The academic objectives of this proposal were largely met, including the collection of a global database on Islamist political parties, which has informed scholarship published in the last two years and which will be published in the coming years. Extensive bibliographies of Islamist parties in more than 20 countries around the world were developed. Coded data collection on Islamist movement behavior, including protest and violence, was collected for 9 countries in the Arab world that were convulsed by political change during the Arab uprisings of 2011-‐12. Much of the material developed during this grant period will also be used in a new book manuscript that I am drafting in 2016 on the strategic behavior of Islamist parties during and after the Arab uprisings in the Middle East.
I worked extensively with a wide range of students on this project, including students majoring in Political Science, International Relations, Middle East Studies, Social Science Teaching, and Economics. All of the mentoring took place on campus at BYU, but included some celebratory meetings at my home as well. Most students worked on the project for 5-‐10 hours/week during the period that they were employed, and I met with them in my office either weekly or every two weeks, depending on the needs of the project. I developed a productive working relationship with all of my student employees, although I wish that I had been able to employ more students earlier, as most of them graduated right after they became proficient at work on the project.
A total of 8 students did research associated with this project, some more intensively and over a longer period than others. This is more students than the six that I had originally anticipated in the grant proposal. This is in part because it was difficult to get students started early enough in their university studies to be able to work consistently for two years. Four students worked on the project for one year and were the most closely involved:
Justin Curtis (2014)—Worked on a paper comparing Islamist party success in Indonesia and Turkey; organized data base on Islamist parties world-‐wide; worked on collecting Islamist party data in Central Asia and the Middle East
Tyler McArthur (2014)—Worked on a data collection project dealing with Islamist and other protests during the Arab uprisings 2011-‐12; wrote a draft paper on authoritarian learning in the wake of protests in the Middle East; collected data on Islamist party behavior in the Middle East and Asia
Emily Schild (2015)—Worked on formatting for Cambridge University Press book on Islamist Political Mobilization; collected data on Islamist party behavior in the Middle East
Joshua Balleck (2015)—Collected data on Islamist party behavior in the Middle East, with a focus on Iraq and the Arab Gulf; worked on developing data on the behavior of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
Others who played a role for one semester are:
Steven Meek (2014)—Collected data and built bibliography on Islamist parties in Egypt and Turkey
David Wall (2014)—Collected data on Islamist groups in Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, and Syria
Chris Rytting (2014)—Collected data on Hezbollah in Lebanon
Ted Ellsworth (2015)—Collected data and built a bibliography on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
Although I consider this project ongoing for another year, we have had a number of results of the project to date. Most significantly, I published an edited volume (with Julie Chernov Hwang) with the University of Pennsylvania Press titled: Islamist Political Parties and the Normalization of Muslim Politics (2014). This volume included six chapter case studies of Islamist parties in the Middle East and Asia, and I wrote the theory chapter as well as co-‐wrote the introductory and concluding chapters.
Additionally, I published two chapters in other edited volumes related to this research: “Islamist Movements,” chapter 11 in The Arab Uprisings Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East, Marc Lynch, ed., 2014. Columbia University Press.
“Bahrain’s Fractured Ruling Bargain: Political Mobilization, Regime Responses, and the New Sectarianism,” Chapter 12 in Beyond the Arab Spring: The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East, Mehran Kamrava, ed., 2014. Oxford University Press.
I completed a final manuscript on a single author book titled Institutional Origins of Islamist Political Mobilization, which will be published with Cambridge University Press. This project had several students involved in the final stages.
Several analysis pieces in prominent venues were published as a result of this work as well. They include:
“Is ISIS good at governing? Experts Weigh In (Part 5),” The Brookings Institution, Markaz, Middle East Politics and Policy, March 2016.
“The Islamist Identity Crisis: How Mainstream Islamism Lost Control of its Own Narrative,” Project on Middle East Political Science, POMEPS Studies No. 17, February 2016.
“Erdogan’s Dangerous Game in Turkey,” Cairo Review of Global Affairs, The American University of Cairo, October 2015.
“How Much of a State is the Islamic State?” Islamism in the IS Age, Project on Middle East Political Science, POMEPS Studies No. 12, March 2015.
“How Much of a State is the Islamic State?” The Monkey Cage, Washington Post, February 2015.
“The Evolution of Islamism Since the Arab Uprisings,” The Monkey Cage, Washington Post, October 2014.
Almost all of the budget spent from this Mentoring Environment Grant was spent on student wages for the students employed as described above. A portable scanner and a few books were also purchased. I am planning to spend the remaining budget on student wages in 2016.
I wanted to spend some of the budget on academic travel for students, both to attend an academic conference in Denver to present their work, and to do some interviews abroad. Over the course of the grant, the two countries that I wanted students to do work in were put on the BYU “do not go” list for students, which put that part of the plan on hold. Due to student schedules, timing and student obligations I likewise could not persuade any of them to travel to Denver with me to present research at the Middle East Studies Association conference. I am continuing to look into opportunities for students to present with me at student conferences, but this will require securing their commitment prior to their senior year at the university.