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Stagnation Vs adaptation: tracking the Muslim Brotherhood’s trajectories after the 2013 coup

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/03/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Issue number2
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)187-203
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date10/06/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article traces the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s trajectories in the aftermath of 2013 up to 2018, focusing on the main challenges that the movement faces when trying to react to its perceived failure and ongoing repression. Following the coup, the Brotherhood entered a state of stagnation that is currently struggling to break out from. With most of its historical leadership either abroad or in jail, the Brotherhood is splintering into different factions and therefore lacks a coherent strategy vìs-a-vìs the regime and a cohesive sense of identity. Similarly, the organization’s removal from Egypt’s socio-political life—coupled with the unprecedented intensity of state repression- mean that the Brotherhood needs to develop new ways to survive illegality and stagnation. This article argues that, under such unfamiliar circumstances, the movement is growing increasingly divided by tensions between stagnation and adaptation strategies. This is manifested in the disconnect between the Brotherhood organization’s response to repression and that of its members. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Turkey and the UK between 2013 and 2018, with both current and former members, the paper shows that the Brotherhood’s fragmentation is driven by tensions between historical stances and desires to adapt to its current situation.