Islamists and the State: Legitimacy and Institutions in Yemen and Lebanon (Library of Modern Middle East Studies 138)
By: Stacey Philbrick Yadav (author)Hardback
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In the wake of the uprisings throughout the Middle East in late 2010 and early 2011, the role of Islamist parties in the political process has taken on a new importance.But counter to the commonly held belief in the West that Islamist groups aim to challenge the authority of the state itself, both Islah of Yemen and Hizbollah in Lebanon are political organisations, with aspirations to work with and through state structures. In this book, Stacey Philbrick Yadav highlights how once these Islamist organisations became part of the institutionalised and formalised state apparatus,Islamist participation can instead stengthen the state. She therefore examines the meanings that the members of the parties attach to their relationship to existing regimes and the state institutions through which power is distributed and exercised. Of course, gaps in state planning allow these two parties unique opportunities to take on some of the responsibilities of the state. This has been especially prominent in the case of Hizballah, which sought to position itself as a provider of welfare at a time when the Lebanese state, brought low by civil war, could not carry out this service.
But what Philbrick Yadav sees as crucial is that there is something other than 'Islam' that determines the political positions of the two Islamist parties under exmination: more pragmatic and material imperatives. In the wake of the uprisings throughout the Middle East in late 2010 and early 2011, the role of Islamist parties in the political process has taken on a new importance. Islamists and the State questions conventionally uniform expectations regarding 'Islamist party behaviour' and gives precedence to the role of local structure and context when analysing the ativities of these parties. Philbrick Yadav argues that the participation of Islamist parties should be evaluated in terms of local contexts, not cross-national speculations about the effects of 'Islamism' as a regional or global phenomenon. Islamist, long assumed to be the primary drivers of opposition politics, are thus central to political uprisings, but not always in the ways that observers might have anticipated, nor with the kind of uncontested dominance aimed at or capable of overturning regimes.
Stacey Philbrick Yadav is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.
Introduction: Islamists, Opposition and Inclusion Part I: The Yemeni Congregation for Refrom Chapter 1: The Road to OppositionL From Nizam al-Fatwa to the Joint Meeting Parties Chapter 2: The Procedural Reform Agenda: Structural Limits of the JMP Part II: The Party of God Chapter 3: The Road to the Cabinet: Redefining Freindship and Enmity Chapter 4: Hizballah in Government (and Back - and Forth) Part III: Islamist Discourse and Markets of Meaning Chapter 5: Harnessing Takfir in Yemen: Allegations of Apostasy and Symbolic Power Chapter 6: Policing the Nation: Hizballah and the Discourse of Takhwin Conclusion: Whither Moderation?
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