This one-day conference addresses the study of Islam and violence through Social Movement Theory. It intends to scrutinise the existence of these social phenomena: the internal and external factors that precipitated their rise; their mobilisaiton strategies; ideological framing; operational tactics and the political implications of their continued presence.
The recent 'Arab spring' is only the latest phase of popular protest in the Middle East and North Africa. For decades, this region has witnessed the rise, development and, in some instances, demise of social movements. Among them, Islamist movements have played a prominent role in shaping the social and political configuration of these societies. Whether invoking sunni or shi'i traditions, these organised manifestations of collective action have emerged to occupy an increasingly important political space between the state and its society.
On a more general theme, this conference will also examine whether knowledge of Islamist movements should be informed by viewing them as variations of conventional social movements or as something innately different and incompatible with other forms of collective action.
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