Neo-patrimonialism, Identity Politics and Opposition in the Arab World: The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - In the Arab World today, the main opposition forces to neo-authoritarian regimes are without exception Islamist parties or movements. Whereas, other forms of confessional, tribal or ethnic-based political mobilisation are taking the centre stage of politics, due to the crisis of the post-independence welfare and national state. The article aims at analysing the forms of political mobilisation and participation in the Arab World in relation to neo-patrimonialism and clientelism that increasingly characterise state-society relations in these countries. Taking the examples of Islamist movements and, in particular, of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the article illustrates how the analysis of the interactions between different social or political actors and neo-patrimonial networks deriving from the regime could help explaining the rationality behind identity-based mobilisation (on the basis of tribe, clan, ethnicity or religion); the degree of integration of opposition actors with the structure of power in their respective countries and, thus, their systemic or antisystemic nature; and, more in general, the chances that new alternative or parallel structures of power emerge in the near future.
Keywords: Egypt, identity politics, Islamist movements, Muslim Brotherhood, neo-patrimonialism, neo-authoritarianism