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Authoritarian Rule

New Texts Out Now: Safinaz El Tarouty, Businessmen, Clientelism, and Authoritarianism in Egypt

[Cover of Safinaz El Tarouty,

Safinaz El Tarouty, Businessmen, Clientelism, and Authoritarianism in Egypt. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Safinaz El Tarouty (SET): This book is based on my PhD dissertation that I completed in 2014 at the University of East Anglia. The topic I chose for my dissertation was authoritarian survival in Egypt. I decided to examine this topic by focusing on the role of Egyptian businessmen in politics and their relationship to authoritarian survival. Since 2000, the visibility of businessmen in politics has been growing. This was evident in their election to the parliament, appointment in the ruling party, and ...

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Disrupting the Chessboard: Perspectives on the Russian Intervention in Syria, with Jadaliyya Co-Editor, Bassam Haddad

[Image from Belfer Center Report]

Disrupting the Chessboard: Perspectives on the Russian Intervention in Syria Introduction: The Russian Intervention in Syria Payam Mohseni, Editor In late September 2015 at the request of the Syrian government, dozens of advanced Russian warplanes entered Syrian airspace and began conducting intensive airstrikes against enemy targets. With the support of the Russian Air Force, the Syrian government also launched an offensive ground campaign in conjunction with Hezbollah and Iranian forces to recapture key territories in Hama, Idlib, and Latakia provinces and has more recently set its objectives on regaining Aleppo. Moreover, Iran, Iraq, Russia, and Syria ...

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Rights Groups Outraged by Hossam Bahgat’s Detention, Demand his Immediate Release

[Hossam Bahgat. Photo from Free Hossam Bahgat Facebook Page]

Rights groups in Egypt and abroad have condemned the detention of Mada Masr contributor Hossam Bahgat in a series of statements released after military prosecutors took him into custody Sunday. They declared their solidarity with the imprisoned journalist and called on the Egyptian authorities to release him immediately. Bahgat has been charged with broadcasting false information that disturbs public security, and is currently being held under a four-day detention order issued by military prosecutors. His current whereabouts remain unknown.  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed concern on Monday about Bahgat’s detention, describing him as a ...

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Eastern Promises Squandered

[Image via]

In the days following the 1 November election, Turkey’s pro-government newspapers have depicted a bright future for the nation. Writing for Yeni Şafak, one columnist explained that the government could now move forward with constitutional and economic reforms, albeit vaguely defined ones. In Yeni Akit, another columnist echoed these sentiments, pointing out that the exchange rate had already begun to fall, stocks were rising, and anticipated investments could now begin again. Voicing a general sentiment, a Sabah columnist enthused that, “In Turkey, the leader best able to analyze politics and take the electorate’s pulse is President Tayyip Erdoğan. Despite political ...

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La masacre de Ankara y el Estado como asesino en serie en la Turquia de Erdogan

[People facing police barricades during commemorations of the massacre in Ankara. Image by Fatih Pınar.]

La masacre de Ankara y el Estado como asesino en serie en la Turquía de Erdogan [This article was originally written by Emrah Yildiz, and published by Jadaliyya in English. It was translated into Spanish by Sinfo Fernández and was published in Spanish on Rebelión.] Poco después de que las noticias sobre la masacre de Ankara empezaran a circular en las redes sociales, apareció un video que mostraba el momento mismo de la primera explosión con un primer plano de un grupo de jóvenes participantes en la manifestación por la paz en alineación halay. Los manifestantes estaban cantando y bailando el famoso ozan [bardo] “Ellerinde Pankartlar” de Ruhi Su, ...

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السيسي وإحياء نموذج الحزب المسيطر

[لقاء لقائمة

تتداخل عدة عوامل في تقرير السيسي مدى احتياجه إلى حزب سياسي؛ فهو - كما يبدو - تلجمه هواجس، وتحفزه طموحات؛ الهواجس تتعلق بمصير الحزب الوطني، الذي تسبب احتكاره للمجال السياسي بنشوب ثورة جماهيرية أطاحت بمبارك، وانتهت بالحزب محترقا. أما طموحه فيذهب به إلى امتلاك آلة للحشد والتعبئة الجماهيرية، تعضد شرعيته المتآكلة، وتضبط إيقاع الحياة السياسية، بعيدا عن اختناقاتها الراهنة، وبما يعينه على مجابهة خصومه السياسيين والحفاظ على هيمنته على المجال السياسي.  هل يحتاج السيسي حقا لحزب جماهيري؟ خلال الأشهر القليلة الماضية تكثفت عملية لإعادة رسم المجال السياسي بأدوات تدخل سلطوي تراوحت بين التشريع المقيد لحركة القوى السياسية، والمجابهة العنيفة مع الاحتجاجات. وانتهت هذه التدخلات بما ...

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Call by Academics for International Solidarity after the Ankara Bombing

[Image via]

[The following statement was released in English, French, Turkish, and German on 17 October 2015. To sign on to this petition, please click here.] Call by Academics for International Solidarity after the Ankara Bombing In the wake of the atrocious bomb attack in Ankara on 10 October that killed over a hundred demonstrators for peace, we, the undersigned academics and scholars, call on the Turkish government to account for these events, and on all governments to reconsider their relations with the Turkish government.  We believe that serious claims alleging the complicity of state agents in the perpetration of the Ankara massacre must be investigated by ...

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We Have Lost Too Much

[Bodies covered with flags in the aftermath of the explosions at a peace rally in Ankara on October 10. Image by Fatih Pınar.]

According to the official figures, 97 civilians died in a deadly blast in Ankara on Saturday although the death toll is contested.[1] They were there to participate in the peace rally organized by leftist associations, syndicates, and unions. Many NGOs and People’s Democratic Party (HDP) representatives and supporters were among the participants. Photos of dead bodies lying on the ground covered by the flags prepared for the rally overwhelmed social media accounts, reminding one of the irony of death at a rally organized to call for an end to the accelerating violence since the 7 June elections. It is heartbreakingly unfortunate that hopes for peace were once again ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 29)

Emergency services during the stampede in Mina during the Hajj. image from Hecham Messoudi via twitter

[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 by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations France urges Saudi Arabia to cancel death penalty for young Shi'ite France calls on Saudi Arabia not to execute Ali Mohammad al-Nimr. Is the U.S. drone program in Yemen working? Jillian Schwedler provides a critical analysis of the US drone program in Yemen. Gulf Arabs oppose Russia ...

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كابوس دمشـق وســماواتها: يوميات سورية

[حمص 2012 مصدر الصورة أ.ب]

العودة إلى الشام 14  آب/أغسطس 2011  وقفتُ في الدور قلقاً بعض الشيء. لطالما أثار فيَّ مطارُ دمشق، أنا الكردي العراقي بجنسيتين عراقية وأخرى أمريكية مع اسم عليّ أن أردده أكثر من مرة قبل ترجمته، خليطاً غريباً من مشاعر التوجس والقلق وصولاً إلى الخوف. تُعتبر المطارات واجهة مصغرة لمدنها وهي بمثابة بوابتها التي تمنحك نكهة روح المدينة. مثّلَ مطارُ دمشق بالنسبة لي بالوجوه العابسة لضباطه وشرطته غرفة تحقيق هائلة وظيفتها بث القلق والخضوع  استعداداً للدخول الى فضاء المدينة العام.    وقفتُ في الصف حاملاً حاسوبي المحمول منتظراً دوري لكي يختم الشرطي جوازي. بدأت أتمرن على إجابات وأنا أحاول التهيؤ لمواجهة عاصفة من الأسئلة المستحيلة. قبل سفري مغادراً المدينة ...

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صيف العراق الساخن: الأمل، الثورة والإصلاح

[ .جانب من المظاهرات التي شهدها العراق مؤخرا. لافتة كتب عليها

في رسائلنا المتبادلة حول التظاهرات التي انطلقت في مدن العراق منذ ما يقارب الشهرين، كتب لي الروائيّ "سنان أنطون": عندي أمل ولأول مرّة منذ سنين! لم يكن الأمل الذي يعتمل في صدر سنان، يخصه وحده فقط، بل هو أمل أعداد مليونيّة من العراقيّين الذين وقفوا طويلاً على أعتاب اليأس وإنعدام الأمل واللاجدوى. الأمل بإمكانية إحداث تغيير في مآلات حياتهم، وبقدرة ملايين الشباب المتعطش للحياة وللحرية، على قلب موازين القوى ومواجهة أبشع أنظمة الحكم في العراق وأكثرها فساداً. فكلّ آمال التخلص من طغيان القمع الدكتاتوريّ البعثيّ، والعيش بحريّة وكرامة وعدالة، تلاشت وتركت مكانها للذعر والإرهاب والمفخخات والإحباط والفقر والبطالة والهواجس القلقة حول ما يخبئه المستقبل المجهول والعيش وسط جحيم ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 15)

[Ansarullah Vows Crushing Response to Possible Saudi Ground Invasion of Yemen. Image from]

[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 by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Saudi diplomat 'raped Nepali maids' in India Police in India are investigating allegations that a Saudi diplomat raped two Nepali maids at his home near Delhi. India urges Saudi Arabia to cooperate after reports diplomat raped servants Indian authorities ask the Saudi ambassador to help a ...

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عصفورية إلى الأبد

عصفورية  "إلى الأبد"  سماء.. محض سماء محفوظة في علبة سردين، دون أن ينقطع نفسي وأنا أتفرج على الدلفين الخارج من المرآة التي أقف قبالتها. خذ المكان الى آخره، لن ينفع المكر لحظة تفسير الجمال الغريب للوحشة، أو حتى تلك الأحابيل التي يقتضيها التعبير البسيط لتلك الحدود الطفيفة بين الظل وصاحبه. ولطالما كنت طالباً فاشلاً في مادة الجغرافيا، وكثيراً ما كنت أضحك وأنا أتملى صورة ملتقطة من إحدى المركبات الفضائية لسطح الأرض، منسحراً بتلك الأخاديد المرسومة، حيث لا فواصل لخيط الألم الذي يرشح من قعرها ...

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Asad’s Officer Ghetto: Why the Syrian Army Remains Loyal

The Syrian army’s officer corps has remained intact despite the immense pressure of nearly four years of civil and military conflict, a fact that has prevented the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad’s regime. The military housing system is a crucial aspect of this cohesion: it reveals the world Syrian officers inhabit, their relations with the regime and wider Syrian society, and the reasons why so few have defected so far.  While there have been defections in the infantry, no major fighting ...

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Turkey: Nationalism and War Mongering Won the Election

The mood was tense as the election results came in to the local office of the progressive People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in the town of Erzurum in eastern Turkey. This is a very conservative region on the invisible border between nationalist Turkish Anatolia and the Kurdish region. The HDP’s office was filled with leaflets and banners that party activists did not dare to distribute due to fear of reprisals and violence. The party lost its single deputy from the area and saw a small nationwide decrease ...

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Borders Are There to Be Crossed

Borders Are There to Be Crossed The International Book Fair in Torino, the second largest Book Fair in Europe, has announced that Saudi Arabia will no longer be the guest of honour in its 2016 event. Instead, next year’s fair will focus on Arab Literature more broadly. This move breaks with the fair’s long tradition of hosting a different country each year, in close collaboration with the embassies and the ministry of culture of the guest countries. It was almost midnight in Sydney and about 4pm in ...

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[مقتطف من كتاب جديد عنوانه "إلى أن قامت الحرب: نساء في الثورة السورية"، سيصدر قريباً لدى "دار رياض نجيب الريس" في بيروت. يستند الكتاب إلى مقابلات أجرتها جمعية "استيقظت" السورية النسوية مع نساء سوريات، وقد سجّل فريق "استيقظت" شهاداتهنّ وسِيرهن في يوميات الثورة. قام الكاتب بصياغة هذه الشهادات والسيَر وكتابتها وإعدادها للنشر].    ذات الرداء الأحمر وذات الحجاب الأبيض  في اعتصام "أوقفوا القتل"، قطعت صفاء شارع البرلمان وبيدها شمعة. ...

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Ankara's Black Saturday: An Interview with Osman Sahin

Last Saturday, two powerful bombs turned a peaceful rally in Ankara into into a bloody nightmare. According to the People’s Democratic Party's (HDP) estimates, 128 people have been killed and over five hundred injured. The anger against the government of president Erodgan became evident in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, as tens of thousands of people took to the streets shouting slogans against the government, chanting “murderer Erdogan, murderer police.” According to news reports, immediately ...

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Continuing the Struggle

In Ankara, on 10 October, a few minutes after 10am, two of us (Alp and Max) were on our way to the “Labor, Peace and Democracy” rally. We were a little late and just entering the crowd, rushing towards the train station to meet with others, when the first bomb struck two hundred meters ahead. It all happened at the same time—the explosion, the shockwave, a thirty-foot column of fire and smoke. Everything stopped, then the second bomb exploded. What happened was clear to us, but not the precise ...

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De-dramatizing Algerian Politics

Three weeks ago, Algeria’s long term Military Intelligence Agency (DRS) Chief, known as, “The God of Algeria,” was removed from his position. Coverage in the Western press has been emblematic of broader media trends. When it comes to reporting on Algeria, analysis is often superficial or framed by dominant narratives. These narratives, while originating from Algerian elites, find resonance with Western stereotypes of Arab politics as defined by a Manichean struggle between authoritarianism and democracy. ...

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The Ongoing, Steady Gains of Morocco's Islamist Party

Moroccans took to the polls on 4 September to vote in the first local elections since 2009. A total of about one hundred forty thousand candidates competed for around thirty-two thousand seats. These local elections were the first to take place after the new constitution in 2011, which the monarch effectively used as a way to steal the 20 February Movement’s thunder and calm the protests by seemingly giving in to some of the protestors’ demands. The new constitution and the subsequent law of ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 22)

[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 by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations  Hostile BBC Interview of a Saudi Loyalist Shows Prime Journalistic Duty: Scrutiny of One’s Own Side Glenn Greenwald ...

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اللاجئون السوريون والخليج: لحظة فك السحر

عندما كتب ميشيل فوكو عن علاقة المعرفة بالسلطة ركز على أهمية العلوم الاجتماعية لتقديم المعرفة الدقيقة اللازمة لأي سلطة تريد تنوير أو ترويض رعيتها. فالإحصائيات والأرقام والمسوحات والاستبيانات والمقابلات المعمقة هدفها تقديم حد أدنى من المعلومات التي على ضوئها سيتم تفسيرها من قبل السلطات السياسية، وإنشاء ما يسمى "بنظام الحقيقة". ومع كل أسف ما نجده هذه الأيام من جدل حول لماذا لم تستقبل دول الخليج اللاجئين السوريين هو تتويج لنظام يتناقض كلياً مع "نظام الحقيقة": إنه "نظام الجهل" أو ...

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Behind the Imprisonment of Mauritanian Anti-Slavery Activists

On 20 August, a Mauritanian court ruled to uphold a two-year prison sentence against anti-slavery activists Biram Deh Abeid, Brahim Ramhdan Bilal, and Sow Dijby, following an appeal trial held in the city of Aleg. The court initially charged these men in January after their arrest during a peaceful demonstration the previous November.  The week of 17 August also saw some seemingly contradictory legislative steps in Mauritania relating to slavery and the groups that campaign against it. On the one ...

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