Book Review Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn

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  • Topic: Islam, Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood
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  • Published : September 20, 2011
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Book Review Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn Author: Asef Bayat Book: Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn. Publisher: Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007. Hardcover: 320 pages ISBN-10: 0804755949 ISBN-13: 978-0804755948 Key-words: democracy, Egypt, Iran, Islam, Middle East, political history, political theology. Reviewed by: Jacob Greenberg hile other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities have made use of comparative methodologies, History has been slow to join the trend. Most historical analyses investigate a single locale, individual, or neighborhood in order to offer conjectures about larger contexts. This allows the researcher to become well versed in the archives of their research site, and make informed and sound conclusions about their subject matter. It is rare to see a comparative analysis within History, due, seemingly due to fear of conducting incomplete research for two different case studies. However, some researchers are seeking to rectify this shortcoming. In Making Islam Democratic, Asef Bayat uses a comparative methodology to highlight the differences in political Islamic mobilization in Iran and Egypt from 1960 to the present day. His



analysis offers unique perspectives into the motivations of both government and citizen actors in these two countries, and seeks to explain why Iran of 1979 underwent an Islamic revolution, while Egypt of the 1980s did not. What follows is a nuanced analysis of the two countries civil societies and governmental apparatuses. Despite some minor analytical shortcomings due seemingly to space constraints, Making Islam Democratic is a highly valuable book because of its comparative methodology, and its contribution towards studies on political mobilization in the modern Muslim world Bayat closely focuses on the way politics have operated in states that experienced various Islamic revolutions in the second half of the...
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