Islamists, Democracy, and the Roots of Middle East Violence (Part One)

This week’s interview features part one of a conversation with Shadi Hamid, a Middle East expert and fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings. In it, Hamid talks about Islamists and democracy, especially in Egypt. He also talks about meeting Mohamed Morsi before he became Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, why the Muslim Brotherhood was cautious about attaining power, and why Islamists are willing, literally, to die for their cause.


Part two of the conversation can be heard here. Hamid is the author of the new book, Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East.

Also in this episode: a new segment focusing on what’s happening in Congress. You’ve probably heard or seen the headlines about House Speaker John Boehner’s proposed lawsuit against President Obama. Will this maneuver succeed or backfire? Governance Studies Fellow John Hudak offers some answers.

Show Notes:

• Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East, by Shadi Hamid (Oxford University Press, 2014)
• “Why Sayed Kashua is leaving Jerusalem and never coming back (registration required)
• “The Enduring Challenge of Engaging Islamists: Lessons from Egypt,” report by Shadi Hamid
Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World
FixGov blog

Have a question or comment about this podcast, or a question for a scholar? Send it to and we may address it in an upcoming episode.