Economic Liberalization, Devout Bourgeoisie, and Change in Political Islam: Comparing Turkey and Egypt
Title: Economic Liberalization, Devout Bourgeoisie, and Change in Political Islam: Comparing Turkey and Egypt
Author: GUMUSCU, Sebnem
Series/Report no.: EUI RSCAS; 2008/19; Mediterranean Programme Series
This paper compares impact of economic liberalization on political Islamic movements in Turkey and Egypt. This comparison focuses on the economic and cultural effects of integration with the international markets on the constituencies of political Islam, and how exactly these constituencies realign their political preferences as a result of this process. I argue that the divergence in the implementation of economic liberalization programs in Turkey and Egypt produce different results as to the economic and political orientation of the political Islamic constituencies in these countries. Implementation of a comprehensive economic liberalization program in Turkey facilitates the emergence of a devout bourgeoisie that is well-integrated with the international markets, whereas a more controlled and restricted liberalization program in Egypt limits the level of integration of political Islamic constituencies with international markets preventing the emergence of a devout bourgeoisie. Expansion of the devout bourgeoisie in Turkey in return generates a significant tide within the political Islamic movement towards democracy and liberalism resulting in the establishment of the Justice and Development Party. While in Egypt absence of such a forceful social change contributes to sustained hesitant and divided approach towards liberalism and democracy within mainstream political Islam. The paper primarily focuses on the experiences of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Subject: economic liberalization; political Islam; devout bourgeoisie; Islamic consumerism
Ninth Mediterranean Research Meeting: Workshop 10
Type of Access: openAccess