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Counting Islam: Religion, Class, And Elections In Egypt (Problems of International Politics) Paperback – 3 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780521279116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521279116
  • ASIN: 0521279119
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 817,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'This book provides the most compelling explanation yet for why Islamist parties have stunned autocrats and oppositionists across the Middle East. With a breathtaking set of data collected in the field, Tarek Masoud demonstrates that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood won elections through a combination of luck and political savvy, not sermons or social services … Lucidly written for scholars, students, and policy makers, Counting Islam offers unparalleled insight into the maelstrom of repression and faith engulfing the Arab Spring.' Jason Brownlee, University of Texas, Austin, and author of Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization and Democracy Prevention

'This book asks an important question: why do poor Egyptians turn their backs on pro-poor leftist parties and instead vote for religiously conservative parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi Nur Party? Drawing on a combination of qualitative and quantitative evidence, Masoud discounts suggestions that they do so because they prioritize faith above material interests. Instead, he shows that most Egyptians who voted for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's first democratic elections did so because it was better able than its secular rivals to convince them that it would redistribute wealth and shore up Egypt's social safety net … This empirically rich, carefully argued book is an essential contribution to the literature on political Islam, religion and politics, and political parties in new and developing democracies.' Amaney Jamal, Princeton University, and author of Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11 and Barriers to Democracy

'The Islamist sweep of elections in the Middle East has been a source of both curiosity and worry. Tarek Masoud relies on data from four decades of electoral politics in Egypt to show that the power of Islamic parties comes not from religious rhetoric but rather from the ability to speak to the material concerns of voters. This is an important book, meticulously researched, well-written and clearly argued. It demystifies Middle East politics and goes to the heart of the most important questions asked about the role of Islam in politics. An important corrective to popular misperceptions at a critical historical juncture, this book is a must-read for academics and policy makers alike.' Vali Nasr, Dean, Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and author of The Rise of Islamic Capitalism and The Dispensable Nation

'In Counting Islam, Tarek Masoud asks how Islamists have performed in Egyptian electoral politics, both under authoritarianism and in their sweeping victories in the democratic elections that followed the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 … Ultimately, Masoud's theory posits an intriguing causal mechanism: Institutional embeddedness provides opportunities for communication that shapes perceptions.' Rana B. Khoury, Arab Studies Journal

Book Description

Analyzing Islamist electoral performance and behavior before and after the 2011 revolution that unseated former dictator Hosni Mubarak, this book argues that Islamists win elections not because Egyptians are fundamentalists, but because these parties have more organizational resources to call on than their secular rivals.

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