The past decade has witnessed several electoral successes for Islamist movements in the Arab world, an issue which has stimulated a broad political and academic debate around how democracy can and will develop in the region.

In order to understand the role that Islamist movements have or can have on their political contexts and to evaluate Western polices towards them, it is necessary to start from a non-ideological and non-Western-centred analysis of the ongoing structural changes in these countries, prioritizing empirical data collection over normative schemes.

Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale, International IDEA and Istituto Affari Internazionali jointly implemented a research project on this topic. The report includes case studies on Islamist movements and parties in Egypt, Morocco, Palestine and Lebanon. Carried out by different researchers, it offers an in-depth analysis of the structures of such movements, the socio-economic interests they represent and the mobilization and political participation strategies they have adopted.


Publication date
22 March 2010
Number of pages
Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (Italy), Istituto Affari Internazionali (Italy)
978-91-85724-80-2 (Print)


Abbreviations and acronyms

Rosa Balfour and Daniela Pioppi

1. Hitting the glass ceiling: The trajectory of the Moroccan Party of Justice and Development
Eva Wegner and Miquel Pellicer

2. The Muslim Brotherhood and political change in Egypt
Tawfiq Aclimandos

3. Anatomy of a political party: Hezbollah: sectarian upshot or actor of change?
Daniela Pioppi

4. Palestinian Islamism: Conflating national liberation and socio-political change
Khaled Hroub

5. Principled or stubborn? Western policy towards Hamas
Nathan Brown

6. Learning by doing: US policies towards the Islamist movements in Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon
Philippe Droz-Vincent

7. EU policy and Islamist movements: Constructive ambiguities or alibis?
Rosa Balfour and Battistina Cugusi

Rosa Balfour and Daniela Pioppi

About the project and its methodology 
About the authors 
About the partners


Give us feedback

Do you have a question or feedback about this publication? Leave us your feedback, and we’ll get back to you

Send feedback

Islamist Mass Movements, External Actors and Political Change in the Arab World

Total views 2563
Downloads 3
Close tooltip