This article explores the "fundamentalist dilemma," or how fundamentalist movements participate in secular political systems, especially when they gain prominent political positions that allow them to impose their extreme ideology on the entire society. After analyzing prevailing responses to this dilemma, ranging from political integration to aggressive takeover, the article turns to the case of Israeli Haredim. It explores three models of political integration through which Haredim have applied religious practices in the public sphere: protest, consolidation, and takeover. The study's main finding is that, opposite to a commonly accepted assumption that fundamentalists' integration into secular politics causes them to moderate, the more political power that fundamentalists accrue the stronger is their tendency to promote their religious agenda. Yet the Israeli Haredi case also reveals the limitations of this tendency: fundamentalists often restrain their expansionist instinct when having to take nonfundamentalist reactions into consideration.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Cambridge University Press.
- Arab Spring
- religion and politics