What Accounts for the Success of Islamist Parties in the Arab World
Author: Michael Robbins, Former Research Fellow, The Dubai Initiative
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Dubai Initiative
Islamist organizations are generally considered to be the strongest and most credible opposition to incumbent regimes throughout the Arab world. Fear of Islamic takeovers has led regimes and other outside powers to justify not holding free elections, citing examples that include the Algerian election of 1991, the Iranian Revolution, the AKP victory in Turkey and the perceived popularity of Islamist opposition groups throughout much of the Arab world (Brumberg 2002). Yet, other analysts have questioned the actual strength of Islamist movements within the Arab world, noting that although Islamists may be the main challenger, few have actually been successful in taking power (Roy 1994).
- Robbins Working Paper (1.8 MB PDF)
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