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Islam and Politics in the Contemporary World



Islam and Politics in the Contemporary World

Beverley Milton-Edwards

ISBN: 978-0-745-62712-0 August 2004 Polity 240 Pages



The dreadful events of 11 September have brought Islam to the forefront of world politics. This authoritative new book provides the analysis for a far-reaching introduction to Islamic politics for those coming to the subject for the first time. This account provides a deep insight into dimensions of Muslim political life; from democracy to despots, women to world affairs and history to heresy.

Milton-Edwards offers an account of key contemporary concepts and debates that focus on the relationship between Islam and topical issues including politics, protest and opposition, violence, the West, democracy, the state and women. Giving an broad global overview the author includes a range of first-hand interviews with major Islamic figures and leaders of movements. Milton-Edwards charts the development of a political trend in Islam throughout the twentieth century and explores its myriad dimensions. The author also explores the prospects for political Islam in the new millennium.

With further reading suggestions, and a glossary, Islam and Politics in the Contemporary World is an indispensable introduction to the subject and will prove invaluable as a textbook for students of politics and religion.



1. Islam and Politics Defined.

2. Islam and the State.

3. Politics of Protest.

4. The Democracy Debate: Intractable Paths?.

5. Bringing Down the Barricade: The Gender Debate.

6. Gun Barell Politics: Islam and Political Violence.

7. The Making of Mutual Antagonism: Islam and the West.

Conclusion: Islam and Politics A Twenty-First Century Challenge.




“A very well written ... and sober analysis of the varied forms of political Islam within the similarly varied political, economic and social contexts across the societies of the contemporary world.”
British Journal of Sociology

“In this scholarly yet highly accessible book, Milton-Edwards sheds light on some of the enduring debates about the nature of Islam and politics and examines the nuances of sociopolitical structures in the Muslim world ... A welcome addition to the literature on Islam and politics, especially useful as an introductory textbook on the subject.”

“Illuminates the great variety of debates that animate Islamic politics today. Rejecting the view that it is simply a reaction against the West, the book relates Islamic politics to the diversity and urgency of the political predicaments that Muslim communities face.”
Timothy Mitchell, New York University

“This book’s clear, thoughtful perspective draws our attention to the mutual constitution of the conflicts that exist between politically assertive Muslim groups, and the national and global structures of power and culture in which they operate.”
Gregory Starrett, University of North Carolina at Charlotte