[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the first in a series of "Peer-Reviewed Article Reviews" in which we present a collection of journals and their articles concerned with the Middle East and Arab world. This series will be published seasonally. Each issue will comprise one-to-three parts, depending on the number of articles included.]
American Economic Review (Volume 107, Issue 9)
“Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity”
By: Klaus Desmet, Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín, Romain Wacziarg
Abstract: We investigate the empirical relationship between ethnicity and culture, defined as a vector of traits reflecting norms, values, and attitudes. Using survey data for 76 countries, we find that ethnic identity is a significant predictor of cultural values, yet that within-group variation in culture trumps between-group variation. Thus, in contrast to a commonly held view, ethnic and cultural diversity are unrelated. Although only a small portion of a country's overall cultural heterogeneity occurs between groups, we find that various political economy outcomes (such as civil conflict and public goods provision) worsen when there is greater overlap between ethnicity and culture.
American Ethnologist (Volume 44, Issue 3)
“Beyond cultural intimacy: The tensions that make truth for India's Ahmadi Muslims”
By: Nicholas H. A. Evans
Abstract: How should anthropologists write about the public self-presentation of minority groups? In the Indian town of Qadian, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community—a marginal group with a long history of persecution in South Asia—uses visual media to counter hostility and produce images of its members as exemplary Muslims. That such images are artificially produced is an intimate secret shared by the town's residents. Understanding this secret without undermining the political struggle that Ahmadi Muslims are engaged in means moving beyond the idea that truth must be located in either the everyday or the public. For Ahmadis in Qadian, the disjuncture between these realms is a space of possibility that reveals truth.
“An offer of pleasure: Islam, poetry, and the ethics of religious difference in a Kurdish home”
By: J. Andrew Bush
Abstract: Recent conflicts between Islamist and secularist parties in Iraqi Kurdistan have politicized pious and nonpious orientations to Islamic traditions. In public debate and domestic relations, tensions pervade relations between Muslims who pursue piety and those who do not. Yet affects of pleasure and joy also play a key role in the ethics of domestic relations. Evidence from the life of a Kurdish man and his family demonstrates that their orientation to Islam is inseparable from their orientation to one another. It also shows that affective pleasures linking the poetic imagination to household life are central to the ethical task of sustaining intimate relations. Within the household, Muslims with different orientations to Islam accept and accommodate one another through an “ethos of reception.”
“Sacralizing kinship, naturalizing the nation: Blood and food in postrevolutionary Iran”
By: Rose Wellman
Abstract: In Iran, ideas and practices of the family are integral to religious nation-making. State elites and supporters (here members of the Basij, Iran's paramilitary organization) tie the blood of kinship to the blood and sacrifice of Iran-Iraq War martyrs. They harness blood's relational and sacred properties in museum displays and commemorations to delineate and sanctify an Islamic nation composed of pure, kindred citizens. Food has similar efficacy: pious acts of sharing food at home infuse the rituals of state power, creating “what should be”—that is, citizens who embody familial piety, purity, and closeness to God. The Iranian case compels us to consider how a full spectrum of immaterial qualities, substances, and acts of kin making can inform the nation and its politics.
American Journal of Political Science (Volume 61, Issue 3)
“Unlikely Democrats: Economic Elite Uncertainty under Dictatorship and Support for Democratization”
By: Michael Albertus, Victor Gay
Abstract: Influential recent scholarship assumes that authoritarian rulers act as perfect agents of economic elites, foreclosing the possibility that economic elites may at times prefer democracy absent a popular threat from below. Motivated by a puzzling set of democratic transitions, we relax this assumption and examine how elite uncertainty about dictatorship—a novel and generalizable causal mechanism impacting democratization—can induce elite support for democracy. We construct a noisy signaling model in which a potential autocrat attempts to convince economic elites that he will be a faithful partner should elites install him in power. The model generates clear predictions about how two major types of elite uncertainty—uncertainty in a potential autocratic successor's policies produced by variance in the pool of would-be dictator types, and uncertainty in the truthfulness of policy promises made by potential autocratic successors—impact the likelihood of elite-driven democratization. We demonstrate the model's plausibility in a series of cases of democratic transition.
American Political Science Review (Volume 11, Issue 3)
“Days of Action or Restraint? How the Islamic Calendar Impacts Violence”
By: Michael J. Reese, Keven G. Ruby, Robert A. Pape
Abstract: Does the religious calendar promote or suppress political violence in Islamic societies? This study challenges the presumption that the predominant impact of the Islamic calendar is to increase violence, particularly during Ramadan. This study develops a new theory that predicts systematic suppression of violence on important Islamic holidays, those marked by public days off for dedicated celebration. We argue that militant actors anticipate societal disapproval of violence, predictably inducing restraint on these days. We assess our theory using innovative parallel analysis of multiple datasets and qualitative evidence from Islamic insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from 2004 to 2014. Consistent with our theory, we find that important Islamic holidays witness systematic declines in violence—as much as 41%—and provide evidence that anticipation of societal disapproval is producing these results. Significantly, we find no systematic evidence for surges of violence associated with any Islamic holiday, including Ramadan.
British Journal of Political Science (Volume 47, Issue 3)
“Resolving Civil Wars before They Start: The UN Security Council and Conflict Prevention in Self-Determination Disputes”
By: Kyle Beardsley, David E. Cunningham, Peter B. White
Abstract: A large literature has demonstrated that international action can promote the resolution of civil wars. However, international actors do not wait until violence starts to seek to manage conflicts. This article considers the ways in which the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reduces the propensity for self-determination movements to escalate to civil war, through actions that directly pertain to the disputing actors or that indirectly shape actor incentives. It examines the relationship between the content of UNSC resolutions in all self-determination disputes from 1960 to 2005 and the onset of armed conflict in the disputes. The study finds that diplomatic actions that directly address disputes reduce the likelihood of armed conflict, and that military force and sanctions have more indirect preventive effects.
“Repression and Activism among the Arab Spring’s First Movers: Evidence from Morocco’s February 20th Movement”
By: Adria K. Lawrence
Abstract: Why are some people willing to initiate protest against authoritarian regimes? How does repression affect their willingness to act? Drawing on data from the Arab Spring protests in Morocco, this article argues first that activism is passed down from one generation to the next: first movers often came from families that had been punished for opposing the regime in the past. Secondly, repression during the Arab Spring was also counterproductive: those connected to first movers via Facebook supported renewed pro-democracy protests when informed of the regime’s use of repression in 2011. A regime that jails and beats political dissidents creates incentives for its citizens to oppose it; these abuses can come back to haunt the regime long after repression occurs.
Comparative Political Studies (Volume 50, Issue 9)
“Ties to the Rest: Autocratic Linkages and Regime Survival”
By: Oisín Tansey, Kevin Koehler, Alexander Schmotz
Abstract: The relationship between international linkages and the nature and survival of political regimes has gained increasing attention in recent years, but remains one that is poorly understood. In this article, we make three central contributions to our understanding of international linkage politics and autocratic regime survival. First, we introduce and develop the concept of “autocratic linkage,” and highlight its importance for understanding the international politics of autocratic survival. Second, we use event history analysis to demonstrate that autocratic linkage has a systematic effect on the duration of authoritarian regimes. Finally, we complement our quantitative analysis with a focused comparison of autocratic linkage politics in the Middle East. We show that variation in Saudi Arabian support for autocratic incumbents in the wake of the Arab Spring protests can be explained in significant part by variation in linkage relationships.
Comparative Politics (Volume 49, Issue 4)
“Women, Property Rights, and Islam”
By: Benjamin G. Bishin, Feryal M. Cherif
Abstract: To what extent do conventional explanations of women’s rights, such as religion, culture, core rights, and advocacy, help to explain the status of women’s rights in Muslim majority countries? Religion and patriarchal culture are commonly cited to explain the persistence of gender inequality. While often overlooked, the study of property rights offers leverage for differentiating between religious and cultural explanations of women’s status given their different prescriptions regarding the acquisition and management of property. Examining developing and Muslim majority countries, we find that patriarchal norms, more so than religion, constitute the main barrier to gender equality. Further, we find that core rights like women’s access to education and, to a lesser degree, norms-building by women’s rights groups best explain where women enjoy effective property rights.
Comparative Studies in Society and History (Volume 59, Issue 3)
“Politics of Nationhood and the Displacement of the Founding Moment: Contending Histories of the Turkish Nation”
By: Alev Çinar, Hakki Taş
Abstract: This study examines the conception of nationhood developed by a political movement referred to as Ulusalcılık (nationalism), which emerged at the turn of the century. We focus on ways in which the Ulusalcı movement makes use of nation-building techniques to establish and propagate its own version of Turkish nationhood as one that is primordially secular and patriotic. This is expressed in its opposition to Islamism, Ottomanism, and what it sees as imperialist Western powers. We argue that the most significant technique Ulusalcı nationalists use to rebuild Turkish nationhood is a relocation of the nation's founding moment, from the official Kemalist one marked by the founding of the Republic in 1923 to the War of Independence fought against the European powers between 1919 and 1922. Our premise is that nationhood is ultimately the product of storytelling, and that the politics of nationhood involves the contentious production, dissemination, and negotiation of different stories and their corresponding founding moments. We analyze the story of Turkish nationhood told in the bestselling book Those Crazy Turks, which became the bible of the Ulusalcı movement. We argue that the Ulusalcı narration of Turkish nationhood interpellates a new national subject that is primordially secular, militaristically patriotic, and adamantly anti-Western. These are projected as essential qualities that must, at all cost, be upheld and defended against Islamist, Ottomanist, and Western powers that are conspiring to bring Turkey down.
“Transplanted Slavery, Contested Freedom, and Vernacularization of Rights in the Reform Era Ottoman Empire”
By: Ceyda Karamursel
Abstract: This article focuses on the jurisdictional conflicts that emerged at the juncture of the transplanted legalities that followed the Caucasian expulsion in the 1850s and 1860s, the proclamation of the proto-constitution known as the Ottoman Reform Edict of 1856, and the internationally enforced ban on trading in African slaves in 1857. Starting with the Caucasian expulsion, it traces how legal practices were carried over with Caucasian refugees to the Ottoman domains and how the judicial management of slavery-related conflicts determined not only the limits of slavery, but also how such liberal “fictions” as freedom or equality before the law were vernacularized by local agents in the Ottoman Empire. Navigating within a set of what were labeled as freedom suits (hürriyet davaları), I examine how enslaved refugees built their claims in relation to different legal terrains, problems, and concepts. I argue that while Caucasian-Ottoman slavery was economically marginal, it nonetheless posed serious challenges to the new political order the Ottomans aspired to establish, and the abolition that never came continued to bend categories of ethnicity, race, and gender in the decades after expulsion.
Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Volume 37, Issue 2)
“Eyes in the Dark: Nightlife and Visual Regimes in Late Ottoman Istanbul”
By: Avner Wishnitzer
Abstract: The limited scholarship on late Ottoman nightlife focused mainly on street lighting and described it as a solution to the problem of darkness, the end of a dark age. However, as Wishnitzer shows in this article, the nightlife scene of the late nineteenth century did not develop linearly from darkened to illuminated nightlife; rather, the two modes of nocturnal leisure coexisted. Likewise, the new ways of “seeing through darkness” that were devised by the state developed alongside (rather than instead of) well-established patterns of communal surveillance. These patterns are evident in contemporary novels, which subjected nightlife to a literary “neighborhood gaze,” exposing and shaming protagonists who violated public morality. In this way, novelists warned against what they perceived to be the perils of the new night and advised their readers how to navigate it—how to be in the modern night without jeopardizing the morality, productivity, and integrity of the individual and of the Ottoman nation as a whole.
“Upgrade?: Power and Sound during Ramadan and ‘Id al-Fitr in the Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Arab Provinces”
By: Adam Mestyan
Abstract: This essay focuses on the month of Ramadan and its end celebration, ‘Id al-Fitr, the Festival of Breaking the Fast, in the Ottoman Arab provinces in the second half of the nineteenth century. What was the effect of new technologies and urbanization on these Muslim practices in their relationship to politics and the new public spaces? Building on recent scholarship, Mestyan argues that these were reconstituted as part of symbolic politics and served as a test period for using new technologies to synchronize collective action. He explores this process by historicizing the relationship between power and sound during Ramadan.
“Allure of the Light, Fear of the Dark: Nighttime Illumination, Spectacle, and Order in Fin-de-Siècle Istanbul”
By: Nurçin İleri
Abstract: İleri's article explores the practice of lighting as a means of development of new spectacles and rise of surveillance in fin-de-siècle Istanbul. It focuses on how the concerns of Ottoman municipal and commercial authorities regarding prosperity and civility gave rise to more city lights and how the installation of these lights contributed to the flamboyant visuality of Istanbul's modern life. It also elaborates on how, in a new world of enhanced exposure and spectacle, darkness took on a new importance because it limited visibility. İleri traces these questions through archival documents, newspaper articles, satirical magazines, travelogues, and literary narratives. She maintains that while the government and hegemonic discourse associated lighting with social and economic progress and emphasized the government's achievements in this regard, discussions of outdoor illumination and popular representations often used this very same association in an inverse manner. If light was progress, then the darkness of many neighborhoods and the dysfunctional state of the lighting system were evidence of deficiency, which negatively reflected on the government.
“Intoxication and Imperialism: Nightlife in Occupied Istanbul, 1918–23”
By: Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal
Abstract: MacArthur-Seal's article explores how the Allied occupation of Istanbul between 1918 and 1923 revived and reshaped nightlife after a period of wartime privation. Soldiers and sailors sought in the nocturnal city to escape the military regimes governing their lives, bringing them into unregulated contact with local civilians. The frequently violent consequences of such encounters fueled nationalist opposition to the occupation and hence drew the acute concern of Allied military authorities. Investigating the Allies' regulatory efforts to control nightlife reveals the extent of imperial intervention in the occupied city, which has been so far underappreciated in a literature centered on the occupation's geopolitical impact and significance. All this has produced copious and heretofore unstudied documentary evidence. This article draws on the diaries and memoirs of Allied servicemen; newspaper critiques of nightlife entertainments and behaviors; and correspondence among bar and theater owners, their supporters, critics, and French and British diplomatic and military representatives.
Constellations (Volume 24, Issue 3)
“Civil society, populism and religion”
By: Andrew Arato, Jean L. Cohen
Abstract: Not available.
Dead Sea Discoveries (Volume 24, Issue 2)
“A Provisional List of Unprovenanced, Twenty-First Century, Dead Sea Scrolls-like Fragments”
By: Eibert Tigchelaar
Abstract: This article briefly discusses the Dead Sea Scrolls-like fragments that have surfaced in the twenty-first century and presents a full list of these fragments as known to the author.
“Nine Dubious ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ Fragments from the Twenty-First Century”
By: Kipp Davis; Ira Rabin; Ines Feldman; Myriam Krutzsch; Hasia Rimon; Årstein Justnes; Torleif Elgvin, Michael Langlois
Abstract: In 2002 new “Dead Sea Scrolls” fragments began to appear on the antiquities market, most of them through the Kando family. In this article we will present evidence that nine of these Dead Sea Scrolls-like fragments are modern forgeries.
“Caves of Dispute: Patterns of Correspondence and Suspicion in the Post-2002 ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ Fragments”
By: Kipp Davis
Abstract: Over 30 fragments purportedly from the Dead Sea Scrolls belonging to two private collections were published for the first time in Summer 2016. Virtually all of these fragments in The Schøyen Collection and Museum of the Bible are non-provenanced apart from verbal guarantees made by their sellers. An unusual feature of these fragments is that almost all of them correspond to texts from the Hebrew Bible, but also to a few previously known compositions from antiquity. This paper examines the published fragments from both collections according to their observable physical properties, as well as palaeographical and scribal characteristics, and seeks to understand from these more about their potential origin—whether from antiquity or modern times.
“’The Temple which You Will Build for Me in the Land’: The Future Sanctuary in a Textual Tradition of Leviticus”
By: Julia Rhyder
Abstract: This article examines the instruction regarding the wood offering and the festival of new oil in fragment 23 of 4QReworked Pentateuch C (4Q365), and in particular its setting at a future temple (בית) in the land. It argues that while 4Q365 23 represents a departure from earlier versions of Leviticus, it should be considered nonetheless as part of an authoritative version of this book. In introducing the new temple and its rituals, the addition develops notions already present within priestly ritual legislation concerned with the community’s obligations towards the wilderness sanctuary. 4Q365 23 therefore has the potential to progress the present debate concerning the priestly traditions of the Pentateuch and cult centralization. In projecting the ritual obligations established at the wilderness shrine onto a future temple, the fragment throws new light on the way in which ritual legislation was used to promote a centralized cult in ancient Israel.
“Reproof in CD 9:2–8 and 1QS 5:24–6:1: A Note on a Curious Omission”
By: Kengo Akiyama
Abstract: The Damascus Document (CD 9:2–8) and the Serekh (1QS 5:24–6:1) amplify Leviticus 19:17–18 and carefully spell out the legal procedure for open reproof. In doing so, however, they both omit the key phrase of Leviticus 19:18b (ואהבת לרעך כמוך). This short note suggests that the omission is deliberate and results from a specific sectarian reading of Leviticus 19:17–18. The sectarians are construing this scriptural mandate as a legal command in contrast to the more mainstream reading as exhortation in the Second Temple period.
Defence and Peace Economics (Volume 28, Issue 3)
“Budget allocation, national security, military intelligence, and human capital: a dynamic model”
By: Eyal Pecht & Asher Tishler
Abstract: This study develops a dynamic model that integrates military intelligence into the defense capability of the country and the optimal allocation of its government budget. We assert that the effectiveness of the country’s military intelligence is contingent on the quality of its human capital, which, in turn, implies a long-term positive relationship between the government’s various civilian expenditures and its capacity to achieve a cost-effective intelligence and, hence, military capability. This relationship is developed within a multiple-period arms race model between two rivals. Using this model and stylized data for the Israeli–Syrian arms race, we show that an appropriate budget shift from defense to civilian expenditures during the initial periods of the planning horizon will gradually (over a decade, say) increase the quality of human capital in the country and, thus, the effectiveness of its intelligence, which, in turn, will increase the country’s future security and welfare.
Democratization (Volume 24, Issue 5)
“Midwives or gravediggers of democracy? The military’s impact on democratic development”
By: David Kuehn
Abstract: The political role of the military and its impact on the emergence, persistence and consolidation of new democracies has generated a large body of scholarship. In the light of military coups in a number of Third Wave democracies such as Ecuador (2000), Thailand (2006 and 2014), Honduras (2006) and Mali (2012), the return to electoral competition in a number of military-dominated regimes, and the military’s pivotal role during the Arab Spring, this research has recently focused on the forms, reasons and consequences of military contestation on democratic development. This special issue contributes to this recent scholarship by analysing both the potentially beneficial as well as the deleterious implications of military contestation on democratic transitions, quality and persistence in different world regions. This article introduces the special issue by providing a broader context for the four individual contributions and relates their findings to the recent theoretical and empirical literature on the military’s role as a midwife or gravedigger of democracy.
Development and Change (Volume 48, Issue 5)
“Labour as a Transnational Actor: Alliances, Activism and the Protection of Labour Rights in the Philippines and Pakistan”
By: Marissa Brookes
Abstract: This article highlights how and why the dynamics of transnational labour activism are not fully captured in theories of transnational advocacy networks (TANs). The article develops a new theoretical framework for analysing labour transnationalism that takes into account the unique capacity of workers to physically disrupt production by withdrawing their labour (structural power) and the unique capacity of organized labour to invoke employment relations institutions at the national and international levels (institutional power). It demonstrates the utility of this theoretical framework through an analysis of transnational labour campaigns spearheaded by factory workers in the Philippines and Pakistan. The case studies reveal that while transnational labour alliances (TLAs) do share some characteristics in common with TANs, the mechanisms through which TLAs sustain and escalate transnational campaigns can only be understood with reference to the unique structural and institutional capacities of labour.
Economic Affairs (Volume 37, Issue 2)
“Judaism and Liberalism: Israel's Economic Problem with Its Haredim”
By: David Conway
Abstract: This article argues that, in the arrangements for the public provision of welfare for the poor and a basic education for all in both biblical and post-biblical times, Judaism is more closely in accord with classical liberalism than it is with those variants of liberalism which favour no more than the minimal night-watchman state as well as those which favour the extensive welfare states of contemporary Western social democracies. To the extent that Israel's ultra-orthodox Jews (its Haredim) have been able to secure more by way of state subsidies (through exploiting the leverage their country's national system of proportional representation has given them, which often leaves them holding the balance of power), not only are they endangering Israel's viability as a vibrant, developed liberal democracy, they are also guilty of departing from the religious teachings and tradition of Jewish orthodoxy.
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (Volume 18, Issue 2)
“A French Paradox? Islam and Laïcité”
By: John Tolan
Abstract: Not available.
Global Change, Peace & Security (Volume 29, Issue 2)
“Resilience and environmental security: towards joint application in peacebuilding”
By: Janpeter Schilling, Sarah Louise Nash, Tobias Ide, Jürgen Scheffran, Rebecca Froese & Pina von Prondzinski
Abstract: Resilience is a widely used concept among development, environmental, security and peacebuilding organizations. However, resilience has rarely been applied in conjunction with the potentially complementary concept of environmental security. Therefore, this paper explores how the concepts of resilience and environmental security can be jointly applied by non-governmental organizations working to implement peacebuilding projects in developing countries. We first review definitions of the concepts and explore their strengths and pitfalls. Second, we develop a conceptual framework for a joint application whereby environmental security sharpens the scope of resilience, while resilience allows for taking issues into account that a traditional environmental security perspective might miss. Finally, we apply the conceptual framework to a case study from Palestine.
“Expanding the peacekeeping agenda. The protection of cultural heritage in war-torn societies”
By: Paolo Foradori & Paolo Rosa
Abstract: This article aims to explain the emergence and assess the politico-military significance of ‘cultural peacekeeping’ (CPK) as a new task for international peace operations. The aim is to provide a conceptual appraisal of CPK and an initial insight into its objectives, opportunities and challenges. The analysis supports the inclusion of a cultural component in the mandates of peacekeeping interventions, even if we must be wary of the inherent difficulties and risk of unintended consequences. These are not to be underestimated, at the risk not only of failing to achieve the mission’s objectives but also of further deteriorating security on the ground and beyond. It follows that CPK should not be mistaken, nor presented to the public, as a minor, light, and inexpensive operation. Quite to the contrary, it is an extremely complex and politically very sensitive politico-military major exercise that needs careful planning and adequate capabilities. Misunderstanding or mismanaging CPK can severely backfire. It is a ‘double-edged weapon’ that must be handled cautiously to avoid the risk of the enemy manipulating it to its own advantage.
“Securitizing charity: the case of Palestinian zakat committees”
By: Beverley Milton-Edwards
Abstract: In this article, the argument is offered that securitization of the Palestinian zakat committees became a weapon in the counter-terror arsenal of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) as each sought to exert hegemony over what became framed as a ‘common enemy.’ The article extends the debate as it relates to the increasingly hostile response by state actors and the international community to the work of non- and semi-governmental Muslim charitable actors evidenced by proscription regimes, financial investigation, and prosecutions. Focusing on the example of Israel and the PA, it is contended that the securitization of Palestinian zakat committees was part of a wider policy to inhibit Palestinian autonomy and portray Islamic faith agency as terroristic. Both Israel and the PA, as governing powers, have engaged in attempts to undermine Palestinian zakat committees and their contribution to welfare and humanitarian support in the complex and enduring environment of conflict.
“The changing role of the Gulf in the international political economy”
By: Matteo Legrenzi & Fred H. Lawson
Abstract: In the past half-decade, the role of the Gulf in the international political economy has changed dramatically. The region’s position as a supplier of world hydrocarbons has slipped, even as local consumption of oil and gas continues to expand. Gulf investments have shifted from the industrialized countries to the Middle East and North Africa. Saudi Arabia no longer exercises disproportionate influence in the Group of 20. Finally, relations with the People’s Republic of China and India have become truly interdependent, which gives the Gulf the capacity to exercise leverage over these two rising powers, despite its diminished position in global affairs.
International Interactions (Volume 43, Issue 5)
“Conflict Dynamics and Feedback: Explaining Change in Violence against Civilians within Conflicts”
By: Clionadh Raleigh, Hyun Jin Choi
Abstract: Conflicts are complex, dynamic processes wherein the frequency and intensity of violence changes throughout the contest. In this article, we explore the temporal dynamics of two long-term civil wars—DR-Congo and Sudan—to identify systematic and random conditions that lead to changes in civilian targeting. Violence committed by rival political actors, territorial exchange, and the number and addition of violent agents strongly shape the likelihood that civilian targeting events and casualties increase or decrease over time. General and country differences emerge from vector autoregression analysis to suggest that (1) three types of violent agents—rebels, militias, and the government—are locked in spirals of violence where violence against civilians by one actor leads to subsequent violence by another actor; (2) rebels and government forces respond to the other side’s acquisition of contested territory by increasing counterattacks on civilians, specifically in DR-Congo; and (3) increasing numbers of active nonstate agents lead to higher violence rates in the following months. Among these, civilian targeting by rival actors triggers the most follow-on violent events against civilians.
International Political Science Review (Volume 38, Issue 3)
“Crossed my mind, but ruled it out: Political ambition and gender in the Pakistani Lawyers’ Movement 2007–2009”
By: Meg Rincker, Ghazia Aslam, Mujtaba Isani
Abstract: Exploration of gender and political ambition is a crucial endeavor in liberal democracies like the United States and in electoral democracies with unstable political rights and civil liberties. We use a mixed-methods approach to conduct a political ambition survey of participants in the 2007–2009 Pakistani Lawyers’ Movement. We tested eight hypotheses about gender and participation in the movement, whether participants considered running for office (nascent ambition), or have taken steps to run (expressive ambition). Contrary to US findings, among eligible males and females in Pakistan, our logit analysis shows that gender is not significant in explaining nascent ambition among men and women. Running for office has equally crossed women’s minds because of female executive role models and women’s reserved parliamentary seats. However, elite Pakistani women have lower levels of expressive ambition owing to higher costs women face when challenging informal norms about political participation.
“Justices ‘en Garde’: Ideological determinants of the dissolution of anti-establishment parties”
By: Mert Moral, Efe Tokdemir
Abstract: Examining justice-level determinants of party dissolution decisions can reveal how high Courts may influence the public choice by constraining the representation of political ideologies. We argue that Constitutional Court justices strategically engage in politics through party dissolution cases, and justices ‘en garde’ act to guard the regime against anti-establishment ideologies. As a graveyard of political parties, Turkey is an appropriate case to study this claim. By introducing a unique dataset, we demonstrate that communist, religious and ethnic parties in Turkey with considerable public support are more likely to be dissolved by justices having an activist and pro-status quo ideological stance.
“Political militaries in popular uprisings: A comparative perspective on the Arab Spring”
By: Kevin Koehler
Abstract: What determines whether militaries will defect from authoritarian incumbents during regime crises? Variance in military behavior in the Arab Spring has given rise to a debate around this issue. This article highlights weaknesses of the dominant explanation and develops an alternative account of military behavior in ‘endgame scenarios’. If militaries are politicized institutions that play a major role in regulating access to power under authoritarianism, they are more likely to intervene during normal times, but less likely to defect during mass uprisings. I quantitatively test this argument against data on military coups between 1975 and 2000 drawing on a new variable that allows me to explicitly model the impact of major regime crises. I illustrate the emergence of different forms of political–military relations and their consequences in the Arab Spring by drawing on evidence from Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia.
International Political Sociology (Volume 11, Issues 2 & 3)
“Struggling to Perform the State: The Politics of Bread in the Syrian Civil War”
By: José Ciro Martínez, Brent Eng
Abstract: Recent studies of civil war have problematized frameworks that rely on a strict binary between state-sanctioned order and anarchy. This paper extends these insights and combines them with theories of performativity to examine welfare practices during the Syrian conflict (2011–2015). Specifically, we argue that conceptualizing the state as a construct—as an effect of power—can expand the study of civil war beyond its quantifiable aspects and embrace the performative dimensions of political life. By means of everyday, iterative acts such as welfare provision, competing groups summon the state, and the political order it seeks to enshrine, into existence: they make it both tangible and thinkable. During civil war, the ability to perform these prosaic acts becomes a matter of pressing military and political concern. Through close scrutiny of various cases, we dissect the impact of subsidized bread provision by the Assad regime, the Free Syrian Army, and armed Islamist groups as they struggle to perform the state. Our aim is to bring attention to under-studied governance practices so as to analyze the otherwise opaque relations between welfare provision, military success, and civilian agency during Syria’s civil war.
“Becoming Refugee in Cairo: The Political in Performativity”
By: Jouni Häkli, Elisa Pascucci, Kirsi Pauliina Kallio
Abstract: This article sets out to analyze experiences related to refugeeness, or “becoming refugee.” It does so not as a technology of governmentality, but rather as the condition of possibility to political agency based on the capacities of asylum seekers to become attentive toward the figure of the refugee, to raise awareness of shared grievances and injustices and, ultimately, to mobilize individually and collectively. The study is based on an analysis of interviews carried out with asylum seekers in January 2015 in Cairo, a city that hosts one of the biggest UNHCR operations in North Africa and the Middle East. Approaching refugee subjectivities through the lens of performativity, we suggest that becoming refugee is one significant instance where people employ their mundane political agencies, both challenging and reproducing the complex socio-political and socio-material relations that constitute the refugee regime. We conclude that a focus on the subjective dynamism involved in performing refugeeness may be helpful in understanding political mobilization in demanding and oppressive situations in Cairo and beyond.
“Narratives of Redemption: The International Meaning of Afforestation in the Israeli Negev”
By: Yoav Galai
Abstract: A political project will be considered legitimate if the narrative that frames it is. This article explores the legitimizing function of narratives as well as the ways in which the narrative form can travel across borders, contexts, and discourses. The new, afforested landscape of Israel is the result of an intensive campaign of planting almost a quarter of a billion trees. Forests often cover the remains of Palestinian villages, demolished after they were abandoned in 1948. Nevertheless, through the work of narrative, the afforested landscape is instilled with a sense of the recovery of an imagined biblical landscape associated with ancient Jewish ownership of the land. This basic narrative of “redemption” has been carried over to frame new forests that similarly overwrite land claims by indigenous inhabitants. However, the new forests are presented as celebrations of international cooperation by involving foreign actors. Nevertheless, as I shall demonstrate, the particular designations of these forests, which are international in nature, still comply with a basic narrative of “redemption.”
Journal of Civil Society (Volume 13, Issue 3)
“The Gezi Protests and the Europeanization of the Turkish Public Sphere”
By: Isabel David, Gabriela Anouck Côrte-Real Pinto
Abstract: This article investigates the extent to which Turkish civil society organizations (CSOs) represented at the 2013 Gezi Park protests reflect a Europeanization of the Turkish public sphere. The methodology consists of 14 semi-structured interviews conducted with leaders of CSOs that participated in the protests and one questionnaire sent to a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul Youth board (and member of the Istanbul Bar Association). The findings of our research reveal differentiated patterns of Europeanization of the Turkish public sphere, depending on CSOs’ history, ideology, and multi-level relations with the European Union and the Turkish state. Conversely, pro- and anti-AKP CSOs converge on growing criticism of EU institutions.
“Essay: Rethinking Global Civil Society and the Public Sphere in the Age of Pro-democracy Movements”
By: Ramón A. Feenstra
Abstract: Pro-democracy movements have recently emerged in various places worldwide. The Pots and Pans Revolution (Iceland), Arab Spring, 15M and the Occupy movement, Yo Soy132, and the Gezi Park, Hong Kong, and Nuit Debout protests are all movements which, despite their differences, share a number of dynamics, links, frames, and repertoires. Paradoxically, in the academic field, we have witnessed a strong critical positioning against the concept ‘global civil society’. The objective of this article is to reflect on the utility of this concept once again in light of recent developments and to respond to some sceptical positions. To meet this objective, a dialogue is established between civil society theories and progress made in the study of social movements. The public sphere notion (particularly its transnational dimension) becomes especially relevant for our discussion.
Journal of Cuneiform Studies (Volume 69)
“Nonadministrative Documents from Archaic Ur and from Early Dynastic I–II Mesopotamia: A New Textual and Archaeological Analysis”
By: Camille Lecompte, Giacomo Benati
Abstract: The present paper addresses a subgroup of cuneiform documents from the so-called Archaic Texts from Ur in Mesopotamia. The documents in this subgroup can be isolated within the bulk of the Archaic Texts due to their nonadministrative content. A fresh textual analysis of this dataset is combined with a discussion of the archaeological context of their provenance to highlight patterns in early Ur scribal training methods. The results of this integrated analysis are used to frame more precisely the significance of “Archaic Ur” scribal traditions, dating to the first part of the Early Dynastic period, within the cultural transition from the Late Uruk to the Early Dynastic III (“Fāra”) period in Mesopotamia.
“Three Administrative Texts from the Time of Me'annedu”
By: Armando Bramanti
Abstract: This article presents two land texts (allotments of field) and one grain text (barley loan) originating from Early Dynastic Zabala. The high year numbers allow for the attribution of these texts to the ensiship of Me'annedu. The edition is followed by a prosopographical study which, supported by paleographical considerations, provides some guidelines for the identification of more documents belonging to the same archive.
“The Sumerian Discourse Markers u4-ba and u4-bi-a”
By: C. Jay Crisostomo
Abstract: In Old Babylonian Sumerian literature, the temporal phrases u4-ba and u4-bi-a typically occur in complementary distribution. Previous analyses have focused on morphological disparity to differentiate the two. The present paper considers pragmatic functions within a larger discourse structure, analyzing them as discourse markers, specifically temporal connectives. In this study based on a corpus analysis of Old Babylonian literary compositions, I argue that in Sumerian discourse, u4-ba primarily marks perspectival shifts and refocusing, and u4-bi-a indexes sequential and consequential action.
“Goodbye, Princess: Iltani and the DUMU.MUNUS LUGAL”
By: Seth Richardson
Abstract: The Babylonian princess Iltani has been known to us since the 1899 copies of T. G. Pinches. Within fifty years, following a proliferation of published texts featuring the princess, it became probable there were at least two such persons by this name and title; by now, it can be shown there were at least three. But the problem hardly ends there: a close inspection of the disparate epistolary, administrative, and commercial evidence for these Iltani's does little to clarify their activities or status, nor even their relation to the king. An analysis of that evidence leads me to propose a redefinition of the title DUMU.MUNUS LUGAL and a reinterpretation of the position and purpose of women bearing the name Iltani.
“Cultural Transformations from Mesopotamia to Hatti? The Case of the GALA”
By: Ilan Peled
Abstract: This article surveys the textual attestations of the cultic performer designated by the logogram GALA in Hittite texts. This logogram, which originated in Mesopotamia, was apparently used for the Hittite word šaḥtarili, but the nature of the activities performed by the Mesopotamian and Hittite cultic practitioners designated in this manner was not identical. This should be assessed against the background of the nature of Mesopotamian-Hittite connections and cultural transmissions and the multifaceted cultural influences that shaped Hittite cult.
“The Sumerogram KUR: Logogram or Determinative?”
By: Maksim Kudrinski
Abstract: The article deals with the problem of finding spoken correlates for combinations of the Sumerogram KUR and toponyms in Hittite texts. The discussion adds to our understanding of the relation between written and spoken language in the case of using foreign written templates by the Hittites.
“Teratomancy at Tigunānum: Structure, Hermeneutics, and Weltanschauung of a Northern Mesopotamian Omen Corpus”
By: Nicla De Zorzi
Abstract: This article examines the inner structure, building principles, and hermeneutic code of a group of late Middle Bronze age teratomantic tablets from Tigunānum in northern Mesopotamia. While in the final evaluation, the Tigunānum teratomantic corpus is of southern Babylonian inspiration, it represents a very specific local reworking of this tradition. This article posits as its distinctive feature the use of a strongly gendered imagery and language that reflect the worldview of an extremely androcentric and militarized society. It also demonstrates a connection between the cultural conceptions underlying the Tigunānum omen corpus and the Old Hittite sphere, the mid-second-millennium world of northern Mesopotamia, and later Assyria.
“The Nonintercalated Lunar Calendar of the Middle Assyrian Period”
By: Joshua Jeffers
Abstract: Scholars generally assume that Assyria employed a luni-solar calendrical system during the Middle Assyrian period—akin to the one used in Babylonia—that kept the months of its year synchronized with the seasons of the solar year through periodic intercalation. With this understanding, the regnal dates assigned to the Middle Assyrian kings have traditionally been expressed in terms of solar years. The present article, however, argues that the Assyrians did not use this type of system. The author draws upon a variety of administrative tablets—primarily from the reigns of Shalmaneser I, Tukultī-Ninurta I, and Tiglath-pileser I—to demonstrate that the months of the Assyrian year were in fact not permanently affixed to particular seasons of the solar year, revealing that its year was not intercalated and was thus perpetually rotating slowly through the solar year. This article also explores how such a calendrical system impacts the Middle Assyrian kings' regnal dates, which would need to be lowered given that the unadjusted Assyrian lunar year was slightly shorter than its solar counterpart.
“The Case Marking of Sumerograms in Hittite”
By: Mojca Cajnko
Abstract: The paper begins with a brief introduction to case and case marking and a description of the Hittite corpus and the corpus of the research. The main part is devoted to the case marking of Sumerograms, an as yet unresearched and undescribed topic in Hittitology. The paper examines different possibilities for the case marking of Sumerograms on the level of the sentence and the functional value of phonetic complements. It also attempts to discern whether competition between formally case-marked and case-unmarked Sumerograms in the grammatical roles of subject and direct object was driven by grammatical factors, economy of writing or by other reasons.
“Esarhaddon's Prayer in the Inscription AsBbA as Related to the mīs pî Ritual”
By: Amitai Baruchi-Unna
Abstract: The prayer of Esarhaddon, incorporated in the inscription AsBbA, is the first prayer in an Assyrian royal inscription that is presented as a verbatim citation. The aim of this paper is to delineate the historiographical background for this innovation in a genre usually described as routine and formalistic. By examining descriptions of prayers said to have been recited by the king in Assyrian royal inscriptions, I analyze Esarhaddon's prayer from the aspects of its content, context, and possible linkage to prayers external to the royal inscriptions. Specifically, I examine the possible relation between the prayer in this inscription and the mīs pî ritual performed during the last phases of the process of making a divine image. This comprehensive analysis suggests that the king's prayer had been part of an early stage of such a ritual and was available to the authors of the Esarhaddon inscription.
“From Text to Reading in Enūma Eliš”
By: Johannes Haubold
Abstract: This article makes two main points. First, the transmitted text of Enūma eliš can be more reliably construed than has hitherto been assumed, provided we take seriously the spelling of the manuscripts and the rules of Akkadian grammar. If we do this, and that is my second point, we can also make progress at the level of interpretation. To illustrate these claims, I look at two passages that have caused difficulties to modern readers. In Enūma eliš I.1–10 we encounter some forms that seem prima facie to defy the normal rules of Akkadian grammar. Through careful analysis of spelling, syntax, and poetic context I show that the text as it stands can in fact be securely construed. I then turn to a passage that the poet himself introduces as a masterpiece of verbal craft. In Enūma eliš II.61–70 the god Ea soothes the excited Anšar by reassuring him that he has the situation under control. I argue that existing translations misconstrue the personal pronoun šâši and consequently misinterpret the climactic final couplet of the speech. Clarifying the grammar of the passage enables us to establish not only what the text says, but also to appreciate it better.
“Additional MUL.APIN Fragments in the British Museum”
By: Jeanette C. Fincke
Abstract: The edition of the series MUL.APIN by Hermann Hunger and David Pingree (1989) granted modern scholars access to the rather objective descriptions of the stars, the intercalation scheme and the lengths of days and nights compiled by Mesopotamian astronomers in the first millennium BCE. This article provides the publication of three more Neo-Assyrian exemplars from Nineveh, and joins made by Enrique Jiménez, Irving Finkel, and me to two Late Babylonian fragments that have already been used in the edition.
Journal of Development Studies (Volume 53, Issues 7-9)
“Aid, the Real Exchange Rate and Why Policy Matters: The Cases of Morocco and Tunisia”
By: Tony Addison & Mina Baliamoune-Lutz
Abstract: Every form of foreign-exchange inflow, including aid, can potentially cause real-exchange rate appreciation, with adverse consequences for the production of tradables (‘Dutch Disease’). Whether it does so depends on the policy response to the inflow. This paper investigates the issue for Morocco and Tunisia, over 1980–2009. We find that aid led to a real appreciation in Morocco, but had no effect on Tunisia’s real exchange rate. This confirms the importance of the macroeconomic framework in which aid is provided, and the key role for infrastructure and other supply-side improvements in determining the final real-economy impact of aid and other inflows.
“Schooling Opportunities and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Turkey: An IV Estimation Using Census Data”
By: Ayça Akarçay-Gürbüz & Sezgin Polat
Abstract: We estimate the intergenerational transmission of education in Turkey using micro-data from the 1990 and 2000 censuses and an instrumental variable (IV) approach. We construct a historical series of provincial enrolment rates by gender to isolate the environmental effect on parental education. The results reveal that intergenerational educational mobility increases over time through a stronger decrease in the transmission of paternal education. The improvement is larger for boys, and the transmission is higher for mother-daughter pairs and in the case of poorer educated parents.
Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development (Volume 38, Issue 3)
“Price Volatility of Food and Agricultural Commodities: A case Study of Pakistan”
By: Andleeb Ismail, Hajra Ihsan, Dr. Saud Ahmad Khan, & Munazza Jabeen
Abstract: Rapid price increase in food/agricultural commodities has gained attention after the “Price Spike” in 2007-2008. Again the same trend was observed in 2010 due to which it increases concern about the volatility in commodity prices. This study aims to investigate the factor affecting volatility of selected food and agricultural commodities. Monthly data from April 1983 to April 2013 is taken for analysis. GARCH (1, 1), GJR (1, 1) and EGARCH (1, 1) models are estimated for all the variables using normal and Student-t distribution. The results conclude that the mean and the volatility effect of exchange rate and interest rate are transmitted across all the selected commodities. Volatility in the price of fertilizer is only transmitted on the volatility of sunflower oil. Later, analysis shows that past price has significant impact on current prices for all the commodities except for soybean oil, sunflower oil and cotton
“Understanding stock market fluctuations: Evidence from Sudan”
By: Suliman Zakaria Suliman Abdalla
Abstract: This paper investigates the responses of the Sudanese stock market to fluctuations in exchange rate, inflation and crude oil price. The paper employs a bi-varaite vector autoregressivegeneralized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity model recently developed by Ling and McAleer (2003).The dataset is divided into two sub-periods, before and after the secession of South Sudan in July 9, 2011. The empirical results show that the returns on KSE index are significantly affected by their own past values suggesting some evidence of short-term predictability in KSE index changes. In addition, significant effect of a one-period lagged of returns on crude oil price, inflation and exchange rate on KSE returns is provided. Consistent with turbulent macroeconomic environment in Sudan during the past few years, the paper illustrates that KSE has experienced higher levels of fluctuations especially in the post-secession period. The paper concludes that the fluctuations of KSE index are greatly attributed to oil shocks and exchange rate fluctuations. These results are of great interest and have important implications for investors and policymakers. For example, policy-makers can use such results to adjust their actions to prevent contagion risks in the event of market crashes or crises and the macroeconomic fluctuations. The paper recommends that a better management of KSE volatility and appropriate policies to increase its efficiency represent good starting points in order for the market to play a significant role in the national economy.
“Moves Towards an Islamic Common Market: An Evaluation of Potentials”
By: Said Jafarli
Abstract: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation members had proposed the establishment of an Islamic Common Market among themselves in the early 1970s. This notion currently listed among the core objectives of the Organization and, to this end, the members adopted the TPS agreement in 1990. This study provides the first systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the TPS signatories’ potential to increase trade by applying five different trade indexes suggested in the literature. The findings reveal different characteristics of the TPS countries and shed light on their potential for enhancing economic cooperation. In general, the results are in favor of the establishment of a Preferential Trade Agreement among the OIC members.
Journal of Institutional Economics (Volume 13, Issue 2)
“A social-leverage mechanism on the Silk Road: the private emergence of institutions in central Asia, from the 7th to the 9th century”
By: Yanlong Zhang, Wolfram Elsner
Abstract: We explain archaeological evidence of Sogdian merchants in central Asia in early medieval, remote long-distance trade on the emerging Silk Road. In fact, it began as barter, but was based on the social organization that Sogdians developed in their communities when migrating east. Their particular way of generating trust and institutionalized cooperation was by social leverage, involving third parties as contract witnesses and/or guarantors. These usually had own commercial relations with the contractors, facilitating crediting and exchange – and credible threat to defectors. While Greif (1989) had been criticized for overlooking courts in the Maghribi case, we discuss a differentiated (latent) role for courts. We also discuss property rights versus possession, transactions costs and price implications. We analyze the mechanism in historical cases and game-theoretical reconstructions, and explain trade flourishing under strong uncertainty.
Journal of Politics (Volume 79, Issue 3)
“The Promise and Limits of Election Observers in Building Election Credibility”
By: Sarah Sunn Bush, Lauren Prather
Abstract: Scholars and practitioners posit that election observers (EOs) affect local beliefs about the credibility of elections. Although these effects have important implications for democratization, they remain largely unexamined at the individual level. This article applies models of Bayesian opinion updating and motivated reasoning to illuminate the conditions under which EOs change beliefs about elections. Experimental evidence from a national survey fielded immediately following the first democratic parliamentary election in Tunisia tests the argument. Two important findings emerge. First, exposure to EOs’ positive and negative statements produces a small but significant difference in individuals’ perceptions of the election on average. Second, EOs’ negative statements cause the election’s main losing partisans—who may have had weak prior beliefs that the election was credible and were likely receptive to critical information—to believe the election was significantly less credible. These findings establish a baseline for future work on how third-party monitors shape local perceptions of political processes.
Journal of Qur'anic Studies (Volume 19, Issue 2)
“Emotion in the Qur'an: An Overview”
By: Karen Bauer
Abstract: In the Western academic study of the Qur'an, very little has been written about emotion. The studies that do acknowledge the power of emotion tend to concentrate on emotion as a response to the text's aesthetics. And yet emotion is a central part of the Qur'an: fostering the correct emotions is a part of pietistic practice, emotion helps to convince believers to act as they should, and emotional words and incidents bring unity to this synoptic text. This article has four parts. It begins by reviewing approaches that have been taken in History and Biblical studies, in order to clarify the nature of emotions. I argue that emotions are universal but that they have socially constructed elements and a social function. Also, control of emotions can be as revealing as emotional expression. Part Two describes the overall message of emotions in the Qur'an. Humans must cultivate God-fearingness, while God bestows mercy/compassion and love, or anger and displeasure. Believers are distinguished by their emotional sensitivity to God's word, and their ability to form an emotional attachment to God, and thus emotional control is a key pietistic practice. In Part Three, I propose a new method for analysing emotion within Qur'anic suras, which is to trace emotional plots. This method involves identifying the emotional journey undertaken or described in a passage of text. Part Four examines the resonance that is created by the use of specific emotion words in different suras.
“Proving God's Existence? A Reassessment of al-Rāzī’s Arguments for the Existence of the Creator”
By: Hannah C. Erlwein
Abstract: Arguments for God's existence, it has often been argued in the secondary academic literature, form an essential part of classical Islamic theology (ʿilm al-kalām) and philosophy (falsafa). In the past decades, numerous scholars have dealt with what could be termed the Islamic discourse on arguments for God's existence, and have commonly analysed these arguments making recourse to Immanuel Kant's (1724–1804) categorisation of such arguments as cosmological, teleological, or ontological. The great Ashʿarī theologian Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210) is, unsurprisingly, seen as no exception to this: he, too, has been regarded as a participant in the aforementioned discourse, and in several of his major kalām works he introduces four methods to ‘prove the existence of the creator’. In this article, I will, however, argue that al-Rāzī had no concern for proving God's existence; the arguments in his kalām works, which, in the secondary academic literature, have been described as seeking to prove that God exists, it shall be suggested, serve a different purpose. This shall become clear when al-Rāzī’s commentary on the Qur'an, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, is taken into account. Previous studies of al-Rāzī’s (alleged) arguments for God's existence have only focused on his kalām works proper, however, in the Tafsīr al-Rāzī not only presents the very same four kalām methods to ‘prove the existence of the creator’ and stresses that they originate in Qur'anic forms of argumentation, but he also places them in a thematic context which, in his theological works, is oftentimes lacking. This article therefore clarifies the objective underlying al-Rāzī’s arguments for the existence of the creator and explains their significance in his broader theological thought.
“Text-Critical Approaches to Sura Structure: Combining Synchronicity with Diachronicity in Sūrat al-Baqara. Part Two”
By: Marianna Klar
Abstract: This article is an exploratory attempt to rationalise a combination of seemingly disparate strands of current thought on sura structure into a workable, if tentative, system. Despite the number of unknowns in this area, the overlapping structures that are posited by thematic concerns, semantic repetitions, sura rhythm, rhyme patterns, and variations in verse length, would seem to highlight the possibility of a fusion of synchronic and diachronic elements in sura composition. The present essay divides into two parts, and four main sections. Part One, published in JQS 19:1, contrasted five scholarly analyses of the structure of (largely) Sūrat al-Baqara in order to highlight the differences and overlaps between them. It then built upon the work of Neuwirth and Stewart, and looked at the rhyme patterns in Sūrat al-Baqara in an attempt to achieve a closer definition of what should be considered anomalous within the context of this sura, and what the structural significance of this could be. Part Two, published in this volume, first considers Bazargan's system for the internal division of suras into diachronic layers (‘Sura Structure III: Chronological Markers’), contrasting this to the schemes proposed by Nöldeke and Bell, and making a preliminary attempt at assessing the extent to which apparent chronological markers within al-Baqara can be utilised alongside synchronic approaches to the corpus, in order to attain a more precise understanding of sura structure. Finally, ‘Sura Structure IV: Exploring the Potential for Synthesis’ further investigates the possibility that the structural markers identified by the various hermeneutical systems need not be applied in isolation of one another, and looks at compositional paradigms for the Qur'anic corpus with specific reference to Medinan material.
Journal of the American Oriental Society (Volume 137, Issue 3)
“Bridging the Gap: Two Early Texts of Islamic Legal Theory”
By: Ahmed El Shamsy
Abstract: This article presents two short but complete treatises on legal theory (uṣbūl al-fiqh). The first was written by Ibn Surayj (d. 306/918) as an addendum to his compendium on Shāfiʿī law, al-Wadāʾiʿ, and the second by Abū Bakr al-Khaffāf (fl. early fourth/tenth century), who included it as an introduction to his legal text al-Aqsām wa-l-khiṣbāl. An analysis of these texts reveals the existence of a self-conscious legal-theoretical discourse around the turn of the fourth/tenth century that connects al-Shāfiʿī's (d. 204/820) Risāla with the so-called mature uṣbūl tradition known from the late fourth/tenth century onward. The analysis also sheds considerable light on developments in legal theory in this period, such as the emergence of the term ʿilla (cause), the parallel rise of legal dialectics (jadal), the consequences of adopting the idea of waḍbʿ (linguistic coinage), and generally the inclusion of theological concerns in legal theory.
“Maimonides and the Habitus Concept”
By: Erez Naaman
Abstract: A major trend that characterized the naturalization of the Aristotelian habitus concept in the medieval Islamic world was its application to religious discourses. This trend was not limited to the works of Muslim thinkers. The present communication focuses on the ways in which Maimonides used the concept, naturalizing it in the religious Jewish system.
Middle East Law and Governance (Volume 9, Issue 2)
“Statehood and Refugees: Patterns of Integration and Segregation of R-efugee Populations in Lebanon from a Comparative Perspective”
By: Filippo Dionigi
Abstract: Scholarly debate has persuasively highlighted the inherent tension between refugees and the modern state. Yet, how do state-refugee relations unfold in practice when considering the historical and social specificity of a single state? Is there a heuristic value in going beyond the premises of a general state-refugee binary and adopt a state-specific approach? These questions are addressed through an analysis based on the modelling of statehood in Lebanon and comparing five cases of refugee-state relations in this country. This method allows explaining the variation in degrees of segregation or integration of refugees and shows that the mode of politicization of refugees is the key factor in understanding this variation. Not all refugees and not all states are the same; the variance of state-refugee relations is best explained from a perspective that considers the historically situated nature of statehood.
“Transforming Power Sharing: From Corporate to Hybrid Consociation in Postwar Lebanon”
By: Bassel F. Salloukh, Renko A. Verheij
Abstract: Lebanon’s corporate consociation is in institutional crisis. Given domestic constraints, however, a shift from corporate to liberal consociation is not an option. The alternative is to introduce institutional reforms that move power sharing in the direction of hybrid consociation. A substantial measure of state decentralization and PR voting in the context of a new MMP or PR electoral law are two such reforms that if applied synergistically may help stabilize the political system without changing the predetermined sectarian quota institutionalized in the Ta’if Accord or undermine the Muslim elite’s political economic prerogatives; increase the peacebuilding and statebuilding effectiveness of power sharing institutions; and incorporate into the political system excluded anti-sectarian groups. These changes may imbue the postwar political economic order with a measure of representation, accountability, and stability. A hybrid consociation arrangement is also a necessary but insufficient condition for the possibility of a gradual shift to centripetal power sharing ones.
“The Paradoxes of Codifying Islamic Criminal Law in the Maldives”
By: Sohaira Z.M. Siddiqui
Abstract: Utilizing the codification of Islamic Criminal law in the Maldives, this article argues that the process of codifying Islamic law often ignores classical conceptualizations of Islamic criminal law and judicial procedures established as preventative measures against the widespread implementation of Islamic criminal punishments (ḥudūd). Instead of recognizing the legal nuance in classical debates, reliance is placed on a narrow body of texts, and extracted rules are reformed for easy implementation and compliance with modern human rights standards. By ignoring classical discussions of Islamic criminal law, and adopting a singular conception of codification, a paradox emerges wherein the resulting criminal code is less punitive, but more enforceable than its classical counterpart. A second paradox is that on one hand religious legitimacy and moral credibility is desired through the implementation of an Islamic penal code, but on the other, controversial criminalized actions are assumed to be non-prosecutable.
“Confessions of a Middle East Studies Specialist”
By: Richard W. Bulliet
Abstract: Not available.
Middle East Review of International Affairs (Volume 21, Issue 2)
“Saudi Reset with Iraq”
By: Alex Grinberg
Abstract: Iraqi Shi’i leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s July 2017 visit to Saudi Arabia is evidence of a paradigmatic shift in Saudi policy. Aware that the Shi’a comprise the majority in Iraq, the kingdom appears to be abandoning its previous sectarian stance and is reaching out to the Shi’a population there. The Saudis have thus made use of anti-Iranian sentiments within the Shi’i Arab community of Iraq. Although these efforts will not eliminate Iranian influence in Iran, they will curb it to some extent. This rapprochement with the Iraqi Shi’a is also part of Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s attempts to adopt wide-scale reforms.
“The Loss of Disrupted Territories: What is Next for the Kurdistan Region?”
By: Hawre Hasan Hama, Dastan Jasim
Abstract: The October 2017 clashes between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the disputed territories of the Kurdistan Region led to the loss of territories previously controlled by the Kurdish Peshmerga, including the city of Kirkuk and Sinjar. This article will discuss the various factions of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) as well as the internal dispute between the PUK and KDP. It will also identify possible scenarios for each disputed area. Last, the wider conflict between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Region will be addressed. The intertwining of these various political, diplomatic, and military conflicts has brought severe impediments to the Kurdistan Region after the Kurdish independence referendum process. The article concludes that a federal solution with a strong judicial arrangement is the optimal scenario.
“Caliphaters: A Contemporary Millennial Movement”
By: Richard Landes
Abstract: In 1400 AH (1979/80 CE), a new Muslim apocalyptic millennial movement began and has since gained great momentum. Caliphaters are defined by their millennial goal–world conquest–and the apocalyptic timetable–in this generation; they operate on two major registers: kinetic war (jihad) and cognitive war (da’wa). The movement expanded greatly at the turn of the Western millennium (2000 CE), with the Western news media’s coverage of the “second intifada” (opening round of jihadi war on Western democracies), the U.S. response to September 11. These empowered da’wa campaigns designed to pressure Western infidels into the posture of dhimmi.
“Circuitous Relations Between Military Results and Political Outcomes: The October 1973 War”
By: Ofer Israeli
Abstract: This article demonstrates “circuitous but intended outcomes”–or the desirable consequences accurately anticipated and predicted by the actors involved at the moment the act is carried out–in the case of the October 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt. This case provides a strong illustration of how an actor who wages war can circuitously achieve political goals despite suffering military defeat on the battleground. Egypt’s President Anwar al-Sadat astonishingly predicted the indirect results of the war he initiated. Sadat forecast that Egypt needed a spark–“crossing the canal and capturing just ten centimeters of Sinai”—which would trigger the involvement of much more powerful forces, such as the superpowers—and the United States in particular—leading them to successfully compel Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt’s desired goal.
“The Syrian Conflict: Driving Forces of Balances and Imbalances”
By: Serdar S. Guner, Dilan E. Koc
Abstract: At the core of the power struggle among states key to Middle Eastern stability and global balance is the question of who controls whose natural gas flow via whose territories. The United States, Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iran are analyzed in this context to present how changing alliances have disrupted the regional balance in the Syria conflict. Given the stable hostility between the United States and Russia as well as the steady friendship between Russia and Syria, Turkey’s alliances and enmities are central in the formation of balances. Competition or disagreement between the United States and Russia over Kurdish independence in Syria could lead to a protracted conflict for years to come in the Middle East.
“FGC Recormation: The Egyptian Cultural Dilemma”
By: Emily Little
Abstract: Honor violence is commonplace in parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and female genital circumcision (FGC) is often the first violence experienced by many females there. The consequences of this dangerous procedure have led some countries to enact laws prohibiting the practice. While the FGC originated in Egypt and is still common in the country, there has also been recorded opposition toward the procedure for nearly a century. This article will explore the history of FGC within Egypt, both as a tradition and as a legislative initiative.
Muqarnas (Volume 34, Issue 1)
“From the Dome of the Chain to Miḥrāb Dāʾūd: The Transformation of an Umayyad Commemorative Site at the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem”
By: Heba Mostafa
Abstract: As a monument with a disputed function and iconography, the Dome of the Chain is something of an art historical conundrum. Constructed by the Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik b. Marwan (r. 685–705) in 692 on the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem, it reportedly commemorates a chain tethered to the heavens that aided the Prophet King David (Dāʾūd) in the dispensation of justice. By the sixteenth century, however, the Dome of the Chain became associated with other sites of Davidic commemoration such as the Qurʾanic Mihrab of David (Miḥrāb Dāʾūd) referred to in Qurʾan 38:21–26, and was believed to be located in the western citadel of Jerusalem. Through an analysis of the Arabic primary sources, this study situates the history of the Dome of the Chain and the Qurʾanic Miḥrāb Dāʾūd within the context of the Davidic repertoire and commemorative practice in Islam. By examining changing trends of Davidic commemoration in Jerusalem from the seventh to the sixteenth centuries, this study reveals trajectories of Islam’s engagement with its biblical past in relation to the localized commemoration of Davidic justice and kingship within Jerusalem.
“The Agdal of Marrakesh (Twelfth to Twentieth Centuries): An Agricultural Space for Caliphs and Sultans. Part 1: History”
By: Julio Navarro, Fidel Garrido, Íñigo Almela
Abstract: The Agdal is an enormous estate, located south of Marrakesh, that has survived from the twelfth century to the present. Historically it was used for agricultural production and related functions, and included pleasure gardens, pools, mills, and seasonal residences. This study presents the results of a multi-year survey of the Agdal’s water bodies, its place within the regional hydraulic system of khaṭṭāras, cultivation practiced there throughout the centuries, and the internal organization of its land and more than forty buildings. This archaeological approach is joined with a study of manuscript and published sources to give a comprehensive history of the Agdal, one of the most important historic landscapes in the Islamic world.
“The Ilkhanid Revetment Aesthetic in the Buqʿa Pir-i Bakran: Chaotic Exuberance or a Cunningly Planned Architectural Revetment Repertoire?”
By: Ana Marija Grbanovic
Abstract: The Pir-i Bakran mausoleum (completed by 1312–13; Linjan, Isfahan) is considered to be a typical example of exuberant Ilkhanid architectural decoration. In the 1970s, the International Association of Mediterranean and Oriental Studies (IsMEO) undertook significant research and restoration work on the mausoleum. After their efforts were interrupted by the onset of the Iranian Revolution, restoration activities were continued by the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization. Almost four decades later, questions concerning the mausoleum’s history, function, decorative program, patronage, and craftsmen—as well as the identity of the deceased—nonetheless remain unresolved. The mausoleum’s tile and original polychrome stucco decoration also require further scholarly attention. This article proposes a new view of the mausoleum’s decorative aesthetic and contributes to our understanding of the Ilkhanid architectural legacy. The article argues that, rather than being a haphazard application, the aesthetic characteristics of Pir-i Bakran’s revetments were determined by multiple undertakings executed according to specific decorative principles. Moreover, the mausoleum’s decorative program illustrates a rapid change in Ilkhanid decorative principles and aesthetics. I also propose a hypothetical timeline of mausoleum’s constructive and decorative undertakings, and reconsider its function and political significance.
“An Italian Renaissance Gate for the Khan: Visual Culture in Early Modern Crimea”
By: Nicole Kançal-Ferrari
Abstract: This article introduces the Renaissance “Iron Gate” erected in 1503–4 in the Khan’s Palace in Bahçesaray, Crimea. It proposes a new interpretation of this famous portal in the residence of the Crimean khans, taking into consideration the broader cultural context of early modernity. The research focuses on the visual appearance of the Iron Gate and the content of its unique inscription. Comparison with other portals and a tomb from the Balkans, on one hand, and with titulature in inscriptions, coins, and diplomatic documents from the Turco-Mongol-Islamic environment, on the other, furnishes enough data to situate the portal within the historical-cultural context of the khanate in the northern Black Sea region. Through an analysis of ways in which envoys were received in the Crimean capital, and an assessment of the architectural environment of the palace, new dimensions are opened into understanding Khan Mengli Geray I’s self-representation as ruler during this historically significant period.
“Life in the Khans: The Venetians in Early Ottoman Aleppo”
By: Michele Lamprakos
Abstract: In the second half of the fifteenth century, Aleppo became increasingly important as a center of the Levant trade. The Venetian merchant community grew, and the consulate was eventually transferred there. The Venetians’ base of operations was the khan, a commercial building type that can be found in various forms across the Mediterranean and the Middle East. How did the khan accommodate the day-to-day life of Venetians in Aleppo—and how did it mediate their relationships with local authorities, merchants, and residents? This essay explores these questions through a study of khans used by Venetians in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It shows that they utilized a network of khans that extended throughout the city. Khans were highly adaptable structures, and Venetians used them for multiple purposes, including trade, lodging, socializing, worship, and diplomacy. The portrait of Venetian life that emerges from this study provides an interesting micro-history. It also sheds light on the wider process of cultural reception and translation: how a group of foreigners makes the exotic familiar, and how this impacts notions of self and other.
“A Missing Royal Mosque in Istanbul that Islamized a Catholic Space: The Galata New Mosque”
By: Muzaffer Özgüleş
Abstract: In the midst of the turbulent years following the Battle of Vienna, Gülnuş Valide Sultan’s Galata New Mosque replaced the San Francesco Convent, which had been the principal Catholic shrine of Galata in Istanbul. This mosque was intentionally built on the site of the church in 1696 in order to reshape the religious and demographic character of Galata, and was probably a compensation for the recent disastrous Ottoman military defeats. It appears that economic and social constraints shaped the architecture of the mosque, which was extraordinarily modest despite being a royal mosque. The Galata New Mosque later fell into ruin, and was finally replaced by a hardware market in mid-twentieth century. Drawing on hitherto unused Ottoman archival documents, rare photographs, and other primary sources, this article sheds new light on the history and architecture of a long forgotten royal mosque. I investigate reasons for the unusual architecture of the Galata New Mosque, compare it with contemporary structures, and discuss possible factors that motivated the appropriation of a Catholic space.
“Writing the Dead: Pietro Della Valle and the Tombs of Shirazi Poets”
By: Cristelle Baskins
Abstract: This essay explores the impact of the Shirazi poets Saʿdi and Hafiz on the famous Baroque traveler, Pietro della Valle. Hitherto unexplained features of the magnificent funeral he designed for his Syrian Christian wife, Sitti Maʿani Gioerida, in Rome (1627) can be related to the poets’ tombs he had seen in Shiraz immediately following her untimely demise. In Safavid Iran, Della Valle was impressed by the production of commemorative poetry as well as by the virtuosic calligraphy that functioned as both word and image. He approved of the funerary complexes that created a community of poets both living and dead. The Roman funeral of 1627 not only displayed Della Valle’s literary erudition, it also emulated social, poetic, and artistic elements of the tomb shrines he had seen on his travels.
“Adham Ismaʿil’s Arabesque: The Making of Radical Arab Painting in Syria”
By: Anneka Lenssen
Abstract: The essay explores how the Syrian artist Adham Ismaʿil (1922–63) linked his modernist painting strategies to the activism of the Baʿth political movement during Syria’s independence decade through a conceptual reworking of the “arabesque”—the rhythmic pattern of unending line and pure color that Orientalist scholars considered a product of the Arab and Muslim episteme and French modernist painters adopted as a fresh compositional device. It draws on a new archive of correspondence, writings, and sketches, supplemented by political memoirs detailing Ismaʿil’s experience of displacement after the 1939 transfer of his native Alexandretta to Turkey, to uncover his efforts to forge new aesthetic unities as a mechanism for Arab activation and rebirth. Ismaʿil and his comrades accorded a radical charge to the concept of vital Arab energy in particular; once manifested in the sensory experience of line and color, it promised to assemble audiences in new collectivities and to help topple the Syrian status quo. The essay thus analyzes Ismaʿil’s radical Arab painting as evidence of not only the complexity of the intellectual debates in the Middle East but also the generative fragmentation of modernist tenets under the (not quite) postwar, postcolonial world order.
“(Re)writing the Early Biography of the Alhambra’s Fountain of Lions: New Evidence from a Neo-Latin Poem (1497)”
By: Bernhard Schirg
Abstract: In the centuries following the conquest of Granada in 1492, the Alhambra’s iconic Fountain of Lions underwent numerous changes. More than a hundred years ago, a process of restoring the object to its original appearance under Nasrid rule was initiated. The joint interpretation of archaeological findings and historical texts guided the process of writing and rewriting the early biography of an object whose physical form has gradually been reshaped according to these narratives. The present article focuses on a brief period in the complex history of the fountain—the decades surrounding the conquest of Granada—and revisits Islamic and Christian written testimonies, emphasizing their inherent limitations as documentary sources. By introducing a hitherto unknown Neo-Latin poem, the article calls into question the early biography of the Fountain of Lions as it has been narrated so far, thereby challenging recent modifications to the fountain.
“Kashan Revisited: A Luster-Painted Ceramic Tombstone Inscribed with a Chronogram Poem by Muhtasham Kashani”
By: Yui Kanda
Abstract: The production site(s) of luster-painted ceramics from the fifteenth century onward have yet to be precisely identified due to a paucity of material and textual evidence regarding ceramic production during this period. This study focuses on a hitherto undeciphered Persian poem, which was inconspicuously inscribed in the unskilled nastaʿlīq script on a luster-painted ceramic tombstone dated 25 Jumada II 967 (March 23, 1560). This poem can be identified as a qiṭʿa by Muhtasham Kashani (d. 1588), a renowned court poet who spent his entire life in Kashan. The identification of this poem is particularly important for two reasons. First, it may imply that luster-painted ceramics were produced in Kashan during the early Safavid period. Second, it suggests that there is indeed potential for using epitaphs as historical sources, as the poem in question sheds valuable light on the editing process of Haft dīvān, as well as on the social context of the growing popularity of chronogram poems in Iran during this period.
“Between Istanbul and Gujarat: Descriptions of Mecca in the Sixteenth-Century Indian Ocean”
By: Guy Burak
Abstract: In 1543, a quarter century after the Ottoman conquest of the Holy Cities, the Meccan jurist, hadith scholar, and chronicler Jar Allah Muhammad Ibn Fahd (d. 1547) completed a short work devoted to the construction projects undertaken in the city by the Ottoman sultans Selim I (r. 1512–20) and his son Süleyman (r. 1520–66). The work is highly unusual from the perspective of the Arabic historiographical tradition and constitutes the first comprehensive response by an Arab chronicler to the emergence of an Ottoman imperial architectural idiom around the turn of the sixteenth century. The article situates Ibn Fahd and his work in three interrelated contexts: (a) the incorporation of Mecca and Medina into the Ottoman domains; (b) the emergence of an Ottoman architectural idiom and visual interest in the description of the Holy Sanctuaries across the Indian Ocean, from Istanbul to Gujarat; and (c) the competition between the new Custodians of the Two Holy Sanctuaries and other Islamic rulers, past and present. In particular, the article focuses on the challenges posed by the sultans of Gujarat, who were also quite interested in the Holy Sanctuaries. This interest is captured in Muhyi al-Din Lari’s (d. 1526–27) description of the pilgrimage and the Haramayn, which was written for the Gujarati sultan Muzaffar Shah II (r. 1511–26).
Near Eastern Archaeology (Volume 80, Issue 2)
“Exploring the Badia”
By: Alison Betts
Abstract: The east Jordan badia is a fascinating but difficult landscape, an attribute that has protected the record of its historic and prehistoric past to an extraordinary degree. It is rich in rock art, graves, hunting traps, seasonal settlements and fortified sites that have remained almost undisturbed for thousands of years. Archaeological exploration of this region has also been slow, primarily due to the challenges of work in this rocky, semiarid region. However, the past few decades have seen a surge in new research that continues to uncover unexpected and remarkable aspects of the history of the badia. This article outlines the history of exploration and research in the badia and its historical significance.
“Historical Imagery of Desert Kites in Eastern Jordan”
By: Emily Hammer, Anthony Lauricella
Abstract: Large mass-kill hunting traps known as desert kites are the badia’s most visually striking and long-studied archaeological features. Kites are best understood from a vertical perspective with help from aerial and satellite imagery, most commonly modern Google Earth imagery. The declassification of historical U2 spy-plane imagery from 1958–1960 provides a new dataset with which to reexamine kites and their spatial distribution. The distribution of desert kites as it appeared over fifty years ago has been mapped, allowing us to draw conclusions about the long-term preservation of kites and the relationship of kites to each other and to their environment.
“The Badia from Above: Successes, Limitations, and Potential”
By: Robert Bewley, Rebecca Repper
Abstract: Aerial photography and reconnaissance for archaeology was pioneered in the Middle East a century ago. This article highlights the work of the Aerial Archaeology Project in the northern and eastern badia of Jordan since 1997—the only aerial archaeology project outside Europe. The achievements of aerial reconnaissance in understanding the complex and concentrated archaeology of the badia as well as the importance of collaboration with other archaeologists are emphasized.
“The Late Epipalaeolithic and Early Neolithic in the Jordanian Badia: Recent Fieldwork around the Qa’ Shubayqa”
By: Tobias Richter
Abstract: Until recently the late Epipalaeolithic and early Neolithic occupation of Jordan’s eastern badia was poorly understood and developments in this region were considered as secondary to those in the Jordan Valley or elsewhere. Recent fieldwork in the Qa’ Shubayqa are has led to the discovery of a dense cluster of late Epipalaeolithic and Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) sites, which shed a different light on this phase of human settlement in eastern Jordan. This evidence demonstrates that the eastern badia was not a peripheral region during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, but an intensively settled region.
“The Late Neolithic Presence in the Black Desert”
By: Yorke M. Rowan, Gary Rollefson, Alexander Wasse, Austin “Chad” Hill, Morag M. Kersel
Abstract: Major cultural transformations took place in the southern Levant during the late prehistoric periods (ca. mid-seventh through fourth millenna b.c.e.). General syntheses rarely include more than cursory mention of the more arid regions of the southern Levant (Negev, eastern and southern Jordan). The Eastern Badia Archaeological Project [EBAP] study area comprises a west–east transect across the southern part of the eastern badia, selected to include a variety of ecological zones. To date, this field research project has focused on two primary study areas in the Black Desert in Jordan’s panhandle: Wisad Pools and Wadi al-Qattafi. In both areas, excavation combined with pedestrian and aerial survey record an apparent florescence of building and intensive exploitation of the landscape that contradicts previous assumptions that the region was used only intermittently by late prehistoric people. The many substantial well-constructed Late Neolithic buildings, evidence for trees and marshy plants, and extensive systems of kites seem to suggest that, rather than a virtually empty region, the Black Desert was once rich in animals, plants and people.
“Droning on in the Badia: UAVs and Site Documentation at Wadi al-Qattafi”
By: Austin “Chad” Hill, Yorke Rowan
Abstract: Drones, or Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are quickly changing approaches to archaeological mapping. They are effective tools for documenting smaller ancient features that might be missed by the resolution limitations of satellite imagery. As part of the Eastern Badia Archaeological Project, this article presents the preliminary results of a large-scale aerial survey of Wadi al-Qattafi, Jordan undertaken to map the kites and smaller features concentrated around and on top of the basalt mesas in the area. A combination of fixed and rotary wing aircraft was used to record approximately 20,000 images across 32 square kilometers of the survey area. The resulting orthophotographs and digital elevation models (DEMs) provide a high-resolution recording of the landscape. Ultimately this allows for mapping and identification of even the smallest anthropogenic features, as well as an analysis of how larger features were constructed to utilize local topography.
“The Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age Hillfort Phenomenon in the Northern Badia”
By: Bernd Müller-Neuhof
Abstract: The basalt and limestone desert of the Jawa hinterland in NE Jordan has been the focus of intensive archaeological research for the past six years. Surveys revealed abundant evidence for Chalcolithic or Early Bronze Age activities in this region. The preliminary results of these investigations have already led to a change in the earlier perception of this region and especially the basalt desert. Among the major discoveries are the identification of several hillfort sites in the basalt desert, which suggest a permanent occupation in this arid region. In addition, evidence for artificial irrigation with rainwater harvesting in the vicinity of these settlements underscores the potential for agriculture in this region. Soundings and excavations recovered several 14C dates from these sites, which prove a Late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age I occupation.
“Nothing but Cold Ashes? The Cairn Burials of Jebel Qurma, Northeastern Jordan”
By: Peter M.M.G. Akkermans, Merel L. Brüning
Abstract: Throughout the basaltic uplands of northeastern Jordan, there are countless large and small mounds of stone (cairns), which are the burial places of people who roamed the desert many hundreds or thousands of years ago. These numerous graves have never been systematically investigated, and little is known about their construction, date, and variability, let alone about their deceased occupants. This picture is now changing owing to an ongoing program of survey and excavation in the Jebel Qurma region, close to the border of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. These investigations point towards complex and entangled arrangements of cairn use and mortuary practices over time, when Early Bronze Age cemeteries are replaced by singular, impressive tower tombs and conical ring cairns in the Hellenistic to Byzantine period. The reuse of these tombs is a recurrent feature, emphasizing the focal and enduring role of these monuments to both the dead and the living.
Political Science Quarterly (Volume 132, Issue 2)
“From De-Nazification of Germany to De-Baathification of Iraq”
By: Aysegul Keskin Zeren
Abstract: Aysegul Keskin Zeren compares and contrasts the design and implementation processes undertaken by the United States during the de-Nazifcation of Germany and the de-Baathifcation of Iraq. She discusses the historical, political, cultural, and economic differences between Germany and Iraq and those between the Nazi and Baath regimes. She argues that de-Nazifcation was an inaccurate analogy for de-Baathifcation.
“American Jews and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?”
By: Dov Waxman
Abstract: Dov Waxman analyzes the role played by American Jews and American Jewish pro-Israel organizations in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. He challenges the popular notion that the pro-Israel lobby powerfully influences U.S. policy pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies (Volume 47)
“Pearl merchants of the Gulf and their life in Bombay”
By: Saif Albedwawi
Abstract: Not available.
“An integrated approach to surveying the archaeological landscapes of Yemen”
By: Rebecca Banks, Michael Fradley, Jérémie Schiettecatte, Andrea Zerbini
Abstract: Not available.
“A niche construction approach to vegetation community development in the south-west Arabian Neolithic: preliminary results”
By: Abigail F. Buffington, Michael J. Harrower, Joy McCorriston, Eric A. Oches
Abstract: Not available.
“Excavations in Area 2A at Sarūq al-Дadīd: Iron Age II evidence of copper production and ceremonial activities”
By: Fernando Contreras Rodrigo, Bernardo Vila, Pedro Albarracín, Rashad Mohammed Bukhash, Sheikha Obaid Al Abbar, Mansour Boraik Radwan Karim, Hassan Mohammed Zein
Abstract: Not available.
“New Iron Age funerary data from collective graves in Wādī FizΉ, northern Oman”
By: Bleda S. Düring, Eric Olijdam, Sam A. Botan
Abstract: Not available.
“The discovery of a new Iron Age ritual complex in central Oman: recent excavations near Ādam”
By: Guillaume Gernez, Mathilde Jean, Anne Benoist
Abstract: Not available.
“Pre-Islamic ‘Дamāsah’ verses from north-eastern Jordan: a new Safaitic poetic text from Marabb al-ShurafāΜ, with further remarks on the ΚĒn ΚAvdat inscription and KRS 2453”
By: Ahmad Al-Jallad
Abstract: Not available.
“Incense and imagery: mapping agricultural and water management systems on the island of Socotra, Yemen”
By: Julian Jansen van Rensburg, Kristen Hopper
Abstract: Not available.
“Snake decorations on the Iron Age pottery from Sarūq al-Дadīd: a possible ritual centre?”
By: Steven Karacic, Mansour Boraik, Hussein Qandil, Hélène David-Cuny
Abstract: Not available.
“Chronology of stucco production in the Gulf and southern Mesopotamia in the early Islamic period”
By: Agnieszka Lic
Abstract: Not available.
“Indus potters in central Oman in the second half of the third millennium BC. First results of a technological and archaeometric study”
By: Sophie Méry, Michele Degli Esposti, Dennys Frenez, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
Abstract: Not available.
“First campaign of survey and excavations at ShiyāΜ (Sūr, Sultanate of Oman)”
By: Olivia Munoz, Valentina Azzarà, Pierre-Henri Giscard, Raphaël Hautefort, Fanny San Basilio, Léa Saint-Jalm
Abstract: Not available.
“The expression h-rhwy in Thamudic B inscriptions from north-west Arabia”
By: Jérôme Norris
Abstract: Not available.
“The development of complexity at third-millennium BC al-Khashbah,Sultanate of Oman: results of the first two seasons, 2015 and 2016”
By: Conrad Schmidt, Stephanie Döpper
Abstract: Not available.
“The bitumen imports at Tell Abraq — tracing the second-millennium BC bitumen industry in south-east Arabia”
By: Thomas Van de Velde, Peter Magee, Frederic Lynen
Abstract: Not available.
“Embroidery from the Arabian Peninsula”
By: Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood
Abstract: Not available.
“An eighteenth-century merchantman off the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia”
By: Chiara Zazzaro, Romolo Loreto, Chiara Visconti
Abstract: Not available.
Progress in Development Studies (Volume 17, Issue 3)
“With faith in development: Organizing transnational Islamic charity”
By: Kaja Borchgrevink, Marta Bivand Erdal
Abstract: This article examines the different roles religion can play when migrants organize for development. We focus on organizing for development, through transnational Islamic charity, formally and informally, and where religion takes on explicit or implicit roles. By taking Muslim religious practices as starting points, different forms of development engagements are revealed, than if starting with a focus on so-called ‘faith-based organizations’ (FBOs). Whereas religion is often seen instrumentally in development studies, we find that the roles of religion are not only functional, but also substantive and relational. The article draws on qualitative data collected in Norway, Pakistan and the UK.
PS: Political Science & Politics (Volume 50, Issue 3)
“Strategies for Reviving the International Relations/Middle East Nexus after the Arab Uprisings”
By: Morten Valbjørn
Abstract: Not available.
“The Politics of Insecurity in the Arab World: A View from Beirut”
By: Waleed Hazbun
Abstract: Not available.
“Ideological Codependency and Regional Order: Iran, Syria, and the Axis of Refusal”
By: Ewan Stein
Abstract: Not available.
“Varieties of International Influence and the Middle East”
By: Sarah Sunn Bush
Abstract: Not available.
“Ideologies, Alignments, and Underbalancing in the New Middle East Cold War”
By: F. Gregory Gause
Abstract: Not available.
“International Political Economy and the New Middle East”
By: Erin A. Snider
Abstract: Not available.
“Overlapping Contests and Middle East International Relations: The Return of the Weak Arab State”
By: Bassel F. Salloukh
Abstract: Not available.
Security Studies (Volume 26, Issue 3)
“Military Cultures and Force Employment in Peace Operations”
By: Chiara Ruffa
Abstract: Although hundreds of thousands of soldiers from different national contingents are deployed every year in multinational peace operations, no previous study has examined differences in peacekeeping practices along national lines. This paper first documents systematically differences in the way national contingents behave during peace operations in their respective area of operation. In a second step, it argues that these differences in behavior are largely consistent with the most important traits of each army's military culture. Based on extensive fieldwork conducted between 2007 and 2014 in Lebanon and Afghanistan, the paper shows how, within each mission, Italian soldiers prioritized humanitarian activities, while the French engaged in more patrolling activities, despite being both contingents deployed under similar conditions. These variations in behavior are consistent with the way French and Italian soldiers perceive the mission and context in which they deployed. And both the differences in behavior and perception are in line with the respective armies' military cultures. This paper contributes to the debate on the role of ideational factors in international politics and in particular to the ongoing discussion on strategic and military cultures.
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism (Volume 40, Issues 6-9)
“’What ISIS Really Wants’ Revisited: Religion Matters in Jihadist Violence, but How?”
By: Simon Cottee
Abstract: In his influential and provocative article on “What ISIS Really Wants,” published in The Atlantic in March 2015, Graeme Wood argued that “the Islamic state is Islamic. Very Islamic.” He also sought to challenge what he diagnosed as a “western bias” among academics and policymakers toward religious ideology, whereby religious doctrines or beliefs are relegated to the status of epiphenomena rather than taken seriously as causal properties in their own right. Wood's article sparked a wider—and still ongoing—debate over the relationship between Islam and jihadist violence. For one side in this debate, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is inexplicable without reference to Islamic scripture; indeed, some commentators and politicians have even argued that it represents the “true” face of Islam; for the other side, ISIS is a hideous distortion of Islam's “true” teachings, and is inexplicable without reference to the wider political circumstances in which it emerged and to which it is a response. This article attempts to forge a middle way between these two polarized viewpoints by arguing that any comprehensive account of ISIS must recognize both its secular and theological bases. More specifically, and drawing on the work of the intellectual historian Quentin Skinner, it argues that Wood's critics, in their understandable but misplaced eagerness to detach Islam from jihadist violence, fail to accord proper causal weight to the legitimizing role of revolutionary Islamic ideas—and the innovating ideologists who develop these—in the commission of this violence.
“A Comparative Study of U.S. and Iranian Counter-ISIS Strategies”
By: Dina Esfandiary, Ariane M. Tabatabai
Abstract: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)'s activities now go beyond insurgency and conventional operations in the territories it controls in the Middle East. It poses a threat to U.S. interests and allies in Europe, and a serious threat to Iran and its borders. While Washington formed an international coalition encompassing many European and Middle Eastern states to combat ISIS, it only coordinates some tactical and operation-level efforts with a key player on the ground: Iran. For its part, Iran is leveraging similar counter-ISIS tools as those adopted by the United States, despite their strategies differing fundamentally.
“Does the International Trafficking of Cultural Heritage Really Fuel Military Conflicts?”
By: Pierre Losson
Abstract: General media outlets are increasingly arguing that the looting of cultural heritage artifacts contributes to the funding of terrorist groups such as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This article reexamines this claim in light of the political science literature on internal conflicts duration. While we do know that armed conflicts contribute to an increase of looting activities in the territories at war, it is still too early to generalize the ISIS case and conclude that these activities contribute to significantly funding armed non-state actors and to prolonging internal armed conflicts. However, establishing this link may add political weight to archeologists' and art historians' efforts to curb the international trafficking of looted objects.
“Coercive Radicalization: Charismatic Authority and the Internal Strategies of ISIS and the Lord's Resistance Army”
By: Eleanor Beevor
Abstract: A framework for understanding Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)'s apocalyptic theology as an internal strategy to “coercively radicalize” its captive subjects is presented, by comparison to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which shares key stages of captive indoctrination with ISIS. A violent experience of “entry,” religious rules learned in an “assimilation” process, and millenarian “grand narratives” framing violence as purification, are examined. These stages construct an image of group leaders as divinely endowed with spiritual knowledge and access (i.e., charismatic authority). This can create a sense of dependency on the leaders and their instructions, potentially motivating violent and altruistic behavior from initially unwilling subjects.
“Constructing Expertise: Terrorist Recruitment and ‘Talent Spotting’ in the PIRA, Al Qaeda, and ISIS”
By: Mia Bloom
Abstract: The academic literature is divided with regard to whether terrorist recruits are dangerous masterminds, “malevolently creative,” and capable of perpetrating well-planned mass casualty attacks in the heart of European capitals. Or whether they are imbeciles, incapable of carrying out the most basic tasks, who mostly end up blowing themselves up by accident. This duality about the capabilities of terrorists is reflected in analyses of terrorist incidents. In fact, both depictions of terrorist recruits are accurate. Acuity and professionalism are not movement dependent (the same group may attract a variety of recruits) and might, instead, reflect a recruitment cycle that terrorist groups experience—one that alternates between labor-intensive and expertise-intensive periods of recruitment. The phases may shift because of external pressures (periods of territorial expansion/contraction) and opportunities (need for better quality recruits) with associated shifts in how groups use propaganda to attract a different quality of recruit during different periods of time. A possible first step toward hindering terrorist recruitment is to better understand the ways in which terrorist organizations work—where and when they recruit, whom they target, and the different propaganda messages used for selective/targeted recruitment. A clearer picture of the process could provide opportunities to counter a group's appeal, replenish their ranks, and inoculate vulnerable populations against recruitment. Case studies of three different terrorist organizations (Al Qaeda, the Islami State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS], and the Provisional Irish Republican Army [PIRA]) presented here posit that there exists a terrorism “recruitment cycle” that alternates between labor and expertise focus, uses different recruitment strategies and different propaganda messaging depending on this cycle.
“A Preliminary Typology Mapping Pathways of Learning and Innovation by Modern Jihadist Groups”
By: Rashmi Singh
Abstract: The importance of understanding how terrorist organizations learn and innovate cannot be overstated. Yet there is a remarkable paucity of literature systematically addressing this subject. This article contributes to an evolving conceptualization in this area by proposing a preliminary typology of learning and innovation as undertaken by modern jihadist groups. It identifies and discusses four categories: (a) intergroup learning within a single domestic setting; (b) intergroup learning between two or more local groups across a state or national boundary; (c) intergroup learning between a transnational group and one or more domestic groups; and finally (d) intragroup learning or “self-learning.”
“From Cubs to Lions: A Six Stage Model of Child Socialization into the Islamic State”
By: John G. Horgan, Max Taylor, Mia Bloom, Charlie Winter
Abstract: Using the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) as a case study, we explore the process by which children evolve from novice recruits to fully fledged members of a violent extremist movement. From currently available data, we propose six stages of child socialization to ISIS—Seduction, Schooling, Selection, Subjugation, Specialization, and Stationing. Furthermore, we explore this process in the context of “Community of Practice” (COP) as developed by Wenger and Lave. COP models highlight how newcomers learn and pass through degrees of involvement from the periphery of an organization to the inside. In subsequent research, Hundeide highlighted how “contracts of deep commitment” and “conversion” constitute important social and psychological elements of communities of practice. We regard such qualities as intrinsic to children's involvement in ISIS. We conclude with implications drawn from the disengagement and reintegration experiences of former child soldiers in other contexts.
“Old Becomes New Again: Kidnappings by Daesh and Other Salafi-Jihadists in the Twenty-First Century”
By: R. Kim Cragin, Phillip Padilla
Abstract: Daesh fighters have taken hostage over 100 foreigners in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere since 2012. The kidnappings drew international attention in August 2014, when American journalist James Foley was decapitated and a video of his death was posted online. But the pattern of kidnappings and gruesome videos distributed by violent Salafi-jihadists extends back over a decade to the killing of Daniel Pearl in 2002. This article traces shifts in the strategic rationale of Al Qaeda and Daesh for beheading Western hostages. It argues that terrorists altered their calculations on foreign hostages beginning in 2012 and U.S. counterterrorism policy does not take these shifts into account.
“The Islamic State's Strategy: Bureaucratizing the Apocalypse through Strategic Communications”
By: Vaughan Phillips
Abstract: To understand the Islamic State's strategy, we have to look at the way the group twins Maoist and post-Maoist strategies, previously considered strategically incompatible. By establishing a state that it claims to embody the Caliphate, it not only gains revenue and resources, but also generates a seductive “brand” with a compelling message that it “sells” via the Internet. This brand, based on Propaganda of the Deed, synergizes its physical and digital activities to create a virtuous circle that is very close to being self-sustaining. As such it represents a new insurgent model that corroborates the News Wars thesis.
The European Journal of International Relations (Volume 23, Issues 2 & 3)
“British torture in the ‘war on terror’”
By: Ruth Blakeley, Sam Raphael
Abstract: Despite long-standing allegations of UK involvement in prisoner abuse during counterterrorism operations as part of the US-led ‘war on terror’, a consistent narrative emanating from British government officials is that Britain neither uses, condones nor facilitates torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment. We argue that such denials are untenable. We have established beyond reasonable doubt that Britain has been deeply involved in post-9/11 prisoner abuse, and we can now provide the most detailed account to date of the depth of this involvement. We argue that it is possible to identify a peculiarly British approach to torture in the ‘war on terror’, which is particularly well-suited to sustaining a narrative of denial. To explain the nature of UK involvement, we argue that it can be best understood within the context of how law and sovereign power have come to operate during the ‘war on terror’. We turn here to the work of Judith Butler, and explore the role of Britain as a ‘petty sovereign’, operating under the state of exception established by the US executive. UK authorities have not themselves suspended the rule of law so overtly; indeed, they have repeatedly insisted on their commitment to it. Nevertheless, they have been able to construct a rhetorical, legal and policy ‘scaffold’ that has enabled them to demonstrate at least procedural adherence to human rights norms while, at the same time, allowing UK officials to acquiesce in the arbitrary exercise of sovereignty over individuals who are denied any access to appropriate representation or redress in compliance with the rule of law.
“Micro-moves in International Relations theory”
By: Ty Solomon, Brent J. Steele
Abstract: This article posits empirical and political reasons for recent ‘micro-moves’ in several contemporary debates, and seeks to further develop them in future International Relations studies. As evidenced by growing trends in studies of practices, emotions and the everyday, there is continuing broad dissatisfaction with grand or structural theory’s value without ‘going down’ to ‘lower levels’ of analysis where structures are enacted and contested. We suggest that empirics of the last 15 years — including the war on terror and the Arab Spring — have pushed scholars into increasingly micropolitical positions and analytical frameworks. Drawing upon insights from Gilles Deleuze, William Connolly and Henri Lefebvre, among others, we argue that attention to three issues — affect, space and time — hold promise to further develop micropolitical perspectives on and in International Relations, particularly on issues of power, identity and change. The article offers empirical illustrations of the analytical purchase of these concepts via discussion of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Arab Spring uprisings.
“The purpose of United Nations Security Council practice: Contesting competence claims in the normative context created by the Responsibility to Protect”
By: Jason Ralph, Jess Gifkins
Abstract: Practice theory provides important insights into the workings of the Security Council. The contribution is currently limited, however, by the conjecture that practice theory operates on ‘a different analytical plane’ to norm/normative theory. Building on existing critiques, we argue that analysing practices separately from normative positions risks misappropriating competence and reifying practice that is not fit for purpose. This risk is realized in Adler-Nissen and Pouliot’s practice-based account of the Libya crisis. By returning the normative context created by the Responsibility to Protect to the analytical foreground, and by drawing on a pragmatic conception of ‘ethical competence’, we find that pre-reflexive practices uncritically accepted as markers of competence — for example, ‘penholding’ — can contribute to the Council’s failure to act collectively in the face of mass atrocity. Drawing on extensive interview material, we offer an alternative account of the Libya intervention, finding that the practices of the permanent three (France, the UK and the US) did not cultivate the kind of collective consciousness that is required to implement the Responsibility to Protect. This is further illustrated by an account of the Security Council’s failure in Syria, where the permanent three’s insistence on regime change instrumentalized the Council at the expense of Responsibility to Protect-appropriate practice. This changed when elected members became ‘penholders’. Practice theory can facilitate learning processes that help the Council meet its responsibilities, but only through an approach that combines its insights with those of norm/normative theory.
Washington Quarterly (Volume 40, Issue 3)
“Whither ISIS? Insights from Insurgent Responses to Decline”
By: Paul Staniland
Abstract: Not available.
“Assessing U.S.–Iran Nuclear Engagement”
By: Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Sina Toossi
Abstract: Not available.
By: Kenneth M. Pollack, Bilal Y. Saab
Abstract: Not available.
“Iran's Uncertain Standing in the Middle East”
By: Shahram Akbarzadeh
Abstract: Not available.
“Cooperating with Iran to Combat ISIS in Iraq”
By: Ariane Tabatabai, Dina Esfandiary
Abstract: Not available.