Can money make us friends?: Islamist entrepreneurs and chances for democratization in the muslim world
AuthorDemiralp Yılankaya, Seda
MetadataShow full item record
CitationDemiralp Yılankaya, S. (2010). Can money make us friends?: Islamist entrepreneurs and chances for democratization in the muslim world. The Journal of the Middle East and Africa, 1(1), 120-138. doi:10.1080/21520841003689092
Islamist movements have grown persistently in the last few decades and became major actors in the politics of various Muslim nations, receiving attention in numerous popular studies. Many of those studies, however, focus their attention solely on the religious agenda of these actors, despite the fact that economic interests are highly influential in shaping the agendas of them. In contrast to popular studies that focus on the “ideologues” in Islamist parties, this article emphasizes the role of “pragmatists,” especially Islamist businessmen in Islamist politics. By comparing and contrasting the transformation of Islamist parties and institutions in Turkey, Indonesia, and Sudan, this article suggests that contemporary Islamist movements in these countries are not solely concerned with “Islamizing the society” but often seek an economic mobilization against established economic elites and to transfer wealth to their constituencies. It then explores whether Islamist businessmen can serve as a moderating influence in Islamist politics and, if so, under what circumstances.