The Muslim Brotherhood is the main opposition group in Egypt. As the parliamentary elections of November confirmed this status, the organization maintains its demands for political inclusion. This does not seem a probable scenario in the short-term though slow moves towards reform are being taken by the government. The first multi-candidate presidential election of September is one of such steps. If this will be branded an isolated event or the starting point of a wider process of transition remains to be seen. This study focuses on the Muslim Brotherhood and its eventual formal inclusion within a scenario of democratization. Arguments are drawn from the behavior of the

groups' leadership itself as a political actor, fom 1990 to 2005, in three areas of action: the parliament, the syndicates' leadership and the networks of social services. The concept of political learning and the assessment of the presence of pro-democratic cognitive change within the group are the guidelines for this analysis. The research has confirmed that the behavior and attitude of the Muslim Brothers show a real commitment to democratic reform. This indicates the presence of political learning, though not to a full extent in what concerns the core beliefs of the group. The Muslim Brotherhood does not advocate for full equality between men and women. In addition, it is still vague in what concerns political rights of Copts and the specifics of the application of the Islamic principles in society.

Overall this study argues for the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood in formal participatory politics based on its actions of the last fifteen years and its proven contribution to democratization. Moreover, inclusion entails the potential for furthering political learning through participation, contributing to political stability in the country and preventing radicalization or the political spectrum.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Emad El Din Shahin

Committee Member 1

Emad El Din Shahin

Committee Member 2

Walid Kazziha

Committee Member 3

Maye Kassem

Document Type



113 leaves

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Islam and politics.


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Call Number

Thesis 2005/77