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Reassessing the Recent History of Political Islam in Light of the Arab Uprising

A November 1, 2012 lecture by Professor James Gelvin, History Department, UCLA

Have Islamists "hijacked" the Arab uprisings? And are contemporary Islamist movements compatible with human rights and democracy? James L. Gelvin (The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2012) looks at the evolution of political Islam since the 1980s, arguing that Islamism does not stand outside the political field but rather is shaped by it. The old paradigm for Islamist politics has shifted to a new one, and while the outcome of any of the uprisings is far from certain, the diffusion of global norms of human and democratic rights has not left Islamist politics untouched.

This event was sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Study of Religion.

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