What were the reasons behind the terrorist attacks of September 11th? Does the cause of Islamist terrorism relate to the lack of democracy in the Middle East? Through detailed research into the activities of both radical and moderate organizations across the Middle East, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hizbullah, and via interviews with key personnel, Katerina Dalacoura investigates whether repression and political exclusion pushed Islamist entities to adopt terrorist tactics. She also explores whether inclusion in the political process has had the opposite effect of encouraging Islamist groups toward moderation and ideological pragmatism. In a challenge to the conventional wisdom, she concludes that Islamist terrorism is not a direct consequence of authoritarianism in the Middle East and that there are many key factors that generate radicalism.
Katerina Dalacoura is Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is author of Islam, Liberalism and Human Rights, Third Edition (2003) and Engagement or Coercion: Weighing Western Human Rights Policies Towards Turkey, Iran and Egypt (2004). She has published in numerous journals, including the Review of International Studies, Millennium, International Affairs, Democratization and International Studies Notes and International Relations.
Introduction; 1. Terrorism, democracy, and Islamist terrorism; 2. Transnational Islamist terrorism: Al-Qaeda; 3. Islamist terrorism and national liberation: Hamas and Hizbullah; 4. Islamist terrorism in domestic conflicts: the armed Islamic group in Algeria and the Gamaa Islamiya in Egypt; 5. Moderation and Islamist movements in opposition: the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood/Islamic Action Front; the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the Tunisian Nahda; 6. Islamist moderation and the experience of government: Turkey's Welfare, Justice and Development Party; and the Islamic Republic of Iran.