At the beginning of the 2010s, several Arab countries seemed about to follow the model of Turkey, with an electoral victory of Islamist parties in a context of democratization. A decade later, Turkish akp has turned authoritarian, and the Moroccan and Tunisian Islamist parties have lost both access to governmental office and a large part of their electoral appeal. In this context, lessons can be learned from the early failed democratic experience in Algeria (1989–1992), and from the evolution of its Islamist movements since then.
From these four case studies, the contributors of this issue investigate the notions of moderation and inclusion, and their interrelations. Their articles build on the current trends within literature by taking into account the variety of Islamist movements, and their incorporation within different national trajectories. These articles contribute to the academic discussion by bringing new facts and ideas regarding this topic of inclusion-moderation.
This article deals with two notions that have become central in the Egyptian political and constitutional transition process since 2011 – citizenship and the “Civil State” – and presents the struggle to define them that took place during the 2012 writing of the Constitution. Even though the principle of citizenship is not seriously contested by any of the important political players, its scope and relationship with Islamic normativity (subordination, preeminence, or independence) have both been fiercely debated. As for the notion of the Civil State, it is characterized by an important semantic haziness, which results in a political tension around the issue of its definition, although there is relative consensus in Egypt regarding the term itself. The political and legal struggles around the writing and the adoption of the 2012 Constitution reveal how the tension related to these two notions has been embodied in the discussions surrounding several constitutional articles.