[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the seventeenth 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 three-to-four parts, depending on the number of articles included.]
American Anthropologist (Volume 123, Issue 2)
A Pirouette with the Twist of a Wheelchair: Embodied Translation and the Creation of Kinesthetic Commensurability
By: Gili Hammer
Abstract: The field of integrated dance brings together dancers with and without disabilities to create a novel art form. In dancing together, participants engage in a process of “translation” to interpret and enact movement, a practice I term embodied translation. This practice involves distilling a movement to its kinesthetic and expressive core, then exploring potential manifestations of those elements through various uses of space, objects, and bodies. Performed among people whose means and range of movement vary widely, embodied translation necessitates the recognition of multiple pathways toward shared expression, engendering a collective of kinesthetic multiplicities. Based on fieldwork with projects of integrated dance in Israel and the United States, I examine participants’ verbal, embodied, kinesthetic, and material means of translation, questioning whether translation can in fact produce commensurability among diverse bodies. [translation, disability, dance, embodied knowledge, anthropology of movement, nonhuman]
Democratization (Volume 28, Issue 4)
The reciprocal impact of electoral turnout on protest participation in developing countries: evidence from Iran’s 2018 uprising
By: Alireza Raisi
Abstract: Despite a rich body of scholarship in social movements and electoral studies, the interaction between electoral turnout and protest participation has been generally overlooked. This article aims to bridge this gap by examining the impact of electoral participation on the likelihood of protest activities in developing countries. Drawing from a statistical analysis of a unique set of data from Iran’s 2017 election and the following uprising, the article argues that a higher electoral turnout reduces the likelihood of protest incidence at the district level. The analysis further indicates that such turnout mediates between economic grievances and protest participation.
The “inclusion-moderation” illusion: re-framing the Islamic movement inside Israel
By: Craig Larkin, Mansour Nasasra
Abstract: The inclusion-moderation thesis posits that radical movements can be moderated through participation in democratic pluralist politics. Repeatedly applied to Islamist movements questions remain over its conceptual ambiguity and empirical veracity. Despite such weaknesses this thesis continues to be utilized to explain the diverging trajectories of the Islamic movement within Israel – its Southern accommodationist parliamentary branch (IMSB) and its separatist Northern branch (IMNB), now officially banned by Israel. This article examines this significant yet understudied movement, as a means of challenging the reductionist reading of Arab Islamist politics in Israel while at the same time rethinking the perimeters of inclusion-moderation theory. The case suggests that Islamist strategic moderation may be a result of both state repression and political inclusion but rarely does it lead to complete ideological transformation. This research suggests the IMSB’s pragmatic evolution, owes less to Knesset participation and more to internal organizational debate, a convergence of broader Arab-Israeli positions, and a response to the failings of post Arab Spring Islamist politics. Conversely, the IMNB’s perceived radicalism, is less to do with its extreme ideology but rather its own strategic framing and Israel’s ongoing fears of the mobilizing potential of Al-Aqsa mosque.
Religion, foreign policy and populism in Turkish politics: introducing a new framework
By: Alper T. Bulut, Nurhan Hacıoğlu
Abstract: By content-coding 40 parliamentary group speeches of the major Turkish parties over a period of 4 years, we show that existing measures of populism should include two more categories in order to understand the populist communication strategies of the Turkish political parties. The first category is “discursive religious symbolism” which is included in the thin populism dimension. The other is “foreign policy populism” which is included in the thick populism dimension. Our results show that the inclusion of these new categories is crucial for our understanding of populist communication styles in Turkish politics. The results also indicate that both discursive religious symbolism and foreign policy populism plays a crucial role in the resilience of the incumbent Justice and Development Party.
Autocratization, permanent emergency rule and local politics: lessons from the Kurds in Turkey
By: Matthew Whiting, Zeynep N. Kaya
Abstract: Emergency rule provides opportunities for aspiring autocrats to subvert democratic institutions while still following constitutional rules. There has been a steady rise in the use of emergency rule for this purpose in recent years, leading many scholars to speak of “permanent” emergency rule. Existing explanations of permanent emergency rule focus on national-level factors, completely neglecting the role of local political dynamics. Our goal is to trace how overlooked local conditions enable the permanency of emergency rule. We do so by looking at one particular autocratizing emergency decree in one province in Eastern Turkey that became permanent during its recent state of emergency: the removal of local elected Kurdish mayors and their replacement with state-appointed trustees. We draw on in-depth interviews, reviews of three local newspapers, and a review of parliamentary records and political statements, to argue that three local conditions were necessary for this process. First, this was not a new policy for this region, which had long been treated as exceptional; secondly, there were high levels of local polarization and zero-sum politics around the ethno-political divide; and thirdly, local politics was highly clientelistic. These reinforcing factors created weak municipal government and enabled its eclipse by an autocratizing centre.
Economics & Politics (Volume 33, Issue 2)
Inside job: Migration and distributive politics in the European Union
By: Merih Angin, Albana Shehaj, Adrian J. Shin
Abstract: Migration has become a top policy priority of the European Union (EU) in the wake of the 2015 migrant crisis. Given the significant ramifications of non-European immigration for its member states, the EU has implemented a variety of policies to minimize popular backlashes within the borders of its wealthiest member states, which are also popular final destinations for migrants. In this article, we show that the EU offers financial incentives to its migrant-transit member countries in exchange for holding migrants traveling from the Middle East and North Africa region within their territories. We use a subnational dataset on Southern Italy to examine the effects of migrant arrivals by boat on the amount of the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund received by each autonomous region between 2006 and 2018. In addition, we provide a cross-national analysis of EU expenditures using data on unauthorized border crossings into the EU between 2009 and 2018. We find robust empirical support for the argument that the EU channels more funds to jurisdictions located on the major migrant-transit routes.
Electoral Studies (Volume 72)
The electoral consequences of anti-Muslim prejudice
By: Ashley Jardina, LaFleur Stephens-Dougan
Abstract: A growing body of research has documented the development of pervasive anti-Muslim sentiment among White Americans. We build on this research to demonstrate that anti-Muslim attitudes and negative stereotypes of Muslim people have become an enduring and consistent component of White Americans' presidential vote choice beyond any one specific candidate or election. We argue that the racialization of Muslim Americas has increased their salience and significance in both the minds of White Americans and in national political discourse, making attitudes toward Muslims a consistent predictor of Whites’ presidential candidate evaluations in every election since at least 2004. We support this account with empirical evidence from the 2004–2020 American National Election Studies, using measures of group affect and negative stereotypes of Muslim people.
Global Media Journal (Volume 19, Issue 42)
British Muslims and the Rise of Ethnic Media in the Digital Age a Case Study of 5Pillars
By: Irfan Raja, Abdul B. Shaikh
Abstract: For a long time now, the media representations of British Muslims, in particular, are the central focus of academic studies. Especially, the terror attacks often receive bias coverage that connects Islam as a faith to such incidents. Notably, the attack on the Manchester arena in May 2017 by an ISIS recruit by the name of Salman Abedi shocked the nation. In the aftermath of the crisis, UK and Western media dominated national and international press coverage. However, little attention was given and received in relation to the coverage provided by British Muslim media by 5Pillars. This article aims to provide a case study of the 5Pillars media coverage of the attack on the Manchester arena in May 2017. Also, it examines the increasing role and impact of ethnic media as a challenger to the mainstream media. Furthermore, it asks significant questions including: Can Muslim media ownership makes their representation better? And is the media really that powerful that it causes harm to the reputation of Muslims worldwide? It proposes to establish alternative news media platforms alongside the mainstream media that dominate news and often either misrepresents or underrepresents the British Muslims.
International Affairs (Volume 97, Issue 4)
Transnational identity and the Gulf crisis: changing narratives of belonging in Qatar
By: Jocelyn Sage Mitchell
Abstract: What does the recent Gulf diplomatic crisis of June 2017 to January 2021 mean for the future of the region's signature transnationalism: the khalījī [Gulf] identity? This identity narrative encompasses the shared sociocultural backgrounds of the people of the region, but the unprecedented separations, caused by the regional crisis, may have shifted the discourse of belonging in the Gulf. To investigate the impact of the recent crisis on regional identity narratives, this article explores the new National Museum of Qatar's presentation of Qatar's political history from 1848 to 1868, as well as museum-goers' reactions to this presentation, through original fieldwork and ethnographic interviews with Qatari and expatriate residents. The analysis highlights the museum's purposeful portrayal of parallels between intra-Gulf conflicts of the past and the recent crisis, a presentational choice that stands in sharp contrast to previous regional norms of tactful diplomacy. Further, museum-goers recognized the linguistic and symbolic parallels, provoking both engagement with and rejection of the concept of khalījī identity. In summary, this analysis suggests that the crisis has shifted the norms of discourse in the region in ways that may make social reconciliation difficult, even as political bonds resume. As the region moves forward from crisis, policy-makers should reduce the tension between national and transnational identity narratives by creating space for the renewal of khalījī ties.
Clerical associations in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates: soft power competition in Islamic politics
By: Kristin Diwan
Abstract: In the wake of the 2011 Arab uprisings, the wealthy Gulf states of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates began hosting and establishing associations of influential Islamic scholars. These clerical associations, the Doha-based International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and the Abu Dhabi-based Muslim Council of Elders (MCE) and associated peace initiatives, have afforded a platform for more credibly entering into religious and political debates, for cultivating new networks of influence among Muslim publics, and engaging non-Islamic countries and organizations. Drawing upon interviews and primary resources, this study investigates this exercise in religious statecraft, comparing the discourse and policy interventions of these associations, and analysing their improbable challenge to the predominant religious terms set by the traditional heavyweight in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia. It finds that the effectiveness, or resonance, of these religious soft power projects depends upon credibility—their alignment with national religious traditions and policy directions—and positioning—the targeting of particular audiences and stakeholders. It concludes that the UAE holds certain advantages over Qatar in its soft power positioning in the current nationalist moment, as states gain ground over transnational Islamic movements and relations with powers such as India, Russia, China and Israel—all hostile to independent Islamic movements—gain in importance. Policy-makers acknowledging the surprising hard power projection of these small states through military interventions and economic leverage may benefit from this study of their new religious soft power influence.
Bahrain's transnational Arab Spring: repression, oil and human rights activism
By: Jessie Moritz
Abstract: Studies of the Middle East following the Arab Spring have concluded that ‘repression works’, especially in the oil- and gas-rich countries of the Gulf. Drawing on primary materials collected during fieldwork trips to Bahrain, the United States and Britain, this article nuances the ‘repression effect’ by tracing the emergence of a transnational Bahraini opposition, mapping the relationships and joint activities between domestic and exiled Bahraini groups, international NGOs and western policy-makers. It finds that even in the context of domestic repression and continuing ideological divides within Bahrain's opposition, transnational networks have not only sustained opposition organizations, but also maintained access to foreign policy-makers, producing repeated criticisms of the Bahraini regime and legal challenges to ruling elites who visit western states. The successes of this advocacy are modest: while it has not drastically reshaped the domestic state–society relationship, it has created significant costs for the Bahraini regime and damaged Bahrain's international brand. As a result, state and opposition networks now compete for influence over western policy-makers: international ‘arenas of advocacy’—such as the UK parliament, US Congress, UNHRC and European Parliament—have now become ‘arenas of contestation’, as state and opposition narratives of Bahraini politics, filtered through western policy-makers, play out during debates over foreign policy towards Bahrain. The article positions transnational activism as a direct outcome of the ‘repression effect’, highlighting ongoing contests for influence between state and society occurring in international and transnational spaces, even as the domestic scope for opposition mobilization remains highly restricted.
How the Gulf States are using their air space to assert their sovereignty
By: Florence Gaub, Lotje Boswinkel
Abstract: All Arab states, including the Gulf states, are regularly considered an anomaly in International Relations: allegedly artificially created, lacking clear identity, borders and sovereignty. We challenge this assertion by looking at one dimension of sovereignty often overlooked: the air space. We measure this assertion along the classical lines of sovereignty: do the states have the institutions, regulations and capacity to manage their air space, do they use it for economic and diplomatic purposes, do they have the means to conduct war in it, and does it feature in their national identity? We find that particularly since 1990, the Gulf States have affirmed their sovereignty markedly in all these areas. These findings show two things: that sovereignty can be a feature of a state regardless of the nature of its creation, and that it can be affirmed in a space previously overlooked, the air.
Turkish foreign policy in a post-western order: strategic autonomy or new forms of dependence?
By: Mustafa Kutlay, Ziya Öniş
Abstract: Turkish foreign policy has dramatically transformed over the last two decades. In the first decade of the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) rule, the ‘logic of interdependence’ constituted the driving motive of Turkish foreign policy. In the second decade, however, the ‘logic of interdependence’ and the soft power-driven ‘mediator–integrator’ role were gradually replaced with a quest for ‘strategic autonomy’, accompanied by interventionism, unilateralism and coercive diplomacy. This article explores the causes of this dramatic shift. We argue that ‘strategic autonomy’, which goes beyond a moderate level of status-seeking compatible with Turkey's material power credentials, has a double connotation in the Turkish context. First, it constitutes a framework for the Turkish ruling elite to align with the non-western great powers and balance the US-led hierarchical order. Second, and more importantly, it serves as a legitimating foreign policy discourse for the government to mobilize its electoral base at home, fragment opposition and accrue popular support. We conclude that the search for autonomy from its western allies and the move towards the Russia–China axis has led to Turkey's isolation and permitted the emergence of new forms of dependence.
Turkey's changing engagement with the global South
By: Ariel González Levaggi, Federico Donelli
Abstract: Over the past fifteen years, Turkey has tried to achieve the status of global actor. Enhancing ties with the global South has been one policy to achieve this objective. The article aims to analyse the changing trajectory of Ankara's approach towards a non-traditional orientation of its foreign policy, the southern dimension, by focusing on the determinants of the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) foreign policy in the last decade. The key argument is that the southern orientation of Turkish foreign policy has lost its constructive and developmental direction due to the complex interactions between the regional crisis in Turkey's neighborhood and domestic democratic backsliding, coupled with Erdogan's executive centralization, especially after the failed coup of 2016. As a major finding, the agenda securitization and the increased personalization of Turkey's domestic and international agenda have polluted an attractive foreign policy, even in non-priority regional areas.
Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East: power projection and post-ideological politics
By: Katerina Dalacoura
Abstract: Power projection, security, pragmatic considerations and a disparate mix of national interests and narrower party-political objectives have driven the foreign policy of Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Middle East since it came to power in 2002. Ideological concerns, consisting of a fluid blend of Islamist, neo-Ottoman and ‘civilizationalist’ ideas, mingled with a hefty dose of Turkish nationalism, have played a variable, auxiliary but none the less significant role. The Arab uprisings of 2011 opened up opportunities for the AKP to pursue its ideological objectives and they became more central to its policies, if only in some areas or clusters of relationships. However, they receded after 2015, when a confluence of domestic and regional factors caused the onset of a transactional, ‘post-ideological’ phase. The article places the Middle East in the wider context of Turkish foreign policy, both historically and in comparison with other regions, arguing in the process that categories of ‘East’ and ‘West’ are of limited value for its proper understanding and interpretation. It then divides it into four sub-regions, distinct in geographical and issue terms: Syria and Iraq (the ‘near abroad’), the wider Arab world, Israel–Palestine, and Iran. It analyses Turkish foreign policy towards them in sequence, illustrating the ways in which power-political considerations have predominated in all, albeit in different ways and to varying degrees, over the past five years.
Interventions since the Cold War: from statebuilding to stabilization
By: Maria-Louise Clausen, Peter Albrecht
Abstract: Through the lens of security sector reform, this article explores shifts in international interventions since the Cold War. Identifying three phases, it traces the global North's failure to transform fragile states into liberal democratic polities and changes to intervention practices in response to that failure. Immediately after the Cold War, an unfettered belief in the liberal peace thesis, and its global applicability, drove interventions that sought to establish an integrated liberal internationalist system of states shaped by mutuality. This changed with 9/11, shifting the focus towards extensive statebuilding exercises to replace, by force if necessary, security sectors and reconstruct failed states as liberal democracies. The current phase reflects lost faith in the global North's transformative potential following experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. New forms of intervention from a distance have emerged, relying on delegation to technology and militaries of the global South. This type of intervention allows the global North to maintain a sense of influence while shifting the burden of intervention onto the global South's populations and militaries—and foreclosing comprehensive statebuilding. The global North can no longer claim to act on behalf of universally applicable norms, but alternatives have yet to materialize, leaving interventions in an ideological limbo.
International Political Science Review (Volume 42, Issue 3)
Autocratic welfare programs, economic perceptions, and support for the dictator: Evidence from African autocracies
By: Kangwook Han
Abstract: While numerous studies have explored the foundations of autocratic stability by focusing on macroeconomic variables, the micro-foundations of autocratic support have largely been overlooked. Using Afrobarometer survey data from 22 African autocracies, I examine how dictators stabilize their rule even during economic recessions. I find that the provision of welfare benefits alleviates the adverse impact of negative economic perceptions on support for the dictator. Citizens are likely to continue supporting the dictator as long as the government keeps providing universal welfare benefits. The results remain robust to different model specifications that account for alternative explanations and validity concerns associated with autocratic survey data.
Ethnic violence and substantive representation of minorities in parliament
By: Sabri Ciftci, Tevfik Murat Yildirim
Abstract: This study seeks to explain why, to what extent, and in what ways ethnic party representatives remain active on the parliamentary floor when the political representation of minority groups takes place alongside ethnic conflict. To test hypotheses related to these questions, we utilize an original dataset of 14,000 parliamentary questions and speeches and background characteristics of 372 representatives in Turkey. The dataset spans many episodes of the Kurdish conflict over six legislative terms (1991–2015). Our empirical analyses show that the parliamentary behavior of ethnic party representatives is directly linked to the intensity of violence between the state and the insurgent group. We specifically demonstrate that ethnic party representatives, compared to other representatives in conflict-ridden provinces, are more active on the floor and focus more heavily on civil rights and identity issues. These findings contribute to our understanding of various linkages between identity and the substantive representation of minorities during violent conflict.
The pandemic politics of existential anxiety: Between steadfast resistance and flexible resilience
By: Uriel Abulof, Shirley Le Penne, Bonan Pu
Abstract: We all know we will die, but not when and how. Can private death awareness become public, and what happens when it does? This mixed-method research on the Covid-19 crisis reveals how pandemic politics cultivates and uses mass existential anxiety. Analyzing global discourse across vast corpora, we reveal an exceptional rise in global ‘mortality salience’ (awareness of death), and trace the socio-political dynamics feeding it. Comparing governmental pandemic policies worldwide, we introduce a novel model discerning ‘mortality mitigation’ (coping mechanisms) on a scale from steadfast resistance (‘oak’) to flexible resilience (‘reed’). We find that political trust, high median age, and social anxiety predict a reedy approach; and that the oak, typically pushing for stricter measures, better mitigates mortality. Stringency itself, however, hardly affects Covid-related cases/deaths. We enrich our model with brief illustrations from five countries: China and Israel (both oaks), Sweden and Germany (reeds) and the USA (an oak–reed hybrid).
International Political Sociology (Volume 15, Issue 2)
“We Can Do This”: Merkel, Migration and the Fantasy of Control
By: Maja Zehfuss
Abstract: At the height of the so-called 2015 refugee crisis, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, is thought to have opened the country's borders to a million refugees. She was celebrated as an international leader and the refugees’ savior, while the country was seen as having a welcome culture. Retrospectively, however, her refugee policy is construed as a mistake. Both interpretations agree that Merkel opened the border. Deploying a detailed reading of events, this article asks what political imaginary is invoked through this representation and what its consequences are. It draws out how paying attention to temporality reveals the racialization involved in producing the problem. First, the article sets out the centrality of Merkel and the border opening to accounts of the events, drawing out the temporality of events and its implications. Second, it asks what it means to say that the border was opened, complicating this representation. Finally, it shows how the focus on the border opening invoked a political imaginary marked by a fantasy of control that obscures its own exclusions. Recognizing bordering as about control over the temporality of community alerts us to how the impossible desire to control the future racializes those seeking refuge.
Racial Capitalism, Islamophobia, and Austerity
By: Nadya Ali, Ben Whitham
Abstract: Explorations of Islamophobia or anti-Muslim racism predominantly focus on issues of security policy and media representations, set against the backdrop of the global “War on Terror.” This scholarship explores the racialization of Muslim populations across different global contexts, including the UK, Europe, the United States, and China. However, Islamophobia has also been articulated through concerns about the economy, jobs, public services, and national debt in times of austerity. Narratives have emerged around Muslim families in the UK receiving “excessive” welfare benefits, preferential access to social housing, and pressuring public services through “breeding.” This article offers a new way of thinking about the links between Islamophobia and austerity through an engagement with the literature on racial capitalism. The article shows how constructions of Muslim populations as the “undeserving poor” are central to the intersectional racialized and gendered disentitlements of austerity. The analysis draws on the findings from twelve interviews and a six-person focus group with Muslim subjects based in London to illustrate the political economy of austerity Islamophobia.
Families First? The Mobilization of Family Norms in Refugee Resettlement
By: Natalie Welfens, Saskia Bonjour
Abstract: European resettlement programs prioritize the admission of refugee families. While this is seen as the “natural” thing to do, we argue that the mobilization of family norms is crucially political: in everyday bordering practices, interpretations of family norms are decisive for who is admitted to Europe. We study the selection of Syrian refugees in Turkey for humanitarian admission to Germany, which involves national governments, UNHCR, and NGOs. Fusing practice-theoretical approaches to humanitarianism and mobility governance on the one hand, with gender and sexuality scholarship on nationalism, empire, and migration on the other, we show how family norms configure discretionary power in transnational migration governance. First, family norms shape how power is exercised over refugees in vulnerability and assimilability assessments. Vulnerability assessments hinge on whether a family counts as protective and supportive, or deficient and threatening. Assimilability assessments scrutinize whether refugees do family “right”: in a way that will not disturb resettlement countries’ national (gender) order. Second, the mobilization of family norms reflects power disparities between actors. International and non-governmental actors strive to recognize plural family forms, but are disciplined into applying resettlement states’ more constraining family norms, thereby participating in the (re)production of the borders and boundaries of Europe.
International Studies (Volume 58, Issue 3)
‘Losing Leverage’ in the Neighbourhood: A Cognitive Frame Analysis of the European Union Migration Policy
By: Jyri J. Jäntti, Benjamin Klasche
Abstract: The European Union (EU)–Turkey deal consolidated a shift in the EU’s migration policy. The deal is the culmination of the dominance of the security frame and depicts the continuous externalization of the EU’s responsibility of asylum protection and burden sharing. The strengthening of the security frame has weakened the humanitarian norms that previously dictated EU’s behaviour. This has led to the EU losing some of its comparative advantages in negotiations. Simultaneously, the instrumentalization of the value of asylum, paired with an increased number of asylum seekers, has given negotiation leverage to the neighbouring countries turned service providers. These changes in perception and norms have created a power shift, at the disadvantage of the EU, creating a more leveled playing field for negotiations between the parties. This article tracks the historical shifts in the global refugee regime to explain how today’s situation was created. Hereby, the existence of two competing cognitive frames—humanitarian and security—is assumed, tracked and analysed. While looking at the EU–Turkey deal, the article shows that the EU has started treating refugees as a security problem rather than a humanitarian issue, breaking the normative fabric of the refugee regime in the process. The article also displays how Turkey was able to capitalise on this new reality and engage with negotiations of other neighbouring countries of EU that point towards a change of dynamics in the global refugee regime.
International Studies Perspectives (Volume 22, Issue 3)
Formulative Strategy: Why the African Union-led International Mediation in South Sudan Failed to Prevent Atrocity Crimes
By: Obinna F Ifediora
Abstract: The puzzle of the African Union mediation is that it enjoys regional effectiveness in leading peace processes and yet often fails to prevent atrocity crimes. While existing studies focus on the lack of capacity to explain failures, I draw on atrocity mediation literature that emphasizes coercive strategies for ripening to explore widely significant factors associated with the AU mediation. I adopt the “framework of mediator behavior” in international mediation studies to analyze AU policies on conflict responses and the mediation in South Sudan. My approach is consistent with the content analysis of qualitative data. I find that the significant factor in the AU mediation is the “patient” policy, like “strategic patience.” The policy reflects formulative strategy of conflict mediation that describes the mediator who controls the process but shifts control of substantive decision-making to the parties. Formulative strategy is technically non-coercive, so the AU embraces it to respect sovereignty. The paradox is that formulative strategy is the AU legitimacy source—which anchors effectiveness—and failure. The AU mediation failed because of strategic choice, not the lack of capabilities. This study contributes to a broader understanding of the AU mediation and challenges mediator behavior assumptions.
International Studies Quarterly (Volume 65, Issue 2)
Ambivalent Sexism? Shifting Patterns of Gender Bias in Five Arab Countries
By: Calvert W Jones, Jocelyn Sage Mitchell, Justin D Martin
Abstract: While institutional support is growing for women in leadership positions across the Arab world, little is known about how rising numbers of women in roles of authority and expertise are being perceived. We examine how general theories of gender bias fit new data from a survey experiment spanning nationally representative samples in five Arab countries. The experiment captured how citizens judge women who adopt the stereotypically masculine role of a “hard-news” journalist. Results challenge conventional wisdom about the prevalence of classic sexism—a generalized antipathy toward women consistent with traditional definitions of prejudice. Instead, we find considerable support for ambivalent sexism, a more nuanced theory positing pro-male (hostile) as well as pro-female (benevolent) biases both detrimental to gender equality and requiring distinctive strategies to address. Although tentative, the findings also make a theoretical contribution suggesting that modernization processes may reverse gender biases, replacing classic patriarchy with so-called benevolent sexism rather than true gender-egalitarianism.
Public Tolerance of Retributive Violence against Insurgencies
By: Vera Mironova, Sam Whitt
Abstract: What drives public support for retributive violence against insurgents, a desire for revenge or security? We consider the case of suspected Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Mosul Iraq. Using survey experiments, we inquire about public support for judicial as well as extrajudicial violence against insurgent combatants. We sample among ordinary civilians in Mosul who lived under ISIS rule as well as ISIS-affiliated families in displacement camps outside Mosul. We find that many Mosul civilians are highly tolerant of retributive violence against insurgents, but this tolerance is driven primarily by security concerns rather than revenge. In contrast, others, especially in displacement camps, oppose the punitive killing of insurgents because they regard such actions as counterproductive to long-term security goals. This tension speaks to potential security dilemmas surrounding retaliatory responses to insurgency. Instead, public security interests may be better served through nonviolent strategies, to include negotiations with insurgent forces and more restorative approaches to justice.
Sharing Saddles: Oligarchs and Officers on Horseback in Egypt and Tunisia
By: Drew Holland Kinney
Abstract: Research on the military's removal from politics overemphasizes the attitudes and interests of officers. Civilians are portrayed as incapable of confronting refractory men with guns. This essay compares regime transitions in Egypt (2011–2013) and Tunisia (2011–2014) to show that unified civilian elites strengthen and polarized elites undermine civilian control of the armed forces. Research for the cases is based on interviews with Egyptian and Tunisian businesspersons, party members, and civil society activists; the International Consortium of Investigation Journalists's tax-offshoring database; loan disbursements from the IMF and World Bank; and secondary sources in Arabic, French, and English. The cases reveal novel insights about the military's removal from politics in fledgling democracies. Pleasing Egypt's officers did not shield President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood from a coup in July 2013 because Morsi and the Brotherhood threatened the wealth and power of civilian politicians and oligarchs. In Tunisia, Islamist and non-Islamist political and economic elites pushed democratization for fear of another Ben “Ali-style kleptocracy. Even during crisis in 2013, united civilian elites contained opposition calls for army intervention. The study's findings suggest that democratizers are not at the mercy of soldiers, but rather civilian leaders have the power to sideline their armies.
Journal of Civil Society (Volume 17, Issue 3-4)
Widening the margins of political participation: The political effect of street art on civil society
By: Graciela Trajtenberg
Abstract: Over the past few decades, society has witnessed the flourishing of artistic practices with socio-political aims, including street art. Street art created without permission has become one of the most persistent ways of protesting the usurpation of rights in the public space. However, current discussions about civil society and political participation tend to underestimate its political role.Street art has grown in popularity to a point where a legal form of the practice has also emerged. Using the Israeli street art scene as a case study, this article examines how street art has turned into an active intervention in public space and has transformed into a form of political participation that has the potential of reinforcing itself. The author contends that the inclusion of street art practices in the theoretical framework of civil society will enhance our understanding of contemporary political participation.
Negotiating civic space in Lebanon: The potential of non-sectarian movements
By: Sára Vértes, Chris van der Borgh, Antoine Buyse
Abstract: Shrinking civic space is a global trend in governance impeding citizens’ enjoyment of the fundamental freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly. While deeply affected by this phenomenon, civil society organizations and collectives in Lebanon have cultivated a series of non-sectarian opposition movements that warrant an assessment of how these may contribute to reconciling deeply divided identities. The authors examine the specific challenges imposed on civil society in Lebanon’s hybrid democratic setting, where power and resources are allocated along confession-based cleavages. Additionally, they discuss the strategies through which Lebanese civil society collectives push back against government pressures and defend, as well as expand, their available room for manoeuvre. The strategies of two recent opposition movements are analysed: (i) the coalition ‘Kollouna Watani’, a crossover into politics for the 2018 Lebanese elections by actors originally associated with civil society organizations, and (ii) the mass protest movement starting in October 2019. The findings highlight these non-sectarian movements’ potential to promote cooperation among the fragmented realms of civil society, as well as the hardships of challenging well-established elites and their interests via formal politicization. In doing so, they also show the potential and agency of civil society to counter the phenomenon of shrinking civic space.
Journal of Peace Research (Volume 58, Issue 4)
Arms for education? External support and rebel social services
By: Reyko Huang, Patricia L Sullivan
Abstract: How does foreign support for rebel groups affect rebel governance of civilians during armed conflict? Existing studies primarily examine the local and domestic politics of rebel rule, leaving the effects of foreign intervention on rebel governance underexplored. Focusing on rebel provision of social services, this study considers two competing arguments. The first suggests that foreign sponsorship reduces rebels’ need to rely on local civilians for resources and hence decreases rebels’ incentives to provide services. The second anticipates that by augmenting rebels’ resources and military capabilities, foreign support increases their capacity to provide welfare services. These competing logics suggest that different types of foreign support have divergent effects on rebel social service provision. The article tests this theory using cross-sectional time-series data on external support for rebel groups and rebel governance for the post-1945 period. It finds that rebel groups that receive external funding, weapons or training are significantly more likely to provide education and health services to civilians. In contrast, direct military intervention to assist insurgent forces has no effect on rebel service provision. This article is among the first to systematically study the impact of external support and third-party intervention on rebel social service provision during civil war and holds implications for civilian welfare in contested territories.
A micro-level analysis of the contagion effect: Evidence from the Kurdish conflict
By: Zeki Sarigil
Abstract: The unit of analysis in almost all large-N studies on conflict contagion and diffusion is collective actors, such as states and ethnic groups or movements. Thus, contagion dynamics and processes at the individual level have been neglected. Using original data derived from a public opinion survey, this study examines the micro-level dynamics of contagion in the context of Turkey’s Kurdish conflict. The study suggests that transnational ethnic ties, and in particular, cross-border familial bonds and interactions, facilitate conflict contagion through several strategic and ideational mechanisms. First, transborder familial ties and interactions amplify the demonstration effect of ethnic-kin achievements in contiguous conflict countries. Second, cross-border familial bonds facilitate collaboration between cross-border co-ethnics. Finally, such ties to conflict zones with ethnic kin groups empower pan-ethnic identities. The empirical findings show that Kurds living in Turkey who have close relatives in nearby countries hosting conflicting ethnic-kin groups (i.e. Syria, Iraq, and Iran) have stronger ethnonationalist orientations and claims against the center. However, having close relatives elsewhere (e.g. Europe) does not generate the same impact. The Kurdish case evidences that contagion processes and dynamics might vary substantially across the members of a particular ethnic group. Hence, it is necessary to broaden the conventional focus on collective actors in conflict contagion research and pay greater attention to micro-level variables and factors.
Power politics: Armed non-state actors and the capture of public electricity in post-invasion Baghdad
By: Christiana Parreira
Abstract: Scholars observe that armed non-state actors (NSAs) often provide social services to reinforce their popular support and legitimacy as guarantors of local order. On the other hand, NSAs usually face funding constraints that make the independent provision of distributive goods difficult. This article argues that armed NSAs employ an alternative, more cost-effective tactic to deliver services. It argues that militant groups can leverage their armed capacity to capture control of and monopolize access to state-sponsored services. As an example, it documents the capture of public electricity infrastructure that took place in post-invasion Baghdad under the Sadrist Movement, an armed group formed shortly after the ouster of the Ba’athist state. Using local-level information about the location of Sadrist offices and remote sensing data, it estimates that Sadrist-affiliated neighborhoods in Baghdad saw an average increase in access to electricity between 2003 and 2006 that was significantly greater than in other areas of the city. The article concludes by addressing threats to inference, showing that these differences are not alternatively explained by demographic differences or changes therein due to ongoing conflict. It also discusses how this NSA strategy might contribute to an equilibrium of low state legitimacy and weak capacity in fragile contexts like that of post-2003 Iraq.
Impeding fatal violence through third-party diplomacy: The effect of mediation on conflict intensity
By: Constantin Ruhe
Abstract: Existing research provides no systematic insights into if and how mediation impedes battle-related deaths. Therefore, this article presents a temporally disaggregated analysis and assesses the effect of mediation on monthly fatal violence. The article predicts that adversaries evaluate opponents’ trustworthiness from both fighting and negotiation behavior. It argues that reducing fighting intensity during negotiations is a sign of cooperation, which can be negotiated by mediators to build trust. Over the course of mediation, the content of negotiations provides information about how genuinely a conflict party is interested in conflict resolution. Only if mediation achieves negotiation of core incompatibilities will conflict parties be willing to reduce fighting intensity. Under these conditions, information revealed in a mediation process can build trust and substantively reduce violence. An empirical analysis of all African conflicts between 1993 and 2007 supports this prediction and shows that on average mediation is followed by substantive and lasting reductions in fatal violence, if mediation discusses the conflict’s main incompatibility. In contrast, mediation on other topics is associated with a small, fleeting reduction in violence. Data of battle-related fatalities in Syria during negotiations as well as qualitative evidence further support the theoretical mechanism and the model prediction. The study concludes that mediation can reduce conflict intensity substantively, if it achieves exchange between conflict parties on the main conflict issues.
Law and Development Review (Volume 14, Issue 2)
Are OECD Countries in a Rule of Law Recession?
By: Jose R. Balmori de la Miyar
Abstract: This paper examines whether there is a rule of law recession among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This formal inquiry is motivated by the recent findings of a democratic recession across several countries with a long tradition of democratic values. I conduct both quantitative and qualitative analyses using the rule of law index from the World Justice Project, as well as different government and academic reports. Results show that, by and large, there is no rule of law recession among OECD member countries. Findings indicate that 12 out of the 28 OECD member countries analyzed in this paper continue to expand their level of adherence to the rule of law during the period 2014–2020. In fact, just as many OECD member countries have stable scores in their respective rule of law index. In contrast, only Turkey, Hungary, Korea, and Poland exhibit a rule of law recession.
Migration, Poverty, the Role of State, (International) Law and Development in the Industrialised Countries of Europe
By: Brian-Vincent Ikejiaku
Abstract: The current radical strategies by which there is, on one hand, an increasing European assistance to developing poor countries of Africa/Middle East and on the other hand, tightened border-security within Europe as a means to reduce migration from the South; may worsen the state of poverty in Europe, particularly on the immigrants and impact on the workforce in Europe with implication on development. Though, these strategies may sound radically appealing, they are however, unlikely to reduce migration flows to Europe. While there is still a “wide development gap” between the poor countries of Africa/Middle East and industrialised countries of Europe, migration will often increase, at least in the next two-three decades. Radical border security in Europe will expose the migrants to human trafficking in different form and manifestation contrary to Article 3 UN Protocol on Trafficking in Person. The paper examines the role of the State and Law and development, in addressing the issues of poverty and migration within the industrialised countries of Europe. The research argues that there is the likelihood that poverty and human right issues will increase in Europe in the near-future, if the State/EU fails to play their role, by changing their policy direction and repositioning themselves by improving their Law and development stance. The research employs the human rights-based approach, interdisciplinary and critical-analytical perspective within the framework of international Law and development. It employs qualitative empirical evidence from developed countries of Europe and poor developing countries for analysis.
New Global Studies (Volume 15, Issue 2-3)
What’s Happened to Global News?
By: Alexa Robertson
Abstract: Scholarship on “global journalism” – to the extent that the phenomenon is explored empirically – is often based on the analysis of national media. This article considers, instead, how the global fares in global newsrooms, and what has happened to global news since the early years of the millennium. It is argued that, while much has changed in world politics and scholarly agendas, global news is characterized more by continuity than change, and that the interesting differences are not between “then” and “now,” but between news outlets. The results of the analysis of 2189 newscasts, 7591 headlines and 5379 news items broadcast over a period of 13 years by four global news organizations (Al Jazeera English, BBC World, CNN International, and RT) call into question assumptions about the cosmopolitan nature of channels said to speak to the world. They show that only a small percentage of their news can be considered “global” in terms of topic and geographical scope, although there are thought-provoking differences in how the global is narrated. Taken together, they provide occasion to revisit the scholarly debate on global journalism.
Perspectives on Politics (Volume 19, Issue 2)
Institutionalization of Ethnocultural Diversity and the Representation of European Muslims
By: Şener Aktürk, Yury Katliarou
Abstract: We seek to explain variation in the descriptive representation of Muslim minorities in national legislatures, relying on an original data set that includes 635 seats filled by Muslim-origin MPs in the lower chambers of national parliaments of twenty-six European polities in three legislative cycles between 2007 and 2018. We argue that the image of a polity as a union of multiple ethnocultural groups, reflected in concrete state policies and institutional arrangements, may be conducive to better descriptive representation of Muslim minorities, who were not originally envisioned as one of the communities constituting the nation. The results of multivariate regression analysis provide support for our hypothesis that the extent to which ethnocultural diversity is recognized and institutionalized helps explain variation in the levels of descriptive representation of European Muslims. We supplement our findings with congruence testing in four brief case studies: Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria.
When Conflicts Do Not Overspill: The Case of Jordan
By: Petter Nesser, Henrik Gråtrud
Abstract: How can vulnerable states adjacent to countries embroiled in civil war avoid conflict contagion? Jordan has all the classic attributes highlighted in the literature as creating vulnerabilities susceptible to spillover. It adjoins Syria and Iraq where jihadists have operated freely. It has a weak economy, refugees pouring in from adjacent conflicts and is home to hundreds—if not thousands—of jihadists. Moreover, jihadists consider the Jordanian regime to be traitors—who conspire with the enemies of Islam—and they want to replace it with an Islamic state. However, as we show, very few jihadist attacks have happened in Jordan. We test three hypotheses for the limited spillover. Our analysis suggests a state policy that we dub “calibrated repression” is the most significant explanation. This means that Jordan protects against spillover by repressing jihadist attempts at infiltrating the kingdom and clamping down on local terrorist cells linked to the Islamic State while keeping other domestic jihadist elements in check through co-optation. The regime restrains the use of force against less acute threats and displays some leniency towards radicals when the situation allows. Our findings speak to the broader literature on spillover and offer insights into the understudied topic of mechanisms limiting spillover in high-risk environments.
How Narratives and Evidence Influence Rumor Belief in Conflict Zones: Evidence from Syria
By: Justin Schon
Abstract: Armed conflict creates a context of high uncertainty and risk, where accurate and verifiable information is extremely difficult to find. This is a prime environment for unverified information—rumors—to spread. Meanwhile, there is insufficient understanding of exactly how rumor transmission occurs within conflict zones. I address this with an examination of the mechanisms through which people evaluate new information. Building on findings from research on motivated reasoning, I argue that elite-driven narrative contests—competitions between elites to define how civilians should understand conflict—increase the difficulty of distinguishing fact from fiction. Civilians respond by attempting thorough evaluations of new information that they hope will allow them to distinguish evidence from narratives. These evaluations tend to involve some combination of self-evaluation, evaluation of the source, and collective sense-making. I examine this argument using over 200 interviews with Syrian refugees conducted in Jordan and Turkey. My findings indicate that people are usually unable to effectively distinguish evidence from narratives, so narrative contests are powerful drivers of rumor evaluation. Still, civilian mechanisms of rumor evaluation do constrain what propaganda elites can spread. These findings contribute to research on civil war, narrative formation, and information diffusion.
Political Studies (Volume 69, Issue 3)
Connecting Contextual and Individual Drivers of Anti-Americanism in Arab Countries
By: Saskia Glas, Niels Spierings
Abstract: Existing studies propose that anti-Americanism in the Arab region is fueled by American interventions, citizens’ religion, and relative deprivation. However, these three have not been addressed simultaneously or integrated into one framework. This study does so by developing and testing a context-dependent framework. Empirically, we apply multilevel regression to 32 Global Attitudes Project and 34 Arab Barometer surveys that cover more than 58,000 respondents. Contrasting dominant understandings, we find that American interventions fuel both political and societal anti-Americanism and that relatively deprived citizens are not more anti-American. Moreover, our results show (highly religious) Muslims are more politically and societally anti-American than (less religious) non-Muslims, particularly in Arab countries with fewer (highly religious) Muslims and American interventions. Altogether, anti-Americanism is context-dependent and shaped by different but interconnected mechanisms.
Politics & Society (Volume 49, Issue 2)
Class Capacity and Cross-Gender Solidarity: Women’s Organizing in an Egyptian Textile Company
By: Nada Matta
Abstract: Neoliberal restructuring and the feminization of export-led industries are often associated with the disempowerment of women in the workplace. Surprisingly, this disempowerment was not the case with a public textile company in Mahalla, an industrial city north of Cairo. Between 2006 and 2008, workers organized wildcat strikes involving around 24,000 workers. In contrast to the strike waves of the 1980s, women were integral to organizing the strikes and assumed leadership roles in them. This article argues that even as Egypt adopted structural adjustments in the 1990s that led to the decline of the historically leading sectors of textiles and yarn, exports of clothing increased. By the 2000s, the clothing sector was completely feminized and women in Mahalla were positioned in the most productive departments. This change empowered women by elevating their role and induced skeptical male colleagues to support women’s activism in the company and to build cross-gender solidarity.
PS: Political Science & Politics (Volume 54, Issue 3)
Political Science Scholarship on the Middle East: A View from the Journals
By: Melani Cammett, Isabel Kendall
Abstract: Based on an original dataset of all articles on the Middle East in major political science journals during the past two decades, we assess trends in publishing on the region to explore whether it remains underrepresented in political science and how the field has evolved. We focus on the evolution of the total share of Middle East and North Africa (MENA)-focused articles, research topics, methods employed, and patterns of authorship by gender. The proportion of MENA-focused articles has increased, particularly after the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, but remains strikingly low. With respect to topics and methods, research on the Middle East is increasingly integrated in mainstream political science, with articles addressing core disciplinary debates and relying increasingly more on statistical and experimental methods. Yet, these shifts may come at the expense of predominantly qualitative research, and primary topics may reflect the priorities of Western researchers while underplaying the major concerns of Middle Eastern publics.
Review of International Political Economy (Volume 28, Issue 3)
How Israel avoided hyperinflation. The success of its 1985 stabilization plan in the light of post-Keynesian theory
By: Sébastien Charles, Jonathan Marie
Abstract: This article uses a post-Keynesian framework to analyse the inflationary process at work from 1948 until the 1980s in an attempt to understand the origins of the near-hyperinflation of the first semester 1985 and the success of the stabilization plan introduced that same summer. In 1985 the shekel seems to have been entirely abandoned by its users for the U.S. dollar, which, in the context of high inflation of the time should have caused hyperinflation. Such an outcome results from the conjunction of several factors: the historic virulence of the distribution conflict, the presence of indexation mechanisms, and the fragility of the balance of payments marked by a structural current deficit. The stabilization plan, supported by substantial U.S. financial aid, immediately attenuated the external financing constraint and lastingly eased the distribution conflict, thereby averting the hyperinflationary risks. Analysis of this historical trajectory confirms the theoretical coherence of the post-Keynesian analysis of hyperinflation.
Islamic legal tradition and the choice of investment arbitration forums
By: Morr Link, Yoram Z. Haftel
Abstract: Does domestic legal tradition affect international cooperation and legalization? Recent studies indicate that states with Islamic law tradition (ILT) prefer more informal forums to resolve international disputes, compared to states with other legal traditions. We examine this claim in the context of the increasingly important global investment regime. We argue, specifically, that international investment agreements (IIAs) concluded by ILT states are less likely to refer disputes to the highly legalized and formal Centre for the Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID), and are more likely to refer them Islamic forums, which tend to be less formal. Employing new data on forum choice in investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in more than 2,600 IIAs and controlling for a battery of alternative explanations, we find substantial empirical support for the theoretical expectations. These findings underscore the significance of domestic legal traditions to international dispute settlement in the Islamic world and beyond.
Financial sanctions and political risk in the international currency system
By: Daniel McDowell
Abstract: Scholarship on international currencies has traditionally emphasised how an issuing state’s foreign policy can enhance the attractiveness of its currency for cross-border use. Yet, foreign policy actions need not only boost a currency’s international appeal—they may also undermine it. This study introduces a general theory of how US foreign policy can influence governments’ policy orientations toward the dollar in positive or negative ways. Policies like financial sanctions generate ‘political risk’ that weaken the dollar’s attractiveness for international use. The study tests the claim that the United States’ use of financial sanctions incentivises targeted governments to implement de-dollarization policies. I employ a most-likely case study design, presenting evidence from three countries targeted by US sanctions: Russia, Venezuela and Turkey. In each instance, the evidence shows that financial sanctions created political risk concerns by generating expectations of future direct costs of dollar use. These expectations set off policy efforts by targeted governments to reduce their economies’ exposure to the currency. This study raises important questions about the long-term efficacy of an approach to foreign policy that relies on financial sanctions as a primary means of leverage over foreign adversaries as overuse may undermine the effectiveness of the tool itself.
Social & Legal Studies (Volume 30, Issue 3)
States of Exception: Legal Governance of Trans Women in Urban Turkey
By: Ezgi Taşcıoğlu
Abstract: Based on life-story narratives of trans women, this article aims to shed light on the role of the law in their exclusion from public spaces in urban Turkey over the last four decades. In the light of Giorgio Agamben’s work on the sovereign exception, I argue trans women in Turkey routinely find themselves in the position of homo sacer: the bare life that has been rendered politically disqualified and consigned to death. Unlike in Agamben’s account, in which subjects are turned into homo sacers in a singular gesture of the sovereign, my analysis directs attention to the myriad ways states of exception can be created. The experiences of trans women in urban Turkey demonstrate that exceptional legal regimes can be generated by suspending – or by simply not enforcing – the law, as well as, conversely, by establishing an overwhelming presence of the law in daily life. Rather than opposing legality to sovereignty, I argue closer attention needs to be paid to the interfaces of law with negative forms of power and to increasingly sophisticated ways of articulating biopolitical concerns to legal practices revolving around sovereignty.
The Journal of Development Studies (Volume 57, Issues 7 & 8)
Trust to Pay? Tax Morale and Trust in Africa
By: Wilfried A. K. Kouamé
Abstract: Although low tax morale hits developing countries hardest, little is known about its determinants in those countries. This paper examines the impact of trust in public institutions and the neighbourhood on individual tax morale in four African countries. First, the paper provides theoretical foundations of such a relationship. Further, the paper uses the World Value Survey to estimate the effects of trust in public institutions and the neighbourhood on individual tax morale. The identification strategy employs the instrumental variables method and relies on historical data on the slave trade and the literature on the cultural heritage of trust. The paper finds that trust in public institutions and the neighbourhood are associated with tax morale in Algeria, Ghana, Morocco, and Nigeria. The findings are robust to an alternative identification strategy, additional controls, and a falsification test.
Political Connections Reduce Job Creation: Firm-level Evidence from Lebanon
By: Ishac Diwan, Jamal Ibrahim Haidar
Abstract: Using firm-level data, we document that politically connected firms (PCFs) create more jobs than unconnected firms in Lebanon. We observe, however, that the presence of PCFs in a sector is correlated with lower job creation. Although causality is difficult to establish due to endogeneity issues, we find that PCFs expand, and non-PCFs retract, more around elections. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that unfair competition by PCFs hurts unconnected competitors so much that aggregate employment growth in the sector is affected negatively.
The Journal of Politics (Volume 83, Issue 3)
The Media Matters: Muslim American Portrayals and the Effects on Mass Attitudes
By: Nazita Lajevardi
Abstract: Muslim Americans are increasingly stigmatized and may be experiencing a backlash in the American news media and by the public. No study to date, however, has empirically assessed the sentiment of Muslim American cable news coverage over an extended period of time and evaluated its effects on mass attitudes. I address the following questions: How has the US news media portrayed Muslim Americans in its coverage? And, to what extent do these media portrayals affect American public opinion? I demonstrate that the media coverage of Muslims and Muslim Americans is negative and has increased over time. Compared to that of Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans, I find that Muslim American coverage is more negative. In a series of survey experiments, I find that negative news portrayals of Muslims and Muslim Americans increase hostility toward Muslim Americans and increase support for stringent policies targeting them, while positive portrayals have relatively weaker effects.
Jizya against Nationalism: Abul A‘la Maududi’s Attempt at Decolonizing Political Theory
By: Humeira Iqtidar
Abstract: Abul A‘la Maududi (1903–79), the influential Indo-Pakistani Islamist thinker and founder of Jama‘at-e-Islami, was deeply concerned with the dominance of European political ideas on Muslim thought. Showing that Maududi’s critique of nationalism had greater depth and complexity than most commentators have recognized, and taking seriously his stated interest in moving beyond the “intellectual slavery” engendered by colonialism the essay argues for reading his analysis of nationalism in modern democracies and his proposed solution of jizya as an attempt at decolonizing political theory through conceptual innovation that employed Islamic resources to address limitations of European thought and practice, and inverted colonial hierarchies of thought. Recognizing it as such deepens our understanding of the challenges involved in and raised by decolonizing political theory.
The Washington Quarterly (Volume 44, Issue 2)
The Rocky Future of the US-Israeli Special Relationship
By: Dov Waxman, Jeremy Pressman
Abstract: Not available