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Radicalism and Political Reform in the Islamic and Western Worlds


  • Date Published: July 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521763202

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • Over the last decade, political Islam has been denounced in the Western media and in the surrounding literature as a terrorist or fascist movement that is entirely at odds with Western democratic ideology. Kai Hafez's book overturns these arguments, contending that, despite its excesses, as a radical form of political opposition the movement plays a central role in the processes of democratization and modernization, and that these processes have direct parallels in the history and politics of the West. By analyzing the evolution of Christian democratization through the upheavals of the Reformation, colonisation, fascism, and totalitarianism, the book shows how radicalism and violence were constant accompaniments to political change, and that these components - despite assertions to the contrary - are still part of Western political culture to this day.

    • First stringent comparison of political developments in the Islamic world and the West
    • Academic revision of the view of Islamic fundamentalism's contribution to political change
    • Reassessment of the role of political Islam between liberal modernity, democracy, and 'Islamofascism'
    • Critical debate of political violence as exerted by authoritarian systems, terrorists, or Western foreign policies and of its impact on political stagnation of large parts of the Muslim world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This well-thought, well-written, well-argued book is a welcome addition to the debate on Islam, democracy and modernity. It aims at shattering stereotypes and well-ingrained ideas about the alleged militancy of Islamism or 'political Islam' and its anti-democratic character as well as its opposition to modernity. The remarkable ease and clarity with which Hafez writes render this book a joy to read.' Joseph Alagha, International Affairs

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521763202
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Modernity:
    1. Concepts of modernity: reform, reformation and radicalism
    2. Political cultures and social movements: the social rationality of cultural change
    Part II. Democracy:
    3. The discourse of democratization: grey zones on the intersection of religion and secularism
    4. Political system change: the radicals' democracy
    Part III. Political Violence:
    5. Authoritarianism: dictatorship between fascism and modernization
    6. Imperialism: autocracy, democracy and violence
    7. Terrorism and non-violent resistance: extremism and pacifism across cultures
    Conclusion: from 'holy war' to democracy? The current state of Islamic and Western modernity.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Anthropology of Islam
    • Religion in the Modern World
  • Author

    Kai Hafez, University of Erfurt
    Kai Hafez is a Professor (Chair) and currently also the Director of the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Erfurt, Germany. He was a Senior Research Fellow of the German Middle East Institute in Hamburg and a Visiting Fellow to the University of Oxford. Hafez has been a frequent advisor to German governments regarding the Western-Islamic dialogue and is a member of the German Islam Conference. He is the author of The Myth of Media Globalization and the editor of numerous books, including Arab Media: Power and Weakness and The Islamic World and the West: An Introduction to Political Cultures and International Relations.

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