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Authoritarian Rule

Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 25)

[Image from ctvnews.com]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations   U.S. boosts support role in Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen W.J. Hennigan, Laura King, and Zaid al-Alayaa argue that the recent Saudi gains in Yemen are due to enhanced intelligence provided by forty-five US advisers. The Saudi Royals — Unchained The US president, not willing to ...

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'What Does the State Want from Dead Bodies?': Suruç and the History of Unmournability

[Protestors in Istanbul carry coffins of those who died in the suicide bombing in Suruç, 23 July 2015.]

Since 20 July, when a suicide bomber in the town of Suruç killed thirty-two socialist activists on their way to help rebuild Kobanê in northern Syria, Turkey has devolved into a de facto state of emergency. While Turkish police began operations across the country and have arrested approximately one thousand leftist activists and revolutionaries affiliated with the Kurdish movement under the guise of disarming and dismantling ISIS on the domestic front, protests over the Suruç Massacre have been brutally suppressed by the same security forces. At least seven civilians in Turkey have been killed by the police operations and during the protests. The Turkish Armed Forces ...

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Catismalar arasinda bir akil sagligi denemesi

[Image via Siyasi Haber]

Çatışmalar arasında bir akıl sağlığı denemesi Bütün barış süreçleri birer mücadele sürecidir. Devletlerin süreçten beklentisi ve örgütlerin beklentisi örtüşmez. Devletler süreç sonunda savaş sonucu kaybettikleri bazı şeyleri geri almak ister. Bunlar hukuğun tekrar devlet elinde tekelleştirilmesi, çoğullaşmış farklı hafıza ve anlatıların tekleşmesi ve sermayeye kapanmış olan coğrafyanın tekinleşerek sermayeye açılmasıdır. Bu açıdan barış süreçleri sadece sermayeci-milliyetçi ya da süreç içerisinde sermayeci-milliyetçileştirilebilen hareketlerle yürütüldüğünde nispeten başarıya ulaşmıştır. Ancak örneğin şu an Kolombiya’da Latin Amerika’yı etkileyen sol dalgaya rağmen ...

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Sinai: War in a Distant Province

[Aftermath of the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat in October 1981. Photo from Wikimedia commons]

The July 1 battle in which the Egyptian Armed Forces regained control of a small border town from the self-proclaimed Sinai Province of the Islamic State (formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis or Supporters of Jerusalem) has heightened fear, anger, and above all self-congratulation among both the government’s supporters and its critics. Days after still unknown assailants had assassinated the country’s Prosecutor General by means of a car bomb, IS fighters attacked a series of checkpoints in the northern Sinai peninsula and appeared briefly to have taken control of Shaykh Zuwayed near the border with Gaza and Israel. The attack occurred more or less on the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 28)

[Gulf Arab states remain divided over the Iranian nuclear agreement. Image from USDS.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Are Arab Oil Monarchies divided over Iran Deal? Juan Cole examines the Gulf states’ divided position over the nuclear deal with Iran. We Cannot Defeat ISIS Until We Stop Iran and Saudi From Pouring Fuel on the Sectarian Fire Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi argues that the Islamic State in Iraq and ...

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France Decorates a Moroccan Facing Justice on Bastille Day: A Portrait of Abdellatif Hammouchi

[Abdellatif Hammouchi receives decoration from the Spanish government. Image from screenshot of Moroccan state channel, Al Oula.]

Despite objections from human rights organizations in Morocco and France, on 23 June 2015, the National French Assembly adopted a bill that requires judges to refer legal complaints regarding criminal acts committed in Morocco to Moroccan justice. This would also include cases in which French citizens were subjected to acts of torture. The Senate will ratify this decision on 15 July 2015. This ratification comes a little over a year after the French justice system began raising questions about the head of Morocco's intelligence services, Abdellatif Hammouchi, for whom strong suspicions of complicity in torture did little to impede his rapid rise through the ranks. ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 8)

[Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula has imposed increasingly strict behavior in Mukalla in the Yemeni governorate of Hadramawt since it first captured the city in April. Image from Sallam/Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations Gulf states share shock of terror attack on mosque in Kuwait Martin Chulov argues that the Gulf states fear further violence from the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria during the month of Ramadan. Analysis: How will the GCC react to Iran nuclear deal? Jamal Abdullah analyzes the ...

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المال ليس كل شيء: إعادة النظر في الاقتصاد العسكري في مصر

[الرئيس عبد الفتاح السيسي في تجمع عسكري في ديسمبر/ كانون الاول 2014. المصدر: صفحة الفيسبوك الرسمية للمتحدث الرسمي للقوات المسلحة المصرية]

شهدت مصر توسّعاً واضحاً في النشاط الاقتصادي للجيش في أعقاب إطاحة القوات المسلحة المصرية بالرئيس الإخواني محمد مرسي في يوليو 2013،  والذي تلاه ترجمة سيطرة  الجيش على المشهد السياسي إلى صعود عبد الفتاح السيسي إلى مقعد الرئاسة في يونيو 2014. وقد حدا هذا بالكثير من المتابعين إلى اعتبار أن الجيش بصدد استخدام نفوذه السياسي المتزايد لجنى المزيد من المكاسب والمزايا الاقتصادية، وهو الأمر الذي درجت عليه المؤسسة العسكرية في العهود السابقة.  لطالما كان الجيش  لاعباً رئيساً في الاقتصاد المصري، غير أنه، وخلافاً للوصف النمطي للجنرالات على أنهم يستغلّون نفوذ الجيش السياسي لزيادة الموارد الاقتصادية الخاضعة لهم ولتغذية شبكات المحسوبية والزبونية داخل المؤسسة فإن ...

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Egypt under the New July Republic

[President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and government officials at the funeral of Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat who was killed in a car bomb attack on 29 June 2015. Source: Official Facebook Page of the Spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces.]

The prevailing characteristic of the time before the revolution, all those moons ago, was Egypt’s political moribundity.  There were elections of sorts, or at least votes went in ballot boxes but their provenance was not always from voters. Political parties did politics, sort of, following a script. There was a parliament. But outside of university campuses and the workers’ movement genuine politics was largely absent from public life. Egyptian Facebook was a very different animal back then, and while it would prove useful for mobilization in 2011 and beyond, the majority of people ignored both political developments, when there were any, and the routine and ...

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More than Money on their Minds: The Generals and the Economy in Egypt Revisited

[President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi at a military gathering in December 2014. Source: Official Facebook Page of the Spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces.]

Following the July 2013 power takeover by Defense Minister and later President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, the economic activities of the Egyptian military have been reportedly on the rise. For many, that trend only meant that the military under Sisi was preparing to do what it has long done under previous leaders, namely use its political privileges to make money and run easy profits. Indeed, the military establishment has always been a major player in Egypt’s economy. Its leaders have traditionally sought to use their institution’s economic interests to enhance the military’s resources and access to patronage. Yet the military’s more recent intervention in the economy ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 30)

[Bahraini activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja (left) remains imprisoned after ending his hunger strike protesting conditions in Jaw prison, while Nabeel Rajab (right) has been sentenced to six months for

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Wikileaks Docs Reveal Saudi intrigues against Bahrain’s Arab Spring Faten Bushehri examines Saudi Arabia’s meddling in Bahrain’s affairs during the 2011 uprising. The Saudi Cables: Revelations from Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Sudan & Egypt Kevin Gosztola reports on regional issues ...

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The Constant and the Changing 2015: The Gulf and the Other

[The following is the 2015 executive summary of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies' third annual report The Constant and the Changing.] In the third annual volume of The Constant and the Changing publication series, the Gulf Centre for Development Policies renews its call for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to address the chronic disorders that ail their development trajectory. The objective of this series of publications is to contribute to finding a path toward building independent states based on sustainable development, a democratic political culture, and the integration between Gulf Countries.  The four key disorders may be summarized as ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 11)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Gulf allies 'back Iran nuclear deal' after US security guarantees The Gulf states decide to back the nuclear deal with Iran ...

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The Changing Nature of the Algerian Political System and the Illusion of a Civilian Regime

Since 2011 Algeria has recorded a series of important political changes, despite its reputation as one of the most immobile countries in a region marked by instability and turmoil. This evolution in the nature of Algeria's regime has gone largely unnoticed on the international media, while domestically the authorities have been able to craft a narrative centered around the idea of a transition from a military-backed system to a civilian regime. In this powerful narrative (all the more powerful due ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 4)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Is Saudi Arabia warming up to the Muslim Brotherhood? Ali Al-Arian argues that amid the threats from Iran and the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Raymond Hinnebusch, From Arab Spring to Arab Winter: Explaining the Limits of Post-Uprising Democratization

Raymond Hinnebusch, editor, From Arab Spring to Arab Winter: Explaining the Limits of Post-Uprising Democratization, special issue of Democratization 22.2 (2015). Jadaliyya (J): What made you put this special issue together? Raymond Hinnebusch (RH): We felt that the debate over who had been vindicated by the uprising between democratization theorists and post-democratization/authoritarian resilience advocates had been exhausted. The main initial problematic of the Arab Uprising was how to translate ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 21)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations Gulf States Are Right to Fear Iran Deal Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi analyzes the economic and political implication ...

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Iran’s Nuclear Deal and the Day After: An Interview with Kamran Matin

For more than a week, diplomats from Iran and six world powers have gathered in Vienna’s Coburg Palace to finalize a historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program.   The officials from Iran and the US have told reporters  “we are making good progress on almost all of the issues..But there are a few issues which … remain to be resolved” as a result, the self imposed deadline of June 30th is now extend to Friday July 10th. This week, we spend the hour with Kamran Matin, Assistant Professor in ...

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Against Terror, No Way Forward Without Respect for Human Rights

[The following is the text of a presentation given by Bahey Eldin Hassan, Director of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) during the EU Parliament Human Rights Subcommittee Session of 28 May 2015 in Brussels] Last week the student union at Ain Shams University’s School of Engineering issued a statement announcing their resignation in protest at the killing of Islam Atito, one of their peers, by security forces. The Interior Ministry had just claimed Islam was suspected of having ...

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The Land of Fear and Oppression

Kazeboon revisits Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi's Egypt two years after the 3 July military coup. The video below serves as a collage of footage highlighting what sort of state Egypt has become under Sisi. Archival footage traces Sisi's rise to power and his broken promises, including his pledge not to run for the office of the president. The video brings to focus how Egypt under Sisi has faced increased press censorship, repression, and politicization of the judiciary. Torture and abusive practice have ...

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In Response to Mubarak

On 10 June the Youm7 website carried a summary of my book Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the U.S.-Egyptian Alliance (Cambridge University Press 2012), translated into Arabic under the title إجهاض الديمقراطية.. الحصاد المر للعلاقات المصرية الأمريكية فى أربعين  عاًما (Dar El Thaqafa El Jedida 2013).  The book draws on interviews with key decision makers and previously untapped written sources to argue that authoritarianism is a transnational phenomenon in which multiple ...

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The Saudi Leaks and Egypt: A Recap

It was not long after Wikileaks had released the Saudi cables that the dirty laundry it revealed about Egypt’s political elite began circulating in news reports and social media. Although many of the leaks have only confirmed what observers had long suspected, the details they reveal regarding the conduct of various Egyptian political actors were quite shocking. The Saudi government first responded over twitter holding that these leaks were both false and destabilizing, while urging citizens not to ...

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A Dangerous Dualism: The Myth of Two Algerias

In his last column for the magazine Rupture, the writer and journalist Tahar Djaout introduced his dichotomy of an Algeria divided between “the family that advances and the family that regresses” (“la famille qui avance et la famille qui recule”). This was in May 1993, just before his assassination. The dualist representation expressed in this phrase puts those who advance modernity in opposition to those who defend authenticity. In the Algeria of 2015, this problematic dichotomy is still relevant and is ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 23)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Yemen drone strike lawsuit forces US to face non-western 'war on terror' victims Sabrina Siddiqui writes on the ...

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