Mobilizing Religion in Middle East Politics

A Comparative Study of Israel and Turkey

By Yusuf Sarfati

© 2014 – Routledge

244 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415540162
pub: 2013-08-01
US Dollars$145.00
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About the Book

Contrary to the expectations of the secularization theorists, religious political movements rose to prominence in numerous countries across the globe in the past three decades. By examining the conditions that underlie the electoral fortunes of religious actors in democratic regimes, this book contributes to our understanding of this worldwide religious resurgence.

Employing a social movement theory framework, Mobilizing Religion in Middle East Politics explores the macro and micro dynamics of successful political mobilization by Sephardic Torah Guardians (Shas) in Israel and the National Outlook Movement in Turkey in the recent decades. In a comparative framework, the book demonstrates how ripe political opportunities, appropriate frames and dense social networks contribute to building popular support in Israel and Turkey. Yusuf Sarfati also assesses the effects of the increasing political power of religious actors on democratic governance and illustrates similarities and differences between two countries.

Drawing on empirical data from a range of interviews conducted in both Israel and Turkey, this book provides a comparative study of religious politics in two countries that are often thought of as ‘exceptional cases,’ and are rarely compared. As such, this book is a welcome contribution for those studying Middle East politics, comparative politics, religious politics, democratization and social movements.

Reviews

"This book is an important step forward in understanding one of the most prominent and influential socio-political phenomena today. The ongoing rise of religious parties and social movements worldwide makes Sarfati’s analysis especially pertinent, as there is little doubt that the future of human society depends on how these developments play out."

- Michal L. Allon, PhD, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 2 Theoretical Framework 3 Setting the Stage: The Creation and Politicization of Sociocultural Cleavages in Israel and Turkey 4 State Incorporation of Shas as Expanding Political Opportunity 5 State Incorporation of Religious Actors in Turkey in 1970s and 80s 6 The Politics of Shas 7 The Rise, Fall and Transformation of Political Islam in Turkey: from the 1990s to 2012 8 Politics of Religious Schooling 9 Conclusion

About the Author

Yusuf Sarfati is an assistant Professor of Politics and Government at Illinois State University where he has taught on the comparative politics of the Middle East since 2009. He is also the Director of the Middle Eastern and South Asian minor program at ISU.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics

This series is concerned with recent political developments in the region. It will have a range of different approaches and include both single authored monographs and edited volumes covering issues such as international relations, foreign intervention, security, political Islam, democracy, ideology and public policy.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
SOC053000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies