Abstract

The outbreak of popular uprisings known as the “Arab Spring” reawakened the public and scholarly debates over the role and future of Islamism in the Arab Middle East. With Islamist victories in free, democratic elections in Tunisia and Egypt, the sincerity of the Islamists' commitment to democracy was tested for the first time. These two books provide valuable analysis, tracing the factors that led to the ascendance of Islamism and explaining the different cases in practice, whether the revolutionary model in Iran, the Turkish model of limited democracy that relies on a wealthy middle class, or the radical jihadist model that strongly opposed the gradualist Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

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