[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the second 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.]
Arab Law Quarterly (Volume 31, Issue 1)
“The Enforceability of the Unfair Arbitration Agreement in Consumer Disputes before Dubai Courts”
By: Omar Husain Qouteshat
Abstract: Online transactions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and particularly Dubai has undergone a phenomenal rise in recent times. However, reform is required to improve the legislation as it relates to consumer rights. Upon successful completion of online transactions, consumers often end up agreeing to unclear arbitration clauses among other terms and conditions, thereby bearing extra costs and expenses. They may also waive their right to litigate, which is a primary consideration and should be secured. This article seeks to examine current legislation and court approaches in Dubai, relating to consumer rights. Essentially, possible solutions directed at protecting consumers from referring to arbitration.
“Duress and Its Impact on Contracts in the UAE Law on Civil Transactions: Analytical Study in the Light of Islamic Jurisprudence”
By: Iyad Mohammad Jadalhaq
Abstract: This research addresses and analyses ‘duress’ and its impact on contracts, being one of the defects in consent, as regulated by the UAE legislators in the Law on Civil Transactions. UAE legislators have gleaned duress-related provisions from Islamic jurisprudence, as per its approach to regulation of the provisions of civil transactions. Therefore, this research needs to be referred to the different Schools of Islamic jurisprudence, these being the source of the UAE Law on Civil Transactions. The research concluded that there is consensus among scholars of Islamic jurisprudence, as to the fact that duress affects a contract; however, these scholars hold differing views as to the extent of such impact. The research further concluded that the UAE legislators have derived the legal regulation of duress from the Ḥanafī and Mālikī Schools of Islamic Sharīʿah—though there are some differences between these Schools—and the research arrives at additional conclusions and makes some recommendations.
“Hibah (Gift inter vivos) by Parent in Favour of Some Children to the Exclusion of the Others under Islamic Law”
By: Badruddin Hj Ibrahim
Abstract: This study examines issues arising from gift giving (hibah) by a parent to one or more of his/her children to the exclusion of the others under Islamic law in general and as applied to Muslims in Malaysia in particular. Does a parent have an absolute right to dispose of property to his/her children by means of hibah without concern for fairness to the other children? Is hibah a valid and acceptable practice in a modern Muslim society? Is the core issue one of an individual’s absolute property rights or is it restrained by the principle of fairness in dealing with properties? This study will attempt to provide a right and acceptable guidance with respect to the disposal of property to children by means of hibah.
“‘Plural Sharīʿah’. A Liberal Interpretation of the Sharīʿah Constitutional Clause of the 2014 Egyptian Constitution”
By: Giancarlo Anello
Abstract: This article addresses the Egyptian Constitution issued in 2014 (dustūr ǧumhūriyyah miṣr al-ʿarabiyyah). Article 2 declares that Islam is the religion of the State and that the Sharīʿah is the main source of legislation. The aim of the author is to interpret this provision considering the role that the Islamic religion plays in the cultural and legal framework of Arab countries, notably in Egypt. Furthermore, this article tries to develop a pluralistic interpretation of the norm, taking into account some foundational aspects of the Egyptian legal system including the Civil Code of 1948, the particular tradition of Arab Constitutionalism, and the former jurisprudence of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
“The GCC Human Rights Declaration: An Instrumentation of Cultural Relativism”
By: Khalifa A. Alfadhel
Abstract: For the first time the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) adopted a regional human rights declaration that codifies the relevant States’ commitment to human rights. The Declaration illustrated the content and scope of such a collective regional pledge to protect and respect fundamental rights and freedoms. Although a soft-law instrument, the Gulf Declaration provides the foundations for a doctrinal commitment to human rights, based on a normative framework adopted in a mutual manner. This article will provide an overview on the content and scope of such document, and the theoretical arguments of universalism versus cultural relativism in light of comparative instruments. This article will argue that the Gulf Human Rights Declaration reflects a cultural aspect of human rights that needs to be commended in the consideration of such soft-law instrument, which will form a foundation for a regional customary law regime, based on State practice affirmed in the commitment to the Declaration.
Arab Media & Society (Issue 23)
“The Birth and Death of 25TV: Innovation in Post-Revolution Egyptian TV News Formats”
By: Dina Ibrahim
Abstract: This case study highlights an experiment that aimed to disrupt traditional television news production and presentation models in post-revolution Egypt. It is a snapshot of a brief moment in Egyptian television history when an attempt was made at innovating news production and content, but much like the Egyptian revolution, ultimately failed to change the status quo. The case study of 25TV examines how political, social, and economic dissatisfaction among Egyptian youth inspired innovation in news formats that gave more content production power to younger and less experienced news presenters and producers. Through the brief lifespan of 25TV, this article will discuss the role of social media and television in the immediate aftermath of the revolution, the contentious relationship between freedom of speech and military rule, and the innovative ways in which television formats in Egypt were nurtured, grew and perished in the post-revolution era.
“Travelogue of the Israeli Protest: A Dialogue with Contemporary Street Poetry”
By: Cynthia Gabbay
Abstract: The article deciphers the symbolic deconstruction of the Israeli Indignant Protest (2011–2012) on behalf of the local cultural simulacrum—based on Zionist narratives of Judaism. It presents, through the subjective eye of a participant observer, the symbolic paradigm by which the protest opened its way through street poetry’s contemporary representation, including in this concept poetry, prose, songs, pictures, memes, graffiti, and other social media and street phenomena.
“State Control Over Film Production in Egypt”
By: Chihab El Khachab
Abstract: This essay is part of an ethnographic study of Egyptian film production conducted between August 2013 and September 2015. The study is centered on participant observation within two main film companies, New Century Film Production and Al-Batrik Art Production, in addition to interviews conducted with key actors in the industry as well as all workers involved in two film projects, Décor (dir. Ahmad Abdalla, New Century, 2014) and Poisonous Roses (dir. Ahmad Fawzi Saleh, Al-Batrik, in postproduction). All interviews cited below have been conducted as part of this ethnographic study, which was aimed at examining the use of new media technologies by Egyptian filmmakers.
“Revolutionary Art or ‘Revolutonizing Art’? Making Art on the Streets of Cairo”
By: Rounwah Adly Riyadh Bseiso
Abstract: In an article published on December 17, 2014, Surti Singh, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo (AUC), wrote that “a new set of questions is crystallizing about the role of art in contemporary Egypt” and posed the following questions: “Can art still preserve the revolutionary spirit that spilled out in the graffiti and murals that covered Egypt’s streets? Should this even be art’s focus?” (Singh, 2014). Singh’s questions at the time were indicative of a growing debate in Egypt over what constitutes a legitimate “art” and what its focus should be following the uprising of January 2011, given the emergence of new forms of art in public spaces. Public art is not a new phenomenon in Egypt – its modern history goes back to the late 19th century (Karnouk 2005; Winegar 2006), and street art also has a history prior to the uprising in Egypt (Charbel 2010; Jarbou 2010; Hamdy et.al 2014, Abaza, 2016). However, the form, content and even the players of public art and street art have changed as practices have become more visible and with this visibility come new questions – what is the role of art in uprising and post-uprising Egypt? Should art incite the public to act against a repressive government, should it serve as a form of awareness, and/or should it document the revolutions “real” history versus what is reported in state media? Is overtly “political” art serving the “revolution” or undermining it? Is aesthetically pleasing, but seemingly content deprived art, a disservice to the revolution?
“’Arab Culture”: From Orientalist Construct to Arab Uprisings’
By: Andrew Hammond
Abstract: Any attempt to write an account of popular culture in the Middle East must face the question of how to define Arab and the Arabs? This might seem an odd statement at first glance: some 350 million people speak the language, ergo they are Arabs, and Arab, the Arabs, the Arab world are terms used so ubiquitously today that the issue is rarely raised. But the need for qualification becomes clear when considering political institutions, regional diversity, historical and cultural patrimony, and the multiple discourses on identity of the region. The political institution par excellence that houses the Arabs is the Arab League, an organization formed in 1944 when its founding countries were still subject to British and French colonial tutelage. Its 22 members include a country in which hardly any Arabic is spoken (Somalia) and countries in which a significant section of the population speak another language as their mother tongue and resist identification through the term Arab (Berbers in Morocco and Algeria; Kurds in Iraq and Syria). Others have lost the language of a previous identity and remain divided over ‘Arab’ (Egyptian Copts). Others do not attempt to define themselves as Arab yet control territory in which around half the population is Arabic-speaking and embrace the Arab identity marker (Israel and the occupied territories). What we are dealing with then is a contingent identity, a complex political and cultural formulation, deployed politically and embraced culturally at various stages of the past and present.
“Creative Insurgency and the Celebrity President: Politics and Popular Culture from the Arab Spring to the White House”
By: Marwan M. Kraidy
Abstract: Not available
Arab Studies Quarterly (Volume 39, Issues 1 & 2)
“Deconstructing Arab Masculinity in Diana Abu-Jaber's Crescent (2003): The Return of the Unheimlich”
By: Wisam Abdul-Jabbar
Abstract: This study focuses on the deconstruction of dominant perceptions of Arab masculinity, particularly with respect to Hans, the exiled Iraqi protagonist of Diana Abu-Jaber's 2003 novel Crescent. Employing the concept of the unheimlich as it intersects with the Iraqi Al-Futuwwa movement, this article explores the ways in which the condition of being exiled strips the protagonist of his masculine ideals that are often associated with nationalism and chivalry, and exposes his internalized vulnerabilities to “unhomeliness,” since he has been disconnected from country and family. In effect, the study subverts hegemonic conceptualizations of Arab masculinity by examining the unsettling repercussions of forced migration.
“Marjane Satrapi and the Graphic Novels from and about the Middle East”
By: Chris Reyns-Chikuma, Houssem Ben Lazreg
Abstract: Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi's prominent graphic autobiography, depicts her coming-of-age in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. It offers an intriguing perspective that challenges preconceived ideas and stereotypes about Iran and the region overall. In light of the story's success as a graphic novel and a film on the international arena, this genre has become very popular among several Middle Eastern writers and artists such as Zeina Abirached, Lena Irmgard Merhej, Magdy El Shafee, Leila Abdelrazaq, and Riad Sattouf, who used it to shed light on personal, sociopolitical and cultural issues in the Arab/Muslim world. In this article, we examine the literary, aesthetic, and thematic influences of Satrapi on other North African and Middle Eastern graphic novelists. The corpus we selected encompasses five main countries (Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey) as well as the Maghreb (e.g., Tunisia, Algeria, Libya) due to the strong linguistic and religious ties with the Middle East. We conclude by commenting on a highly controversial graphic novel entitled L'Arabe du Futur, which, like Persepolis, provides a problematic political and ideological representation of the region.
“Artistic Fallout from the July 2006 War: Momentum, Mediation, and Mediatization”
By: Syrine Hout
Abstract: A decade after the end of Israel's 2006 war on Lebanon, I spotlight the hitherto under-researched literary portrayals of the conflict. Following an overview of the immediate and (then-) innovative media tools and techniques used to capture its momentum—blogging, video-making, and online comics—and of Arabic-, French-, and English-language literary writings referring to the war, I focus on how literature, which requires time for its “contents” to be distilled into a form removed from emotional immediacy, succeed not only in reflecting it but also in reflecting on it through various fictional(izing) prisms. I do so by comparing the methodologies adopted by Nada Awar Jarrar's A Good Land and Abbas El-Zein's Leave to Remain: A Memoir, both published in 2009, and by arguing that they share a sense of guilt and hence exhibit an ethical exigency by incorporating particular discourses to mediate and mediatize this war as crisis: the social/humanitarian in A Good Land and the visual/photographic in Leave to Remain.
“Arabic Performance Poetry: A New Mode of Resistance”
By: Muhammad Agami Hassan Muhammad
Abstract: Performance poetry, as a literary term, is known in the Western literature, although some critics may not consider it literary in the first place. This article assumes the applicability of this term to new attempts of some Egyptian youth whose poems share the common features of performance poetry in English literature. Their poetic works are passionate, rhythmic, using aural and visual effects in the background, and dialects in addition to the poet's presentation of the poem face to face with the audience. Regarding the content, their verse has preceded and accompanied the political turmoil Egypt witnessed before, during, and after 25 January Revolution. For this reason, this poetic pattern loudly reflects the concerns, demands, and aspirations of the rebellious generation of youth and the whole Egyptian society. It can be considered the manifestation of the new challenging spirit of the youth in Egypt. The aim of the research is to highlight the similarities between the Anglo-American performance poetry and the literary works of two Egyptian young poets: Hisham al-Gakh and Amr Qatamish. As an interdisciplinary study, literary criticism, cultural criticism including socio-political analysis will be utilized to elucidate how performance poetry represents a new trend of resisting corruption and injustice, as well as a revolution against conventional poetic forms.
“Hideous Hydropolitics in Darraj's A Curious Land”
By: Yousef Awad and Tareq Zuhair
Abstract: Water is a contextual symbol in literature. It stands for many things, depending on how it is used in a literary work. It represents, among other meanings, cleanliness, life, salvation, purification, and redemption. In Susan Muddai Darraj's A Curious Land, water plays a pivotal role in conveying themes and ideas that are pertinent to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In particular, this article explores how Darraj draws on the multivalent connotations of water to aesthetically and thematically valorize some of the dynamics of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In a way, water intricately intertwines with the national Palestinian identity and it explains the causes of several Israeli assaults and aggressions on Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab countries. As the collection shows, Israeli hydropolitics and hydro-apartheid keep the Palestinians below the water poverty line in a bid to destroy their resilience and force them to emigrate. Hence, water in this collection acquires important meanings for the Palestinians, like rejuvenation, resistance, and rootedness.
Arabica (Volume 64, Issues 1 & 2)
“Seasonal Poetics: The Dry Season and Autumn Rains among Pre-Islamic Naǧdī and Ḥiǧāzī Tribes”
By: Nathaniel A. Miller
Abstract: This article maps out the depiction among pre-Islamic tribes of two seasons, the August ḫarīf rains and the qayẓ dry season. References to the ḫarīf rain are found almost exclusively in southwestern Arabia, Yemen and the Ḥiǧāz. Tribes in these regions evidently began their seasonal migration in August, that is, earlier than tribes of central and northeastern Arabia (Naǧd), where migration began in October and November. The most conspicuous result of this difference is the development of two regional methods of depicting the ẓaʿn, or departure of the beloved’s caravan, in the classical qaṣīda (polythematic ode). Naǧdī tribes set this scene at the beginning of the summer dry season, while the Ḥiǧāzī Huḏayl set it in a rainy season. A sequence of poets within Tamīm developed an idiosyncratic set of vocabulary for developing the early-summer ẓaʿn, just as certain Huḏalī poets developed certain techniques to describe their rainy season ẓaʿn.
“Noah’s Lost Son in the Qurʾān”
By: Gabriel Said Reynolds
Abstract: In Kor 11 (Hūd), 42-47 the Qurʾān has Noah address one of his sons and plead with him to enter the ark. Noah’s son refuses to do so, explaining that he plans to seek refuge from the flood on a mountain. When the son is lost in the flood, Noah turns to God in order to ask that his son be forgiven. In the present article, I discuss the relationship of this Qurʾānic episode with larger themes in the Qurʾān—seen also in the material on Abraham and his father—regarding the believer’s proper disposition towards unbelievers, and unbelieving family members in particular. After a study of earlier theories about this passage, I propose that the account of Noah’s lost son (not found in the Bible) has a particular relationship to Ezekiel 14, a passage which speaks hypothetically of an unrighteous son of Noah. In conclusion, I argue that this passage is an important example of how the Qurʾān applies, and transforms, earlier traditions in order to advance its particular religious arguments.
“’The Monasticism of My Community is Jihad’: A Debate on Asceticism, Sex, and Warfare in Early Islam”
By: Christian C. Sahner
Abstract: This article explores Muslim attitudes towards asceticism in the second/eighth and third/ninth centuries by examining the famous Prophetic hadith: “Every community has its monasticism, and the monasticism of my community is ǧihād.” The hadith serves as a lens for assessing several broader phenomena, including early Muslim views of Christian monasticism, the rejection of celibacy in Islamic culture, and the promotion of a new code of sexual ethics in the post-conquest Middle East—what this article terms the “second sexual revolution of Late Antiquity.” It concludes by presenting several accounts of Christian monks who converted to Islam and joined the ǧihād, as well as Muslim soldiers who converted to Christianity and became monks.
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Volume 80, Issue 1)
“ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Zubayr and the Mahdī: Between propaganda and historical memory in the Second Civil War”
By: Mehdy Shaddel
Abstract: The subject of the present paper is a prophetic tradition found in some compendia of eschatological aḥādīth which has received considerable scholarly attention since Wilferd Madelung dedicated an article to it in 1981. Whereas Madelung shares the opinion of earlier scholars that only some of the incidents “prophesied” by this tradition are historical, this study aims to show that it is a wholly ex post facto composition which, in its various strata, remarkably captures episodes from the Zubayrid war of propaganda against their rivals as well as their later attempts to redeem the memory of their lost cause as a just one. The discussion closes by producing a highly singular Syrian tradition most certainly put into circulation with the intent of countering these Zubayrid propaganda efforts.
“On the identity of the Syrian abdāl”
By: Rana Mikati
Abstract: Scholarly discussion of the abdāl (substitutes) has been limited to their appearance as the members of a saintly hierarchy first alluded to by al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī (d. 295/905–300/910) and systematized by Ibn ʿArabī (d. 638/1240). However, unlike the other members of this hierarchy, the abdāl are also known through the hadith, one of which is attributed to ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib. This article explores this hitherto unstudied hadith material arguing that the concept originated in hadith circles with a specific purported context, the showdown between the Syrians and Iraqis at the Battle of Ṣiffīn (37/657). A gradual loss of this context went hand-in-hand with the emergence of the mystical saintly abdāl. As monistic Sufism penetrated all elements of Mamluk society, the boundary between the abdāl of the traditionists and of the mystics became porous. This paper concludes with an examination of the ensuing debate on the authenticity of the concept.
“On the margins of minority life: Zoroastrians and the state in Safavid Iran”
By: Kioumars Ghereghlou
Abstract: This article looks at the treatment of the Zoroastrians by central and provincial authorities in early modern Yazd, Kirman and Isfahan, emphasizing the institutional weaknesses of the central or khāṣṣa protection they were supposed to benefit from under the Safavids (907–1135/1501–1722). It is argued that the maltreatment the Zoroastrians endured under the Safavids had little to do with religious bigotry. Rather, it arose from rivalries between the central and the provincial services of the Safavid bureaucracy, putting Zoroastrians in Yazd, Kirman, Sistan and Isfahan at risk of over-taxation, extortion, forced labour and religious persecution. The argument developed in this article pivots on the material interest of the central and the provincial agents of the Safavid bureaucracy in the revenue and labour potentials of the Zoroastrians, and the way in which the conflict of interest between these two sectors led to such acts of persecution as over-taxation, forced labour, extortion and violence.
Critical Studies on Terrorism (Volume 10, Issue 1)
“We all dreamed it: the politics of knowing and un-knowing the ‘war on terror’”
By: Tina Managhan
Abstract: This article begins via an exploration of Jean Baudrillard's provocative claim that we dreamed of the ‘events of 9/11’ prior to their occurrence. Baudrillard's particular quote is introduced to raise questions about the politics of knowing and un-knowing in International Relations, with specific reference to risk and the “war on terror”. Building on postcolonial scholarship, this article points to the limits of contemporary approaches to risk and offers an alternative methodological approach – one it argues better identifies the power relations that structure the daily forms of knowing and un-knowing that give meaning to and invigorate articulations of risk.
“Bin Laden’s targeted killing and emerging norms”
By: Betcy Jose
Abstract: This article illustrates how the well-known norm life cycle model has been under-utilised for understanding global political behaviour. The model has generally been applied to norms advancing human rights or prohibiting certain behaviour. This article uses the norm life cycle, modified to account for norm fluidity, to examine a practice which enables the state to pursue its security interests, at times by violating human rights. Specifically, this study explores variation in global responses to targeted killings, with Osama bin Laden’s death serving as a focal point. These reactions generally range from condemnation of targeted killings occurring before his death, to widespread acceptance of his death, to subsequent efforts to regulate the practice. This article concludes that this variation could be understood as consistent with the initial stages of the norm life cycle. Through this analysis, the article demonstrates how the norm life cycle model can helpfully shed light on very diverse political behaviour.
"’Talk about terror in our back gardens’: an analysis of online comments about British foreign fighters in Syria”
By: Raquel de Silve, Rhys Crilley
Abstract: The phenomenon of foreign fighters has become a central issue to the ongoing conflict in Syria. This article explores how members of the public answer the question ‘Why do British citizens join the conflict in Syria’ on social media sites and in response to online news articles. Building upon research on everyday narratives of security and terrorism, we analyse 807 comments, and in doing so, we argue that online comments are important in producing the discursive environment for making sense of British foreign fighters and what should be done in response to them. We find that there is a tendency to view British foreign fighters as being purely motivated by religion, and there is also a belief that British foreign fighters should be responded to through exceptional measures. We discuss the implications of such perceptions, and we highlight how problematic misconceptions about Islam and Muslims are not just disseminated through elite and media discourse, but through everyday narratives published by members of the public online.
Democratization (Volume 24, Issues 1-3)
“Coups and nascent democracies: the military and Egypt's failed consolidation”
By: Hicham Bou Nassif
Abstract: Why do coups happen in some nascent democracies but not in others? To answer this question, I probe four interconnected variables in democratizing regimes: the military's ethos; the military's corporate interests; the military's perception of the new civilian ruling elite; and the correlation of force between the military and the founding democratic government. My argument is twofold: first, I maintain that ideational variables are central to shaping the military's political behaviour; and second, I argue in favour of merging insights from cultural, corporate, and structural theories to understand the consolidation, or breakdown, of nascent democracies.
“Associations and democracy in Algeria”
By: Jessica Ayesha Northey
Abstract: What role does associational activism play in political life in the Middle East and North Africa? Have associations been largely co-opted, thus reinforcing authoritarian governance? Or are they part of drawn out democratization processes, emerging over the last two decades, exploding during the Arab Spring? Divergences in responses to these questions have been striking. From initial optimism about the potential of associations to contribute to democratization, much recent literature has been increasingly pessimistic, framing associations as part of the problem of failed political transformations. Algeria, in particular, despite minimal donor funding, has seen a surge in associations over the last 20 years. Yet, these 93,000 new associations have come under scrutiny. Building on extensive fieldwork, this article explores Algerian associations at grass-roots level, after the decade of violence in the 1990s. It analyses how associations challenged the state during the Arab Spring, how they question historical state narratives and challenge government policies. Despite political and structural obstacles, it is found that Algerian civic associations do not inhibit democratic society, indeed they enable it, not necessarily as transformative actors, but as meaningful democratic agents pushing for reform.
“State control of civil society organizations: the case of Turkey”
By: Jessica Leigh Doyle
Abstract: Over the past few decades there has been a great deal of interest in the academic literature on the relationship between civil society organizations (CSOs) and the state, and the impact of state power on CSOs in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Yet, despite this interest, very few detailed empirical explorations of these issues have been conducted to date. Of the detailed empirical work that does exist, none has focused on state–CSO relations in a democratic context in the MENA. This paper contributes to filling this gap by examining these relations and their implications in the Turkish context. More specifically, this paper explores the democratizing role of independent women’s organizations in Turkey and the ways in which the state has sought to exert power over and control these organizations. The methodology consists of a series of 38 in-depth interviews with both registered and unregistered women’s organizations from across the seven administrative regions of Turkey. The findings show that while CSOs do challenge the state in some regards, the state is by far the more powerful actor and very effective at moderating and de-radicalizing civil society. The state does this by controlling the areas in which CSOs can operate and be effective, and through the use of repressive measures. The results show that thease measures have the effect of tempering the demands of CSOs and reducing their capacity to challenge and counterbalance state power.
“From the web to the streets: internet and protests under authoritarian regimes”
By: Kris Ruijgrok
Abstract: This article systematically investigates the relationship between internet use and protests in authoritarian states and democracies. It argues that unlike in democracies, internet use has facilitated the occurrence of protests in authoritarian regimes, developing a theoretical rationale for this claim and substantiating it with robust empirical evidence. The article argues that whereas information could already flow relatively freely in democracies, the use of the internet has increased access to information in authoritarian regimes despite authoritarian attempts to control cyberspace. The article suggests this increased access to information positively affects protesting in authoritarian states via four complementary causal pathways: (1) by reducing the communication costs for oppositional movements; (2) by instigating attitudinal change; (3) decreasing the informational uncertainty for potential protesters; and (4) through the mobilizing effect of the spread of dramatic videos and images. These causal pathways are illustrated using anecdotal evidence from the Tunisian revolution (2010–2011). The general claim that internet use has facilitated the occurrence of protests under authoritarian rule is systematically tested in a global quantitative study using country-year data from 1990 to 2013. Internet use increases the expected number of protests in authoritarian states as hypothesized. This effect remains robust across a number of model specifications.
Development and Change (Volume 48, Issue 1)
“A Moral Economy of Water: Charity Wells in Egypt's Nile Delta”
By: Hagar El Didi, Esteve Corbera
Abstract: Though commonly viewed as a human right, access to water is often difficult and highly unequal within and between communities, depending on various social and power relations, access mechanisms and property rights regimes. However, moral norms and subsistence ethics can also play a balancing role, enhancing access to water for vulnerable groups and individuals, particularly in contexts of water scarcity. Using the example of a Nile Delta village, this article explores the role of charitable water wells (sobol) in influencing both irrigation and drinking water access relations, by understanding their different modes of governance and the motivations behind their emergence. The article argues that charitable norms underlying sobol are dynamic. They stem from certain moral ideologies concerning religion, property and reciprocity, and while they do greatly enhance access to water, it is with varying degrees, limitations and remaining access discrepancies. Sobol alter property rights relations, extending entitlements to water, but their effectiveness is also limited by existing property rights regimes. Sobol are also limited by existing anti-cooperative actions, and being embedded in an inequitable access system, they may not fully counterbalance inequitable water access. The limitations of cooperative water access arrangements should be counterweighed and complemented by overarching and equitable water distribution systems.
“Health Financing Systems, Health Equity and Universal Health Coverage in Arab Countries”
By: Randa Alami
Abstract: This article provides an overview of health financing structures in Arab countries in the context of their preparedness for universal health coverage. Current arrangements have left large swathes of the population shouldering high financial burdens and facing hardships when using healthcare, with significant impoverishing and deterrent effects. Health protection schemes are most comprehensive for those who can afford healthcare; they are mainly based on contributions and formal employment and thus fail to cater for the poor and the rural and informal sectors. Financing systems also lack the operational bases and institutional prerequisites for effective resource pooling and risk sharing, with segmentation and fragmentation worsening horizontal and vertical inequities. The neglect of public health systems has reinforced inequities by widening the gap between needs and provision, and by emphasizing the ability to pay as a basis for accessing quality care. In a context of informality and poverty, focusing reforms on health insurance is not a panacea. Rather, moving towards universal health coverage and reducing health inequities will require changes in the level of political tolerance for social injustice, and a paradigm shift to a more equity-based political economy which views health as an investment and an entitlement.
Global Change, Peace & Security (Volume 29, Issue 1)
“Iraq’s struggle with de-Ba`thification process”
By: Aysegul Keskin Zeren
Abstract: Vetting/lustration/purging is one of many transitional justice mechanisms, designed for addressing the atrocities of a former regime, restoring peace, providing justice and engendering unity and reconciliation. It specifically aims to purify the public sphere of former regime members or of people who lack integrity. de-Ba`thification of Iraq is one of the latest transitional justice mechanism that can be examined under this category. The process of de-Ba`thification holds lessons and provides valuable insight into policy-making well beyond the Iraqi context. This article presents a detailed analysis of the implementation of de-Ba`thification process in Iraq and a number of lessons to be learned/relearned by policy-makers. Data gathering involves in-depth and formal interviews with the designers and implementers of de-Ba`thification project including Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) administrator and advisors; Higher National de-Ba`thification Commission (HNDBC) and Accountability and Justice Commission (AJC) members; other US and Iraqi officials.
International Affairs (Volume 93, Issue 3)
“Twitter and Transformative Diplomacy: Social Mdeia and Iran-US Relations”
By: Constance Duncombe
Abstract: Social media is increasingly used as a means of communication between states. Diplomats and political leaders are ever more relying on Twitter in their daily practice to communicate with their counterparts. These exchanges occur in view of a global audience, providing an added level of scrutiny that is unique to this form of communication. Twitter arguably challenges traditional notions of diplomacy according to which it is conducted through formal channels of communication and informal face-to-face social engagement. Yet we must ask how instrumental social media is as a tool for signalling intentions, and whether this medium can be an effective platform for dialogue and trust development when traditional face-to-face diplomacy is limited. Social media posts by state representatives reflect and frame state identity and how a state wishes to be recognized by others. If we are attuned to these dynamics, shifts in representational patterns communicated through social media during high-level negotiations allow realizations of political possibilities for change. Key here is the surprising nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 that analysts and policy-makers have struggled to explain. I argue that the role of Twitter as a key part of negotiation strategy is a crucial demonstration of how social media can shape the struggle for recognition, and thereby legitimize political possibilities for change. Understanding the increasingly prominent and powerful, yet largely unknown, variable of social media as a tool of diplomatic practice provides insight into the recurrent question of how diplomats affect change beyond upholding the status quo in the international order.
International Interactions (Volume 43, Issue 2)
“Let’s Intervene! But Only If They’re Like Us: The Effects of Group Dynamics and Emotion on the Willingness to Support Humanitarian Intervention”
By: Michael C. Grillo, Juris Pupcenoks
Abstract: International relations (IR) studies on humanitarian intervention have debated both the nature and strength of intervention norms. This article contributes to this debate by exploring under what conditions individuals are willing to support military humanitarian intervention (MHI) and the psychological factors that influence whether, and the degree to which individuals support MHI. Taking a psychological approach, we hypothesized that individuals’ decision to support MHI is influenced by in-group favoritism and emotional responses to in-group suffering. We tested our theory with two experiments, each of which recruited roughly 200 American participants. Both experiments centered on the ongoing Syrian civil war and assessed Americans’ willingness to support intervention to protect different civilian groups. The results suggested that support for intervention was widespread, but not a majority view in most cases. The findings also suggested that participants exhibited slightly higher rates of support for intervention when those suffering were Christian, as opposed to Muslim. Furthermore, we found that the dynamics of support for intervention changed when chemical weapons were introduced into the scenario, which reframed the the crisis as a national security issue. Overall, our results suggest that individuals’ decisions to act upon norms can be influenced by the context of a crisis and individual level psychological factors, which have been under explored in IR scholarship on norms.
Iran and the Caucasus (Volume 21, Issue 1)
“Transcaucasian Iron Age Metal Horse Bits”
By: Manuel Castelluccia
Abstract: The goal of the present study is to present a general catalogue followed by a discussion of metal horse bits found in Transcaucasia, mostly from the Iron Age. Starting from the earliest evidence dating to the last stage of the Late Bronze Age, all types of metal bits attributable to indigenous cultures are considered. Urartian and Scythian metal bits are not included, since they have already been widely studied, thus keeping the range of this analysis from the Late Bronze Age to the Achaemenid period.
“Bayān Yasn: State of the Art”
By: Götz König
Abstract: The Nask Bayān, once part of the so called Greater (Sasanian) Avesta, but now lost, became a central issue of discussion in the Avestan Studies over the last 15 years. These discussions tried to clarify its relation to the collection of the Yašts (and to the Xorde Avesta) and to reconstruct types of a liturgical celebration of this Bayān Nask or of parts of it. The following article gives an overview on the recent research. It gives also some new suggestions concerning the structure of the collection of the Yašts.
“A Note on Balaam’s Chimaera”
By: James R. Russell
Abstract: The Biblical tale of Balaam and his taking donkey was elaborated in the Babylonian Talmud: Balaam commits bestiality with the animal and this is accounted one of his failings as a pagan prophet, which accumulate as he tries and fails to curse the Children of Israel. This aspect of testing, probably transmitted by Jews of Iran and Sasanian Mesopotamia, probably becomes the source of an Iranian folk myth about a demonic ass called "mantrier". The myth enters Armenia from there and becomes a legend about the trial that a Christian holy man successfully overcomes.
“Hrakʿotperož and Spandaranperož: Armenian Gawaṙs and Sasanian Šahrs”
By: Pedram Jam
Abstract: This paper tries to add more geographical details about two cantons of the Armenian Pʿaytakaran region as described in Ašxarhacʿoycʿ: Hrakʿotperož and Spandaranperož. These two cantons find their original Middle Persian names in sigillographic or literary (Middle and New Persian, and occasionally Arabic) sources. Pʿaytakaran, regarded as a region once belonging to the greater Armenia, was already under Iranian dominion and subject to Sasanian policy and its administrative reforms.
“Tabriz New Catholic Church: A Construction of Urban Constitutional Crisis (1908-1912)”
By: Saghar Sadeghian
Abstract: In 1910, parts of Iran were under Russian occupation. In the occupied northwestern city of Tabriz, the French Catholic mission began to build a new church, which today is one of the largest churches in the Middle East. Previous scholarship has not explored the history of this edifice. This article locates the establishment of this church in the urban history of Tabriz. It elucidates the geopolitical context of the city during a period of widespread social turmoil. Using an array of French and Persian archival documents, the paper narrates a story with crucial details about strangers becoming friends and friends collaborating with one another to build an urban construction in the midst of protest, revolution, and war.
“A Note on Šaboš Custom in Hatay (Antioch)”
By: Funda Şan
Abstract: The paper describes a common custom, named šaboš, practised almost in every district and village in Hatay (Antioch) and aimed primarily at collecting gold or money for the newlyweds. Though the effect of šaboš has considerably decreased with time, it still continues to be widely practised in the area.
“The Anthropological Context of Euskaro-Caucasian”
By: John D. Bengtson
Abstract: The hypothesis that the Basque language is genetically related to languages in the Caucasus region was developed in the 20th century by respected scholars including C. C. Uhlenbeck, Georges Dumézil, and René Lafon, but has recently fallen into disfavour. The author defends the Euskaro-Caucasian hypothesis in a refined model in which Basque (Euskara) is most closely related to the North Caucasian language family (but not “South Caucasian” = Kartvelian). It is maintained that this hypothesis is not only linguistically convincing, supported by hundreds of basic etymologies, sound correspondences, and shared morphology, but is also consistent with recent results in archaeology and human genetics. Among the Euskaro-Caucasian etymologies is a significant number involving small and large cattle, swine, dairying, grain and pulse crops, and tools and methods of processing crops. These lexical fields are consistent with the spread of agriculture and animal husbandry to Western Europe by means of colonisation by bearers of the Cardial (Impressed Ware) Culture who came from the Anatolian (or possibly Balkan) region, and spoke a language related to Proto-North Caucasian. The well-known genetic distinctiveness of the Basques is a result of centuries of low population size, genetic drift and endogamy, rather than purely Paleolithic ancestry. The present-day Basque people represent a genetic amalgam of the Cardial colonists with indigenous hunter-gatherers, but their Euskaro-Caucasian language is colonial, not indigenous, in origin. Basque is the sole remaining descendant of the Euskaro-Caucasian family in Western Europe, but there is evidence (in the form of substratum words) that this colonial language was formerly more widely spread in other nearby regions (Sardinia, parts of Iberia, France, the Alps, Italy, the Balkans, and perhaps beyond).
“The Iraqi Kurdistan in the Post-Saddam Era: Security, Natural Resources and Foreign Policy Activism”
By: Hemin R. Akram Akreyi
Abstract: This paper examines the role of security and the factor of natural resources in strengthening the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s foreign relations. The author finds that, in the post-Saddam period, despite countless obstacles from various sides, the KRG has managed to use security/stability and the oil and gas of the Region to develop and strengthen its foreign relations to a significant extent, which just a few years ago was nearly impossible for a federated unit, such as the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, to achieve.
“Recent Studies on Pashto”
By: Matteo De Chiara
Abstract: The article examines the three recent publications on Pashto—a Pashto-French dictionary, a manual of Pashto, and a descriptive grammar of this language. The author tries to analyse in detail many aspects of phonology and grammar of Pashto when presenting these works.
Islamic Law and Society (Volume 24, Issue 1-2)
“Exploring the Islamic Juridical Field in the Russian Empire: An Introduction”
By: Paolo Sartori
Abstract: When studying Muslim-majority regions of the Russian empire, one sees substantial variations in the relations between the imperial state and Islam. These variations may be less reflective of changes in imperial policies designed to administer Islam than a function of the material we choose to study relations between the empire and its Muslim communities and, especially, of the assumptions that we bring to the study of such relations. Over the last decade, the historiography relating to Muslim communities living under Russian rule has shifted between two major interpretations. In this introduction I show that attention to Islamic juristic literature allows us to understand that such interpretations are not without problems and helps us to complicate the dominant narratives about Muslim culture in the Russian Empire.
“Take Me to Khiva: Sharīʿa as Governance in the Oasis of Khorezm (19th–Early 20th Centuries)”
By: Paolo Sartori, Ulfatbek Abdurasulov
Abstract: It is commonly held that the settlement of disputes in Muslim-majority areas depended on “judges” and “arbitrators” who settled disputes independently or facilitated reconciliation by means of mediation, either judicial or extra-judicial. In the resulting narrative, the state occupies only a marginal place, at best. In this essay, we contend that this narrative creates an artificial opposition between the Islamic state and sharīʿa, an opposition predicated on the reified notion of Islamic law as the exclusive preserve of Muslim legists (ʿulamāʾ), that is, a self-contained jurisprudence inaccessible to the uninitiated and to state officials. Materials from modern Khorezm call into question the application of this binary interpretive model and shed light on an Islamic juridical field in which Muslims brought their affairs to state officials because they had the power to coerce parties to achieve a settlement and enforce a decision, either formal or informal.
“Sharīʿa Debates and Fatwas among Nomads in Northern Kazakhstan, 1850–1931”
By: Allen J. Frank
Abstract: Legal debates among Kazakh nomads and on the Kazakh steppe more broadly have, for the most part, addressed the effects of Russian colonial policy on the administration of law among these nomads. The official and scholarly Russian fixation on Kazakh customary law, based largely on a tendentious categorization of Kazakh Muslims as quasi-shamanists, resulted in policies designed to separate Islamic law (sharīʿa) from customary law (ʿādat), and to suppress the role of sharīʿa in the areas of criminal and civil law. As Muslims, however, Kazakh nomads were directly affected by sharīʿa debates taking place both among Tatar scholars in their midst as well as among Kazakh scholars. These discussions, which occurred largely outside the field of vision of Russian officials or officially-mandated customary law courts, have so far eluded scrutiny. Recorded primarily in recently-published biographical dictionaries of Muslim scholars on the steppe, these discussions addressed a range of issues, including questions of ritual, but also, more significantly, the application of Islamic legal norms to commercial matters.
“Muslim Charity under Russian Rule: Waqf, Sadaqa, and Zakat in Imperial Russia”
By: Danielle M. Ross
Abstract: This article examines the development of Muslim charitable practices in the Russian Empire (Volga-Ural region, Siberia and the northern Kazakh Steppe) from the Russian conquest of Kazan in 1552 to the 1917 Russian Revolution. Building upon existing research on charity in those regions, it argues that Russian rule from the 1550s to the mid-1800s created the basis for a range of locally-organized charity-based economies for meeting the religious, cultural, and social needs of Muslim communities in a non-Muslim state. Though these economies differed somewhat in organization, all were structured around Muslim modes of charity and all generated and re-enforced hierarchies within their respective communities. The struggles over charitable practices that occurred from the 1860s to 1917 emerged from these well-established but evolving economies as their participants responded to changing circumstances within and around their confessional communities.
“Married or not Married? On the Obligatory Registration of Muslim Marriages in Nineteenth-Century Russia”
By: Rozaliya Garipova
Abstract: The registration and regulation of marriage was one aspect of the Russian empire's modernization policies in the nineteenth century. Efforts by Russian state authorities to establish better control over their subjects through the registration and regulation of marriages created new questions and problems for the Muslim community and its understanding of the legality of marriage. This article focuses on the complications created by modern governance policies in the marriage practices of Russia’s Muslims. Even though the state wanted the Muslim family to be stable so that it might serve as the foundation of an imperial order, new laws introduced by the state caused confusion and disagreement within the Muslim community about the validity of marriages and disrupted the stability of the Muslim family.
“Beyond the Taqlīd/Ijtihād Dichotomy: Daghestani Legal Thought under Russian Rule”
By: Rebecca Gould, Shamil Shikhaliev
Abstract: As one of the first scholarly studies of Jirāb al-Mamnūn, a collection of letters by the Daghestani Shāfiʿī scholar Ḥasan al-Alqadārī (1834–1910), this article challenges the ijtihād/taqlīd dichotomy within Islamic legal thought and argues for a more comprehensive understanding of the dialectic between reason and authority. Along the way, we examine the influence of al-Alqadārī’s taqlīd-based methodology on his attitudes toward confessional differences within and outside Islam. The article contributes to current debates on the role of reason and authority in the writings of Muslim scholars living under colonial rule.
Journal of Arabic Literature (Volume 48, Issue 1)
“Solomon and Mythic Kingship in the Arab-Islamic Tradition: Qaṣīdah, Qurʾān and Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ”
By: Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych
Abstract: This article contrasts techniques from non-narrative, poetic and Qurʾānic texts with the narratives of Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ (the Stories of the Prophets) in order to interpret passages on Sulaymān/Solomon in pre- and early Arabic-Islamic texts. Beginning with the renowned non-narrative Sulaymān passage in the pre-Islamic poet al-Nābighah al-Dhubyānī’s ode of apology to the Lakhmid king al-Nuʿmān ibn al-Mundhir and several Qurʾānic passages concerning Sulaymān, the article compares these to the eminently narrative prose renditions of Solomonic legend that appear in Qurʾānic commentary and the (related) popular Stories of the Prophets (Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ). I argue that verbal structures and rhetorical techniques characteristic of non-narrative forms such as poetry and the Qurʾān have the effect of preserving and stabilizing the essential panegyric (poetic) or salvific (Qurʾānic) message in a manner that the constantly mutating popular narrative forms neither strive for nor achieve.
“Two Projects of Modernism in Arabic Poetry1”
By: Huda J. Fakhreddine
Abstract: The Free Verse poets and the ʿAbbāsid muḥdathūn (the modernizers of the eighth and ninth centuries) share a similar meta-poetic posture at the core of their modernizing projects. Both groups were aware of not only their role as initiators of change, but also their position vis-à-vis the poets who wrote before them. This paper examines these two modernizing experiences through the lens of metapoesis to reveal some of the critical and theoretical concerns that continue to haunt Arabic poets today.
“Ḥusn at-takhalluṣ bei Ibn an-Nabīh und Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk”
By: Ewald Wagner
Abstract: Ḥusn al-takhalluṣ was the term that medieval Arabic literary critics used for the rhetorical device by which Arabic poets connected the different themes of the polythematic qaṣīdah. In early times poets often dispensed with a transition. In the ʿAbbāsid period however, the poets bestowed more effort on the shaping of ḥusn al-takhalluṣ. They also had to adjust it to changes in the nasīb, the opening part of the qaṣīdah. The article shows how two important poets of the Ayyūbid era, Ibn al-Nabīh and Ibn Sanāʾ al-Mulk, met the challenge, either by developing further the devices of earlier poets, or by creating totally new transitions.
Journal of Contemporary History (Volume 52, Issue 1)
“‘A Great Reformatory’: Social Planning and Strategic Resettlement in Late Colonial Kenya and Algeria, 1952–63”
By: Moritz Feichtinger
Abstract: In the midst of their bitterly fought wars against anti-colonial guerrilla movements in Kenya and Algeria, British and French colonial authorities launched huge rural development programs. These plans were grounded on the effects of an extremely violent military practice: forced relocation of huge parts of the rural populations into strategic villages. Up to 2.5 million Algerians and 1.2 million Kenyans were affected by strategic resettlement, resulting in humanitarian crisis in both cases. The plans for socio-economic development and the military strategy of forced resettlement cannot be analysed separately. The implementation of socio-economic reforms in such a short time-span and to such an extent required the instruments of power of military force and the disciplinary spatial structure of the strategic villages. Mass relocations of civilians and its effects on the other hand were repeatedly justified with reference to the overall plans for socio-economic development and modernization.
“‘The Transformation of Man’ in French Algeria: Economic Planning and the Postwar Social Sciences, 1958–62”
By: Muriam Haleh Davis
Abstract: This article demonstrates how the evolution of US social sciences during the Cold War influenced French attempts to develop Algeria economically and socially. During a violent war of decolonization, French researchers drew from social psychology to inform development policies. Studying political trends through the lens of cultural and psychological factors transformed older understandings of social classification. Rather than being conceived in primarily biological terms, racial difference was increasingly defined in relationship to economic capacities. The Constantine Plan, introduced in 1958, exemplified the intimate link between social planning and the postwar social sciences. The article then studies attempts to develop the Sahara, where planners sought to determine which races would be able to work in the harsh conditions of the desert. Arguing that social planning in Algeria was not merely a ‘colonial’ phenomena, this article shows how development reflected the broader shifts in thinking about the economy and social organization that marked the 1950s and 1960s.
“Planning Education and Manpower in the Middle East, 1950s–60s”
By: Valeska Huber
Abstract: Education is largely absent in recent work on the history of development and modernization. Yet it was central to the political project of many leaders of decolonization and figured prominently in five-year plans and other development schemes. The article highlights the central role of education in concepts of development and social planning in the Middle East. This could take the form of central plans but also of statistical and computer-generated projections of future educational and manpower needs. After showing how different concepts of planning education were circulated at the level of international organizations, the article investigates the first Egyptian five-year plan. It looks at the Egyptian Institute of National Planning in Cairo, highlighting that Egyptian planners drew on a variety of different experts and institutions from the US and the Soviet Union to the GDR and India. While the late 1960s ushered in more scepticism toward formal planning and projection, the emphasis on expertise, knowledge and skills as central variables of modern societies has endured.
Journal of Peace Research (Volume 54, Issues 1 & 2)
“Women on the frontline: Rebel group ideology and women’s participation in violent rebellion”
By: Reed M Wood, Jakana L Thomas
Abstract: Despite the frequent participation of women in armed groups, few studies have sought to explain the variation in their roles across different rebellions. Herein, we investigate this variation. We argue that the political ideology a group adopts plays a central role in determining the extent of women’s participation, particularly their deployment in combat roles. Specifically, we link variations in women’s roles in armed groups to differences in beliefs about gender hierarchies and gender-based divisions of labor inherent in the specific ideologies the groups adopt. We evaluate hypotheses drawn from these arguments using a novel cross-sectional dataset on female combatants in a global sample of rebel organizations active between 1979 and 2009. We find that the presence of a Marxist-oriented ‘leftist’ ideology increases the prevalence of female fighters while Islamist ideologies exert the opposite effect. However, we find little evidence that nationalism exerts an independent influence on women’s combat roles. We also note a general inverse relationship between group religiosity and the prevalence of female fighters. Our analysis demonstrates that political ideology plays a central role in determining whether and to what extent resistance movements incorporate female fighters into their armed wings.
“The oracle or the crowd? Experts versus the stock market in forecasting ceasefire success in the Levant”
By: Gerald Schneider, Maya Hadar, Naomi Bosler
Abstract: The forecasting literature has come to mistrust the predictions made by experts who forecast political events in mass media. Distinguishing between judgements made by one or few individuals (‘oracles’) and assessments made by larger groups (‘crowds’), we contrast journalistic predictions with forecasts stemming from the financial industry. These two competing views were evaluated in a quantitative analysis of the ex ante success of 24 ceasefire agreements in various conflicts which took place in the Levant from 1993 to 2014. Our analysis compares the forecasts appearing in press commentaries (Haaretz, Jerusalem Post and New York Times) with the expectations that the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange had about the stability of these cooperative efforts. To evaluate the predictions of these very dissimilar sources, the effectiveness of the ceasefires was analysed through the number of violent events following the official start of the truce. The analysis shows that the financial industry performs better than the media industry in the comparative evaluation of ceasefire forecasts, but that neither source provides sufficiently accurate predictions. The partial support for the crowd thesis is discussed in light of recent literature that resuscitates the usage of well-trained experts for forecasting purposes, but warns against the dramatizing predictions of media pundits.
Journal of Qur'anic Studies (Volume 19, Issue 1)
“Text-Critical Approaches to Sura Structure: Combining Synchronicity with Diachronicity in Sūrat al-Baqara. Part One”
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, ‘Sura Structure I: Thematic and Chiastic Approaches’, contrasts five scholarly analyses of the structure of (largely) Sūrat al-Baqara in order to highlight the differences and overlaps between them. ‘Sura Structure II: Considerations of Rhyme’ builds upon the work of Neuwirth and Stewart, and looks 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 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.
“Ibn Taymiyya as Exegete: Moses' Father-in-Law and the Messengers in Sūrat Yā Sīn”
By: Younus Y. Mirza
Abstract: This article contends that Ibn Taymiyya was not only a theologian and jurist, but also a Qur'anic exegete (mufassir). As a mufassir, Ibn Taymiyya began an important exegetical shift away from the Ashʿarī philological tradition to one that was more ḥadīth-based and relied on the traditions of the early community (salaf). However, by examining exegetical writings composed after his Muqaddima fī uṣūl al-tafsīr (‘Introduction to the Principles of tafsīr’), this article demonstrates that Ibn Taymiyya employs philology and Biblical material as hermeneutic tools. He draws on the Bible to argue that Moses’ father-in-law could not have been the Arab prophet Shuʿayb, as many exegetes had claimed, but rather the Biblical Jethro (Yathrā). The Bible clearly states that Moses’ father-in-law was Jethro which is in accordance with the authentic sayings of the companions and successors. Moreover, drawing on Biblical history, Ibn Taymiyya contends that the messengers of Sūrat Yā Sīn could not have been the Disciples of Jesus but rather prophets sent before the time of Christ. The messengers of Sūrat Yā Sīn were sent to a people who were destroyed because of their disbelief, while the Disciples were sent to Antioch which believed in their call. Thus, we see that Ibn Taymyya's exegetical engagements revolve around theology in seeking to better define prophecy.
“The Legal Epistemology of Qur'anic Variants: The Readings of Ibn Masʿūd in Kufan fiqh and the Ḥanafī madhhab”
By: Ramon Harvey
Abstract: The companion Ibn Masʿūd (d. 32/652–653) has long been recognised for the variance of his Qur'anic qirāʾa (‘reading’, or ‘recitation’) from the canonical ʿUthmānī codex. His reading continued to enjoy popularity for at least a century within Kufa, the place of origin for much of the Ḥanafī madhhab's jurisprudential corpus. This article analyses Masʿūdian variants with legal implications in the doctrine of the early jurist Ibrāhīm al-Nakhaʿī (d. 96/715), the seminal writings ascribed to Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī (d. 189/805), as well as the furūʿ and uṣūl works of key Ḥanafī figures from the fourth/tenth and fifth/eleventh centuries: al-Jaṣṣāṣ (d. 370/981), al-Qudūrī (d. 428/1036–1037) and al-Sarakhsī (d. 483/1090). Close study of these figures’ use of Masʿūdian variants indicates that while their non-canonicity demanded a compelling solution, their quasi-Qur'anic status presented opportunities within the arena of juristic debate. Furthermore, the manner in which they were ultimately accommodated within the practical and theoretical toolkit of the Ḥanafī school illustrates broader developments in its epistemology of revelation, abrogation and transmission.
Journal of the American Oriental Society (Volume 137, Issues 1 & 2)
“Nurture over Nature: Habitus from al-Fārābī through Ibn Khaldūn to ʿAbduh”
By: Erez Naaman
Abstract: Habitus is a logical and ethical Aristotelian concept that was first introduced to the Islamic world through the translation of Greek philosophical works into Arabic in the ninth century. Following its introduction and until the nineteenth century, thinkers and scholars of the Islamic world naturalized it creatively in various intellectual systems. In ethical usage, habitus is a disposition that, once acquired and well established through a process of accustoming, allows humans to perceive and act in certain ways without deliberation or reflection. This concept explained how humans transcended their inborn natures, and as such it was amenable to employment in manifold fields and contexts. The present article studies significant applications from the ninth to the nineteenth century by thinkers of the Islamic world, who fleshed out the Aristotelian concept and used it for their own purposes. Among other things, it shows that the two main trends of naturalization involved application of the concept to religious Islamic discourses and to the study of humans and their society, anticipating modern Western sociological usage.
“Apostasy and Repentance in Early Medieval Zoroastrianism”
By: Yishai Kiel, Prods Oktor Skjaervø
Abstract: The Middle Persian (Pahlavi) literature from the early Islamic centuries frequently deals with practical theological issues faced by the Zoroastrian communities under foreign domination. Here, we present a number of questions regarding a Zoroastrian's conversion to Islam and his subsequent repentance and desire to return to Zoroastrianism and answers given by ninth- and tenth-century Zoroastrian priestly authorities. It is shown how the priests cite ancient traditions found in the Pahlavi versions of Avestan texts to justify their answers, and then apply them to the contemporary social reality.
“The Political Revival of the Abbasid Caliphate: Al-Muqtafī and the Seljuqs”
By: D. G. Tor
Abstract: The reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Muqtafī (r. 1136–1160) was one of great historical significance. Despite his having been chosen and elevated to the caliphate by the Seljuq sultans during the nadir of Abbasid power, after they had murdered one caliph and deposed another, it was al-Muqtafī who finally succeeded in reestablishing Abbasid political rule over Iraq. This article traces the course of al-Muqtafī's relations with the Seljuq sultans, analyzes how and why he succeeded in reviving Abbasid political rule, and considers the import of the events that transpired during his reign.
Mediterranean Politics (Volume 22, Issue 1)
“The Constrained Institutionalization of Diverging Islamist Strategies: The Jihadis, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Salafis between Two Aborted Egyptian Revolutions”
By: Jerome Drevon
Abstract: This research analyses the comparative institutionalization of the strategies of three major components of the Egyptian Islamist social movement family: the jihadis, the Muslim Brotherhood and the salafis. It uses historical institutionalism to amend rational choice paradigms and to investigate the constraints and opportunities posed by these actors’ past trajectories on their subsequent strategic choices. This article argues that 1981 and 2011 were two critical junctures that have shaped these actors’ ideational and organizational construction through path-dependent causal mechanisms regulating their mobilization and socialization processes. It contends that these mechanisms have shaped these groups’ evolution and mediated the institutionalization of their strategies.
“The Egyptian Muslim Sisterhood between Violence, Activism and Leadership”
By: Erika Biagini
Abstract: On 25 January 2015, the fourth anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosny Mubarak and brought the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) into power, Egyptian security forces arrested Aya Alaa Hosny in front of the Journalists Union in central Cairo. Aya is one of the spokeswomen and leader of the Women against the Coup, one of the most active women-only movements established by the Muslim Sisterhood following the Egyptian coup d’état in 2013. Since then, thousands of Islamist women and sympathisers have joined the Sisters in street demonstrations, human rights advocacy and anti-regime protests, notwithstanding the high risk associated with political activism in a context of retrenched authoritarianism. This article offers a gendered analysis of the Egyptian MB by examining the activism of the Muslim Sisterhood, its female wing, post July 2013. Contrary to mainstream academic literature on Islamist women’s activism, which considers Islamist movements’ conservative gender ideology and sexual division of labour as an impediment to female political leadership, this study argues that Islamist informal networks can be conducive to female leadership under ‘negative’ political circumstances. As the case of the Muslim Sisterhood demonstrates, the repression of Islamists following the coup favoured the emergence of women’s leadership, firstly within women-only movements and subsequently, as the very survival of the MB became increasingly compromised, in the MB movement as a whole.
“Disillusioned militancy: the crisis of militancy and variables of disengagement of the European Muslim Brotherhood”
By: Samir Amghar, Fall Khadiyatoulah
Abstract: Contrary to the various studies on militant Islam in Europe seeking to explain the mobilization and socialization techniques European Muslims’ religious organizations employ, this article aims to understand a poorly researched phenomenon: the militancy crisis within Islamic movements. Although European Islamist movements have encountered some success, the difficulties they face cannot be ignored. Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), one of the most important organizations, faces a wave of internal disputes, which has led to numerous defections. This article seeks to explain the different variables driving this exit process. The various semi-structured interviews which were conducted with former executives and militants of the organization in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy highlight two factors that led to defection. The first is ideological. These militants are no longer convinced that the MB ideology is capable of solving the problems Muslims face. In addition to ideological disillusion, militants claim that their departure is due to the internal workings of an organization characterized by a totalitarian streak, which fails to satisfy the aspirations of its members, despite their commitment.
“Between social contention and takfirism: the evolution of the Salafi-jihadi movement in Tunisia”
By: Fabio Merone
Abstract: This article analyses the evolution of the international jihadi movement during the Arab uprisings. It is based on the case study of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, which emerged in 2011 and disappeared in 2013, after it went through a process of failed institutionalization. I argue that, under certain circumstances, the jihadi movement can be institutionalized, i.e. transformed into a radical social movement in which violence is an undesirable option. In analysing the Tunisian case, I examine the ideology and social practices of the movement, showing how within the jihadi movement there coexists two tendencies: a social-political movement (social and popular consensus/ nationally based/ political strategy of the Islamic front) and a takfiri tendency (apocalyptic/ internationalist/ non-compromising). I finally use Hafez’s political process approach to show how the prevailing of one tendency over another depends on political opportunities.
“Contention, Violence and Stalemate in Post-War Libya”
By: George Frederick Willcoxon
Abstract: Post-war Libya provides an interesting case study for how weakly institutionalized political opportunity structures shape and are shaped by decisions of emergent groups, especially newly mobilized Islamist actors. For mainstream actors, these interactions produced incentives for de-escalation during dozens of violent skirmishes that took place from 2011 to 2014 that, in other contexts, could have tipped into civil war. At the same time, the stalemated environment gave Jihadist groups incentives to put down roots, husband resources and then intensify their terrorism campaigns. This article describes, decomposes and assesses patterns of contention produced by these interactions, and explains how they influenced post-war political developments.
“Alliances of convenience: assessing the dynamics of the Malian insurgency”
By: Adib Bencherif, Aurélie Campana
Abstract: This article analyses the precarious alliances concluded between insurgent groups in the context of the conflict in Northern Mali that began in 2012. Building on the literature on civil wars and social movements, it develops a mechanism-based approach that intends to shed light on the processes of alliance formation and disintegration that are taking place at the meso- and micro-levels of analysis. It shows that the solidity and durability of alliances in a civil war context strongly depend on the interplay of three intra-organizational and inter-organizational mechanisms (brokerage, competition and shifting alliance), which contribute to the shaping of complex local power games. While ideological compatibility facilitates alignment and organizational collaboration, alliances are first and foremost cemented or fissured through the changing short- and mid-term personal interests of a variety of actors, who try to adapt to a volatile context.
“Betrayal, Heresy, Exile and Mystical Attacks: The Cost of Changing Islamic Affiliation in an Ethnicized Society (Mauritania and Senegal)”
By: Cédric Jourde
Abstract: In Senegal and Mauritania (and beyond), various Sûfi and Islamist movements compete to attract the faithful. But they evolve in societies in which Islam is not the only identity marker: ethnicity intersects religion. Switching from one Muslim movement to another, a form of defection, can trigger harsh reactions from ethnic kin. Looking at the largest ethnic minority group in Senegal and Mauritania, the Fulbe (or Haalpulaaren), this paper constructs a typology of punishment inflicted on those who decide to exit the Sûfi order traditionally associated with their ethnic group to join rival movements. These punishments constitute mechanisms of ethnic border policing.
“Senegal’s Arabic literates: from transnational education to national linguistic and political activism”
By: Marie Brossier
Abstract: This article studies the role of the Arabophone community in postcolonial social and political transformations. More specifically, it focuses on the case of the Arabisants in Senegal. Forged through the mobility between the two shores of the Sahara, they are willing to emerge as a more visible political force since the 2000s. This article sheds light on Arabisants’ endeavours to participate in various forms of political advocacy. It demonstrates that they intend to stand as the political entrepreneurs of the Muslim community, to challenge the hegemony of Sufi Brotherhoods, and consequently, to challenge the state’s alliance with the Sufi orders. In so doing, Arabisants emerge as counter-elite in the public and political debate in Senegal.
“’Political’ Islam in Senegal and Burkina Faso: contrasting approaches to mobilization since the 1990s”
By: Muriel Gomez-Perez
Abstract: This article compares the strategies devised by two Salafi-oriented Islamic associations, the Senegal’s Jamaatou Ibadou Rahmane (JIR) and the Burkina Faso’s Mouvement Sunnite (MS). Drawing on extensive field research conducted between 2002 and 2013, it shows that both organizations have been engaged since the 1970s in a similar legitimacy-building process, using contrasting strategies. The JIR intends to build a more constructive relationship with the State and the brotherhoods, while still continuing to cast a critical eye on these two groups. In Burkina Faso, recurring leadership crises and violent incidents has sapped a great deal of the MS’s energy. It therefore has to regain visibility and legitimacy by maintaining a certain distance from political debates. The comparison shows that political Islam has entered in both countries a transitional phase that took into account the emergence and perhaps even the consolidation of a cultural and religious form of citizenship.
Middle East Journal (Volume 71, Issues 1 & 2)
“Tahrir Square, From Place to Space: The Geography of Representation”
By: Zvi Bar’el
Abstract: Due to its role in the Egyptian Revolution, Tahrir Square in Cairo became synonymous with the Arab Spring. During the protests it was transformed from a physical place into a symbolic space and then into an abstract space. This article follows the stages of the square’s transformation and aims to expose the implications that this transformation has on public discourse and on the political legitimacy that abstract spaces might bestow on regimes in general, and particularly in Egypt.
“The Idea of the Civil State in Egypt: Its Evolution and Political Impact following the 2011 Revolution”
By: Limor Lavie
Abstract: The model of the “civil state” (dawla madaniyya) occupies a central place in the public debate over the character of Egypt following the January 25 Revolution of 2011. The demand to establish a civil state was ostensibly shared by all the political currents in Egypt. However, when these currents attempted to set out agreed-upon guidelines for Egypt’s future, it soon became clear that they were far from a consensus, and that defining the civil state was at the heart of the controversy. This article examines the roots of this concept in Western political philosophy, tracing its evolution in Egypt from its first appearance in the beginning of the 20th century until the recent debate on its inclusion in Article 1 of the 2014 constitution.
“The Islamic Da‘wa Party and the Mobilization of Iraq’s Shi‘i Community, 1958–1965”
By: Ranj Alaaldin
Abstract: Based on extensive field research and primary source material, this article analyzes the history of the Islamic Da‘wa Party and its emergence as a sociopolitical movement. It looks at the party’s impact on Iraq’s Shi‘i community. In doing so, it argues that it was with the advent of the party and the 1960s period that Iraq’s traditionally heterogeneous Shi‘i community became increasingly communalized and collectively mobilized.
“The Military and the State in Iran: The Economic Rise of the Revolutionary Guards”
By: Hesam Forozan, Afshin Shahi
Abstract: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a multilayered political, ideological, and security institution that has steadily acquired an increasing role in Iran’s economy in recent years. This article analyzes the growing economic and business involvement of the IRGC in the broader context of Iranian state-society relations in general, and its civil-military dynamics in particular. More specifically, we look at the political and socioeconomic processes within which the IRGC operates at the interrelated levels of the state and society. This analysis sets out the framework based on which we examine the IRGC’s increasing power in the course of its engagements and various conflicts in both political and societal arenas, in particular its economic expansion under Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s presidency. This article concludes by discussing the implications of the IRGC’s rise on the economic policy of the government under President Hassan Rouhani.
“The Logic and Illogic of an Israeli Unilateral Preventive Strike on Iran”
By: Gil Merom
Abstract: The Israeli political leadership has invested massively in preparing a credible preventive strike option on Iran’s nuclear program. The article assesses this option in the context of Israel’s operational acumen and strategic preferences. It points out to a critical gap between the capacity to achieve the operational objectives and the strategic utility of a preventive strike. It then discusses the logical fallacies underlying Israeli leaders’ explanations of how this gap would be overcome, assessing the potential downsides of a strike.
“The Use of Chemical Weapons by Arab States”
By: Chris Quillen
Abstract: The reasons for the use of chemical weapons remain an understudied concept in international relations despite their continual use in conflicts. By comparing chemical weapon use by the regimes of four Arab states — Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and Syria — over the last 50 years, this article seeks to discern the scenarios in which chemical weapons use is likely, and it offers policies to dissuade or, at least, mitigate their use.
“Hizbullah’s Moral Justification of Its Military Intervention in the Syrian Civil War”
By: Zafer Kızılkaya
Abstract: Intervening in the Syrian Civil War was a significant decision by Hizbullah’s leadership, carrying as it did the risk of losing public support in the Arab street. This article argues that Hizbullah used highly moralized rhetoric to justify its involvement in the Syrian conflict, emphasizing ethical necessity rather than self-interest. The article offers a descriptive analysis of Hizbullah’s justifications and compares them with major intellectual traditions on the ethics of war. The findings suggest that Hizbullah has been adept at developing a strategy for legitimizing its armed engagement outside Lebanese territory.
“’They Defeated Us All’: International Interests, Local Politics, and Contested Sovereignty in Libya”
By: Lisa Anderson
Abstract: Exploring three periods of contested sovereignty in Libya — 1911–1922, 1943– 1951, and the present — this article examines the consequences of repeated foreign intervention in shaping competing definitions of the most desirable form of government and the best-suited political leadership within the country today. Libya’s current dilemmas illustrate the consequences of a century of international ambivalence, confusion, and often duplicity about the international norms that govern statehood and sovereignty in the Arab world.
“The 2015 Israeli General Election: The Triumph of Jewish Skepticism, the Emergence of Arab Faith”
By: Doron Navot, Aviad Rubin, As’ad Ghanem
Abstract: The results of the 2015 Israeli election, primarily the sweeping victory of Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, surprised most analysts. In this article we employ political scientist Michael Oakeshott’s distinction in arguing that the campaign dynamics and the consequent electoral results reflect the triumph of a “politics of skepticism” among Jews, and the emergence of a “politics of faith” among Israel’s Arab-Palestinian citizens. Both derive from a combination of external and domestic circumstances and their effective exploitation by charismatic political leaders.
Middle East Policy (Volume 24, Issue 1)
“Israel, Palestine and Nonterritorial Governance: A Reconfigured Status Quo”
By: Stephen Deets
Abstract: Not available
“The GCC and the Muslim Brotherhood: What Does the Future Hold?”
By: Matthew Hedges, Giorgio Cafiero
Abstract: Not available
“Qatar's LNG: Impact of the Changing East-Asian Market”
By: Steven Wright
Abstract: Not available
Middle Eastern Studies (Volume 53, Issues 1 & 2)
“Aden, South Arabia and the United Arab Emirates: a retrospective study in state failure and state creation”
By: Clive Jones
Abstract: Five decades after withdrawing its troops from Aden for the last time, the decision by the Government of Harold Wilson to abandon the Federation of South Arabia (FSA) and with it, the various tribal potentates that had aligned themselves with this project in state creation continues to generate vociferous debate. For some, any attempt to configure a modern state from a largely tribal field was doomed to fail as internecine conflict; regional rivalries punctured the illusion of a unified Federal identity, let alone a coherent state. For others, it was a lack of British political resolve as well as investment of the necessary treasure that forced the issue and saw London abandon erstwhile allies to an often bloody fate with the emergence of a Marxist-led regime in what became South Yemen after 1967. Yet just three years later, Britain oversaw the creation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from a collection of tribal entities, a state creation project that continues to endure. In a series of articles written by leading historians of the region as well as former diplomats, this issue of Middle Eastern Studies sets out to compare and contrast the circumstances and context surrounding the failure of the FSA with the establishment of the UAE, the legacy of which continues to shape the politics and security of the Gulf region in the twenty first century.
“A triumph of realism? Britain, Aden and the end of empire, 1964–67”
By: Aaron Edwards
Abstract: The Labour Government's decision to withdraw from Britain's overseas bases east of Suez in the 1960s had profound repercussions for British grand strategy. One of the last colonies to be evacuated was the port town of Aden, located on the south-western tip of the Arabian Peninsula. First seized by the East India Company on behalf of the British Empire in 1839, it became a Crown Colony almost a century later in 1937. By 1963, the British government had presided over Aden's entry into the fledgling Federation of South Arabia, a transitional body that was envisaged as a vehicle for independence. Drawing on the Labour's Party's archives, amongst a range of other sources, this article examines the shift in policy within the Labour government on the issue of Aden. It makes the case that, in contrast to the Conservative government's wholehearted support for Britain's tribal allies in South Arabia, Labour hedged its bets by balancing its policy off between the tribal rulers and the new radical nationalist opposition. By refusing to back the fledgling Federation government, Labour, instead, adopted a non-committal stance that would lead to greater strategic inertia in its policy towards the Middle East during the Cold War.
“The missing link? Police and state-building in South Arabia”
By: James Worrall
Abstract: The failure of the state-building project, the insurgency and, to use the famous phrase, Britain's ‘scuttle’, or ignominious withdrawal, from South Arabia have long been the subject of study, receiving attention from many angles and new perspectives. One aspect which has received less attention is the role of policing in the state-building project of the Federation of South Arabia. This article sets out to explore this lacuna by contextualizing the role of policing in state-building and examining the impact of its absence in the case of South Arabia. It is clear that Britain left it very late to attempt the construction of a Federal State in the face of mounting pressures and challenges, and even later to establish a proper Federal Police Service. The article thus examines the argument that the lack of developed policing structures was the missing link in the state-building process before asking if Britain simply left the construction of effective and unified policing structures too late, or whether this was simply an impossible task.
“Explaining the triumph of the National Liberation Front”
By: John Albert Noel Brehony
Abstract: The National Liberation Front (NLF), set up in 1963, took over South Arabia in 1967 to form the People's Republic of South Yemen (renamed the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen – PDRY -- in 1971). I ask how the NLF achieved its goal in such a short period of time, ending the 129-year British presence in South Arabia. The NLF's focus on the armed struggle was the crucial factor but it could not have succeeded without the support of Egypt and a friendly regime in Sanaa, and taking advantage of a growing unwillingness in London to pay the financial and human costs of staying. The NLF understood that the hinterland, long seen as protecting Aden, offered the best route for attacking it. While the final battle would have to be in Aden, the war should start in the protectorates. Violence was accompanied by political work to build an organization to mobilize popular support and defeat rival nationalist organizations.
“The Nasser factor: Anglo-Egyptian relations and Yemen/Aden crisis 1962–65.”
By: Robert McNamara
Abstract: British overnments' relationships with President Nasser's Egypt were extremely difficult in the 1950s and 1960s due to conflicting regional interests. This article explores the crisis in Anglo-Egyptian relations over the Yemen Civil War and the insurgency in the Federation of South Arabia focusing on the period between 1962 and 1965. It demonstrates how British attempts to frustrate Egypt's intervention in the Yemen eventually led to the unleashing of an Egyptian backed insurgency in the Federation and accelerated the decision of Britain to withdraw from its Aden base and the Federation of South Arabia.
“The North Yemen civil war and the failure of the Federation of South Arabia”
By: Asher Orkaby
Abstract: The emergence of Yemeni nationalism during the civil war in North Yemen (1962--70) inspired the southern revolutionary movement that contributed to the defeat of the British Empire in South Yemen. Drawn to the expanding war, a steady stream of transnational organizations, media correspondents and clandestine organizations turned South Arabia into an arena of global conflict, with Aden serving as the main gateway to the battleground. The actions of British colonial officials were subsequently scrutinized and criticized by this international spotlight, pressuring colonial officials to curtail military actions against Yemeni nationalists and announce an earlier date for British withdrawal from Aden and an abandonment of the Federation of South Arabia (FSA).
“Failure and success in state formation: British policy towards the Federation of South Arabia and the United Arab Emirates”
By: Simon C. Smith
Abstract: Despite the apparent similarities in Britain's relationship with the Sheikhdoms of the Lower Gulf and the traditional states of southern Arabia, British policy-makers pursued contrasting policies towards the two sets of territories in the era of decolonization. As regards South Arabia, Britain followed a policy of amalgamating the states into a ‘Whitehall’ federation. The fact that the Federation of South Arabia remained dependent on British backing, and in consequence became ineffably associated with British imperialism in an era of anti-colonial Arab nationalism, fatally damaged its chances of longevity. Applying the lessons of failure in South Arabia, the British were far more inconspicuous in the discussions which led to the creation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Indeed, the fact that the UAE essentially emerged from the initiative of Sheikhs Zaid of Abu Dhabi and Rashid of Dubai, rather than the British, was one of the key factors in its survival. By contrast, the Federation of South Arabia collapsed ignominiously once the ballast provided by the British had been removed.
“Anglo-American relations over Aden and the United Arab Emirates, 1967–71”
By: Tore Petersen
Abstract: The British decision to withdraw from Aden in 1967 was a political decision made because of Labour's distaste for imperialism and empire. As Aden descended into chaos and disorder, the Americans watched with equanimity; accepting an increased Soviet and Chinese presence in the Federation after British withdrawal. Later, the Nixon administration supported British attempts to federate tiny Arabian sheikhdoms on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula into the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The main American concern was for Britain to hand over the Tunbs and Musa Islands to the Shah of Iran whom Nixon had anointed American shieldbearer in the Gulf. This the British willingly did in order to secure access to the lucrative Iranian market, while at the same time the Heath government succeeded in creating the UAE.
“From union (ʾīttihād) to united (muttahida): the United Arab Emirates, a success born of failure”
By: Brandon Friedman
Abstract: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the result of more than three years of failed negotiations to unify the nine pre-state shaykhdoms. Thus, the formation of the UAE may be viewed as a success born of failure. In the period following the 1968 British announcement, the political events that led to the formation of the modern state of the UAE were largely a product of the competition for power or protection between the rulers of the nine pre-state shaykhdoms. This article explains how the personal rivalries and historical animosities between the ruling shaykhs manifested themselves and shaped events that led to the formation of the UAE in 1971.
“Aden and the Gulf: the reflections of a political officer”
By: Stephen Day
Abstract: The author vividly records his impressions of life in the Western Aden Protectorate in the 1960s during the years leading up to the independence of the territory in 1967. As a political officer advising various Arab tribal leaders he describes how his responsibilities could range far wider than the provisions of the Advisory Treaties, and he offers personal conclusions about the collapse of British and Arab authority resulting, in his view, from a misguided attempt to turn tribal sheikhs into a coalition of Indian rulers, creating the shaky structure of a Federal government that collapsed in the face of rag-tag opposition from nationalist activists.
“Sufism and Islamist activism in Morocco: an examination of the tradition of ‘commanding right and forbidding wrong’ in the thought of ʿAbd al-Salam Yassine”
By: Sam Houston
Abstract: In this article, I contribute to ongoing debates regarding proper conceptions of ‘political Islam’ or ‘Islamism’ by bringing greater attention to the roles that Islamic mysticism, or Sufism, have played in some traditions of Islamist thought and practice. I do so by situating the ‘commanding right and forbidding wrong’ discourse in the wider thought of ʿdeb al-Salam Yassine (d. 2012), founder of the Moroccan Justice and Benevolence Association (Jamaʿat al-ʿAdl wal-Ihsan). This discourse has been interpreted and deployed in various ways by Islamist movements to conceptualize their activist visions, and in the hands of Yassine, we find an understanding which has been thoroughly shaped by Sufism, especially in the role played by spiritual and ethical formation (tarbiya) in cultivating a successful socio-political vanguard. This perspective challenges analytical frameworks which describe Islamist groups primarily as products of modernity or as political ideologies. Additionally, attention to the Sufi-centric aspects of some traditions of Islamism offers a contrast to previous scholarship which has focused almost exclusively on its exoteric scripturalism and fixation on the law. Such insights are crucial when attempting to understand and engage Islamist actors for purposes ranging from cross-cultural understanding to policy formulation.
“Integrating non-Jewish immigrants and the formation of Israel's ethnic–civic nationhood: from Ben Gurion to the present”
By: Netanel Fisher, Avi Shilon
Abstract: The aim of this article is to outline the development of Israel's citizenship and immigration policy from its inception to the present, emphasizing the invaluable role of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion. We argue that through a series of decisions pertaining to civic registration, immigration and naturalization of non-Jews, Ben Gurion set the fundamental principles of modern Jewish nationhood: on the one hand, he rejected the option of establishing a civic-Israeli nation, advocating Jewish-ethnic nationhood instead; on the other hand, this was an inclusive Jewish nationhood which incorporated cultural–territorial elements that were based on a secular interpretation of biblical sources. Despite inserting religious elements into Israel's immigration laws over the years, we claim that Ben Gurion's fundamental principles have for the most part remained in effect until today, constituting the key to understanding the nature of Jewish-Israeli nationhood in our times.
“A Jew in Cairo: the defiance of Chehata Haroun”
By: Yoram Meital
Abstract: This article is the first to expound on Chehata Haroun's personality, his beliefs, and the implications thereof, all of which will be scrutinized within the context of the national and political transformations that convulsed the Land of the Nile, especially its Jewish community, from the late 1940s onwards. For the most part, the emphasis will be on three strands of the activist's critical views of the Middle East. The first is his claim that the Zionist movement and the Arab leadership are jointly responsible for the asphyxiation of Egyptian Jewry. This argument was promulgated in a letter that he addressed to President Gamal ᶜAbd al-Nasser in February 1967. The second strand is that Haroun's Jewishness does not contradict his Egyptian national identity, his uncompromising devotion to communism and humanism, ardent opposition to imperialism, or his identification with the Palestinian cause. The third contention is that the Jewish community and its heritage constitute an indivisible part of the Egyptian social and cultural fabric.
“Baghdad college and the geopolitics of desire: the Jesuit presence and Al-Futuwa nationalists”
By: Wisam Kh. Abdul-Jabbar
Abstract: By exploring the hegemonic implications of the Jesuits’ presence in Iraq, this paper examines the geopolitics of desire and cultural dominance that schools may exercise as a representation of institutional power. The Jesuit endeavour in Iraq, including the formation of Baghdad College in the 1930s, is often romanticized and popularized as a true civilizing mission. Baghdad College is often treated as a fetishized commodity that needs to be de-romanticized if it is to be better understood in light of the historical and educational milieu of the time. In what ways can Baghdad College, for instance, be considered a representation of what Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin refer to as ‘the locus classicus of [the] hegemonic process of control’? (2000, p. 63). This paper also argues that the Arab nationalistic movement of Al-Futuwa, which was gaining ground in the first half of the twentieth century, played a crucial role in subverting the hegemonic apparatus exercised by Baghdad College through the use of English and the appropriation of certain worldviews and narratives.
“Lone-wolf or terror organization members acting alone: new look at the last Israeli–Palestine incidents”
By: Shaul Bartal
Abstract: The ‘sacrificial attacks’ in Jerusalem and throughout all of Israel, from July 2014 until August 2015, were the promo of the full-scale knife-attack that started from October 2015 until now. The uniqueness of this wave of terror is its length – over a year – and its use of the old-new ‘white weapons’ which, since October 2015, has included women and children. This research answers how and why these lone-wolf attacks started. The ‘lone-wolf’ attacks, as nicknamed in the Israeli and worldwide press, are, in reality, a continuation of the organized terror activities of the Palestinian liberation organizations especially the Islamic Jihad and Hamas. This is not a popular intifada drawing the masses, nor an armed intifada, but a wave of terror that includes a large number of initiated attacks by known anti-Israel Palestinians connected to terrorist organizations by their past activities or through relatives (prisoners or martyrs) or inspired by the Internet sites and social media. The Palestinian liberation organizations are all protecting al-Aqsa and supporting, without any restrictions, a continuation of the attacks against Israeli targets in Jerusalem and competing with each other.
“Things that matter: nostalgic objects in Palestinian Arab homes in Israel”
By: Kobi Peled
Abstract: This article addresses the complex identity of Israel's Palestinian Arab citizens from an atypical perspective: through manifestations of their material culture. The cultural expressions that will be examined are objects from the past and objects that relate to the past, particularly to the rustic Palestinian life profoundly destabilized by the 1948 Arab–Israeli war. These objects, displayed in the homes of some of Israel's Arab citizens, are interpreted by contemplating their design, the design of their environment, their relationship to other objects, and their placement within the domestic sphere. Our study is animated by the desire to sketch a cultural portrait of Palestinian Arab Israelis, as well as by a methodological interest in interpretations based on a socio-architectural reading of objects.
This article reveals the various layers of meaning within these nostalgic displays in all their diversity, and will discuss at length their uniqueness, which is linked to the past traumas and present difficulties of Israel's Arabs. Our main purpose is to develop a line of thought whereby objects that express nostalgia are understood as the embodiment of a consciousness that is characteristic of the present.
“The status of Armenian Christians in post-independence Israel: the first decade”
By: Randall S Geller
Abstract: Literature on the status of the Armenian population during the State of Israel's first decade is virtually nil; a scholarly investigation regarding why Armenians were not drafted into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), when other small, non-Arab and/or non-Muslim minorities were, has not yet been written. While recognizing the paucity of available documentation, this article will seek to address both of these issues/questions in light of what sources are publicly available as well as in light of the author's own previous research into minority recruitment policies in post-independence Israel. This article will argue that while the Armenians appeared to fit nearly all of the IDF’s criteria for minority recruitment, an Armenian presence in the army ultimately would have provided few tangible advantages to the state from both a domestic and regional perspective. However, due to their non-Arab and non-Muslim identity, the Armenian population was treated as a ‘special minority’ and possessed certain unique privileges denied to other minorities in Israel. This was particularly noticeable in Haifa. However, in other ways, Armenians were treated by state authorities in a very similar manner to the far larger and more distrusted Arab population.
“The tradition of tattooing in Siverek, Turkey”
By: Ahmet Taşğın, Marcello Mollica
Abstract: Looking at the relationship between tattooing and its past and present Islamic interpretations, this article presents the case of an old tattooing practice that transformed into a folk belief. Setting aside the antagonistic tension between tattooing as an adorning means and Islamic injunctions prohibiting tattooing, this article assesses the practice by reference to the ways it was recently encapsulated within a narrative of fashion, usage and custom. The study is based on multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork, participant observation and extensive interviews carried out with members of the Arab tribe Hatipogullari, living in five villages and on the hilly ‘arable field’ (Arap Bölgesi) near the town of Siverek, in the south-eastern Turkish province of Şanliurfa.
“Turkish transformation and the Soviet Union: navigating through the Soviet historiography on Kemalism”
By: Vahram Ter-Matevosyan
Abstract: Being founded in the wake of the First World War, both Turkey and the Soviet Union followed revolutionary modernizing pathways. At the outset, one could trace many similar patterns in their radical modernization paradigms; however, their development models as well as political and social orders were radically distinct, which became more obvious with the passage of time. The paper discusses the external interpretations of Kemalism by observing the Soviet perspectives on the inception and evolution of Kemalism. Paying more attention to diplomatic, geopolitical and economic complexities of the Turkish-Soviet relations, scholars have rarely problematized the Soviet Union perceptions of Turkish ideological transformations. In reality, since the early 1920s, different state institutions, intellectual schools of thought and research in the Soviet Union closely observed the domestic transformations in Turkey by providing valuable insights on the perspective and the implications of the Kemalist transformation. The article also looks at the question of how the incorporation of Soviet perspectives can enrich the historiography and our understanding of Kemalism.
“The Bedouins in the Galilee in the War of Independence of Israel 1948–1950”
By: Muhammad Youssef Suwaed
Abstract: The relations of the Bedouins with the Jewish population during the War of Independence were very complex. The Bedouins were both opponents and friends. Bedouin groups helped the Jews in their struggle against the Palestinian national movement and against the Arab armies like Arab-al-Hib. Before the foundation of the state, these Bedouins had already participated in the protection of the security of the Jewish population. They supplied intelligence on events of the Arab and Palestinian sides, and also fought by the side of the Jews in the War of Independence, but at that time other groups joined the Palestinian national movement and took part in the struggle against the Jewish population, more so after the declaration of the partition plan in the United Nations. Subsequently, Bedouin fighting gangs were established and they joined the Palestinian struggle with the Jewish population.
The Bedouin positions during the war had implications for their fate in the State of Israel. The War of Independence allowed a significant part of the Bedouin tribes to escape to the neighbouring Arab states – Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Many of the Bedouin tribes that escaped did so as they were connected with fighting with the Arab gangs and the Arab Liberation Army. The Bedouins who were in the Zionist camp during the war or who adopted a neutral position stayed in the territory of the borders of the State of Israel.
Oriens (Volume 45, Issue 1-2)
“The Arabic Commentaries on the Hippocratic Aphorisms: Introduction”
By: Peter E. Pormann, Kamran I. Karimullah
Abstract: This special issue focuses on the ‘Arabic Commentaries on the Hippocratic Aphorisms’. During a 5-year ERC-funded project, a team of researchers led by Peter E. Pormann has produced a 1.5m-word corpus of preliminary editions, and analysed it in multi-faceted ways. The team shared their digital editions with scholars from outside Manchester, and invited them to engage with the new material; these editions are now freely available to all under a Creative Commons license. In April 2015, they organised an international conference at which team members and other scholars discussed this rich commentary tradition from various vantage points. This special issue contains a selection of papers read at the conference. In this contribution, we introduce our project and its collaborators; list the texts in our corpus of preliminary editions and reflect on the scholarly analysis to which it has hitherto been subjected, ranging from Graeco-Arabic studies, textual criticism, medieval exegetical methods, medical theory and practice, and questions about the social history of medicine. We conclude with an outlook on the most pressing needs for future research, and close with acknowledgments for the manifold support that we have received.
“Subjectivity in Translation: Ḥunayn Ibn Isḥāq’s Ninth-Century Interpretation of Galen’s ‘Ego’ in His Commentary on the Hippocratic Aphorisms”
By: Elaine van Dalen
Abstract: This article provides a quantitative analysis of Ḥunayn Ibn Isḥāq’s ninth-century translation of Galen’s Commentary on the Hippocratic Aphorisms. It focuses in particular on the use of first person forms in both source and target texts. The present study categorises these forms into five semantic groups; namely (a) the personal expression of stance, (b) endophoric reference, (c) frame marking, (d) the expression of personal experience and (e) the impersonal expression of intersubjectivity. By employing these categories, the author shows that while Ḥunayn increases the use of personal forms in his translation, he does this to highlight the subjectivity of Galen’s text or enliven the translation, without making the text more subjective.
“A Reconsideration of the Authorship of the Syriac Hippocratic Aphorisms: The Creation of the Syro-Arabic Bilingual Manuscript of the Aphorisms in the Tradition of Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s Arabic Translation”
By: Taro Mimura
Abstract: The manuscript Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds arabe 6734 contains a Syriac translation of the Hippocratic Aphorisms. This text remains one of the few examples of an entire Greek medical work translated into Syriac. The copyist however did not include information about the Syriac translator, which has left his identity open to speculation. Since this bilingual manuscript contains both the Syriac translation of the Aphorisms as well as the lemmata from Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s Arabic translation of Galen’s commentary on the Aphorisms, it is generally accepted that Ḥunayn is also the Syriac translator. Although the Arabic translation is the key to identifying the Syriac translator, no one has yet attempted to situate the Arabic text within the tradition of Ḥunayn’s Arabic version of the Aphorisms in order to better understand the work of the copyist. This article will analyse the copyist’s editorial process when working with these Arabic lemmata. In doing so, the relationship between the Syriac and the Arabic translations will be explored, providing new insight into the identity of the Syriac translator.
“Avicenna and Galen, Philosophy and Medicine: Contextualising Discussions of Medical Experience in Medieval Islamic Physicians and Philosophers”
By: Kamran I. Karimullah
Abstract: In this article I discuss Greek and Arabic philosophical and medical debates about experience (taǧriba, empeiria). I consider the Greek and classical Arabic background for debates about experience among Arabic commentators on the Hippocratic Aphorisms. I argue that these authors are influenced by Galen’s ideas about experience in his pharmacological and dietetic writings, and Aristotle’s ideas about experience, expressed mainly in Posterior Analytics, Book Two. I argue, however, that the Aristotelian viewpoint of experience reaches the Arabic Aphorisms commentators through the intermediaries of Aristotle’s Platonist commentators and Avicenna. I show that most of the Arabic Aphorisms commentators understand experience to have the various meanings Galen assigns it in his medical writings. Ibn al-Quff is the lone, but no less intriguing, exception. In his Aphorisms commentary, Ibn al-Quff uses Avicenna’s definition of experience in the book On Demonstration (Kitāb al-Burhān) from Avicenna’s summa The Healing (Kitāb al-Šifāʾ) to explain Hippocrates’ words. Closely examining Avicenna’s On Demonstration, Book One, Chapter 9, reveals that Avicenna continues late antique trends, which meld medical and philosophical debates. Avicenna uses Galen’s idea of qualifed experience to resolve interpretive challenges in Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, Book Two, Chapter 23 and Posterior Analytics Book two, Chapter 19, where Aristotle speaks about experience’s role in the inductive process of knowledge acquisition. I argue that the fluid way in which Ibn al-Quff deploys Avicenna’s On Demonstration to explicate the Hippocratic Aphorisms marks a shift in which Avicenna’s philosophical thought becomes increasingly influential in post-classical Islamic medical discourse.
“Womb Heat versus Sperm Heat: Hippocrates against Galen and Ibn Sīnā in Ibn al-Nafīs’s Commentaries”
By: Nahyan Fancy
Abstract: Ibn al-Nafīs composed lemmatic commentaries on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms and Ibn Sīnā’s entire Canon of Medicine. While he regularly challenges, critiques and refutes Ibn Sīnā’s positions in his Commentary on the Canon, Ibn al-Nafīs generally upholds the validity of each Hippocratic aphorism. This suggests that he considered Hippocrates the supreme authority in medicine over Ibn Sīnā (and even Galen). Through an analysis of his commentary on the Hippocratic Aphorisms, Book Five, aphorisms 42 and 48 (on the causes and consequences of bearing male children), and how he deploys them in his commentary on the analogous chapters from the Canon, we shall see how Ibn al-Nafīs establishes the validity of these aphorisms using his own understanding of generation. This tight interweaving of the Aphorisms and his physiology allows Ibn al-Nafīs to marshal the authority of Hippocrates to simultaneously undercut the positions of Ibn Sīnā, Galen and other adversaries, and to elevate the authority and validity of Ibn al-Nafīs’s own (novel) positions.
“Arabic Commentaries on the Hippocratic Aphorisms, vi.11: A Medieval Medical Debate on Phrenitis”
By: Nicola Carpentieri, Taro Mimura
Abstract: This article surveys selected Arabic commentaries on the Hippocratic Aphorisms, Book Six, aphorism 11, documenting a five century-long debate on the disease known as phrenitis. We show how this debate springs from a variant transmission of the Hippocratic lemma. The variant reading, which appears in Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s (d. 873) Arabic translation of the Aphorisms and of Galen’s (d. ca. 216) commentary on this text, clashed with Galenic theories on phrenitis. Arabic commentators formulated different theories in order to explain the problematic lemma, engaging with each other and refuting or embracing the views of earlier authors. We follow the evolution of this compelling debate on mental health and the body, paying special attention to the emergence of new ideas on phrenitis and its aetiology. We also formulate a hypothesis about the source of another variant reading of the lemma, as it appears in the commentary by Ibn Abī Ṣādiq (d. after 1068). We underscore how Arabic commentators progressively shifted their focus from the distinct aetiologies of melancholy and phrenitis to the symptoms in the affected part. We conclude that this shift in hermeneutic focus reflected an increased interest in understanding the two pathologies as mental illnesses sharing important characteristics. Finally, our article shows how medical commentaries were, for various and at times surprising reasons, venues for the re-elaboration of medical theories, as well as venues for polemic and self-promotion.
Palestine - Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture (Volume 22, Issue 1)
“From Extremism to Inclusion: How Hardliners Joined the Peace Process in Northern Ireland”
By: Gary Mason
Abstract: Not available
“Northern Ireland from Partition to the Peace Process: A Historical Perspective”
By: Éamon Phoenix
Abstract: Not available
“Lessons to Be Learned from the Irish Peace Process: A Palestinian Perspective”
By: Ziad AbuZayyad
Abstract: Not available
“A Unionist Perspective on the Steps to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement Settlement”
By: Reg Empey
Abstract: Not available
“Democracy Will Prevail: An Overview from the Northern Ireland Assembly”
By: Alex Attwood
Abstract: Not available
“The International Fund for Ireland: A Practical Model for Effective Peace-Building”
By: Adrian Johnston
Abstract: Not available
“Human Rights and Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland”
By: Brian Gormally
Abstract: Not available
“The Evolution of Conflict in Northern Ireland”
By: Ariel Heifetz Knobel
Abstract: Not available
“Comparative Perspective: The United States and Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland and Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”
By: Yaser Alashqar
Abstract: Not available
“Breaking down the Walls – Lessons from Northern Ireland: The Irish Case and the Effectiveness of Community Involvement in Peace-Making”
By: Mari Fitzduff
Abstract: Not available
“War Is Easy, Peace Takes Time: Implementing the ‘Long Peace’ in Northern Ireland”
By: Scott A. Bollens
Abstract: Not available
“Northern Ireland: A Successful Story of Conflict Transformation?”
By: Walid Salem
Abstract: Not available
“Coping with Spoilers in Northern Ireland: The ‘Yes’ campaign For the Good Friday Agreement1”
By: Galia Golan
Abstract: Not available
“Belfast/Jerusalem: Travelling with Ex-Combatant Community Leaders in Israel/ Palestine”
By: Lisa Fliegel
Abstract: Not available
“Lessons from North Ireland for the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process: An Israeli Perspective”
By: Hillel Schenker
Abstract: Not available
“ARTiculating Conflict: Exhibiting and Archiving a Culture of Sectarianism, Trauma and Loss”
By: Katy Radford
Abstract: Not available
Perspectives on Politics (Volume 15, Issue 1)
“From Medicine to Mobilization: Social Service Provision and the Islamist Reputational Advantage”
By: Steven Brooke
Abstract: Under what conditions can parties use social-service provision to generate political support? And what is the causal mechanism connecting social-service provision to citizen mobilization? I argue that service provision conveys to voters a politically valuable image of the provider organization’s competence and probity, which is particularly valuable when information about parties and platforms is contradictory or poor. Support comes from an in-depth investigation into the medical networks of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. I combine qualitative evidence, including fieldwork and interviews with Brotherhood social-service providers, with an original 2,483-person survey experiment of Egyptians. Respondents exposed to factual information about the Brotherhood’s medical provision are significantly more likely to consider voting for the Brotherhood in elections. A causal mediation analysis, as well as qualitative evidence drawn from the survey instrument itself, supports the hypothesized mechanism by which respondents map the Brotherhood’s compassion and professionalism in the provision of medical services onto their views of Brotherhood candidates for elected office. Beyond adding to a growing comparative-politics literature on the politics of non-state social service provision, I identify why Egypt’s current rulers have expended such effort to uproot the Muslim Brotherhood’s nationwide network of social services.
Political Studies (Volume 65, Issue 1)
“Ideology and Threat Perceptions: American Public Opinion toward China and Iran”
By: Nikola Mirilovic, Myunghee Kim
Abstract: What determines threat perceptions in the context of potential interstate conflict? We argue that such perceptions are to an important extent driven by domestic political cleavages and ideological differences. The ideology effects are often surprising and are more complex than the conventional wisdom would indicate. We specify the conditions under which conservatives may favor the economic rise of rising powers. Concern about budget deficits affects not only domestic political preferences but also threat perceptions. Finally, civil libertarianism in certain contexts can lead to isolationist preferences. We test these claims using the 2012 American National Election Studies data about the perceptions of American citizens of the economic and military rise of China, and of potential American responses to Iran’s nuclear program.
The European Journal of International Relations (Volume 23, Issue 1)
“Institutional change in a conflict setting: Afghanistan’s Environment Law”
By: McKenzie F. Johnson
Abstract: This article examines the development of Afghanistan’s Environment Law to explore the politics of institutional change in a conflict-affected context. Environment was catapulted to prominence in 2002 when it was included in the agenda for reconstruction under the new transitional government. Subsequent efforts to reconstitute Afghanistan’s environmental institutions culminated in the Environment Law written by the United Nations Environment Programme and other international actors, with input from the Government of Afghanistan. The Environment Law was crafted as a model of best practice, intended to modernize Afghanistan’s legislative foundation. However, it experienced significant content drift during the ratification process. As a result, the Environment Law produced institutions that differed in important ways from those initially proposed. Capitalizing on changes made during ratification, I analyze how actors across governance scales interact to translate development models from international to domestic policy spaces. I draw on both structure- and agent-oriented explanations to argue that changes to the Environment Law reflect attempts to increase structural complementarity between global and local systems of governance and cross-scalar contests over authority in the post/conflict landscape. The data suggest that interactions between domestic and international domains provided an opportunity to challenge institutional meaning and content. Ultimately, exploring how global models are incorporated within local contexts provides explanatory power for understanding institutional development. This is important in conflict studies, where the expansion of security theory to include issues like environment has provided new opportunities for strategic intervention by international actors in managing global conflict and its aftermath.
Third World Quarterly (Volume 38, Issues 1-4)
“Policing neoliberalism in Egypt: the continuing rise of the ‘securocratic’ state”
By: Maha Abdelrahman
Abstract: This article examines the increasing power of the police, their centrality to the reproduction of the neoliberal global order and their dynamic relationship with various elements of the ruling elite. It focuses on the case of the post-2011 uprising in Egypt to examine how the police institution has taken advantage of the uprising to increase its power and relative autonomy. The article demonstrates the centrality of the police to the Sisi regime’s efforts at reducing political discourse to an inflated and simplistic concept of ‘security’ in an attempt to establish its long-term legitimacy.
“Building ties across the Green Line: the Palestinian 15 March youth movement in Israel and occupied Palestinian territory in 2011”
By: Guy Burton
Abstract: In 2011 Palestinian youth joined together across the Green Line, demonstrating grassroots solidarity and a challenge to the elite consensus in favour of the two-state Oslo process. The movement drew inspiration from the concurrent Arab Spring and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, organising joint demonstrations in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. However, the movement struggled to develop as a result of challenges regarding its objectives, strategy and representation, and of external threats from Israel and Palestinian political elites.
“From Third World internationalism to ‘the internationals’: the transformation of solidarity with Palestine”
By: Linda Tabar
Abstract: This paper examines the formation of the concept of ‘the internationals’ in Palestine. The post-Oslo term began to be used in the second intifadato denote white solidarity activists in the colony. In tracing the rise of the concept, the paper charts some of the ways solidarity with the Palestinian people has been domesticated under the Oslo ‘peace process’. Situating and analysing the rise of the concept of ‘the internationals’ within the assemblage of apparatuses and ideological forces inscribed during Oslo, it explains how these material structures have contributed to shifting the notion and praxis of solidarity. Taking Third World internationalist and anti-imperialist feminist practices of solidarity as its starting point, the paper historicises and theorises some of the changes that have taken place over time. It offers an anti-colonial, anti-racist, feminist critique of the individualisation of solidarity and centres indigenous Palestinian perspectives. It concludes by surveying the ways Palestinians are creating alternatives and rebuilding international solidarity.
“A failure of governmentality: why Transparency International underestimated corruption in Ben Ali’s Tunisia”
By: Hannes Baumann
Abstract: This article critiques the Foucauldian approach to governance indicators. Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) underestimated Tunisian corruption levels under President Ben Ali: his regime was highly corrupt but foreign investors were less affected. CPI methodology meant it reflected primarily the needs of foreign investors. The Foucauldian approach specifically excludes analysis of governance indicators’ methodologies. It thus fails to demonstrate the effectiveness of governance indicators as a technology of government, and it fails to show how the production of the CPI is embedded in a wider global political economy.
“Pathological counterinsurgency: the failure of imposing legitimacy in El Salvador, Afghanistan, and Iraq”
By: Samuel R. Greene
Abstract: Many voices in the US policy community have suggested that El Salvador provided a model for US counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, based on the unsound contention that elections increased government legitimacy and effectiveness. The same flawed assessments were present in counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan – unfounded assumptions that elections would increase legitimacy and improve institutional performance and human rights records lead to inaccurate analysis and bad strategy. Indeed, the US experience calls into question the ability of even a great power to impose legitimacy on a partner in order to wage counterinsurgency. Assuming that elections will advance such legitimacy is a dangerous pathology.
“Large-scale land acquisitions, state authority and indigenous local communities: insights from Ethiopia”
By: Tsegaye Moreda
Abstract: The convergence of diverse global factors – food price volatility, the increased demand for biofuels and feeds, climate change and the financialisation of commodity markets – has resulted in renewed interest in land resources, leading to a rapid expansion in the scope and scale of (trans)national acquisition of arable land across many developing countries. Much of this land is on peripheral indigenous peoples’ territories and considered a common property resource. Those most threatened are poor rural people with customary tenure systems – including indigenous ethnic minority groups, pastoralists and peasants – who need land most. In Ethiopia large areas have been leased to foreign and domestic capital for large-scale production of food and agrofuels, mainly in lowland regions where the state has historically had limited control. Much of the land offered is classified by the state and other elites as ‘unused’ or ‘underutilised’, overlooking the spatially extensive use of land in shifting cultivation and pastoralism. This threatens the land rights and livelihoods of ethnic minority indigenous communities in these lowlands. This article argues that recent large-scale land acquisitions are part of state strategy for enforcing political authority over territory and people. It examines the implications of such strategy for indigenous ethnic minority groups, focusing particularly on the Benishangul-Gumuz region.
“Human rights and Nubian mobilisation in Egypt: towards recognition of indigeneity”
By: Maja Janmyr
Abstract: How are global human rights localised in authoritarian societies? How and what human rights discourses are mobilised by indigenous peoples to further their demands? Building upon original fieldwork among Nubian activists in Egypt, this article explores the complexities regarding human rights framing through a discussion of recognition of Nubian indigeneity. The article finds that the history and political experience of Egypt’s Nubians bring about diverging opinions and also limitations as to how, and what, human rights frameworks rights claimants and their supporters are to employ. It argues that Egyptian nationalism not only affects how Nubian activists mobilise in general, but also helps explain the very limited appeals to a global discourse of human rights.
“Iran and Turkey: not quite friends but less than enemies”
By: Shahram Akbarzadeh & James Barry
Abstract: The rise and subsequent erosion of friendly relations between Iran and Turkey was a result of their regional ambitions. While Turkey had long seen its secular system as presenting an alternative to Iran’s Islamic ideology, the alignment of their regional interests facilitated a rapport between the two states in the first decade of the twenty-first century. However, the Arab Spring proved divisive for this relationship as each state sought to advocate its model of government and secure a leadership role in the Arab world. The war in Syria widened the divide, as Iran’s long-standing support for the Bashar al-Assad regime could not be reconciled with Turkey’s desire to see President Assad out of office. Using a close reading of Persian and Turkish sources, the authors will analyse the Iran–Turkey divide, focusing specifically on how the Iranians have portrayed it as a clash of civilisations, citing Turkey’s so-called ‘neo-Ottoman’ ambitions as the primary cause.
“Why developing countries are just spectators in the ‘Gold War’: the case of Lebanon at the Olympic Games”
By: Danyel Reiche
Abstract: At the Olympic Games, there is an increasing gap between developed countries that are investing more and more government resources into sporting success, and developing countries that cannot afford the “Gold War”, and are just spectators in the medal race. Based on studying a representative case, Lebanon, I investigate issues and interests of developing countries in the Olympics. On the political level, the main motivation for participation is global recognition. On the sporting level, developing countries seek to use Olympic participation as preparation for regional Games where success is more likely, serving as a soft power tool for regional influence.