Civil Society and Women Activists in the Middle East: Islamic and Secular Organizations in Egypt (BOK)
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In the Middle East, and in Egypt in particular, there has always been a tendency to accord complete supremacy to the authority and might of the state, and to see 'society' as a separate, powerless entity. However, after the uprising of 2011, this assumption was turned on its head. And it is the wide range of political activity beyond the remit of the official state where Wanda Krause locates a dynamic potential for political change from the bottom up. She looks in particular at the influential role of women's private voluntary organisations in Egypt in shaping concepts of civil society and democracy. Exploring both secular and 'Islamist' organisations, she offers a steadfast critique of the view that Islamic women activists are insignificant, 'backward' or 'uncivil'. Krause's examination of women activists in Egypt today is vital for those interested in Middle East and Gender Studies, as well as those researching the wider issues of civil society and democratisation.