A seminar with Tarek Masoud, Associate Professor of Public Politics, Harvard Kennedy School, to discuss his latest book, Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt. This event is co-sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and will be moderated by Archon Fung, Academic Dean and Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship, Harvard Kennedy School.
About Counting Islam:
Why does Islam seem to dominate Egyptian politics, especially when the country's endemic poverty and deep economic inequality would seem to render it promising terrain for a politics of radical redistribution rather than one of religious conservativism? This book argues that the answer lies not in the political unsophistication of voters, the subordination of economic interests to spiritual ones, or the ineptitude of secular and leftist politicians, but in organizational and social factors that shape the opportunities of parties in authoritarian and democratizing systems to reach potential voters. Tracing the performance of Islamists and their rivals in Egyptian elections over the course of almost forty years, this book not only explains why Islamists win elections, but illuminates the possibilities for the emergence in Egypt of the kind of political pluralism that is at the heart of what we expect from democracy.
About Tarek Masoud:
Tarek Masoud is an associate professor of public policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. A political scientist and Middle East specialist, his research focuses on the role of religion in the Muslim world's political development. He is the author of Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and is the co-editor of Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics (Cambridge, 2004) and Order, Conflict, and Violence (Cambridge, 2008). His articles and reviews have appeared in the Journal of Democracy, Middle Eastern Law and Governance, the Washington Quarterly, and Foreign Policy, among others.
Masoud is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation. He holds an AB from Brown and a Ph.D from Yale, both in political science.