A Review of Leonid Grinin, Andrey Korotayev, and Arno Tausch's ‘Islamism, Arab Spring, and the Future of Democracy’, Springer International Publishing, 2019


Author: Harper, Tony
Almanac: History & Mathematics:Investigating Past and Future

The complexity of the current world-system is almost beyond description and at present beyond cohesive understanding. It is therefore rare that from a holistic perspective, one that is both analytical in nature but also having historical depth, scholars would attempt both an analysis of the current state of the world-system and also predict the future states of this system. Such research requires both a breadth of understanding of the current nature and complexity of the world-system, considerable historical insight, and a significant talent for the analysis. Such, however, is the case in describing the expertise of the three authors of Islamism, Arab Spring, and the Future of Democracy: Leonid Grinin, Andrey Korotayev, and Arno Tausch. In a two-part book with Part I devoted to four chapters on Islamism and the Arab Spring, and the remaining six chapters of Part II focused on Islamism and Its Dimensions in the World Values Perspective, the authors address first what Islamism is and its relationship to the Arab Spring and then focus on the Middle East, in fact the entire MENA region [the Middle East and North Africa] as a theater for the events of the book. This is followed by attention given to the Arab Spring within the context of the World-System and with specific focus on China and India. The direction of the book is then narrowed to the role of Islamism in contemporary Islamic societies with consideration of the effects of what they term perturbations within the Arab world during the Arab Spring; the first section ends with an analysis of the Arab Spring as a revolutionary period and the consequences of these revolutions for democratic values. Part II organized much as a scientific research paper would be certainly justified, as what is presented in this book is very sound historical scientific analysis. The second section of the book begins with an introductory chapter on background which describes their methods of research, and then a series of chapters in which results are presented and their significance is discussed. This section ends with a chapter describing and explaining their general conclusions.