undoubtedly a substantive contribution to the literature. It significantly adds to our grasp of the post-Arab Spring politics of Islamism in the wider Islamic world."--Mahmoud Pargoo, Reading Religion

"This text provides a critical space for conversation among experts, insiders, and the general public. Indeed, by putting together the perspectives of such a varied group... the collection may very well help all parties interpret (and reimagine) how Islamist groups are seeking alternative methods for success. This is a must-read for academics of Middle Eastern studies as well as anyone interested in the political state of the Islamic world."--Publishers Weekly

"A tremendous body of scholarship - at a pivotal juncture - on the ever-evolving spectrum of Islamist movements."--Robin Wright, author of Rock the Casbah

"This will be the go-to source for students of Islamism and politics. Essential, required reading for anyone interested in the future of the Middle East and indeed the world."-- Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

"This collection is easily the best scholarly work on Islamist politics since the oubreak of the Arab Uprisings." -- Jillian Schwedler, Professor of Political Science, Hunter College

"This collection accomplishes something quite rare: it focuses on a moving target and sheds light on its past, present, and future. And they include the voices of some of whom they study, pinning down Islamist leaders to account for changes in their own movements." -- Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science, George Washington University

"This amazing collection of 20 essays augmented by extensive bibliographies provides an intense and erudite examination of Islam in a contemporary setting... Highly recommended."--CHOICE Reviews

"A thoughtful and useful collection of essays."--Olivier Roy, Foreign Affairs