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Values, Political Action, and Change in the Middle East and the Arab Spring$
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Mansoor Moaddel and Michele J. Gelfand

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190269098

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190269098.001.0001

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The Roots of Political Activism in Six Muslim-Majority Nations

The Roots of Political Activism in Six Muslim-Majority Nations

Chapter:
(p.171) Chapter 6 The Roots of Political Activism in Six Muslim-Majority Nations
Source:
Values, Political Action, and Change in the Middle East and the Arab Spring
Author(s):

Nancy J. Davis

Robert V. Robinson

Tom VanHeuvelen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190269098.003.0007

Through analyses of World Values Surveys of six predominantly Muslim countries (Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, and Pakistan), the authors explore the religious, social, and contextual bases of nonelectoral activism, ranging from discussing politics; to petitions, boycotts, and lawful demonstrations; to illegal strikes and building or factory occupation. The authors tested social movement theories, positing that political engagement results from differential recruitment, relative deprivation, social dislocation, embeddedness in preexisting networks of activists, and open (vs. closed or repressive) political systems. They found that the most politically engaged citizens were male, young or old (vs. middle-aged), had no or few children, were highly educated (but often with low incomes), were embedded in social networks, had a strong interest in politics, and lived in countries with greater foreign investment and with low or high (vs. middle levels) of repression. Poverty and inequality do not increase political engagement. The implications of these findings for political activism in the Muslim world today were discussed.

Keywords:   Muslim countries, political action, social movement

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