Regulating Islam

Religion and the State in Contemporary Morocco and Tunisia

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Sarah J. Feuer
  • Cambridge, England: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , December
     238 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jessica Lambert forthcoming.


Many countries in the Arab world have incorporated Islam into their state- and nation-building projects, naming it the 'religion of the state'. Regulating Islam offers an empirically rich account of how and why two contemporary Arab states, Morocco and Tunisia, have sought to regulate religious institutions and discourse. Drawing on a range of previously unexamined sources, Sarah J. Feuer traces and analyzes the efforts of Moroccan and Tunisian policymakers to regulate Islamic education as part of the respective regimes' broader survival strategies since their independence from French rule in 1956. Out of the comparative case study emerges a compelling theory to account for the complexities of religion-state dynamics across the Arab world today, highlighting the combined effect of ideological, political, and institutional factors on religious regulation in North Africa and the Middle East. The book makes an important and timely contribution to the ongoing scholarly and policy debates concerning religion, politics, and authoritarian governance in the post-uprisings Arab landscape.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Sarah J. Feuer, an expert on politics and religion in North Africa, is a Soref fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. She completed her Ph.D. in politics at Brandeis University's Crown Center for Middle East Studies, and previously earned her M.A. in Middle Eastern history from Tel Aviv University, Israel, and a B.A. in history and French literature from the University of Pennsylvania. She has extensive experience in the Middle East and North Africa, including stints living in Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. Dr Feuer is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has published in Foreign Affairs and Politico, among other outlets.

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