TOI: Bringing in the Other Islamists - comparing Arab Shia and Sunni Islamism(s) in a sectarianized Middle East

  • Valbjørn, Morten (PI)
  • Gunning, Jeroen (CoPI)
  • Haddad, Fanar (Participant)
  • Freer, Cortney (Participant)
  • Matthiesen, Toby (Participant)
  • Lefevre, Raphael (Participant)
  • Robin-D'Cruz, Ben (Participant)

Project: Research

Project Details


Research on Islamism has remained predominantly Sunni-centric. This project brings ‘the Other Islamists’ – Shia Islamists – into the debate on Islamism in the Arab Middle East. It will use a cross-disciplinary theoretical approach which takes religion seriously without essentialising it, to explore whether, and if so, how and why, Shia Islamism(s) differ from their Sunni counterparts. The project will focus on three research puzzles drawn from the Islamism and sectarianization debates: 1) to what extent are Islamist movements shaped by their context, to what extent by their religious identity/ideology/institutions; 2) to what extent and how does the importance of sect-coded identities for Islamist movements change over time and how has this affected/been affected by the process of sectarianization; 3) what role does sectarian othering play in intra-sect competition within the current sectarianized milieu. These questions are examined through three WPs made up of comparative and within-case-studies of key Islamist movements in Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Bahrain. The studies will be carried out by a team of internationally leading experts.
Effective start/end date01/09/201931/07/2024


  • Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond: DKK5,383,990.00
  • Det Danske Institut i Damaskus: DKK100,000.00


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