After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 15, 2007 - Political Science - 272 pages
1 Review

A lucid and compelling case for a new American stance toward the Islamic world.

What comes after jihad? Outside the headlines, believing Muslims are increasingly calling for democratic politics in their undemocratic countries. But can Islam and democracy successfully be combined? Surveying the intellectual and geopolitical terrain of the contemporary Muslim world, Noah Feldman proposes that Islamic democracy is indeed viable and desirable, and that the West, particularly the United States, should work to bring it about, not suppress it.

Encouraging democracy among Muslims threatens America's autocratic Muslim allies, and raises the specter of a new security threat to the West if fundamentalists are elected. But in the long term, the greater threat lies in continuing to support repressive regimes that have lost the confidence of their citizens. By siding with Islamic democrats rather than the regimes that repress them, the United States can bind them to the democratic principles they say they support, reducing anti-Americanism and promoting a durable peace in the Middle East.

After Jihad gives the context for understanding how the many Muslims who reject religious violence see the world after the globalization of democracy. It is also an argument about how American self-interest can be understood to include a foreign policy consistent with the deeply held democratic values that make America what it is. At a time when the encounter with Islam has become the dominant issue of U.S. foreign policy, After Jihad provides a road map for making democracy work in a region where the need for it is especially urgent.


What people are saying - Write a review

AFTER JIHAD: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Lost cause, bright future, or something in between? A Rhodes scholar with a doctorate in Islamic thought surveys the prospects for democracy in countries dominated by Islam. Although Islamic ... Read full review

After Jihad: America and the struggle for Islamic democracy

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

An NYU law professor with a doctoral degree in Islamic studies considers whether Islamic nations can also be democratic. Read full review


The Idea of Islamic Democracy
Varieties of Islamic Democracy
The Necessity of Islamic Democracy

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Noah Feldman is a professor at the NYU School of Law. A former Supreme Court clerk, he earned a doctorate in Islamic thought from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He lives in Manhattan and Washington, D.C.

Bibliographic information