Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey: The Paradox of Moderation

Paperback | May 1, 2011

byGünes Murat Tezcür

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Moderation theory describes the process through which radical political actors develop commitments to electoral competition, political pluralism, human rights, and rule of law and come to prefer negotiation, reconciliation, and electoral politics over provocation, confrontation, and contentious action. Revisiting this theory through an examination of two of the most prominent moderate Islamic political forces in recent history, Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey analyzes the gains made and methods implemented by the Reform Front in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Justice and Development Party in Turkey.

Both of these groups represent Muslim reformers who came into continual conflict with unelected adversaries who attempted to block their reformist agendas. Based on extensive field research in both locales, Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey argues that behavioral moderation as practiced by these groups may actually inhibit democratic progress. Political scientist Güneş Murat Tezcür observes that the ability to implement conciliatory tactics, organize electoral parties, and make political compromises impeded democracy when pursued by the Reform Front and the Justice and Development Party. Challenging conventional wisdom, Tezcür's findings have broad implications for the dynamics of democratic progress.

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Moderation theory describes the process through which radical political actors develop commitments to electoral competition, political pluralism, human rights, and rule of law and come to prefer negotiation, reconciliation, and electoral politics over provocation, confrontation, and contentious action. Revisiting this theory through an...

GÜNE MURAT TEZCÜR is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:May 1, 2011Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292728832

ISBN - 13:9780292728837

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and FiguresList of AbbreviationsPreface and AcknowledgmentsChapter 1. IntroductionChapter 2. From Islamists to Muslim Reformers: A Theory of Political ChangeChapter 3. Muslim Reformism in Comparative PerspectiveChapter 4. Muslim Reformism: Engagement with Secularism and Liberal Democracy Chapter 5. The Guardians and Elections in Iran and TurkeyChapter 6. A Moment of Enthusiasm in the Islamic RepublicChapter 7. Elusive Democratization in the Secular RepublicChapter 8. A Tale of Two ElectionsChapter 9. ConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Tezcür’s work is very reader-friendly, which is a rare quality for books that have ambitious conceptual frameworks. The author’s ability to weave his fieldwork interviews with statistical data is impressive. - Daniel Martin Varisco