Arguing Islam after the Revival of Arab Politics: Book discussion with Nathan Brown (S. 5, Ep. 20)


Yesterday, POMEPS held a dynamic conversation with Nathan Brown about his latest book— out this week— Arguing Islam after the Revival of Arab Politics. Brown was joined by Jocelyne Cesari, a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and associate professor of the practice of religion, peace, and conflict resolution in Georgetown’s Department of Government, and Peter Mandaville, a senior advisor to the special representative for religion and global affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Brown spoke about the current state of Arab politics: “The polarization that has set in is partially a result of [mobilizing your followers]. There are few points at which, the vital public argumentation actually changes from abstract argumentation about what should be done to concrete political processes that produce political outcomes. And so people remain very strongly in their own camps. The polarization we see so deeply entrenched in the Arab world from that way is therefore may not be so much the disease as the symptom. That is to say, not so much the cause but is as an effect very much of political systems that have opened themselves up to political debate, but not given very healthy ways in which to translate political debate into political outcomes.”

Music for this season’s podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

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Brown is a professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University and a nonresident senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peaces Middle East Program. Here you can watch him discuss his previous book, When Victory Is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics (Cornell University Press, 2012).

He has previously appeared on the POMEPS podcast to discuss:

Egypt five years after the revolution (January 2016)

Egyptian military, Muslim Brotherhood, constitution (August 2013)

Egypt, constitution, law, Muslim Brotherhood (December 2012)

You can read more from Brown’s recent work:
A Palestine Succession Story
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Judicial Militancy Within Red Lines
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Arguing About Family Law in Jordan: Disconnected Spheres
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Activist groups rarely talk to each other in public, and when they do, their discourses aim primarily at mobilizing support within their own camps rather than addressing each other’s concerns.

Remote Vote
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