The Politics of Islamist Parties: A Conversation with A. Kadir Yildirim (S. 5, Ep. 19)

pablo4This week, Marc Lynch speaks A. Kadir Yildirim about his new book, “Muslim Democratic Parties in the Middle East: Economy and Politics of Islamist Moderation,” which analyzes Islamist parties’ moderation trajectories and the impact of economic liberalization processes on moderation in Egypt, Morocco and Turkey. Yildirim is a research scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

“Typically when we see studies on Islamist parties, we see a focus on the parties themselves. But at distance, we see their links to the constituency and support base. These are political parties, so we need to look at the relationship between the two,” says Yildirim. “I look at how changes in the constituencies of these parties actually pushes the parties into changing their positions.”

“In which ways can we try to entice Islamist parties to change themselves? One takeaway point is that this is a very long process. We have to recognize these are political parties, and they speak to certain constituencies. Unless we take those into account, it’s really difficult,” says Yildirim.

“In my book, I look at Turkey, Morocco and Egypt. I chose these countries because they allow us to look into the operation of economic liberalization to different degrees.”

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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Read more from Yildirim:

Mideast’s Muslim Democratic Parties, 10/06/2016

Turkey’s Impending Eastern Turn, 08/18/2016

How Erdogan may exploit Turkey’s failed coup, 07/20/2016

Religion and the Middle East in U.S. Foreign Policy, 05/31/2016

The Reality of Turkey’s Pakistanization, 03/16/2016

Political Islam & the environment, 03/03/2016