- Islam and Political Structure in Historical Perspective
- State-Formation, Statist Islam, and Regime Instability: Evidence from Turkey
- States, Religion, and Democracy in Southeast Asia: Comparative Religious Regime Formation
- Repression of Islamists and Authoritarian Survival in the Arab World: A Case Study of Egypt
- Regime Types, Regime Transitions, and Religion in Pakistan
- Regime Change under the Party of Justice and Development (AKP) in Turkey
- Islam, Nationalism, and Democracy in Asia: Nations under Gods or Gods under Nations?
- Military Politics in Muslim Societies
- Voting for Islamists: Mapping the Role of Religion
- Party Systems in Muslim Societies
- Ideologies, Brands, and Demographics in Muslim Southeast Asia: “Voting for Islam”
- Religion and Party Politics in India and Pakistan
- Religion and Electoral Competition in Senegal
- Clientelism, Constituency Services, and Elections in Muslim Societies
- Religiosity and Political Attitudes in Turkey during the AKP Era
- Religious Practice and Political Attitudes among Shiʿites in Iran and Iraq
- Repressive Religious Regulation and Political Mobilization in Central Asia: Why Muslims (Don’t) Rebel
- How Extraordinary Was the Arab Spring? Examining “Protest Potential” in the Muslim World
- Illicit Economies and Political Violence in Central Asia
- Piety, Devotion, and Support for Shariʿa: Examining the Link between Religiosity and Political Attitudes in Pakistan
- Mapping and Explaining Arab Attitudes toward the Islamic State: Findings from an Arab Barometer Survey and Embedded Experiment
- Social Movements, Parties, and Political Cleavages in Morocco: A Religious Divide?
- The Rise and Impact of Muslim Women Preaching Online
- Religion and Mobilization in the Syrian Uprising and War
- New Media and Islamist Mobilization in Egypt
- Islamically Framed Mobilization in Tunisia: Ansar al-Sharia in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings
- Islamist Mobilization during the Arab Uprisings
- Religious Legitimacy and Long-Run Economic Growth in the Middle East
- Islam and Economic Development: The Case of Non-Muslim Minorities in the Middle East and North Africa
- State Institutions and Economic Performance in Nineteenth-Century Egypt
- Islam and the Politics of Development: Shrines and Literacy in Pakistan
- Islam and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Islamic Finance and Development in Malaysia
- Welfare States in the Middle East
- Islamist Organizations and the Provision of Social Services
- Islamist Parties and Women’s Representation in Morocco: Taking One for the Team
- The Islamic State as a Revolutionary Rebel Group: IS’s Governance and Violence in Historical Context
- Christian-Muslim Relations in the Shadow of Conflict: Insights from Kaduna, Nigeria
- Exploring the Role of Islam in Mali: Service Provision, Citizenship, and Governance
- Politics in Muslim Societies: What’s Religion Got to Do with It?
- Colonial Legacies and Welfare Provision in the Middle East and North Africa
Abstract and Keywords
Religion, and particularly the forces of political Islam and state secularism, have been central to discussions of regime stability in the Turkish case. Intense polarization, political instability, and military interventions have propelled Turkey into crisis about once a decade, preventing strong democratic or authoritarian consolidation. To explore why both democracy and authoritarianism have “failed to stick,” this chapter advocates for a historical assessment of the relationship between religion and regime, making two interlocking arguments. First, using evidence from the late Ottoman Empire and early Republican Turkey, it argues that processes of state formation shaped the subsequent trajectory of Islamist politics, which came to be dominated by statist or state-centric political Islamist currents. Second, and relatedly, although Turkey’s political Islamists have indeed used grass-roots strategies to inspire and mobilize the masses, legacies of state-building have contributed to another set of strategies at the elite level: State-centric Islamists in Turkey have wielded their moral authority to homogenize and nationalize society, as well as to build and reorient the state in their own image. They have steadily gained influence through a patient strategy of temporary bargains with the anti-democratic forces of Kemalist secularism against mutual enemies (leftists, minority groups, etc.). Finally, they have aspired for institutional capture rather than protracted power sharing—much like their Kemalist counterparts. In this context, many big political battles are fought within the critical institutional corridors of the Turkish state and are thereby destabilizing to it, whether in democratic or autocratic form.
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