The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement


"A timely and incisive look into the history, politics, and future of the Muslim Brotherhood by the foremost expert on Islamism in Egypt. Carrie Rosefsky Wickham has constructed a detailed account of how the Brotherhood confronts the challenges before it, and why and when it embraces change. Everyone concerned with the future of Egypt should read this book."—Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival and The Dispensable Nation

"Meticulously ...

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The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement

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"A timely and incisive look into the history, politics, and future of the Muslim Brotherhood by the foremost expert on Islamism in Egypt. Carrie Rosefsky Wickham has constructed a detailed account of how the Brotherhood confronts the challenges before it, and why and when it embraces change. Everyone concerned with the future of Egypt should read this book."—Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival and The Dispensable Nation

"Meticulously researched and powerfully argued, Carrie Rosefsky Wickham's The Muslim Brotherhood is the most significant book about the Egyptian brotherhood since the publication in 1969 of Richard P. Mitchell's The Society of the Muslim Brothers. Essential for understanding the Egyptian uprising of 2011 and its aftermath."—James L. Gelvin, author of The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know

"Given the profound political changes taking place in Egypt today, Wickham's in-depth, richly composed, and intimate analysis of the Muslim Brotherhood has never been so relevant or timely. This is a first-rate book on an important topic, written by a distinguished scholar, and utilizing an impressive array of sources."—John P. Entelis, Fordham University

"Until now, there was no study that provides a portrait of the Muslim Brotherhood from its founding in the 1920s to today, and Wickham's comparative analysis of Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco is unique in the literature. What is also distinctive about this book is that it does not concentrate on the extremism of Islamist movements, but rather on how they may become more active participants in regular political processes."—John O. Voll, Georgetown University

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This timely publication emerges from Emory University political scientist Wickham’s (Mobilizing Islam) long-term research into the institutional and ideological nuances of “movement change” within the Muslim Brotherhood—the Sunni revivalist organization that was the leading opponent of the Mubarak regime in Egypt before the popular uprising of January 2011. After the fall of Mubarak, the Brotherhood’s political party won a plurality of seats in the Egyptian parliament. The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna, in opposition to foreign domination and the expansion of Western cultural values and practices there. While emphasizing reformist currents and the complicated interplay of shifting ideological commitments, Wickham’s analysis highlights inherent contradictions in the movement. The picture of Egypt’s Brotherhood, divided from the beginning by opposing gradualist and extremist tendencies, benefits from Wickham’s astute analysis of related movements in Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco. A chapter on the Brotherhood’s role in the 2011 uprising and its subsequent transformation offers detailed insights that will interest general readers and academics alike. This admirable study (based on hundreds of interviews) is a judicious, well-grounded plea for complexity in the depiction and analysis of Islamist movements. (Aug.)
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas - Marc Lynch
[F]ascinating and marvelously detailed. . . . The Muslim Brotherhood offers one of the best and most detailed presentations of a robust school of thought among students of Islamism. . . . [I]t is likely to become a standard text and will be received as a major summary statement of decades of research and analysis.
From the Publisher
"Given Egypt's crucial position as the Arab world's most populous nation, it is especially welcome that Emory University's Carrie Rosefsky Wickham, has written The Muslim Brotherhood, an accessible and informative analysis of one of the most important and perhaps most misunderstood political organizations in the Middle East. . . . Wickham's book provides a fascinating historical account of the Muslim Brotherhood and its development over the decades, while also showing how misguided much of the commentary on the Muslim Brotherhood."—Matthew Feeney, American Conservative

"Wickham's thoughtful presentation of the Muslim Brotherhood as both a significant historical player and a responsive ideological organization may serve to deepen our understanding of current upheavals in the Arab world. Fascinating, revealing, and impressive in scope, Wickham's book stands to make important contributions to contemporary studies of the Middle East."—Michelle Anne Schingler, Foreword

"[The Muslim Brotherhood] is a careful analysis that is meticulous in questioning the data from a position of critical reflection, demonstrating many years of research and experience and a genuine understanding of the region and its complexities by not taking simple statements at face value. . . . The extent to which analysis of this kind can derive valid causal inferences from observed data hinges on the contextual knowledge of the researcher, and it is here that this work truly excels. . . . The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement is not just a timely new book on a topic of public interest but a fine example of academic research."—Christina Hellmich, Times Higher Education

Library Journal
The recent Arab uprisings—the "Arab Spring"—led to grassroots sociopolitical movements challenging political stagnation in the Arab world and is still shaping the contours of emerging systems in the Arab countries. Although the outcome of these revolts against authoritarian regimes, old and new, is still uncertain, what has become clear is that mainstream Islamist groups have risen in stature and power. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab world's oldest Islamist group, emerged in post-Mubarak Egypt as one of the most serious contenders for power. On June 30, 2012, Muhammad Mursi, a brotherhood leader, became Egypt's first democratically elected president. In this richly researched book, Wickham (political science, Emory Univ.; Mobilizing Islam) provides the most in-depth analysis of the genesis and development of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood available in English. She examines the changes that have taken place in the brotherhood's philosophy from its inception in 1928 to Mursi's inauguration, discussing how this movement adapted itself to the periods of severe repression that it experienced for over 60 years. The author also provides a comparative analysis of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood with similar movements in Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco. VERDICT This valuable contribution to the literature on mainstream Islamist movements will be useful to scholars and policymakers alike.—Nader Entessar, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691149400
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/21/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 445,713
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

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".

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Table of Contents

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

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