Bilkent University, Political Science Department POLS TALKS announces:
Talk: “From Ennahda to Islamic State: Making Sense of Islamist Diversity” by Dr. Teije Hidde Donker, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Bergen, Norway
Wednesday, December 9, 2:30 p.m.
A-130 (Seminar Room), FEASS Building
From the Islamic State to the Tunisian Ennahda: The diversity and salience of Islamism in the second decade of the 21st century is immense. This context has highlighted a puzzling element in scholarship on Islamism: Either it is argued that Islamist groups will fragment and dilute because of necessary pragmatism or that they will remain a unified – and fundamentalist – counterweight to modernity. The first implies an inherent failure of political Islam (Roy, 1996) the other an enduring Islamic challenge to Western civilization (Lewis, 2003). Neither seems true: Islamism is more diverse than ever and as powerful as it has ever been. Why?
In the presentation Dr. Donker critically assesses existing academic literature on Islamism and argues for a conceptualization of Islamism as mobilized Islam, or mobilization aimed at structuring public life in accordance to Islamic norms and identities. He then does an inventory of claims made in Islamists’ socio-political writings – drawing on publications from Ennahda, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Hizb al-Tahrir and Khomeini – to show that the related typology of Islamist claims elucidates the diversity of the phenomenon and its shared roots that can explain its lasting salience.
Dr. Teije Hidde Donker is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway. He received his Phd from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, under the supervision of Donatella della Porta and Olivier Roy. The presentation is part of a larger project focusing on how socio-political context and theological positions shape mobilization strategies of Islamist actors in Tunisia, Syria and Turkey.