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The Muslim Brotherhood:
Evolution of an Islamist Movement
Carrie Rosefsky Wickham

Honorable Mention for the 2015 Hubert Morken Award for Best Book, Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014
One of The Middle East Channel’s Top Five Books of 2013, chosen by Marc Lynch

Hardcover | 2013 | $29.95 | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691149400
384 pp. | 6 x 9 | SHOPPING CART

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The Muslim Brotherhood has achieved a level of influence nearly unimaginable before the Arab Spring. The Brotherhood was the resounding victor in Egypt's 2011-2012 parliamentary elections, and six months later, a leader of the group was elected president. Yet the implications of the Brotherhood's rising power for the future of democratic governance, peace, and stability in the region is open to dispute. Drawing on more than one hundred in-depth interviews as well as Arabic language sources not previously accessed by Western researchers, Carrie Rosefsky Wickham traces the evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from its founding in 1928 to the fall of Mubarak and the watershed elections of 2011-2012. Further, she compares the Brotherhood's trajectory with those of mainstream Islamist groups in Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco, revealing a wider pattern of change. Wickham highlights the internal divisions of such groups and explores the shifting balance of power among them. She shows that they are not proceeding along a linear path toward greater moderation. Rather, their course has been marked by profound tensions and contradictions, yielding hybrid agendas in which newly embraced themes of freedom and democracy coexist uneasily with illiberal concepts of Shari'a carried over from the past. Highlighting elements of movement continuity and change, and demonstrating that shifts in Islamist worldviews, goals, and strategies are not the result of a single strand of cause and effect, Wickham provides a systematic, fine-grained account of Islamist group evolution in Egypt and the wider Arab world.

Carrie Rosefsky Wickham is associate professor of political science at Emory University. She is the author of Mobilizing Islam: Religion, Activism, and Political Change in Egypt.

Review:

"The Muslim Brotherhood has been pushed out of power in Egypt and Carrie Rosefsky Wickham . . . might appear to be publishing just too late. In fact, her book still matters."--Gerard Russell, Times Literary Supplement

"[F]ine-grained, historically rich analysis . . ."--Charles Tripp, London Review of Books

"This timely publication emerges from Emory University political scientist Wickham's (Mobilizing Islam) long-term research into the institutional and ideological nuances of 'movement changes' within the Muslim Brotherhood--the Sunni revivalist organization that was the leading opponent of the Mubarak regime in Egypt before the popular uprising of January 2011. . . . This admirable study (based on hundreds of interviews) is a judicious, well-grounded plea for complexity in the depiction and analysis of Islamist movements."--Publishers Weekly

"[F]ascinating and marvelously detailed. . . . The Muslim Brotherhood offers one of the best and most detailed presentations of a robust school of thought among students of Islamism. . . . [I]t is likely to become a standard text and will be received as a major summary statement of decades of research and analysis."--Marc Lynch, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

"In this richly researched book, Wickham provides the most in-depth analysis of the genesis and development of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood available in English. . . . This valuable contribution to the literature on mainstream Islamist movements will be useful to scholars and policymakers alike."--Library Journal

"[A] clearly written and balanced account of the Brotherhood from its modest beginnings to its coming to power."--Michael Burleigh, Literary Review

"[A] commanding study of the Brotherhood's long history . . ."--Frederick Deknatel, National

"[An] excellent new history of the Muslim Brotherhood."--Christopher de Bellaigue, Guardian

More reviews

Table of Contents:

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Note on Transliteration xvii
Chapter One Conceptualizing Islamist Movement Change 1
Chapter Two The Brotherhood's Early Years 20
Chapter Three The Brotherhood's Foray into Electoral Politics 46
Chapter Four The Wasat Party Initiative and the Brotherhood's Response 76
Chapter Five The Brotherhood's Seesaw between Self-Assertion and Self-Restraint 96
Chapter Six Repression and Retrenchment 120
Chapter Seven The Brotherhood and the Egyptian Uprising 154
Chapter Eight Egypt's Islamist Movement in Comparative Perspective 196
Chapter Nine The Muslim Brotherhood in (Egypt's) Transition 247
Notes 289
List of Interviews 327
Selected Bibliography 331
Index 347

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