Muslim Solidarity Initiative in the Mediterranean
Summary of the research project
This research project builds on the initial activities developed at the Iméra in the context of 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 political embodiments of these contemporary approaches to Islam in democratizing countries on the southern shores of Mediterranean. This research provides a theoretically-informed empirical account how Islamism and the representations of Islamism have been transformed by endogenous and exogenous short-term factors in the Mediterranean after the 2011 Arab uprisings. It reveals how the transformations of Islamism have in their turn reshaped state-society relations and societal views and practices in connection to liberal-democracy. Considering the case of Islamists movements in power in Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey, it elucidates the practical role played by these actors on institutional-legal, political, socio-cultural and religious changes by examining the policy initiatives of elected Islamists governments.
Frédéric Volpi is Professor and Chair in the Politics of the Muslim World in 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 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.