Muslim Solidarity Initiative in the Mediterranean
Summary of the research project
This research project builds on the activities developed under the Averroes chair on Islam and the universality of democratic norms. It proposes to deepen this perspective on Mediterranean Islam by investigating in a comparative fashion the social and political embodiments of contemporary approaches to Islam in the countries on the Mediterranean and beyond. In a first part, the research provides a theoretically informed empirical account on how Muslim solidarities have been transformed by endogenous and exogenous short-term factors after the 2011 Arab uprisings. It investigates how the interactions between ideas and practices of solidarity and Islamic normativity contribute to shaped state-society relations today. In a second part, the research investigates glocalized practices of civility and citizenship informed by globalized discourses about Islam. As transnational online information flows provide an increasing amount of guidance on how to live a good Islamic life, the research investigates how local actors selectively chose and implement online advice in their local settings. In particular, it documents how these interpretations feed into practices of citizenship promoted by the state in different settings around the region and around the world where Muslim communities are either the majority or the minority.
Frédéric Volpi is Professor and Chair in the Politics of the Muslim World, the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is also the Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam at the University of Edinburgh. He taught and researched at several leading UK universities, including St Andrews. He is the author of Political Islam Observed (Oxford University Press USA 2010) and most recently of Revolution and Authoritarianism in North Africa (Oxford University Press USA 2017). He is also the editor-in-chief of the internationally peer-reviewed journal Mediterranean Politics. His articles have appeared in in the Journal of Democracy, the Middle East Journal, Democratization, the journal of North African Studies, Third World Quarterly, Maghreb-Machrek, Cahiers de la Méditerranée, among others. He played a role as executive council member of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies and the British Association for Islamic Studies. He has conducted research projects in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco with support from the British Economic and Social Research Council, the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, and the Gerda Henkel Foundation. His work broadly engages questions of democratization and Islamism in the Middle East and North Africa.