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The Islamist Dilemma. The Political Role of Islamist Movements in the Contemporary Arab World


Since the 1980s, the emergence of Islamist movements as the main opposition force in the Arab world has contributed to an often violent polarization of domestic political struggles, as highly 'ideologized' Islamist movements clash with the ruling élites. This book considers the effects of this clash, while also exploring the new divide in regional politics and growing perceptions of mutual threat between the West and the Islamic world. Among the complex issues considered by the authors is the possibility of a new political culture emerging from the interaction between these competing approaches. It also questions whether the Arab world will be aided or obstructed in its transition towards political pluralism, economic liberalism, regional and inter-national cooperation, economic development and peaceful conflict resolution.

Research conducted by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in 1992-1995. Chapters 1-6, 8-9 and 13 published also in Italian in Il dilemma dell'Islam. Politica e movimenti islamisti nel mondo arabo contemporaneo, Milano, Franco Angeli, November 1995 (Lo spettatore internazionale ; 14).

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