Islamist politics have been in a period of tremendous change since the Arab uprisings began in late 2010. After decades on the margins of political life in many Arab societies, Islamist parties were suddenly thrust into the center of post-uprisings politics. Yet, in 2014 two major developments reshaped Islamist politics on the ground and challenged long-standing assumptions: the rise of the Islamic State, and the Egyptian and regional repression of the Muslim Brotherhood. On January 23, 2015 POMEPS brought together a group of international scholars to discuss these developments and how they are compelling academics and Islamists themselves to rethink Islamist politics.

Each participant in the “Islamist Politics in the Shadow of the Islamic State” workshop contributed a thematic memo, which will be available here individually, as well in POMEPS Studies 12 “Islamism in the IS Age.” This year’s workshop builds on the success of the January 2014 workshop, the memos from which are featured in POMEPS Studies 6 “Rethinking Islamist Politics.” 


Jihadi-Salafi views of the Islamic State,” by Joas Wagemakers, Radboud University Nijmegen

Brotherhood activism and regime consolidation in Egypt, ” by Steven Brooke, University of Texas at Austin

The ISIS-ification of Islamist politics,” by Khalil al-Anani, George Washington University and John’s Hopkins University SAIS

Yemen’s Houthis and Islamist republicanism under strain,” by Stacey Philbrick Yadav, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

What I talk about when I talk about Islamists,” by Ahmed Khanani, Indiana University

Why Tunisia didn’t follow Egypt’s path,” by Sharan Grewal, Princeton University

How much of a state is the Islamic State?” by Quinn Mecham, Brigham Young University

Does the Islamic State believe in sovereignty?” by Richard A. Nielsen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The future of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf,” by Kristin Smith Diwan, American University and George Washington University

The Syrian Brotherhood’s Islamic State challenge,” by Raphaël Lefèvre, Cambridge University

Why academics can’t get beyond moderates and radicals,” by Jillian Schwedler, Hunter College, CUNY

Vanilla Muslims: Decentering sects in the analysis of political Islam,” by Peter Mandaville, George Mason University

How Egypt’s coup really affected Tunisia’s Islamists,” by Monica Marks, University of Oxford

The Islamic State identity and legacies of Baath rule in Syria’s northeast,” Kevin Mazur, Princeton University

From the Monkey Cage: 

The Islamic State’s model” by Aaron Y. Zelin, King’s College London

Mutual escalation in Egypt,” Mokhtar Award, Center for American Progress and Nathan J. Brown, George Washington University

New insights on Congo’s Islamist rebels,” by Daniel Fahey, University of California, Berkeley

Islamist Politics in the Shadow of the Islamic State Memos

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