What were the reasons behind the terrorist attacks of September
11th and the many others perpetrated by radical Islamist groups?
Does the cause of Islamist terrorism relate to the lack of
democracy in the Middle East? The assumption that there is a causal
link between the two phenomena was widely accepted in the post-2001
period and appeared to inform Western foreign policies in the
region, but does the premise really stand up to scrutiny? Through
detailed research into the activities of both radical and moderate
organizations across the Middle East, such as the Muslim
Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizbullah, and the GIA, and via interviews with
key personnel, Katerina Dalacoura investigates whether repression
and political exclusion pushed Islamist entities to adopt terrorist
tactics. She explores whether inclusion in the political process
has had the opposite effect of encouraging Islamist groups toward
moderation and ideological pragmatism. In a challenge to the
conventional wisdom, she concludes that Islamist terrorism is not a
direct consequence of authoritarianism in the Middle East, and that
there are many other political and social factors that generate
radicalism or inspire moderation.
Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
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