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The EU and Islamist parties in Tunisia and Egypt after the Arab uprisings: A story of selective engagement

 

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Type:   Article
 
Title:   The EU and Islamist parties in Tunisia and Egypt after the Arab uprisings: A story of selective engagement
 
Author(s):   Voltolini, Benedetta - Centre d'études européennes de Sciences Po (Author)
Colombo, Silvia (Author)
 
In:   Mediterranean Politics
 
Date issued:   2017-08
 
Publisher:   UNITED KINGDOM  :  Frank Cass Publishers
 
Pages:   1-20  p.
 
ISSN:   13629395
 
DOI:   10.1080/13629395.2017.1358901
 
Keywords:   [en] EU and islamist parties, Tunisia, Egypt, Arab uprisings
 
Abstract:   [en] This article argues that the new EU’s selective engagement with Islamist parties in its Southern neighbourhood following the Arab uprisings is the result of a partial shift in the EU’s frame used to understand political Islam, combined with a form of pragmatism that puts a premium on finding interlocutors in the region. Using the case studies of Tunisia and Egypt, it shows that the EU has replaced its previous monolithic conception of political Islam with an understanding that is more sensitive to differences among Islamists. This opens the door to some forms of engagement with those actors that renounce violence and demonstrate their commitment to work within the confines of democratic rules, while violent strands of political Islam and conservative groups remain at arm’s length.
 
 

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