Tag Archives: Islamic activism

On Tribalism-Radicalism Nexus

Citizenship Initiative, led by David Jacobson and his colleagues at the University of South Florida, offers global Tribalism Index- a quantitative measure of tribal culture that can gauge degree of tribalism-  to study development of radical movements and terrorist networks around the world. Their database will be ready for public soon.

In their recent article in New Global Studies, Jacobson and Deckard utilize this new Index and come to interesting conclusions such as the following:

Regression models that include both Muslim population percentage and level of tribalism demonstrate that, in the absence of a clear tribal culture, adherence to Islam does not make for susceptibility to extremism. Furthermore, these models show that it is within tribal environments that Islamist movements are best nurtured. The Tribalism Index proves of greater utility than the Failed States Index for eliciting the dynamics of violence in tribal societies, while illuminating the inaccuracy of seeing militancy as a function of Islam as such. Continue reading


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Morsi and the Military- Let’s Conceptualize!

A couple days ago (June 24 2012), after 84 years of mobilization, protests, and struggle, the Muslim Brothers have opened a new page in Egypt’s history.

In his book Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements, James DeFronzo tells us stories of revolutionaries who succeeded to grab the power. According to DeFronzo, from the Russian revolution to the Iranian revolution, we see a similar trend: the regime was collapsed by joint social forces (including a variety of groups that are even at conflict one another), and soon after the breakdown, the radicals eliminate their rivals and get the control.

Now, what is your take? Is it the story of current Egypt?

Here is my two cents: Continue reading


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Terrorism and Collective Behavior

Two recent books are quite valuable in thinking about the relationship between terrorism and Islamic mobilization. Collecting the largest data on suicide terrorism around the globe (database available in the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism website), Robert Pape and James Feldman make a compelling argument to demonstrate strong impact of foreign occupation on suicide terrorism.

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Radical Flank Effect in Egypt?

As Nicholas Kristof notes, Egypt’s oldest and most popular Islamic movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, is now transforming into an inclusive political party after its electoral victory. Kristof’s field conversation with the activists reveal how the Muslim Brotherhood’s future is discussed in terms of “Iran versus Turkey,” a growing discursive trend that I underlined in my previous post. The first round of election results  have provided not only a big self-confidence for the Brotherhood but also a discursive opportunity: surprising many, conservative Salafis had a remarkable vote for their party, Al-Nour (second place after the MB). Continue reading


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Muslim Reformers or Revolutionaries? Egypt’s Quest for a Model

Latest developments in Egypt and subsequent scholarly comments indicate that there is quite a  way to reach the Arab “Spring.” If the pro-Islamic party has a sweeping electoral success, we will delve into recent post-Islamism debate. Can Islamists be sincere Muslim Democrats? At the center of these debates, we often see two non-Arab countries, i.e. Iran and Turkey, which are generally depicted in a mutually exclusive duality in the Western media: can the Muslim Brotherhood internalize liberal democratic values as the Muslim reformers in Turkey did or will it be the engine of another Islamic Republic? Continue reading

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