“Despite the longevity of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, the countries of the region have also witnessed a strong desire for democratization. Civil society institutions have burgeoned and people in country after country have used non-violent means to stand up against autocratic governments. Civilian Jihad provides an excellent account of the encounter between these two forces. It is a fascinating book to read.”--Haleh Esfandiari: author of My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran and Director, Middle East Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington DC
“In the prevailing view, the Middle East looms as a stagnant, anti-democratic backwater, torn by sectarian violence. This timely volume provides an important corrective to this view, rending visible the many vibrant, non-violent movements that stand as a powerful rebuke not only to fundamentalist violence but anti-democratic practices in the region. Here’s hoping this book finds the wide readership it deserves among both scholars of social movements and revolutions and those concerned with democracy and civil society in the Middle East.”--Doug McAdam, Stanford University
“Discussions of democracy in the Middle East often gloss over the important question of how and why people in that region organize to resist authority. Civilian Jihad is a timely and probing examination of this building block of democratic activism. Relying on numerous case studies this book provides fresh insights into Middle East politics, revealing its dynamism and grit in pursuit of freedom.”--Vali Nasr, author of Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World
About the Author
Dr. Maria J. Stephan is Senior Director, Policy and Research at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.