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Islamist Mass Movements, External Actors and Political Change in the Arab World


The past decade witnessed several electoral successes of Islamist movements in the Arab world, an issue which stimulated a broad political and academic debate around how democracy can and will develop in the region. In order to understand the role that Islamist movements have or can have on their political contexts and to evaluate Western polices towards them, it is necessary to start from a non-ideological and non-Western-centred analysis of the ongoing structural changes in these countries, prioritizing empirical data collection over normative schemes. CeSPI, International IDEA and IAI jointly implemented a research project on this topic. The report includes case studies on Islamist movements and parties in Egypt, Morocco, Palestine and Lebanon. It offers an in-depth analysis of the structures of such movements, particularly of the socio-economic interests they represent and of the mobilisation and political participation strategies they have adopted.

Output of the research project on Islamist Movements and Political Change in the Arab World, conducted by the Istituto affari internazionali (IAI) in cooperation with the Centro studi di politica internazionale (CeSPI) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

Chapters 4 and 5 published also in The International Spectator, Vol. 43, No. 4 (December 2008):
- Khaleb Hroub, "Palestinian islamism: conflating national liberation and socio-political change", p. 59-72
- Nathan Brown, "Principled or stubborn? Western policy toward Hamas", p. 73-87.

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