Islamic Activism

Islamic Activism

A Social Movement Theory Approach
Edited by Quintan Wiktorowicz
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 12/03/2003
Format: Paperback 3 figures, 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21621-2
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... [Will] have an impact on two important fields of scholarship: social movement theory and the study of Islamic activist movements." —John Voll, Georgetown University

This volume represents the first comprehensive attempt to incorporate the study of Islamic activism into social movement theory. It argues that the dynamics, processes, and organization of Islamic activism can be understood as important elements of contention that transcend the specificity of "Islam" as a system of meaning and identity and a basis for collective action. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, the contributors show how social movement theory can be utilized to address a wide range of questions about the mobilization of contention in support of Muslim causes. The book covers myriad examples of Islamic activism (Sunni and Shi‘a) in eight countries (Arab and non-Arab), including case studies of violence and contention, networks and alliances, and culture and framing.

Author Bio

Quintan Wiktorowicz is Assistant Professor of International Studies at Rhodes College and author of Global Jihad: Understanding September 11.


“The book's brilliant thesis is that the Western authors need a social movement theory-paradigm to reveal the dynamics of the ongoing political and cultural movements in the Muslim world. . . . the book is a very good contribution to Islamism.July 2004”
 — M. A. Khan, Emory University

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Foreword Charles Tilly

Introduction: Islamic Activism and Social Movement Theory Quintan Wiktorowicz

Part I. Violence and Contention

1. From Marginalization to Massacres: A Political Process Explanation of GIA Violence in Algeria Mohammed M. Hafez

2. Violence as Contention in the Egyptian Islamic Movement Mohammed M. Hafez and Quintan Wiktorowicz

3. Repertoires of Contention in Contemporary Bahrain Fred H. Lawson

4. Hamas as Social Movement Glenn E. Robinson

Part II. Networks and Alliances

5. The Networked World of Islamist Social Movements Diane Singerman

6. Islamist Women in Yemen: Informal Nodes of Activism Janine A. Clark

7. Collective Action with and without Islam: Mobilizing the Bazaar in Iran Benjamin Smith

8. The Islah Party in Yemen: Political Opportunities and Coalition Building in a Transitional Polity Jillian Schwedler

Part III. Culture and Frames

9. Interests, Ideas, and Islamist Outreach in Egypt Carrie Rosevsky Wickham

10. Making Conversation Permissible: Islamism and Reform in Saudi Arabia Gwenn Okruhlik

11. Opportunity Spaces, Identity, and Islamic Meaning in Turkey M. Hakan Yavuz

Conclusion: Social Movement Theory and Islamic Studies Charles Kurzman