Contemporary Islamism Trajectory of a Master Frame

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Matthew Cleary
Rebecca Glazier



Islamism proposes a vision of a society united by religion above all else – a vision that the West has difficulty theorizing and even comprehending. This vision and the social movements that have accompanied it are firmly rooted in the Muslim world’s history and traditions. This paper adopts a frame analytic perspective to examine and understand the progression of political Islam from the nationalism of the interwar period and beyond to the radical jihadism of today. In so doing, it contributes to the literature on framing by providing an analytically rich and theoretically valuable example of framing tactics in social movements. It also contributes to the growing literature on political Islam (Islamism) by providing a new and insightful perspective on its emergence and acceptance in the Muslim world.

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