Islamist politics have been reinvigorated by the power shifts happening in the Middle East. As secular dictatorships fall, religious conservatism is gaining actual strength and consolidating itself in positions of political power. Better comprehending this new dynamic is the subject of “The Islamists Are Coming,” a new book edited by Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar Robin Wright.
On Wednesday, as part of The Wilson Center’s National Conversation series, Wright and other Mideast experts gathered to discuss what the rise of Islamist politics means for the region. They addressed how Islamist politics differ from country to country, and they examined the impact on U.S. foreign policy, Israel, and larger geopolitical relations.
“The Islamists Are Coming” is the first book to survey the rise of Islamist groups in the wake of the Arab Spring. Often lumped together, the more than 50 Islamist parties with millions of followers now constitute a whole new spectrum — separate from either militants or secular parties. They will shape the new order in the world’s most volatile region, more than any other political bloc, yet they have diverse goals and different constituencies. Sometimes they are even rivals.
In this book, Robin Wright offers an overview and 10 experts identify Islamists in Algeria, Egypt (two chapters), Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria, and Tunisia. Each chapter is designed to help both a general audience and specialists.
A book website at http;//www.theislamistsarecoming.com, launched on the day of the event, will provide updates and an ongoing conversation among these and other experts.