Islam and Democracy

Islam and Democracy

Paperback

By (author) John L. Esposito, By (author) John Voll

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 18mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 5 September 1996
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195108167
  • ISBN 13: 9780195108163
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Sales rank: 1,103,733

Product description

Religious resurgence and democratization have been two of the most significant developments of the last quarter of the twentieth century. Frequently they work together; other times they are at odds. In the muslim world, this relationship is of special importance because of the strength of the Islamic resurgence, and the intensity of muslim demands for greater popular participation in political processes. Esposito and Voll use six case studies to look at the history of this relationship and the role played by new Islamic movements. At one end of the spectrum, Iran and Sudan represent two cases of militant, revolutionary Islam opposing the political system. In Algeria and Malaysia however, the new movements have been legally recognized and made part of the political process. The authors identify several important factors, such as the legality or illegality of the new Islamic movements and the degree to which they co-operate with existing rulers, as being key to understanding the success or failure of these movements. Still, the case studies prove that despite the commonalities, differing national contexts and identities give rise to differences in agenda and method. This broad spectrum of experience contains important lessons for understanding this complex and subtle relationship, and will also provide insight into the powerful forces of religion and democracy in a broader global context.

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Review quote

worth the effort for anyone interested in better understanding political Islam. Esposito and Voll avoid social science jargon, provide brief historical overviews of all the countries they consider, and carefully define all terminology, including what is meant by both 'Islam' and 'democracy'. The Christian Science Monitor timely and welcome study ... In addressing it, John Esposito and John Voll come well armed. Roger Hardy, BBC World Service, International Affairs, Vol. 73, No. 2, April '97 '...The book is lucidly written; the contents are basically satisfying and the information provided is adequate...' H.A.Jawad, Dept Religious Studies, Lancaster University, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 9/2

Back cover copy

Are Islam and democracy on a collision course? Do Islamic movements seek to "hijack democracy"? How have governments in the Muslim world responded to the many challenges of Islam and democracy today? A global religious resurgence and calls for greater political participation have been major forces in the post-Cold War period. Across the Muslim world, governments and Islamic movements grapple with issues of democratization and civil society. Islam and Democracy explores the Islamic sources (beliefs and institutions) relevant to the current debate over greater political participation and democratization. Esposito and Voll use six case studies - Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Sudan - to look at the diversity of Muslim experiences and experiments. At one end of the spectrum, Iran and Sudan represent two cases of militant, revolutionary Islam establishing political systems. In Pakistan and Malaysia, however, the new movements have been recognized and made part of the political process. Egypt and Algeria reveal the coexistence of both extremist and moderate Islamic activism and demonstrate the complex challenges confronting ruling elites. These case studies prove that despite commonalities, differing national contexts and identities give rise to a multiplicity of agendas and strategies.