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Civil society, Islamism and democratisation: the case of Morocco
Cavatorta, Francesco
The positive role that an active civil society plays in processes of democratisation is often highlighted in the literature. However, when it comes to the Middle East and North Africa, such activism is considered to be detrimental to democratisation because the predominant role is played by Islamist groups. The explanation for this rests with the perceived ‘uncivil’ and undemocratic Islamist ethos of such groups. This paper challenges this assumption and argues that Islamist associations can be a potential force for democratisation for three reasons. First, they are capable of political learning; secondly, they generate secular civil society activism as a response to their activities, increasing the number of actors in the political and social system; and finally, they can cooperate with other civil society groups on a number of issues, given that they are all subject to the same authoritarian constraints. The paper focuses in particular on the case of Morocco and the Islamist group Jamiat al-Adl wal-Ihsan.
Keyword(s): Political science; democratisation; Middle East; North Africa; Morocco; Islamist groups; Islamism; Jamiat al-Adl wal-Ihsan
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): Cavatorta, Francesco (2006) Civil society, Islamism and democratisation: the case of Morocco. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 44 (2). pp. 203-222. ISSN 1469-7777
Publisher(s): Cambridge University Press
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):,
First Indexed: 2009-11-05 02:00:45 Last Updated: 2019-02-09 07:03:14