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Authoritarian Rule

Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (April 1)

[Saudi pilots praying before conducting air strikes in Yemen. Image by Yahya al-Fifi via Mohammad al-Ghazwani]

[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 Sales of weapons to Gulf states up 70% over five years Saeed Kamali Dehghan and Richard Norton-Taylor report on the Gulf states’ purchases of arms in the last five years. Putin letter to Arab summit triggers strong Saudi attack The Saudi foreign minister rebukes Vladimir Putin and accuses ...

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"The Amir of Bahrain and the Beautiful Scottish Lady": Political Satire in the Arab World

[A 1935 two-annas Indian stamp from the British Raj, depicting George V, overprinted with

The Arab world has a rich satirical tradition that has appeared in numerous forms throughout its history, ranging from satirical al-hija1 poetry of the pre-Islamic era to the satirical newspaper Abou Naddara Zarqa, published in late nineteenth-century Cairo by the Jewish Egyptian polyglot Yaqub Sanu. Throughout the twentieth century, satire flourished in theatrical form and the political cartoons of Ali Ferzat and Naji al-Ali as well as in the widespread circulation and popularity of political jokes around the Arab world, as recorded by Khalid Kishtainy in his 1986 work Arab Political Humor. The rapid growth in Internet usage in the region in the early twenty-first ...

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كتاب "فلاحو سورية": مدخل أساسيّ لفهم نظام الأسد

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صدر عن المركز العربي للأبحاث ودراسة السياسات كتاب "فلاحو سورية:أبناءُ وجهائهم الريفيين الأقل شأنًا وسياساتهم" (704 صفحة من القطع الكبير)، للمؤرخ والباحث الراحل حنا بطاطو (1926-2000)، ويعدّ الكتاب مساهمة تحليلية مركزية لطبيعة السلطة السياسية القائمة في سورية، بالعودة إلى الجذور التاريخية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية والسياسية للفئات المشكّلة لها، ويشمل ذلك تسليط الضوء على الجوانب العقائدية والمذهبية لتلك الفئات. في هذا الكتاب، نجح حنا بطاطو في رسم لوحة شاملة لطبيعة النظام السوري وتركيبته وسياساته، وتناول ذلك كله من جوانب وزوايا غير مسبوقة في الدراسات التي تناولت تاريخ سورية الحديث أو نظام الأسد على وجه الخصوص. يأتي الكتاب في خمسة وعشرين ...

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Public Hearing Notice: UK Court to Look Into FCO Secret Document on Bahrain

[The following report was originally published by Bahrain Watch on 9 March 2015.] Judge to Decide on 18-Month Battle to Release Secret British Documents on Bahrain On 10 March, the Information Rights Tribunal in London will consider whether to order the Foreign Office to reveal 40-year-old secret communications between Foreign Office officials. In June 2013, Marc Owen Jones, a Durham University PhD student and member of the NGO, Bahrain Watch made a Freedom of Information Request to the FCO, requesting a secret file entitled “Bahrain: Internal Political situation 1977.” The FCO refused to disclose the full file, arguing that to reveal the information would ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 24)

[Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi withdrew his resignation of the presidency and fled to Aden this week. Image from Glenn Fawcett/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 Qatar recalls Cairo envoy over Egyptian suggestion Doha supports terrorism The relations between Cairo and Doha deteriorate over Libya strikes. On Edge, Persian Gulf Monarchies Step Up Defense Spending Robert Wall and Rory Jones examine the Gulf states’ purchases of military ...

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Quick Thoughts: Paul Sedra on the IS Massacre of Egyptian Copts in Libya

[Still shot of the blood of victims mixing with the sea water from the video allegedly depicting the execution of twenty-one Copts at the hands of IS]

Among the most important points to make about these horrific murders relates to context. I would argue this event cannot and should not be placed within the context of domestic Egyptian politics or of Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt. Without question, Egypt has a persistent problem with sectarianism and violence against Egypt’s Coptic community. But these latest sectarian murders represent an effort by the Islamic State (IS) movement to advance its transnational agenda rather than an Egyptian one. Its reference to “conquering Rome” in the video of these murders–even though the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church has for centuries pursued a path entirely separate from ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 10)

[Souad al-Shammary, co-founder of Saudi Liberal network. Image from Gulf Center for Human Rights]

[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  Moussaoui claims Saudi royals ‘funded 9/11 attacks’ Zacarias Moussaoui claims that members of the Saudi ruling family helped fund the September 11, 2001 attacks. Pre-9/11 Ties Haunt Saudis as New Accusations Surface Ben Hubbard and Scott Shane analyze the implication of Zacarias ...

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انتصار البيروقراطية: عقد من إجهاض التغيير السياسي والاجتماعي في مصر

 [poco a poco/صورة من الأرشيف لمجمع التحرير رمز البيروقراطية المصرية في سبتمبر 2011. مصدر الصورة: ويكيميديا]

بالإمكان القول أن النظام السياسي الآخذ في التشكل في مصر برئاسة المشير عبد الفتاح السيسي وبدعم من القوات المسلحة وأجهزة الدولة هو انتصار للبيروقراطية المصرية بمكوناتها العسكرية والأمنية والمدنية على ثلاث عمليات سياسية هدفت خلال العقد الماضي لإحداث تغيير سياسي في مصر، إما من خلال تعديل تكوين النخبة السياسية الحاكمة لتكون من خارج البيروقراطية، وإما إلى تعديل علاقة الدولة بالمجتمع والانتقاص من سيطرة الأجهزة البيروقراطية على الموارد الاقتصادية ومن القدرة على إدارة المجال العام.  كان أول هذه المشروعات هو توريث السلطة لجمال مبارك والمقرون بصعود نخبة من رجال الأعمال منذ  2004 تقريباً، والدفع برئيس مدني في خضم التحرير الاقتصادي الذي مثل الغطاء لنقل السيطرة على القرار ...

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Stanford Event: Steven Heydemann on Authoritarianism in the Era of Mass Politics (2 February 2015)

CDDRL’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD), in partnership with the Arab Studies Institute (ASI), presents: Authoritarianism in the Era of Mass Politics Featuring: Steven Heydemann Vice President, Applied Research on Conflict United States Institute for Peace Date and Time: Monday, February 2 12PM-1:30PM *Lunch will be served* Location: Goldman Conference Room (4th floor East Wing) Encina Hall Stanford University Abstract The uprisings that spread across the Middle East in 2011 created new hope for democratic change in the Arab world.  Four years later, the euphoria that greeted the Arab uprisings has given way to a far more somber ...

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تقييم حالة الإعلام الخاص فى مصر

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يُعدُّ الإعلام بوسائله المختلفة، التقليدية والحديثة، إحدى أهم ركائز المجتمع، نظراً لوظيفته الأساسية المتمثلة في تشكيل اتجاهات الرأي العام تجاه القضايا المجتمعية المختلفة، وكونه عاكساً لطبيعة العلاقة بين الدولة والمجتمع، من ناحية، وبين النخبة والجماهير، من ناحية أخرى. غير أن العديد من العوامل من شأنها التأثير في أداء وسائل الإعلام لهذه الوظائف، منها عوامل تتصل بالبيئة التي يمارس فيها الإعلام دوره، وأخرى تتصل بالإطار التشريعي الحاكم له، وثالثة تعنى بالقائمين على الإعلام والعاملين فيه. يتوقف أداء وسائل الإعلام المختلفة لدورها على شكل ووظيفة تلك الوسائل في المجتمع وفقاً لما يحدده لها النظام السياسي للدولة، وحجم الحريات التي يمنحها لها القانون المنظم لعملها، ومدى الاستقلالية ...

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New Texts Out Now: Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti, Informal Power in the Greater Middle East

[Cover of 'Informal Power in the Greater Middle East: Hidden Geographies']

Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti, editors, Informal Power in the Greater Middle East: Hidden Geographies. London and New York: Routledge, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti (LA/GG/AT): It seemed to us that a wide variety of informal power dynamics and their interaction with formal institutions were not being taken particularly seriously—at least, beyond general and often Orientalist claims about “culture.” This lack of attention is perhaps rooted in Political Science’s focus on formal allocation processes through institutionalized decision-making channels—Lasswell and Easton, for ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 13)

[Saudi Arabia and its Gulf OPEC allies continue to maintain their oil production levels. Image from J. Rawls. 10 April 2007.]

[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 Saudi Arabia is right to be anxious over its ideological links with Isis Brian Whitaker argues that though the Saudi regime has denounced the Islamic State, it fears the effects of any close examination of their shared principles. Why the GCC's hands are tied over Yemen Sharif Nashashibi ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 24)

[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 Saudi Prince: Iran ‘expanding occupation of Iraq’ Prince Turki al-Faisal states that Iran’s expanding occupation of Iraq is ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 17)

[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 Sandhurst and the Sheikhs A video report on the popularity of the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst with Gulf ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 10)

[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 Saudi king aims for new Sunni bloc vs Iran and Islamic State Angus McDowall and Amena Bakr examines King Salman’s efforts to ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 3)

[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 Report: Saudis might help Israel attack Iran in exchange for progress in peace process A news report on European ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 17)

[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 Prince Charles raises blogger case with new Saudi king Prince Charles raised the issue of Raif Badawi during his first ...

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Manufacturing Silence: On Jordan's ISIS War, Arab Authoritarianism, and US Empire

On 24 December 2014, ISIS reported and the US-led coalition confirmed that a Jordanian fighter pilot, Mu‘ath al-Kassasbeh, had crashed in Syria and was now in ISIS custody. On 3 February 2015, ISIS released a video showing its own members murdering the pilot by immolation. The Jordanian regime vowed revenge. Some Jordanians took to the streets in grief and anger. The Jordanian Armed Forces, for its part, intensified its bombing campaign in Syria. Media outlets and Middle East analysts have expended ...

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Justice: An Uncertain Question in Turkey

On 3 June 2013, Ali Ismail Korkmaz, a nineteen-year old university student in Eskisehir, was participating in nonviolent peaceful protests against the Turkish government when he was brutally clubbed and beaten by a group of police officers and civilians. The protestors were demanding the retraction of an urban development plan for Gezi Park in Istanbul that required the demolition of the only green area in the heart of the city. The wave of protests quickly spread to all of Turkey. On the day he was ...

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Reconsidering the Rif Revolt (1958-59)

“The people of the North have previously known the violence of the crown prince; it will be best for them not to know that of the king’s.” It is in this way that Hassan II (1961-1999) addressed himself to the inhabitants of northwest Morocco—and to the rest of the population—in reaction to the riots of 1984. Adopting a scornful and serious tone, the monarch reminded his subjects that he is capable of anything for the sake of conserving power. To refresh their memory, he did not hesitate to make a brief ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 27)

[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 Saudis Expand Regional Power as Others Falter David Kirkpatrick examines Saudi Arabia’s regional politics. US charges ...

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Mubarakism on Steroids: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Hesham Sallam Interviewed on the Anniversary of the Revolution

Jadaliyya Egypt Page Co-Editor Hesham Sallam gave an interview to KPFA 94.1 Berkeley on the current state of the Egyptian revolution and the return of authoritarianism in the country on the fourth anniversary of the uprisings that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. Sallam argues that the level of repression witnessed today far eclipses the Mubarak era. He outlines the ways in which the country's transition was a tumultuous battle between the political elite, the military establishment, and the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 20)

[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 Jeremy Scahill on Paris Attacks, the al-Qaeda Link & the Secret U.S. War in Yemen Amy Goodman interviews Jeremy Scahill ...

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Stanford Event: Joel Beinin on Workers and Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia (21 January 2015)

CDDRL’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD), in partnership with the Arab Studies Institute (ASI), presents: Workers and Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia Featuring: Joel Beinin Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Stanford University Date and Time: Wednesday, January 21 12PM-1:30PM *Lunch will be served* Location: Goldman Conference Room (4th floor East Wing) Encina Hall Stanford University Abstract Arab workers participated prominently in the popular uprisings ...

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