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Political Ideology in the Arab World


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Arab nationalism and Islamism have been the two most potent ideological forces in the Arab region across the twentieth century. Over the last two decades, however, an accommodation of sorts has been developing between liberals, socialists and Islamists, to protest unpopular foreign and domestic policies, such as those aimed at cooperation with Israel or the war in Iraq. By examining the writings of Arab nationalist, socialist and Islamist intellectuals, and through numerous interviews with political participants from different persuasions, Michaelle Browers traces these developments from the 'Arab age of ideology', as it has been called, through an 'age of ideological transformation', demonstrating clearly how the recent flow of ideas from one group to another have their roots in the past. Political Ideology in the Arab World assesses the impact of ideological changes on Egypt's Kifaya! [Enough!] movement and Yemen's joint meeting parties.


Introduction. Ideological thought and practice in the Arab region; 1. Retreat from secularism in Arab nationalist and socialist thought; 2. A more inclusive Islamism? The Wasatiyya trend; 3. Framing a cross-ideological alliance; 4. The Egyptian movement for change: intellectual antecedents and generational conflicts; 5. Yemen's joint meeting parties: origins and architects; Conclusion. Ideological rapprochement, accommodation, transformation - and their limits.


"Browers (Wake Forest Univ.), through case studies of oppositional movements in Egypt and Yemen, argues that competing ideologies of opposition in the contemporary Arab region are accommodationist. She further argues that oppositional alliances are 'as much a product of, as they are a source for, shifts in ideological debates in the Arab world over the past several decades'...[T]he book is an excellent addition to the debate on the politics of opposition and accommodation in the Arab world." -CHOICE, A.R. Abootalebi, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

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