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The Path to Moderation: Strategy and Learning in the Formation of Egypt's Wasat Party

Carrie Rosefsky Wickham
Comparative Politics
Vol. 36, No. 2 (Jan., 2004), pp. 205-228
DOI: 10.2307/4150143
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4150143
Page Count: 24
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The Path to Moderation: Strategy and Learning in the Formation of Egypt's Wasat Party
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Abstract

What prompts radical opposition leaders to abandon their ultimate goals and accommodate themselves to competitive politics? Many studies portray ideological moderation as contingent on a broader process of democratization. Recent change in the public goals of some Islamists in Egypt suggest that more limited political openings can also facilitate moderation. They can generate new incentives for strategic moderation and create new opportunities for political learning, or change in political actors' core values and beliefs. Prodemocratic learning is most likely when institutional openings create incentives and opportunities for radical opposition leaders to break out of the ideologically insular networks of movement politics and enter into sustained dialogue and cooperation with other opposition groups.

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