Including contributions from leading scholars from Algeria, France, Germany, India and the United States this book traces the rise and turn to moderation of the New Cultural Identitarian Political Movements, often labelled in the West as fundamentalists. Arguing that culturally based ideologies are often the instruments, rather than the motivating force though which segments of a rising middle strata challenge entrenched elites the expert contributors trace the rise of these movements to changes in their respective countries’ political economy and class structures. This approach explains why, as a result of an ongoing contestation and recreation of bourgeois values, the more powerful of these movements then tend towards moderation. As Western countries realise the need to engage with the more moderate wings of fundamentalist political groups their rationale and aims become of increasing importance and so academics, decision-makers and business people interested in South Asia and the Muslim world will find this an invaluable account.
’This volume succeeds in the very difficult task of offering sophisticated and balanced insights into the tensions, patterns, and trajectories of politicized religious movements. This collection is all the more impressive given the fear many people have of such groups. Students of politicized religious movements, and of contemporary global politics, should read this book.’ Bob Denemark, University of Delaware, USA ’Moving away from conventional explanations on the politics of religious fundamentalisms, this volume provides a refreshing and innovative account of the New Cultural Identitarian Political Movements in South Asia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. Weaving nationalism, secularism, political economy and class structure in a comparative tapestry, the contributors convincingly and boldly deconstruct how and why these so-called radical movements - from Hindu Nationalism to Islamic Brotherhood - have taken a moderate turn.’ Pralay Kanungo, Leiden University, The Netherlands