Introduction: Social Movements in the Contemporary Near and Middle East
The essays presented in this volume focus on the endogenous factors in the emergence and growth of social movements in the contemporary Near and Middle East. The broader context of the incorporation of the Middle East into the world economic system and, more recently, the increasing importance of the region in world politics are taken for granted and not subjected to analysis. Of the variety of contemporary social movements considered by the participants, those whose driving force was nationalism or Islam emerged as the most important and effective. Furthermore, a pattern of the declining significance of nationalism and the concomitant shift to Islam as the focus of the popular movements during the last two decades emerged with clarity. This shift from nationalism to revolutionary Islam thus appeared as the most appropriate thematic principle for the selection of the case-studies. However, no attempt was made to impose a single explanatory framework throughout the volume. The contributors, representing a variety of disciplines and theoretical and methodological orientations, have in fact followed differing approaches to the problem.
KeywordsSocial Movement Middle East Political Ideology National Integration Nationalist Movement
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