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date: 04 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the development of an ideological understanding of Islam in the modern period as an alternative to secular ideologies; the conceptualization of a revolutionary project in the 1950s and 1960s, which politicized Islamic notions of struggle (jihad) aimed at replacing what they saw as corrupt regimes with an Islamic state; the emergence in the late 1970s and early 1980s of a transnational Islamism, galvanized by Iran’s Islamic revolution and the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, alongside a growing moderate Islamism aimed at competing in the limited elections taking place in a number of Muslim majority countries. The chapter concludes with a discussion of current debates over what some scholars have identified as ‘post-Islamism’—a shift from Islamism aimed at establishing an Islamic state to the notion of a civil state with an Islamic referent—and an examination of the recent, so-called ‘Arab Spring’, which has opened up space for Islamists to gain political power through elections.

Keywords: Islamism, post-Islamism, Arab Spring, jihad, Islamic state, revolutionary Islamism, transnational Islamism, moderate Islamism

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