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Other titles in the Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures series:
Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn (Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and)by Asef Bayat
Synopses & Reviews
Whether Islam is compatible with democracy is an increasingly asked question, but ultimately a misguided one. In this book, Asef Bayat proposes that democratic ideals have less to do with the essence of any religion than with how it is practiced. He offers a new approach to Islam and democracy, outlining how the social struggles of student organizations, youth and womens groups, the intelligentsia, and other social movements can make Islam democratic.
Making Islam Democratic examines in detail those social movements that have used religion to unleash social and political change, either to legitimize authoritarian rule or, in contrast, to construct an inclusive faith that embraces a democratic polity. It provides a fresh analysis of Irans 1979 Islamic revolution—how it has evolved into the pervasive, post-Islamist reform movement of the early twenty-first century, and how it differed from Egypts religious “passive revolution.”
Focusing on events from the Iranian Revolution to the current day, with a comparative focus on Islamism, post-Islamism, and active religious expression across the region, Bayat explores the highly contested relationship between religion, politics, and the quotidian in the Middle East. His book provides an important understanding of the great anxiety of our time—the global march of “Muslim rage”—and offers a hopeful picture of a democratic Middle East.
Asef Bayat proposes that democratic ideals have less to do with the essence of any religion than with how it is practiced. He offers a new approach to Islam and democracy, outlining how the social struggles of student organizations, youth and womens groups, the intelligentsia, and other social movements can make Islam democratic.
This book looks anew at the vexing question of whether Islam is compatible with democracy, examining histories of Islamic politics and social movements in the Middle East since the 1970s.
“In a commanding and detailed overview of the contemporary Middle East, Asef Bayat provides a unique account of the region today, in terms of ideologies, social movements and state power. Almost alone amongst scholars of the region in having expertise on both Iran and the Arab world, and with a deep commitment to combining regional knowledge with social theory, Bayat has produced a work of originality and quality. His exploration of the category 'post-Islamism. when so many in the Middle East and the West stress the impact of Islamism itself, sets this work apart from so many prevailing, repetitive and introverted, discussions of the region.”
—Professor Fred Halliday, London School of Economics, Fellow of the British Academy
“Unquestionably the best book I have read on Islamic trends in Iran and Egypt. Bayat, combining sociological sophistication with sharply detailed observation, offers hearty fare for those who are tired of the thin gruel served up elsewhere.”
—Richard W. Bulliet, Columbia University, author of The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization
About the Author
Asef Bayat is Academic Director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) and ISIM Professor at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He is the author of Workers and Revolution in Iran (1987), Work, Politics, and Power (1991), and Street Politics (1997).
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