Cover image for A sense of siege : the geopolitics of Islam and the West
Title:
A sense of siege : the geopolitics of Islam and the West
Author:
Fuller, Graham E., 1937-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder : Westview Press, 1995.
Physical Description:
ix, 193 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"A RAND study"--T.p. verso.
Language:
English
Contents:
Western historical perceptions of Islam and their geopolitical legacy -- The Muslim historical and psychological perception of the West -- Contemporary dilemmas posed to the West by the Islamic world -- Contemporary dilemmas posed to the Islamic world -- The religious dimension -- Solidarity and coexistence -- The geopolitical dimension -- The strategic dimension.
Reading Level:
1600 Lexile.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780813321486

9780813321493
Format :
Book

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Status
Central Library DS35.74.E85 F85 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

"The clash of civilizations" has become a common phrase in discussions of U.S.-Middle East relations. This book explores the nature of the friction between the Muslim world and Western states, looking at legitimate perceptions and grievances on both sides involving historical, political, economic, cultural, psychological, and strategic elements.Arguing that "Islam versus the West" does not represent the arena of the next global ideological struggle, the authors examine specific issues of a bilateral nature that require careful handling to prevent the consolidation of states into opposing blocs. They discuss Islam's efforts to politically enhance the real power of Muslim states and to equalize relations with the West in the strategic arena; the enlarged role of Islam in the internal politics of Muslim countries; and the urgency of political, economic, and social change to break away from traditional authoritarian orders. A central theme of the book is that political Islam threatens the established order in most Muslim countries far more than it threatens the West and that violent confrontation can best be circumvented by integrating Islamist forces into the political process.


Summary

?The clash of civilizations? has become a common phrase in discussions of U.S.?Middle East relations. This book explores the nature of the friction between the Muslim world and Western states, looking at legitimate perceptions and grievances on both sides involving historical, political, economic, cultural, psychological, and strategic elements.Arguing that ?Islam versus the West? does not represent the arena of the next global ideological struggle, the authors examine specific issues of a bilateral nature that require careful handling to prevent the consolidation of states into opposing blocs. They discuss Islam's efforts to politically enhance the real power of Muslim states and to equalize relations with the West in the strategic arena; the enlarged role of Islam in the internal politics of Muslim countries; and the urgency of political, economic, and social change to break away from traditional authoritarian orders. A central theme of the book is that political Islam threatens the established order in most Muslim countries far more than it threatens the West and that violent confrontation can best be circumvented by integrating Islamist forces into the political process.


Author Notes

Graham E. Fuller is a senior political scientist at RAND. Ian O. Lesser is a member of the International Policy Department at RAND.


Graham E. Fuller is a senior political scientist at RAND. Ian O. Lesser is a member of the International Policy Department at RAND.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Fundamentalist Islam has been a growing presence in the Muslim world for a quarter century, but only in the past year or two has it become a distinct policy issue for Americans. Although many scholars and journalists have written books on fundamentalist Islam, A Sense of Siege may well be the first full-length study of relations between the West and the Muslim world. It offers the excitement and the flaws characteristic of such initial efforts. Fuller and Lesser take up a wide range of policy-related issues and handle them with knowledge and sophistication. For example, they note that though fundamentalists have no basic hostility to the free market, "... the Islamists will face immense pressure to adopt a populist set of policies." Less impressive, the authors adopt a position of moral relativism on the matter of troubled ties between the West and the Muslim world ("no one side is more right then the other."). Worse yet, they urge Americans to see the fundamentalists not as power-hungry ideologues but as spokesmen for legitimate grievances; this leads them to advise in favor of a soft policy toward fundamentalism. Agree with them or not, however, Fuller and Lesser have done much to advance the debate with this insightful volume. Upper-division undergraduate. D. Pipes; Middle East Forum


Choice Review

Fundamentalist Islam has been a growing presence in the Muslim world for a quarter century, but only in the past year or two has it become a distinct policy issue for Americans. Although many scholars and journalists have written books on fundamentalist Islam, A Sense of Siege may well be the first full-length study of relations between the West and the Muslim world. It offers the excitement and the flaws characteristic of such initial efforts. Fuller and Lesser take up a wide range of policy-related issues and handle them with knowledge and sophistication. For example, they note that though fundamentalists have no basic hostility to the free market, "... the Islamists will face immense pressure to adopt a populist set of policies." Less impressive, the authors adopt a position of moral relativism on the matter of troubled ties between the West and the Muslim world ("no one side is more right then the other."). Worse yet, they urge Americans to see the fundamentalists not as power-hungry ideologues but as spokesmen for legitimate grievances; this leads them to advise in favor of a soft policy toward fundamentalism. Agree with them or not, however, Fuller and Lesser have done much to advance the debate with this insightful volume. Upper-division undergraduate.


Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 Introductionp. 1
Notesp. 12
2 Western Historical Perceptions Of Islam And Their Geopolitical Legacyp. 13
Notesp. 23
3 The Muslim Historical And Psychological Perception Of The Westp. 27
Notesp. 45
4 Contemporary Dilemmas Posed To The West By The Islamic Worldp. 47
Notesp. 74
5 Contemporary Dilemmas Posed To The Islamic World By The Westp. 81
Notesp. 95
6 The Religious Dimensionp. 99
Notesp. 107
7 Solidarity And Coexistencep. 109
Notesp. 134
8 The Geopolitical Dimensionp. 137
Notesp. 149
9 The Strategic Dimensionp. 151
Notesp. 161
10 Conclusionsp. 163
Selected Bibliographyp. 175
About the Authorsp. 181
About the Bookp. 182
Indexp. 183

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