Book Review


Author: Dilshod Achilov
Journal: Journal of Globalization Studies. Volume 10, Number 1 / May 2019

REVIEW OF THE MONOGRAPH
‘ISLAMISM, ARAB SPRING, AND THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY. WORLD SYSTEM AND WORLD VALUES PERSPECTIVES’ BY LEONID GRININ, ANDREY KOROTAYEV, AND ARNO TAUSCH

Dilshod Achilov

Department of Political Science,
University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, USA

Islamism, Arab Spring, and the Future of Democracy: World System and World Values Perspectives’. Perspectives on Development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. Leonid Grinin, Andrey Korotayev, Arno Tausch. Springer International Publishing, 2018. ISBN    3319910760, 9783319910765. 364 p.

Islamic and Islamist resurgence, along with the evolving dynamics thereof, continues to shape the increasingly complex political landscape of Muslim societies worldwide. While a lot has been written about why and how Islam has been (and is being) instrumentalized in politics – often coined as a phenomenon of ‘Islamism’ or ‘Political Islam’, much confusion still remains in both public and academic circles. We still lack a thorough understanding of Islamism's intricate nuances and diverse manifestations in a rapidly changing and an ever-connected, techno-driven global village. Perhaps, it is not surprising given Islamism's multi-level, multi-dimensional character. However, to date, little has been done to systematically unpack the complex dimensions of modern Islamism, particularly from its genesis to its becoming a dominant political force in the Muslim world. The extent to which Islamism has influenced and continues to shape democratization is arguably a major point of debate and contention. Particularly, we still know little about (both current and prospective) dynamic challenges/opportunities that diverse young Islamist political actors (old and new) present both in domestic as well as in cross-national context for the future of democracy. By directly addressing this lacuna, this important and timely study – by Grinin, Korotayev, and Tausch – enables the reader to better understand and contextualize what modern Islamism entails and the ways in which it grapples with socio-political challenges and opportunities in contemporary Muslim politics.