Islamist Politics: Contemporary Trajectories in the Arab World

This year’s annual symposium brings together a group of distinguished scholars and specialists from the Middle East, Europe and the United States to explore different dimensions of Islamist politics. Islamist parties and groups have become the most popular political and social movements in the Arab World. But despite the media attention and policy focus on radical and violent groups, the most popular and influential Islamist movements in the region have received relatively less attention. From Morocco to Iraq and beyond, these groups have had the greatest impact on the region‰’s politics and are likely to have the greatest influence on its future.

This two day symposium will explore different dimensions of Islamist politics in the Arab world and the wider Middle East. Panels will explore subjects such as the development of Islamist political thought; social welfare provision, social networks and Islamist politics; Islamist groups as political opposition; Islamist participation in elections and parliaments; the convergence of national liberation and Islamist movements; Islamists in power and the West‰Ûªs historical and contemporary relationship with Islamist groups.

Please join the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University for what promises to be a fascinating two-day symposium on a timely and important subject. RSVP for Day 1 and/or Day 2. Links to audio transcripts of the symposium can be found at the bottom of this page.

March 22, 2007 Program:
8:30am Registration

9:00am Welcoming Remarks
Dean Robert Gallucci, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Samer Shehata, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

9:30 am Panel 1: Historical and Intellectual Developments in Islamist Political Thought

Yvonne Haddad, Panel Chair, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

Raymond Baker, Trinity College. Recent publications include: Islam Without Fear

Henri Lauziere, Georgetown University. Recent publications include: “Post-Islamism and the Religious Discourse of Abd al-Salam Yasin”

Barbara Zollner, University of London. Recent publications include: The Muslim Brotherhood: Hasan al-Hudaybi and Ideology

11:15am Panel 2: Islamists and Social Networks

Rochelle Davis, Panel Chair, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

Janine Astrid Clark, University of Guelph. Recent publications include: Islam, Charity, and Activism: Middle-Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen

Mona Harb, American University of Beirut. Recent publications include: “Know Thy Enemy: Hizbullah, Terrorism, and the Politics of Perception”

Jenny White, Boston University. Recent publications include: Islamist Mobilization in Turkey: A Study in Vernacular Politics

2:00pm Panel 3: Islamists as Opposition Movements

Ahmed Dallal, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

Amr al-Shobaky, Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. Recent publications include: “Fixing Ties”

Nathan Brown, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Recent publications include: “Pushing Toward Party Politics? Kuwait’s Islamic Constitutional Movement”

Francois Burgat, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). Recent publications include: Face to Face with Political Islam

3:45pm Panel 4: Islamists, Resistance, and National Liberation

Osama Abi-Mershed, Panel Chair, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

Rola el-Husseini, Texas A&M University. Recent publications include: “Hizbullah: Iranian Surrogate or Independent Actor”

Ahmed Hashim, US Naval War College. Recent publications include: Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq

Jean-Francois Legrain, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). Recent publications include:

March 23, 2007 Program:
9:30am Panel 5: Islamists, Elections, and Parliament

Barbara Stowasser, Panel Chair, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

*Mohamed Darif, Hassan II University. Recent publications include: The Moroccan Combatant Group (ARI)

Amr Hamzawy, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Recent publications include: “What Islamists Need to Be Clear About: The Case of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood”

Samer Shehata, Georgetown University. Recent publications include: “The Brotherhood Goes to Parliament”

11:15am Panel 6: Islamists in Power

Jean-Fran̤ois Seznec, Panel Chair, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

Rusen Cakir, Vatan Daily

Said Amir Arjomand, State University of New York. Recent publications include: The Turban for The Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran

Stephane Lacroix, Paris Institute of Political Studies. Recent publications include: “Between Islamists and Liberals: Saudi Arabia’s New Islamo-Liberal Reformists”

2:30pm Panel 7: Islamists and the West

Daniel Byman, Panel Chair, Center for Peace and Security Studies, Georgetown University

Muriel Asseburg, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP). Recent publications include: “Moderate Islamisten als Reformakteure”

Abdeslam Maghraoui, Former Director, Muslim World Initiative, United States Institute for Peace. Recent publications include: American Foreign Policy and Islamic Renewal

Mohamad Saad El Katatny, Muslim Brotherhood Parliamentary Bloc, Egyptian People’s Assembly. Recent publications include: Dialogue Between Islamists And The West a Necessity

*Invited Participant

Symposium Committee:

Samer Shehata, Symposium Chair, Assistant Professor, CCAS
Barbara Stowasser, Director, CCAS & Professor of Arabic & Islamic Studies
Osama Abi-Mershed, Assistant Professor, History Department
Ahmad Dallal, Chair & Professor of Arabic & Islamic Studies
Rochelle Davis, Assistant Professor, CCAS
Rania Kiblawi, Assistant Director, CCAS