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Günes¸ Murat Tezcür, "The Moderation Theory Revisited: The Case of Islamic Political Actors," Party Politics, 16 (January, 2010), 69-88. [Available at]

First paragraph:
An influential body of scholarship argues that parties espousing 'radical' positions have a strong incentive to moderate their positions once they operate as vote-seeking electoral parties with centrist and accommodative platforms. This process facilitates sustainable democratic transition and contributes to democratic consolidation. Historical examples include the socialist parties of Western Europe in the twentieth century. The moderation theory is also relevant in evaluating the prospects of democracy in many Muslim majority countries where Islamist opposition groups have broad appeal.

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Last Paragraph:
(First paragraph of conclusion) This article has demonstrated that moderation of the Islamists can take place in diverse settings, i.e. in Islamist Iran and secularist Turkey. A similar process through which Islamists develop democratic credentials can also be seen in such very different contexts as Egypt and Indonesia. Ideological transformations are accompanied by behavioural change guided by strategic interests. The RF dramatically broadened the scope of Iranian political discourse and the JDP undertook substantial reforms. Meanwhile, moderation that integrates Islamists is not necessarily conducive to democratization. Once Islamists are integrated to the competitive political system, they develop electoral strategies and pursue conciliatory policies. Electoral calculations, fear of state repression and organizational constraints all make them politically risk-averse. Consequently, they seek accommodation with authoritarian aspects of the regimes.

Last updated January 2010