The Muslim Brotherhood has achieved a level of influence nearly unimaginable before the Arab Spring. The Brotherhood was the resounding victor in Egypt's 2011-2012 parliamentary elections, and six months later, a leader of the group was elected president. Yet the implications of the Brotherhood's rising power for the future of democratic governance, peace, and stability in the region is open to dispute. Drawing on more than one hundred in-depth interviews as well as Arabic language sources not previously accessed by Western researchers, Carrie Rosefsky Wickham traces the evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from its founding in 1928 to the fall of Mubarak and the watershed elections of 2011-2012. Further, she compares the Brotherhood's trajectory with those of mainstream Islamist groups in Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco, revealing a wider pattern of change. Wickham highlights the internal divisions of such groups and explores the shifting balance of power among them. She shows that they are not proceeding along a linear path toward greater moderation.
Rather, their course has been marked by profound tensions and contradictions, yielding hybrid agendas in which newly embraced themes of freedom and democracy coexist uneasily with illiberal concepts of Shari'a carried over from the past. Highlighting elements of movement continuity and change, and demonstrating that shifts in Islamist worldviews, goals, and strategies are not the result of a single strand of cause and effect, Wickham provides a systematic, fine-grained account of Islamist group evolution in Egypt and the wider Arab world.
Carrie Rosefsky Wickham is associate professor of political science at Emory University. She is the author of Mobilizing Islam: Religion, Activism, and Political Change in Egypt.
Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii Note on Transliteration xvii Chapter One Conceptualizing Islamist Movement Change 1 Chapter Two The Brotherhood's Early Years 20 Chapter Three The Brotherhood's Foray into Electoral Politics 46 Chapter Four The Wasat Party Initiative and the Brotherhood's Response 76 Chapter Five The Brotherhood's Seesaw between Self-Assertion and Self-Restraint 96 Chapter Six Repression and Retrenchment 120 Chapter Seven The Brotherhood and the Egyptian Uprising 154 Chapter Eight Egypt's Islamist Movement in Comparative Perspective 196 Chapter Nine The Muslim Brotherhood in (Egypt's) Transition 247 Notes 289 List of Interviews 327 Selected Bibliography 331 Index 347