Radicalism and Political Reform in the Islamic and Western Worlds

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Cambridge University Press, May 24, 2010 - Political Science
Over the last decade, political Islam has been denounced in the Western media and in the surrounding literature as a terrorist or fascist movement that is entirely at odds with Western democratic ideology. Kai Hafez's book overturns these arguments, contending that, despite its excesses, as a radical form of political opposition the movement plays a central role in the processes of democratization and modernization, and that these processes have direct parallels in the history and politics of the West. By analyzing the evolution of Christian democratization through the upheavals of the Reformation, colonisation, fascism, and totalitarianism, the book shows how radicalism and violence were constant accompaniments to political change, and that these components - despite assertions to the contrary - are still part of Western political culture to this day.

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I Modernity
The Social Rationality of Cultural Change
II Democracy
The Radicals Democracy
III Political violence
Autocracy Democracy and Violence
Extremism and Pacifism Across Cultures
Conclusion From Holy War to Democracy? The Current State of Islamic and Western Modernity

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About the author (2010)

Kai Hafez is a Professor (Chair) and currently also the Director of the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Erfurt, Germany. He was a Senior Research Fellow of the German Middle East Institute in Hamburg and a Visiting Fellow to the University of Oxford. Hafez has been a frequent advisor to German governments regarding the Western-Islamic dialogue and is a member of the German Islam Conference. He is the author of The Myth of Media Globalization and the editor of numerous books, including Arab Media: Power and Weakness and The Islamic World and the West: An Introduction to Political Cultures and International Relations.

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