[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the eighteenth 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.]
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (Volume 48, Issue 5)
“Knight of Internationalization”: U.N. delegate Charles Malik of Lebanon and U.N. General Assembly Resolution 303 calling for the internationalization of Jerusalem
By: Elad Ben-Dror
Abstract: On 9 December 1949, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 303 calling for the full internationalization of Jerusalem although many had grave doubts about the viability of the plan and a more practical alternative focusing on the holy places was then sitting on the table. This article sheds light on the diplomacy of Charles Malik, Lebanon’s U.N. representative, whose tireless efforts were responsible in large measure for the adoption of this resolution.
The Iraqi protest movement: social mobilization amidst violence and instability
By: Irene Costantini
Abstract: Despite the many constraints it faces, social mobilization has been a relevant yet understudied phenomenon in Iraq after regime-change. Especially since 2011, collective actions such as protests, sit-in and demonstrations have challenged the status quo, amidst cyclical high level of violence and a dysfunctional political system. By identifying a gap at the crossroad of social movement and peace and conflict studies, this article is a preliminary exercise in investigating non-violent means to promote social and political change in violent contexts. It proposes a comparison of episodes of social mobilization in Iraq and analyses them in terms of space, types of grievances, identification of the target and overall goal. The article finds that social mobilization’s main limitations in Iraq are linked to its development in reaction to contextual factors. At the same time, it also shows the potential social mobilization has to become a locus where social and political change may grow.
Three murders and a mandate: on property and French sovereignty in interwar Syria
By: Alexis Rappas
Abstract: This paper is an investigation into a triple homicide in the French Mandate of Syria in 1925. It first suggests that the official decision to single out the murder of three French land registry employees in the midst of the Great Syrian Revolt, a two-year war against French imperial rule, is revealing of the Mandate’s attempts to legitimize its dominion over Syria. It then argues that the capacity in which the three slain agents operated, as employees tasked with the break-up of mushâ’ properties, is central to their demise. Indeed the Mandate advertised the individualization of mushâ’ holdings (based on a rotation of land use rights) as a rational measure meant to improve living standards in rural Syria. But Syrian rebels also perceived such interventions as an attempt by French authorities to circumvent the Mandate-imposed restrictions to their authority through the construction of what is here called ‘material sovereignty.’
The AKP, party system change, and political representation by women in Turkey
By: F. Michael Wuthrich
Abstract: In Turkey, the number of women in the Grand National Assembly has drastically increased from 24 in 2002 to 104 as of the June election of 2018. To date, the explanations for this rise and women’s emergence and placement on candidate lists have been inadequate. This study examines these dynamics more closely to attend to the strategic decision-making by the AKP’s central party leadership. Using an original dataset, I analyse placement patterns for AKP women candidates across the country from November 2002 to June 2018. The results show that the consequences of dominant party status along with other strategic considerations have allowed the AKP to field women candidates in ways that parties preceding them could not. Their strategic placement of women as candidates is shown to have facilitated substantive gains but also highlights important limitations to the advancement of women’s access to national political power in Turkey.
Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum: political parties, opportunity and timing
By: Sara D. Mustafa
Abstract: By focusing on the importance of timing, this research highlights the effects of decisions made during the years 2005–2017 that placed the Kurdish political elite on the trajectory towards an independence referendum. The focus of this paper is the struggle between the two major political parties, the implications from the War on the Islamic State (IS), and the change in access to oil revenue. It can be determined that the intersection of these processes over time resulted in the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum. Timing has been an aspect of referenda and secessionist movements that has not been given enough acknowledgement and consideration. The opportunities presented to the Kurdish political elite in 2017 were not present in the previous years and the independence referendum’s timing was due to the interaction and intersection of these processes. The purpose of this research is to determine why the Kurdish political elite decided upon an independence referendum in 2017, rather than at any other point after the U.S. intervention in Iraq. As more groups within states across the world are aspiring towards self-determination and secessionist movements are arising, the Kurdish question is being renewed and has become an important aspect of politics in the region.
Listening in from afar: the BBC Arabic service and the Bahrain radio listeners’ committee, 1938–1943
By: Andrea L Stanton
Abstract: This article uses the case study of the Bahrain listeners’ committee, a radio listening group formed in 1938 in response to the establishment of the BBC’s Arabic broadcasting service, to argue that interwar Gulf radio listening was more extensive than has been imagined, that Gulf listeners had specific interests regarding radio programming that differed from those in the Levant, and that small groups of listeners could substantially impact the Arabic service’s programming. The BBC’s Arabic service was launched as a counterweight to Italy’s Radio Bari, which broadcast anti-British sentiment in Arabic, and its primary imagined listeners were Levantine. However, Gulf listeners also tuned in—and the Bahrain listeners’ committee were faithful listeners. They met regularly for 5 years, offering unsparing advice regarding reception and programming, and consistently requesting more news. Their desire for more news resulted ultimately in a second Arabic news broadcast and a new, Bahrain-based broadcast, in which the committee played a critical role. But wartime communications made it difficult for the BBC to obtain their notes, and after 1943, they disappear from the archival record. The committee’s story highlights the importance of Gulf radio listening and more complicated and interconnected notions of broadcaster and listener agency.
Chinese ‘Soft Power Pipelines Diffusion’ (SPPD) to the Middle Eastern Arab Countries 2000-2018: A Discursive-Institutional Study
By: Roie Yellinek, Yossi Mann, Udi Lebel
Abstract: The article examines China’s ‘soft power’ invested in Middle Eastern countries from 2000 to 2018 by offering three main ‘Soft Power Pipelines Diffusion’ (SPPD): the media, popular culture and education. The paper focuses not only on China’s soft presence but also on the response and reception of its power in Middle Eastern Arab countries. China’s soft power presence and efforts were found to be efficient and to contribute to China’s image in the region and to its transformation into an attractive destination for cooperation in many soft areas.
Revisiting multilateralism in the Middle East between securitization and desecuritization of the Kurds
By: Jülide Karakoç
Abstract: This article examines the impact of the (de)securitization of the Kurds by regional and significant external securitizing actors on relations and cooperation between regional states, non-state actors and significant external actors engaged in Middle East politics. It argues that the security framings of the Kurds constructed by securitizing actors provide an epistemological and political base for conducting relations and establishing cooperation between regional states under the influence of the external actors. Considering multilateralism as an essentially cooperative activity based on certain principles or values, the article suggests that, by constructing contradictory or coherent visions of (in)security, (de)securitization affects relations and shapes multilateralism. Even if the (in) security framings of actors are conflicting, multilateral cooperation remains possible since these actors may not openly reject the other’s securitization moves. However, such a framework challenges multilateralism, and further transforms it by making cooperation fragile, value-free, temporary, unreliable and informal.
Authoritarianism in the information age: state branding, depoliticizing and ‘de-civilizing’ of online civil society in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
By: Robert Uniacke
Abstract: Much academic and media attention has been focussed on states’ development of powerful surveillance capabilities to police the online space in recent years. In authoritarian contexts, these technologies serve to identify political dissidents and remove them from the sphere of public discourse for the sake of regime survival. However, this paper argues that direct repression is but one application of coercive technologies; authoritarian states are simultaneously pursuing longer-term strategies in the online space aimed at influencing citizens’ conduct and generating discourse that aligns with regime priorities. Drawing on a theoretical framework conceptualizing the civil society-politics nexus in the specific context of emerging communications technologies, the paper comparatively evaluates the attempts of two Arab Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to depoliticize and de-civilize online debate through promoting regime-friendly narratives that expose, criticize, crowd-out, delegitimize and ultimately deter political dissidents. Evidence is collected from a broad range of literature on digital authoritarianism, as well as original open-source research analysing relevant social media content in the Gulf states.
British policy towards Iran 1809-1914: the question of cost
By: Vanessa Martin
Abstract: There have been many interpretations of British policy in Iran between 1809 and 1914, but not infrequently a lack of precision as to what it was, with a certain tendency to believe that the British wished for greater control and influence over the country than they in fact did. This article seeks to demonstrate that Britain’s paramount concern was the defence of the route to India, and that, by contrast with the Russians, they refrained from involving themselves further until the increasing disorder from 1909 to 1914. The evidence for the argument is provided by the constantly expressed desire to curtail cost demonstrated by their attitude to expenditure. The article throws new light on the influential role of the government of India, which was required through out to bear a proportion of the cost, and which objected in the strongest terms to any further expenditure than was strictly necessary. Apart from the one deviation over the Tobacco Concession in 1890, the policy which Grey took over, rather than initiated, was military and strategic, aimed at a new enemy, Germany, rather than just Russia.
Search and sovereignty: the relatives of the Lebanese disappeared in Syria
By: Roschanack Shaery-Yazdi
Abstract: During almost three decades of Syrian army presence in Lebanon, the Syrian military security in collaboration with local militia leaders and with the blessing of many postwar politicians abducted and transferred hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians illegally across the border to Syria. Based on interviews with the relatives of these victims and on participant observation at the permanent sit-in at the protest tent in downtown Beirut where they regularly gathered, I discuss the search practices of these families since the early 1980s. I throw light on several of their activities to resist the political, legal, and public erasure of these disappeared. I suggest that relatives have acted as ‘informal lawyers’ of the absentees to protect them from being blamed for their own abductions. Furthermore, I argue that after the Syrian army withdrawal in 2005 there has been a clear transition from what Thomas Blom Hansen calls the de facto sovereignty of transnational shadow networks (such as in this case of Syrian and Lebanese military security) to the de facto sovereignty of global humanitarian and human rights regimes. I claim that members of both of these transnational networks engage in a set of discourses and practices to decide over the life and death of these victims.
The representation(s) of Saudi women pre-driving era in local newspapers and magazines: a critical discourse analysis
By: Tariq Elyas, Kholoud Ali Al-Zhrani, Abrar Mujaddadi, Alaa Almohammadi
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the online representation(s) of Saudi women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with respect to the use of language functions. It aims to identify the particular ways in which Saudi women are represented, as well as the ideologies behind the style of representation, specifically focusing on the timeframe of pre-driving era. As a case study, 17 articles from Saudi newspapers and magazines published online between the 6th and 23rd of March 2016 (a time frame surrounding International Woman’s Day) were examined by using critical discourse analysis. Applying the analytical model of van Leeuwen’s 1993 framework reveals that Saudi women are depicted as active within Saudi society, driven by their beliefs yet they present themselves as independent members of the society. Their great attributes, achievements, and discoveries are often mentioned, praised, and appreciated in online texts. However, there are some authors who claim that there is still room for improvement in terms of gender equality in Saudi society. In general, we found that online sources tend to be neutral in tackling women’s issues.
‘We are rich in mass graves’: representing a history of violence through Êzîdî poetry
By: Mairéad Smith
Abstract: The 2014 Êzîdî Genocide caused a rupture in the social fabric of the Iraqi religious Êzîdî minority. A search for meaning in the aftermath of violence has caused a group of Şingalî poets to reconstruct memories of the past through their narration in Arabic prose poetry. A narrative analysis has been used on a selection of poems written and interviews conducted with five poets. I investigate their trauma process through adopting the theory of a cultural trauma, viewing ‘trauma’ from a social constructivist point of view, in an attempt to advance and challenge trauma theory and position the importance of representation in empowering lost voices. Through reconstructing the past in the present, the poets narrate counter-histories which give access to untold experiences which lie outside the narration of a singular event, but instead comprise of stories of the everyday in which violence is embedded. In recounting these memories, the poets serve to historicize their suffering while rebuilding the foundation of the collective and relating themselves to wider communities fostering attachments, solidarity and a critical vision for the future.
Social inclusion and legal exclusion in a Jewish or democratic state: intermarriage in the Zionist movement and the early State of Israel
By: Anne Perez
Abstract: Zionists grappled with the implications of intermarriage from as early as the beginning of their movement, though the tensions surrounding intermarriage, religion, and the Jewish nation were amplified with the establishment of Israel in 1948. While many Zionists advocated for the social inclusion of non-Jewish spouses (and their children) in the nation, Zionist support for religious control of personal status law allowed for de facto legal exclusion of these same non-Jews. Early Zionist and Israeli policies therefore exercised ?functional ambiguity? regarding intermarried families in national life. By celebrating the inclusion of non-Jewish family members?and particularly non-Jewish wives?Zionists underscored a secular Jewish identity and the ostensibly democratic nature of the Jewish state. Yet by allowing for their legal exclusion through religious law, and by highlighting a limited criteria for national inclusion, they maintained the Jewish nature of the state and the prevention of a civic, ?Israeli? national identity shared with Palestinian citizens.
Egyptian foreign policy after the 2011 revolution: the dynamics of continuity and change
By: Gamal M. Selim
Abstract: The outbreak of the Egyptian 2011 revolution raised expectations in academic and policy-oriented circles that Egypt would chart a new foreign policy discourse in response to the demands of its revolutionary public and the competing political forces that sought to shape its power. This article examines the development of Egyptian foreign policy after the 2011 revolution, with a view of identifying the patterns of continuity and change and their primary underlying causes. The article contends that, contrary to expectations, the elements of continuity were far more powerful than propensities for change during period of SCAF and Morsi where the revolutionary sentiment in Egyptian politics was at its peak. While the rise of Sisi to power seemed to have ended the revolutionary zeal in contemporary Egypt, it was only then that Egypt’s foreign policy has witnessed the most relatively significant change in the last 40 years.
Kurdish subjectivity: Liminal Kurd characters stymied in harsh liminal contexts in Sherzad Hassan’s short fiction
By: Zakarya Bezdoode, Golchin Amani
Abstract: Investigating the way Sherzad Hassan represents the liminal status of the leading characters in his short fiction, this paper attempts to probe into the question of Kurdish subjectivity and Identity by discussing the liminal position of Kurds in Iraq in decades that culminated in their Anfal by Saddam Hussein. Victor Turner’s concept of liminality forms the theoretical background of the analysis. ‘Lausanne’, ‘Marlin’, ‘The Game of Changing Beds’, ‘The Sad Song of Being a Stranger’, ‘Secret’, ‘Smoke’, ‘The Alley of the Scarecrows’, and ‘Azrael’ among others are the selected short stories in which liminality has been scrutinized. Sherzad Hassan has employed music, incoherence, heteronomy, anonymity, verisimilitude, nakedness, limbo, tomb, womb, indeterminacy, hospital, patients, paralysis, gate, curtain, widowhood, smoke, scarecrows, portmanteau, and angels as the conventions of representing liminality. Given these facts, the paper comes up with the conclusion that the characters’ aspirations for development in their circumstances are mouldered. Tranquillity, cohesion and reintegration into the Kurdish society seem to be a mere mirage for the individuals.
White Revolution on the screen; the transformation of hegemonic currents in the Iranian rural films during the 1960s and 1970s
By: Asefeh Sadeghi-Esfahlani
Abstract: This article examines the cinematic representation of hegemonic currents in the films produced in Iran during the 1960s and 1970s. In a close reading of the mainstream, artistic and political films of the period it probes the effects of the newly established capitalist mode of production in the cinematic production. Drawing on Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, it demonstrates how a new social class appeared in the country as a result of the so-called White Revolution and land reform and discusses the changing alliances of this class during the 1960s and the 1970s which contributed to the formations of hegemonic force-fields. Accordingly, this articles traces the transformation of the hegemonic processes of incorporation in the realm of cinema from the duality of residual/emergent significations through alternative practices (considering Raymond Williams’s terminology) in the 1960s to pre-emergent and later radically emergent and oppositional practices in the 1970s.
The metamorphosis: a literary analysis of the Arab Muslim refugee’s interpersonal struggles of integration in London
By: Vicky Panossian
Abstract: Contemporary literature reflects a newly emerging paradigm of the Arab Muslim refugee’s identity. The current conflict in the Middle East created a surge of migrants to European nations. The resulting social phenomenon enforces a series of interpersonal and international struggles for both the refugees and their hosts. In this paper, I carry out a comparative interpretation of Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire and Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West in order to demonstrate the Arab Muslim refugee’s identity reinvention and metamorphosis in Britain, particularly in London. As I demonstrate in this paper, the many protagonists in both literary works allude to specific phases of the naturalization process, as social group’s prejudiced and stereotypical conceptualization of the ‘other’ is identified. Paradoxical accounts of empathy and apathy are recorded and conflicting social roles are highlighted. The literary works suggest the genesis of new multi-national Arab Muslim identities as potential (re)solution to the interpersonal struggles of integration.
Islam and existentialism in Turkey during the Cold War in the works of Sezai Karakoç
By: Gözde Damla Çitler
Abstract: Existentialist thought has influenced arts and literature movements in Turkey starting from the early Cold War years. The Second New movement in Turkish poetry was able to distinguish itself as a literary movement by focusing on the constrained individual who lost their voice and autonomy in the repressive and polarized conditions of the Cold War. Sezai Karakoç (b. 1933) is a prominent Turkish and conservative-Muslim intellectual, and a poet of the Second New whose work shows the effects of existentialist philosophy and he uses existential notions to formulate a doctrine. With this doctrine and his unique perspective of what this article construes to be a part of the Islamic existentialism, Karakoç remains a pivotal figure in explaining existentialism’s influence in Turkish literature and politics from a religious standpoint. Although affected by the existentialist thought, Karakoç refuses Sartrean atheism or Camusian absurdism to understand the laws of existence, and ties both nature’s and human’s reason of existence to Allah with a fundamental belief maintains that everything is linked to Him. In doing so, he uses the notion of death as a transcendental experience for the human beings, which enriches life with an experiment that exceeds the boundaries of the physical rules.
Serializing protestantism: the missionary Miscellany and the Arabic press in 1850s Beirut
By: Anthony Edwards
Abstract: This article explores the connections between two distinct publishing enterprises in 1850s Beirut to put into relief how American missionaries and learned Syrians in tandem shaped the early Arabic press industry. It examines Syrian journalistic ambitions, a missionary foray into serialized print, and the material practices of early Arabic publishing. Section one provides the first detailed history of the Miscellany (1851–1856), a series of religious pamphlets produced by the missionaries known in Arabic as Majmuʿ Fawayid (A Collection of Useful Knowledge). Through a material analysis of the publication, it also expands on the extent archival record and discusses developments to the format of the serial. Section two advances an updated establishment story of Hadiqat al-Akhbar (1858–1907), the first Arabic newspaper in the city. It spotlights a disremembered leader of the journalistic enterprise, Antonius Ameuney (1821–1881), and pinpoints the origins of the newspaper to a group of Syrians assembled at the forgotten Médawar Literary Circle. The entangled history of the Arabic press shows how foreigners and locals worked simultaneously to realize different visions for a serial publication in Beirut in the early days of the Arab Nahḍa (Renaissance).
Youth and political engagement in post-revolution Tunisia
By: Fethi Mansouri
Abstract: Tunisia, the birthplace of the ‘Arab Spring’, has emerged as the only credible story of political transition and democratic consolidation across the region. However, ongoing challenges are tempering the euphoria of the early emancipatory mantra of freedom and dignity. Nevertheless, the political transformation continues to gather assured democratic momentum. And whilst the country’s political elite and leading civil society organizations have managed to avoid the chaotic, and in some cases violent, scenarios in neighbouring countries, some significant challenges remain ahead, none less important than enduring corruption, socio-economic inequalities, sporadic but highly damaging security events, and persistent economic problems, most notably high unemployment among university graduates. Based on qualitative insights and quantitative data, this paper shows that many of these challenges are epitomized in the critical demographic cohort of youth who are disengaging from all forms of formal political activities. The paper argues that democratic gains can be fragile and will be jeopardized unless urgent structural reforms and transformative initiatives are introduced in the country to restore, even partially, the youth’s capacity to influence the social reform agenda and the overall democratization process.
The inter-Islamic competition and the shift in al-Nur party stance towards civil state in Egypt
By: Shaimaa Magued
Abstract: Why did al-Nur Salafi party change its stance towards civil state? This study problematizes al-Nur party’s discourse on civil state after 25 January and 3 July in emphasis of its ideological shift in different political contexts. Based on the political parties’ competition strategies, this study argues that changes in al-Nur party’s discourse towards civil state are due to its adoption of different competition strategies vis-à-vis the Muslim Brothers after 25 January and 3 July. Unlike the literature addressing the Islamists’ ideological revisions, this paper argues that al-Nur party adopted the issue ownership strategy in order to highlight its ideological specificity vis-à-vis the Brothers’ Freedom and Justice Party after 25 January. After 3 July, the party shifted to the wave-riding strategy in compliance with public anti-Islamic feelings in order to take over the political vacuum left after the ban of and the crackdown on the Brothers. By relying on the Critical Discourse Analysis methodology, this study examines the shift in al-Nur party’s stance towards civil state in the party’s official statements and websites during elections and constitutional referendums after 25 January and 3 July.
Menachem Begin and the question of the settlements: 1967–1977
By: Amir Goldstein, Elchanan Shilo
Abstract: This paper has sought to examine Menachem Begin’s considerations on the issue of the settlements in the territories occupied by Israel in the decade prior to his becoming prime minister. In those years, the gap between what Begin defined as the role of his party—the gatekeeper against an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank—vis-à-vis its actual scanty settling activity was striking. The core of the article tackles the repeated attempts made by a group of youths involved with right-wing circles to establish a Jewish settlement in or adjacent to Nablus, from 1969 to 1970. The little aid that Begin extended to these almost unknown youths sheds light on some significant facets of his perspective on the settlements. At that stage of his political career, Begin held a legalistic position and distanced himself from any unlawful clashes with the government. Begin’s adamant standpoint was consistent until the first attempt made by the religious Zionist youths to establish a settlement near Nablus in the spring-summer of 1974. Begin changed his mind only upon realizing that the clash between the settlers and the government in the summer of 1974 did not generate a noticeable public uproar.
Sectarianization and Memory in the post-Saddam Middle East: the ‘Alāqima
By: Nassima Neggaz
Abstract: The literature on sectarianism, its causes and intricate workings, has increased considerably since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. This article focuses on the discursive strategies employed by a set of actors seeking to persuade their audiences of a permanent and insoluble rift between Sunnis and Shi’a, stigmatized as the ‘Alāqima. It offers a case study of a particular historical episode: the fall of Baghdad and the Abbasid Caliphate during the Mongol invasion of 1258. It argues that, since 2003, this event has been recast in a narrative emphasizing Shi’i betrayal and Sunni victimhood by different groups of actors (political figures, religious clerics, jihadist groups, etc.) who manipulate this grand narrative to fulfil specific socio-political goals (mobilization, recruitment, etc.) and rely on mechanisms of diffusion strongly based on social media. Methodologically, it demonstrates the critical relevance of sociologist Margaret Somers’ ‘narrative identity approach.’ According to this approach, ‘people construct identities (…) by locating themselves or being located within a repertoire of emplotted stories.’ It calls for de-sectarianization strategies that address these discourses and narratives, particularly in the online sphere.
Contemporary Arab Affairs (Volume 14, Issue 4)
The Arab World: Protests, Revolutions and Choices
By: Boubaker Boukreisa
Abstract: Many researchers who believed in the “Arab Spring” are now debating the “Arab Autumn.” The two concepts are misleading because they reflect the entangled and complex reality of Arab countries at the current time. Such significant events that comprised the Arab Spring require knowledge of the influence of countries that were not directly involved in it, but which were pursuing their interests beyond their own borders. An attempt to engage with this sort of analytical framework leads to political fallacy that will contribute more to the crisis rather than solve it. Thus, it is important to understand that those who fight tyranny are not necessarily democratic themselves. What is the state of play in the Arab world today? At what stage of history is this region positioned? To answer both questions a lateral approach is needed, but this should not overlook the size of cases and their different levels.
The Role of Political Parties in Supporting the Process of Democratic Consolidation: Jordan as a Case Study
By: Sultan Naser Fares Alquraan, Haytham Adouse
Abstract: This study identifies the role of Jordanian political parties in supporting the process of democratic consolidation and in solving the problems and challenges that block the process of democratic transformation. It used a cross-sectional design depending on statistics and analytics, whereby 497 male and female students were selected from three departments of the recruited colleges. Data were collected through a questionnaire, with a reliability score of 0.92 (Cronbach’s alpha). Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation coefficient, univariate analysis, and multiple contrast tests were used to analyze the data. Findings from the study indicated that the role of Jordanian political parties in entrenching the process of democratic transformation and in solving problems and challenging procedures was partially performed. The obtained p-value of 0.00 indicates that political parties play a significant role in dealing with democratic challenges at behavioral, attitudinal, and constitutional levels.
The Images of China and Britain in the Syrian Media: A Comparison
By: Hengrui Ding, Degang Sun
Abstract: China and Britain have contrasting images in the official and unofficial Syrian media. By analysing relevant news stories, this study reveals that China’s involvement in the Syrian crisis as covered by the Syrian media is usually limited to governmental affairs, while Britain’s involvement covered by the Syrian media, especially the “revolutionary” outlet, figures in a relatively wider range of diverse nongovernmental happenings including activities of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the media. Most importantly, the study finds that the “revolutionary” outlet Enab Baladi is apt to present Chinese involvement as negative, but presents British involvement as positive, while the government-backed news agency SANA portrays a completely positive image of China and a fundamentally negative image of Britain.
International Journal of Middle East Studies (Volume 54, Issue 1)
“Revolution is the Equality of Children and Adults”: Yaşar Kemal Interviews Street Children, 1975
By: Nazan Maksudyan
Abstract: In 1975, the world-famous novelist Yaşar Kemal (1923–2015) undertook a series of journalistic interviews with street children in Istanbul. The series, entitled “Children Are Human” (Çocuklar İnsandır), reflects the author's rebellious attitude as well as the revolutionary spirit of hope in the 1970s in Turkey. Kemal's ethnographic fieldwork with street children criticized the demotion of children to a less-than-human status when present among adults. He approached children's rights from a human rights angle, stressing the humanity of children and that children's rights are human rights. The methodological contribution of this research to the history of children and youth is its engagement with ethnography as historical source. His research provided children the opportunity to express their political subjectivities and their understanding of the major political questions of the time, specifically those of social justice, (in)equality, poverty, and ethnic violence encountered in their everyday interactions with politics in the country. Yaşar Kemal's fieldwork notes and transcribed interviews also bring to light immense injustices within an intersectional framework of age, class, ethnicity, and gender. The author emphasizes that children's political agency and their political protest is deeply rooted in their subordination and misery, but also in their dreams and hopes. Situating Yaşar Kemal's “Children Are Human” in the context of the 1970s in Turkey, I hope to contribute to childhood studies with regard to the political agency of children as well as to the history of public intellectuals and newspapers in Turkey and to progressive representations of urban marginalization.
The Agricultural Settlement of the Arabah and the Political Ecology of Zionism
By: Matan Kaminer
Abstract: Agricultural settlement geared to capitalist commodity production and accompanied by massive ecological interventions has historically been central to the Zionist colonial project of creating a permanent Jewish presence in the “Land of Israel.” The hyperarid southern region known as the Central Arabah is an instructive edge-case: in the 1960s, after the expulsion of the bedouin population, cooperative settlements were established here and vegetables produced through “Hebrew self-labor,” with generous assistance from the state. In the 1990s the region was again transformed as the importation of migrant workers from Thailand enabled farmers to expand cultivation of bell peppers for global markets. But today ecological destruction, depletion of water resources, and global warming cast doubt over the viability of settlement in this climatically extreme region. I locate the settlements of the Arabah within the historical political ecology of the Zionist movement, arguing that their current fragility exposes the essential precarity of capitalist colonization.
Environmental Crises at the End of Safavid History: The Collapse of Iran's Early Modern Imperial Ecology, 1666–1722
By: James Gustafson, James Speer
Abstract: The 17th century was a period of transition in world history. It was marked globally by social movements emerging in response to widespread drought, famine, disease, warfare, and dislocation linked to climate change. Historians have yet to situate Safavid Iran (1501–1722) within the “General Crisis.” This article, coauthored by an environmental historian and a climate scientist, revisits primary sources and incorporates tree-ring evidence to argue that an ecological crisis beginning in the late 17th century contributed to the collapse of the imperial ecology of the Safavid Empire. A declining resource base and demographic decline conditioned the unraveling of imperial networks and the empire's eventual fall to a small band of Afghan raiders in 1722. Ultimately, this article makes a case for the connectedness of Iran to broader global environmental trends in this period, with local circumstances and human agency shaping a period of acute environmental crisis in Iran.
A Ghoul at the Gates: Natural Gas Energy and the Environment in Pahlavi Iran, 1960–1979
By: Ciruce Movahedi-Lankarani
Abstract: In the 1960s and 1970s, Iranian officials embraced natural gas as a new energy source for their rapidly industrializing society, seeing it as a readily available substitute for the lucrative oil products their country's citizens were consuming in increasing amounts. Reacting to the growing concentrations of smoke and haze in cities, and unable to alter the mountainous terrain and semiarid climate that intensified them, gas seemingly promised to be a technical savior upon which to build an Iran as environmentally sound as it was prosperous, technologically sophisticated, and energy hungry. Pahlavi-era developmental choices were shaped by officials’ concern for deteriorating environmental conditions, the natural factors that compounded the issue, and the interests of private industry. Using archival and published materials collected in Iran, this article focuses on urban air pollution and the fitful efforts to mitigate it through the conversion of industrial facilities to gas.
“Illegitimate Children”: The Tunisian New Left and the Student Question, 1963–1975
By: Idriss Jebari
Abstract: The alliance between the leftist movement Perspectives Tunisiennes and university students delivered sustained opposition and repeated protests against Bourguiba's regime in the 1960s and 1970s. This article argues that these groups were driven by the “student question,” a counterproject for Tunisian national development that opposed the vision of liberal bourgeois modernity espoused by Bourguiba's reforms of elitism through education and depoliticization. Instead, the student question was fleshed out in the group's periodical, envisaging the emancipation of Tunisian subjects and their entitlement to citizenship and political participation, and how the struggle of students would sweep the whole country. Drawing on the movement's journal and memoirs of four former Tunisian leftists, I trace how Perspectives navigated the regime's repression in 1968 and 1972–75, and how two successive generations of leftists emerged with different ideological reference points. In so doing, this article takes seriously the political imagination of this group during the global 1960s and 1970s, while conceiving ways to reintegrate silenced memories and histories into the mainstream of Tunisian historiography after the 2011 revolution.
Mediterranean Politics (Volume 26, Issue 5)
Go local, go global: Studying popular protests in the MENA post-2011
By: Irene Weipert-Fenner
Abstract: The Arab Uprisings led to an increased interest in studying protests in the MENA region. The article examines this literature, provides suggestions for further research and reflects how the study of MENA protests can contribute to a cross-regional research agenda. It looks at rationalist-structuralist approaches, on studies in the framework of social movement theory, and political economy approaches. The article suggests combining the latter with SMT in broader concepts such as the ‘incorporation crisis’, originally developed for Latin America, allowing for more cross-regional comparisons. Finally, it discusses the latest methodological developments for collecting data on protests in the MENA post-2011.
The Arab uprisings and the return of repression
By: Maria Josua, Mirjam Edel
Abstract: The Arab uprisings of 2011 led to a reassessment of comparative politics research on authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa. The Arab region made its way from area studies into mainstream comparative politics, and research foci have shifted towards civil-military relations and repression. Ten years later, we observe higher levels of repression across the region, reflecting a diversity of repressive trends. Advocating comprehensive research on this variation, we review recent literature that tackles various dimensions of repression in Arab autocracies. In addition to disaggregating forms and targets of repression, we call for its justifications, agents and transnational dimensions to be considered next to the implications of digital technologies of coercion. We also reflect on how repression affects the possibility of doing research and how we can investigate the proposed dimensions of repression.
Observing (the debate on) sectarianism: On conceptualizing, grasping and explaining sectarian politics in a new Middle East
By: Morten Valbjørn
Abstract: To what extent has the study of sectarianism in the Middle East made any progress in the first decade after the Arab uprisings? Based on an analysis of three aspects of the study of sectarianism – on how to conceptualize, grasp and explain sectarianism – the article shows that the sectarianism debate hardly has provided much certainty, agreement or any firm conclusions. However, the study of sectarianism has progressed in terms of greater conceptual, methodological and theoretical sophistication. Thereby, the study of sectarianism resembles a broader trend in Middle East Studies towards moving beyond the classic ‘trenches’ in the Area Studies Controversy.
Alliance politics in the post-2011 Middle East: Advancing theoretical and empirical perspectives
By: May Darwich
Abstract: Alliances in the post-2011 Middle East are characterized by anomalous shifts and upsurge of new actors leading to theoretical and empirical puzzles. This article argues that unravelling these patterns requires grappling with in-depth knowledge of regional politics and a serious engagement with the broader IR literature. Through this dual exploration, the article explores how the literature on alliance cohesion within IR could inform anomalous alliance dynamics in the post-2011 regional order. It also reveals how regional developments in the post-2011 Middle East, such as the pursuit of alliance by non-state actors, present avenues for theoretical innovations.
The Middle East in global modernity: Analytic polycentrism, historic entanglements and a rejuvenated area studies debate
By: Stephan Stetter
Abstract: I argue that theories of global modernity/world society offer a promising inter-disciplinary approach for theorizing the Middle East. They provide a conceptual umbrella for a rejuvenated Area Studies debate. I turn first to earlier (inter-disciplinary) debates of that kind and then discuss how a rejuvenated debate can reach for new shores: I address the Middle East Area Studies Controversy, and then Fred Halliday’s distinction between ‘analytic universalism’ and ‘historic particularism’. Focusing on the interstices between Area Studies and International Relations (IR), I suggest that scholarship on the Arab uprisings offers insights on how to transcend this distinction by shifting to ‘analytic polycentrism’ and ‘historic entanglements’. I identify the unpredictability of power relations and local/global horizons as central, and often marginalized perspectives brought to the fore in post-Arab uprising scholarship. I then discuss how these insights can be linked to innovative (inter-disciplinary) debates in IR that draw from historical-sociological theories of global modernity and world society, especially how the concepts of emergence and evolution as well as differentiation and subjectivity – central pillars of world society theories – can be made of use for the study of the Middle East’s place in global modernity and global IR generally speaking.
Preaching and ruling: The Jordanian muslim brotherhood post Arab uprisings
By: Lamis El Muhtaseb
Abstract: When under pressure do mainstream Islamist movements moderate more, or do they moderate less? Focusing on the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Jordan, I argue that religious framing and references are reaffirmed in the discourse and programmes of the movement (and its party) despite pressure, ensuing splits and internal disputes. Through field interviews, media and content analysis, I find that the movement reacted to pressure by adopting a conciliatory stand and appeasing rhetoric towards the Jordanian authorities. However, the movement also stresses its religious themes and references as a source for mobilization and legitimacy.
De-democratization under the New Turkey? Challenges for women’s organizations
By: Hande Eslen-Ziya, Nazlı Kazanoğlu
Abstract: This article is an endeavour to explore the changing networking strategies of women’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Turkey over the last decade. We delineate the shifts and changes during what we call the de-democratization process where secular women’s organizations face significant constraints and difficulties while networking and lobbying the government. Under these constrained conditions, yet, secular women’s organizations make an exceptional effort to sustaining their lobbying activities and changing their networking strategies as well as partners. Relying on the related literature and 26 semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted with activist members of these organizations with about a 15-year time difference, this paper contends that Turkish women’s organizations under the New Turkey are forced to find alternative allies and adjust their velvet triangles of support. Though their strategies were similar in some ways, the type of partnerships formed and who these partners are changed from the first and second decade of the 2000s. Thus, the paper shows how the secular women’s organizations adapt to new resources as they mobilize and how they shift away from employing the single target approach to double while changing their initial networking and collaboration partners.
Middle East Critique (Volume 31, Issue 1)
From the White Man’s Burden to the Responsible Saviour: Justifying Humanitarian Intervention in Libya
By: Ilia Xypolia
Abstract: In recent years, there has been renewed interest in conceptualising the political nature of human rights as well as intense debate over the precise nature of Western biases in the whole project. Spurred by the fresh renewal of radical theory, a growing body of literature explores the role that racialized power hierarchies have played in the human rights project through the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine. Drawing from critical human rights scholarship, this article explores the way human rights have been employed as a legitimising discourse for justifying military intervention in Libya. In doing so, it illustrates the Eurocentric conceptualisation of power, power hierarchies and subjectivities.
Reflections on the Failure of the Egyptian Revolution
By: Gianni Del Panta
Abstract: Between January 2011 and July 2013, Egypt underwent a revolutionary period. While the roots and sequences of the Egyptian revolution have been studied comprehensively, much less has been said about the reasons behind the revolution’s defeat. The reason is twofold. On the one hand, scholars prevalently have explored democratization’s failure. On the other hand, the way in which Egyptian events were understood logically prevented the possibility of analyzing the 2011–2013 situation as an example of a failed revolution. By showing that the emergence of democracy was the most unlikely outcome and adopting an inter-social approach, the present article deals with the failure of social revolution in Egypt. In particular, it argues that the interaction between worldwide ideologies, epochal intellectual currents and (supposedly) successful contemporary revolutions on the one hand, and an internal context shaped by the legacies of Nasserism, the peculiar fate of the communist left and the institutional environment on the other, negatively affected the capacity of the subaltern classes even to outline an alternative political system. The non-emergence of popular bodies rendered unlikely the collapse of state apparatuses, making it impossible for revolutionaries to take power by extra-constitutional means and determining the defeat of the revolution.
Echoes of the Past: Egyptian Student Activists between Revolution, Repression and Memory of the Student Movement
By: Farah Ramzy
Abstract: Based on an extensive ethnographic field study among various groups of student activists, this article questions how the memory of historical student protests, namely of 1946 and 1972, is being actualized during student mobilizations after the revolution, especially in the post-2013 repressive context. Focusing on contentious repertoires as the incarnation of memory politics, this article shows how the historical student movement stands for a pool of contentious performances as well as a long standing mnemonic frame of the ‘role’ students should play in society. It then suggests that this past is read through the lens of the ongoing revolution of 2011, and later of the impeding repression. At the same time, the past also weighs in the process of understanding, dealing with and defining one’s place in the present moment whether in terms of actors’ strategies, priorities, ambitions or survival tactics in times of repression. Finally, this article concludes with a preliminary reflection on the potential channels transferring the memory of the student movement, namely, the revolutionary moment, the pre-revolutionary contentious mobilizations, the ‘national historiography’ and Social Media.
Women and Economic Reform in Egypt: Impact of Production Changes on Female Waged Labor Force Participation
By: Osama Diab, Salma Ihab Hindy
Abstract: The IMF discourse on women’s unemployment in Egypt mostly has focused on infrastructural issues as a key barrier to women’s access to the job market. The scarcity of public nurseries and the unavailability of safe transportation are especially challenging. Our interviews confirmed that these two issues are of utmost importance to women. Nevertheless, we argue that there has been no to little focus on the deeper structural issues concerning the productive side of the economy and its relation to women employment, especially the impact of production changes on women in the aftermath of the 2016 Economic Reform Program (ERP).
Multiple Consciousness and Transnationalism in Iranian Armenian Cultural Productions
By: Claudia Yaghoobi
Abstract: A century ago, W.E.B. Du Bois coined the term ‘double consciousness’ to describe an individual with an identity with several facets, particularly in the context of African-American experiences. A century later, Du Bois’ theory was expanded into a concept called ‘triple consciousness’ to acknowledge the intersectional construction of identities where race might have intersected with ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. to generate complex, multivalent forms of subordination. Expanding Du Bois’ concept of ‘double consciousness’ to Chicana experiences, and disrupting nationalist Anglocentrism, in Borderlands/La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldúa theorized the ‘border’ as a metaphor for geographical transgressions, sexual boundary crossings, social displacements, and linguistic and cultural dislocations. In conversation with these theorists, I examine Iranian Armenian ‘multiple consciousnesses’, by highlighting their various expressions of diaspora, their many ways of longing to return to a homeland (Armenia and Iran), and their multiple collective consciousnesses, particularly the shared memories of the 1915 genocide. I also provide examples from cultural productions which demonstrate the diasporic transnationalism of Iranian Armenian authors who maintain ties with their homeland while are simultaneously anchored and settled in their host nations.
Middle East Quarterly (Volume 29, Issue 1)
Islam's Surprising Impact on Daily Life
By: Daniel Pipes
Abstract: Not available
Is Raisi Iran's Supreme Leader in Waiting? Whither Iran?
By: Ali Alfoneh
Abstract: Not available
Tehran's Russian Connection Whither Iran?
By: Oved Lobel
Abstract: Not available
Why the Russia-Iran Alliance Will Backfire Whither Iran?
By: Michael Rubin
Abstract: Not available
Middle East Report (Issue 301)
Dialectics of Hope and Despair in the Arab Uprisings
By: Atef Said, Pete Moore
Abstract: Not available
Egypt From Icon to Tragedy
By: Mona El-Ghobashy
Abstract: Not available
Whatever Happened to Dignity? The Politics of Citizenship in Post-Revolution Tunisia
By: Nadia Marzouki
Abstract: Not available
The Evolution of Sudan’s Popular Political Forces
By: Muzan Alneel
Abstract: Not available
“We Don’t Have the Luxury to Stop”—An Interview with Syrian Civil Society Activist Oula Ramadan
By: Oula Ramadan, Wendy Pearlman
Abstract: Not available
Revolution, War and Transformations in Yemeni Studies
By: Laurent Bonnefoy
Abstract: Not available
Reflections on Exile
By: Razan Ghazzawi, Ahmd Awadallah, Mohammed Kadalah
Abstract: Not available
Generational Dislocation and Academic Solidarity—Aslı Bâli on MESA’s Global Academy
By: Aslı Bâli, Arang Keshavarzian
Abstract: Not available
The Enduring Taste of Hope—A Poem and Interview with Khaled Mattawa
By: Khaled Mattawa
Abstract: Not available
Middle Eastern Studies (Volume 57, Issue 6)
Coercion in Armageddon: the experiences of Ottoman soldiers in the Great War
By: Murat Yolun
Abstract: The coercion that the Ottoman government and army established over its subjects during the Great War remained a significant factor in the war experience of the conscripts despite its limitations. Coercion is one of the most significant answers of why the Ottoman soldiers endured such a destructive warfare, in spite of war attrition, virulent epidemic diseases, malnutrition, maltreatment, thirst, and harsh climatic conditions. The Ottoman government exercised remarkable coercion over not only the conscripts but also society and economy, demanding an unconditional loyalty for the survival of the empire. Training, military penal code, religious ideology and narrative that legitimized the warfare were the instruments of coercion. This study will contribute to the social history of the Ottoman conscripts during the First World War.
Who are we? and Who are they? The construction of Turkish national identity in textbooks within the context of the Turkish War of Independence
By: Murat Bayram Yılar, İrfan Davut Çam
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to analyse the construction of Turkish national identity as ‘we’ and ‘they’ in textbooks taught in the primary schools during the first years of the Republic of Turkey and the beginning of the 2000s in the context of narration of the Turkish War of Independence. The main material of the study consists of history and social studies textbooks. In this scope, four primary school history textbooks taught in the first years of the Republic of Turkey and four social studies textbooks taught at the primary school level at the beginning of the 2000s were selected. In selection of these textbooks care was taken to ensure that they were compliant with the curriculum in force at the time and that they were approved by the authorities responsible for education. Document analysis method was employed to gather subject data from the textbooks in question. The data gathered by this method were analysed using content analysis technique. The result of the analysis identified important and striking differences in the construction of Turkish national identity as ‘we’ and ‘they’ in the context of the Turkish War of Independence in textbooks from the two time periods.
Great Britain and ‘a small and poor peasant state’: Turkey, Britain and the 1930 Anglo-Turkish Treaty of Commerce and Navigation
By: Ebru Boyar, Kate Fleet
Abstract: Taking the Anglo-Turkish Trade and Navigation Treaty, concluded in March 1930, as its focal point, this article investigates the relations between Turkey and Britain after the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne and suggests that the failure of the British government to understand the fundamental importance of economic independence for the governing elite of the new Turkish republic, combined with its conviction that the Turkish economy was failing, undermined Britain’s ability to assess developments in the country and to position itself accordingly.
A crisis of legitimacy or a source of political consolidation? The deportation of Bulgarian Turks in 1950-1951 and the Democratic Party
By: Gözde Emen Gökatalay
Abstract: The Bulgarian decision to deport 250,000 Bulgarian Turks to Turkey in August 1950 came as a shock to the Democratic Party (DP). As a party that had taken power only three months ago, the DP was not prepared to accept the influx of thousands of immigrants. The deportation initially challenged the DP’s legitimacy at home and abroad because the DP tried to exercise its political hegemony over the opposition and to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). To counter criticism in Turkey and to protect its image in the international arena, the DP formulated a set of policies, ranging from diplomatic channels to anti-communist discourses and victimization of immigrant children and women. Based on primary and secondary accounts, the article argues that the deportation of Bulgarian Turks was a challenge – and simultaneously a source of legitimacy – to the DP at the beginning of its rule.
Changing gender relations in 1950s Ankara: an inside view
By: Hale Yılmaz, Roger A. Deal
Abstract: This article examines patterns of gender relations in Ankara in the early 1950s. Based in part on the unpublished memoirs of Kemal Tanyolaç, who provided extensive details of his bachelor years in Ankara, this article explores a wide variety of relationships between men and women, from traditional marriage-oriented matchmaking and modern dating, through business relationships as work colleagues or landlord and tenant, to different types of illicit sexual relations. We look at changes in how men and women viewed each other and their relationships, and what effects that had on the ongoing social changes of the time. We argue that all types of relationships and the possibilities they entailed, including prostitution, need to be understood in complex, nuanced ways in order to understand the society that was emerging in post-Second World War urban Turkey.
Romania and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 1972–1974
By: Cezar Stanciu
Abstract: This article reassesses Nicolae Ceaușescu’s relations with Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the first years after their first contact in 1972. Romania pursued an active policy in the Middle East conflict from 1967 onwards, trying to help establish contacts and carry messages between the parties involved, motivated by its anti-hegemonic foreign policy which considered that the conflict was the product of superpower rivalries in the region. In what concerned the Palestinian problem, Romanian decision-makers believed that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, regardless of its territory, was the key to solving the conflict. In Ceaușescu’s view, both the PLO’s close ties to the USSR and its terrorist activities derived from the absence of statehood and once a Palestinian state was created, its struggle would have moved to a different level, facilitating negotiations and peace arrangements. Ceaușescu strongly advocated in favor of this vision during its contacts with Arabs, Israelis and Americans, trying to convince all sides of the advantages of such a scenario. This way, Romania contributed – as small as that contribution may had been – to the transformation of the PLO from a virtually terrorist organization into a future political actor in the region.
Producing scientific knowledge by and for the Third World: postcolonial Algeria, South Americans and militant expertise in the Global Cold War
By: E. Palieraki
Abstract: The recent renewal of the historiographical debate on the ‘global sixties’ has been made possible by moving away from an exclusive focus on 1968 in the United States and Western Europe as well as by increased scholarly attention to Third World revolutionary processes and the connections among them. However, scholarship on the 1960s in the Third World has mainly explored the circulation of strictly political agency (activists, governments, states, political movements), neglecting other important actors. Militant experts who transnationally coproduced an epistemology by and for the Third World are one such case. These politically committed professionals played a crucial role in postwar international forums and actively contributed to building postcolonial states. This article explores the case of postcolonial Algeria and its encounter with South American experts who were strongly committed to the Third World’s political and economic independence.
Did as-Saʿidiyya really revolt? An ethnographic investigation
By: Ahmed Abozaid
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate and inspect the causes that prevented the (marginalised and isolated) society of Saʿid from rebelling against President Mubarak’s authoritarian regime, as the North did. Here I seek to present different interpretation of as-Saʿidiyya’s attitudes toward the 2011 uprising away from the Manichean ‘glorification’ versus ‘ignominy’, or ‘celebrating’ v. ‘contempt’ narrative that dominated the study of the Saʿid and as-Saʿidiyya role in the 2011 Arab uprising. My research is based on interviews, participant observation and ethnographic investigation which articulates the behaviour of peasants as political actors in this time of turmoil, While most sociological and anthropological studies of revolutions concentrate on cities and urban areas, this article focuses on a small town, Madinat Al-Fikriyya, and village, Munshaʿiat Al-Fikriyya in Al-Minya governate in Upper Egypt. Therefore, to understand the role of as-Saʿidiyya in the 2011 uprising, the article suggests three conceptual changes to this convention. Firstly, by putting peasantry communities within socio-political and socio-economic contexts; secondly by concentrating on understanding the dynamics of state-society relations, and lastly, exploring the role of security establishment and levels of penetration into the society in order.
İbnülemin Mahmud Kemal İnal – the epitome of late Ottoman culture
By: Syed Tanvir Wasti
Abstract: İbnülemin Mahmud Kemal İnal was born in Istanbul as the son of a Pasha and, spending his entire working life as a bureaucrat, reached the highest levels in the Ottoman Civil Service. His career spanned the last years of the Ottoman Empire as well as the first decades of the Turkish Republic. As a result, he became uniquely qualified to write about people and events he had witnessed. He had a remarkably keen memory, and a high level of accomplishment in Arabic, Persian and French. With deep interests in literature, history, calligraphy, art and Turkish classical music, he almost became a one-man cultural institution. As a lifelong bachelor, he spent much time and effort in order to produce several encyclopaedic works on late Ottoman history, literature, music and culture.
The journal İnkılâp and the appeal of antisemitism in interwar Turkey
By: Alexandros Lamprou
Abstract: The article is a study of the reception of antisemitism, and its appeal among Turkish nationalists and state elites in the 1930s and 1940s. Based on a closed reading of the investigation of İnkılâp, the first antisemitic journal published in Turkey, by state bureaucrats in 1933, the article argues that antisemitism in the 1930s offered Turkish nationalist actors of competing convictions a tool to legitimize contending versions of Turkish nationalism, as well as a novel language to legitimize already existing antiminority practices explicitly against local Jews. Nationalist actors could thus discriminate against Turkish Jews without reference to religious difference. Finally, this study has detected an increased input of European post-First World War European antisemitism, especially the German post-Versailles conspiratorial ‘stab-in-the-back’ antisemitic theme and argues that this association had been facilitated by the increased relations between the Ottoman Empire/Turkey and Germany since the late nineteenth century.
The place of Italy in Turkish foreign policy in the 1930s
By: Mehmet Doğar
Abstract: For many scholars working on Turkish foreign policy in the 1930s, Italy is taken as the greatest threat to the newly-established Republic and one that dominated Turkish foreign policy making in this period. Italy did adopt a threating stance with the Italian occupation of the Dodecanese islands and its expansionist aims in Asia and Africa, which were a cause of concern for the Turkish government. A re-examination of the Turkish-Italian political and economic relations within the broader context of the Mediterranean and the great power politics of the period, however, demonstrates that the bilateral relations, at least officially, functioned without any significant and lasting crisis until the Italian invasion of Albania in 1939. What motivated and drove Turkish thinking and decision-making in the international arena was not Italy’s actions per se but the insecurity in the Mediterranean and beyond of which Italy was a part.
What politics does to the army: divisions and reconfigurations to the military institution in the 27 May 1960 coup in Turkey
By: Benjamin Gourisse
Abstract: This article reconsiders the 1960 coup in Turkey, paying particular attention to the interactions and power relations in play, both within the army and between the army and civilians. I argue that the 1960 coup, rather than being an example of the military resolving a political crisis, is better understood as the army exploiting a social context which lent itself to portraying the use of force against the government and its allies as legitimate. First, I show that the 27 May coup consisted in dissident officers exploiting a context to push through sector-specific demands. Second, I depict the instability constituting the period of military administration and the following months. This enables me to show how the general staff, drawing on the support of civilian political actors, managed to re-establish the army’s hierarchy and stabilize its internal power relations. Finally, I analyze how the military institution managed to impose its authority over civilians during the years following the 1960 intervention, thanks to the judicial, economic, and institutional autonomy it acquired as of this first coup.
Israel, Turkey, and the Turkish Jewish community in light of Operation Protective Edge
By: Efrat Aviv
Abstract: This article examines developments within the Jewish community in Turkey during and after the Israeli operation in Gaza in 2014 and describes the political relations between Israel and Turkey and its impact on local Turkish Jews. It depicts Operation Protective Edge as one of the peaks of antisemitism in Turkey and considers the question of whether antisemitism in Turkey is related to Turkish-Israeli relations. This study contributes to the scholarship on the perception of Jews in Turkey in light of Turkish-Israeli relations. The paper begins by introducing minority discourse, and then describes the historical background of Turkish-Israeli relations, the perception of Jews, and the effects of the Protective Edge on the Jewish community in particular and on Israeli-Turkish relations in general during that period. Subsequently, the main findings are presented.
Jerusalem 1948–1952 as a ‘no man’s land’: the Israeli policy in Jerusalem as an arena of the Cold War
By: Ofira Rachel Gruweis-Kovalsky
Abstract: This article will address Israel’s ambiguous policy regarding Jerusalem in the context of the activity of the foreign consulates in the city as it emerges from the Israeli documents in the 1950s. Divided Jerusalem in the 1950s was the focus of widespread international activity. This situation was created in the wake of UN Resolution 181 and the inability of the international community to implement the resolution. That the city was divided between two countries engaged in a violent confrontation enabled international parties to exploit the situation for their own interests in the inter-block conflict. The consular activities of the Americans and the French in Jerusalem will be investigated in the context of Israeli policy and the Cold War. The case of the Czechoslovakian consul illustrates this reality.
From reconciliation to confrontation: Menachem Begin and the Kibbutz Movement 1968–1981
By: Amir Goldstein
Abstract: The Zionist-Israeli Right and the Kibbutz Movement have shared a longstanding and powerful historical rivalry, but their interrelationships were more complex than presented in historiography and recollected in public consciousness. This article seeks to systematically lay out, for the first time, the interfaces between Menachem Begin, the parties under his leadership and the kibbutzim. The discussion will focus on two periods: the first, which has received almost no attention in historiography – the late 1960s and early 1970s – a phase characterized by rapprochement and reconciliation between the leader of the Israeli right-wing party and the Kibbutz Movement. The second, the stage following the political ‘upheaval’ (1977) is better-known but has not yet been thoroughly researched. This period is characterized by an escalation in the relationship between the Likud, Prime Minister Menachem Begin and the Kibbutz Movement. The article examines the contribution of both sides to this escalation, as well as the various economic, social, and political contexts within which it was manifested and its place in Israel’s political history at large.
Terrorism and migration: on the mass emigration of Iraqi Jews, 1950–1951
By: Esther Meir-Glitzenstein
Abstract: During 1950-1951 approximately 125,000 Jews immigrated to Israel from Iraq, where they had constituted 95% of the Jewish community. The vast number of migrants surprised the governments of Iraq, Israel, and Britain and the Iraqi Jews themselves because this had been an ancient, established, wealthy community, well integrated socially, economically, and culturally into Iraq, its perceived homeland. Moreover, the migrants’ destination, the impoverished young State of Israel, lacked appeal. One explanation for this phenomenon links it with a series of terrorist acts that occurred in Baghdad during 1951-1950, portraying them as an Israeli provocation that sparked panic and mass emigration. Although historical studies based on archival documents from the time refute this claim, it still has supporters among Arab countries, Jews of Iraqi background in Israel and elsewhere, and academics. This article juxtaposes the terrorism narrative with the findings of historical scholarship on the mass migration of Iraqi Jews, in an effort to explain the endurance and lasting influence of this narrative.
Kurdish insurgency in Rojhelat: from Rasan to the Oslo negotiations
By: Gareth Stansfield, Allan Hassaniyan
Abstract: This article sheds light on recent political developments in Rojhelat (Eastern/Iranian Kurdistan), focusing on the activities of Rojhelat’s leading political parties. This study argues that the existing situation in the area is a product mainly of the shift in Rojhelat’s mainstream political organisation, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, in its political and military approach to the Kurdish movement in Iran, popularly known as Rasan-i Rojhelat (the revival/sudden rise of Eastern Kurdistan). This has triggered a new, high level of conflict between Kurds and the Islamic Republic of Iran since 2015. Since the announcement of the Rasan, tit-for-tat clashes between Kurdish Peshmerga/guerrilla units and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have been witnessed across Rojhelat. Analysis of the Kurdish question in Rojhelat reveals this development as multifaceted and complex, involving multiple actors and activities such as insurgency and collective protest from Kurdish civil society. This article focuses on two main developments: the methods and practices deployed by the Kurdish political parties of Rojhelat following the Rasan, and the sudden announcement of negotiations between representatives of the Iranian government and of four of Rojhelat’s political parties from 27-28 July 2019 in Oslo.
Coup-proofing and political violence: the case of Iraq
By: Ghashia Kiyani
Abstract: This article examines the impact of coup-proofing on political violence while a leader is in power and during regime transition. This study focuses on the case of Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s rule between 1979-2003 and including the aftermath of the 2003 US invasion, which led to Saddam’s removal from power. The article argues that Saddam Hussein’s coup-proofing strategies allowed him to implement political violence and human rights abuses against the wider population. Moreover, Saddam’s coup-proofing strategies exacerbated violence beyond his rule by driving his former regime loyalists into violent insurgencies as well as indirectly by setting up a society with large amounts of distrust between loyalists and others.
‘Peaceful civil jihad’ – Saudi Arabia’s Islamic civil rights movement and its concept of jihad
By: Peter Enz-Harlass
Abstract: In the 2000s CE, Saudi Arabia saw the emergence of the civil rights group HASM (or ACPRA), whose members engaged in civil society activism for basic rights and argued that their activism could be described as peaceful, civil jihad. In their books, declarations and lectures, HASM’s members presented a complex Islamic theory of civil society activism and explained why they considered what they were doing legitimate. Their theory above all rested on the idea that civil society activism was a form of jihad and superior of other forms, like military jihad. This paper focusses on HASM’s concept of peaceful, civil jihad. It is a complex concept, which is based on the ideas of some twentieth and twenty-first century Islamic scholars, but nevertheless constitutes a new interpretation of the term jihad. HASM’s idea that civil society activism is peaceful, civil jihad is not only relevant in the Saudi context. Rather, it is a significant contribution to the ongoing debate about the meaning of jihad in modern Muslim societies.
The Abyssinian slave trade to Iran and the Rokeby case 1877
By: Vanessa Martin
Abstract: In March 1877, the British searched a ship named The Rokeby and discovered eight Abyssinian child slaves on board. It is argued that, hitherto frustrated by the constant evasion of their attempts to supress the slave trade, they used the event to bring pressure on local government officials and merchants of Bushehr to cease their collusion and involvement. The result was a decline in the trade at least in the coast around Bushehr. There having been hitherto no specific studies of the Abyssinian slave trade to Iran, the case has also been taken as an opportunity to discuss it from its country of origin through Mecca and Jeddah, then in Ottoman territory, and to the Gulf ports of Iran, which allows an indicative comparison of Ottoman and Iranian policies of suppression. Rare insight has been provided into the experiences of the slaves themselves by the first-hand accounts of their journeys from Abyssinia given to the British.
The French connection: political Islam from the Algerian War to the Iranian Revolution
By: Jakob Krais
Abstract: The revolutionary 1960s are often seen as the heyday of socialist theories and leftist movements. In the Middle East the period until the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 is regularly perceived as the pinnacle of secular, socialist Arab nationalism in the region, whereas the rise of various forms of political Islam is often presented as a phenomenon pertaining to a different era beginning in 1979. This article proposes a perspective which situates important Islamic thinkers in the intellectual environment of the revolutionary 1960s. Starting with the Algerian war in 1954 and lasting until the Iranian revolution of 1979, I argue that the ‘long’ 1960s were dominated not only by Marxist thinkers like Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre. Muslim revolutionary intellectuals, such as Malek Bennabi, Amar Ouzegane, or ʿAli Shariʿati, also took part during the Algerian war in the shaping of a new discourse in France.
Radical virtues: practices of the body among Iranian revolutionaries of the 1960s and 1970s
By: Fatima Tofighi
Abstract: Disillusioned by possibilities of political reform in an economically developing country, the Irani-an radicals of the 1960s and 70s adopted certain practices. These bodily techniques served both practical concerns and radical self-fashionings. That is, the guerrilla fighters had to familiarize themselves with mountains and forests, recruit members from the working class, and subsist on minimal means in communal houses. But they also would not succumb to the newly-emerging comprador bourgeois values that was, in their opinion, feeding imperialism. In this article I study those bodily practices in their global context, by reference to the practical and theoretical back-ground. It is interesting that while the paramilitary or theoretical aspects of these movements were not always appealing to the larger society, the bodily ethics could intrigue people from across the political or religious spectrum. The particular virtues of self-sacrifice, resilience, self-reliance, seriousness, among other things were cultivated by means of bodily practices. By these kinds of bodily resistance, Iranian radicals formed a subjectivity outside the dominant/dominated binary, where increasing political consciousness involved lifestyle changes on the most private surface.
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture (Volume 26, Issue 3-4)
History, Historical Patterns, and Creating New Histories: Chomsky and Klug Revisited
By: Naomi Chazan
Abstract: Not available
Which of the Three Bitter Scenarios is More Acceptable
By: Zaid AbuZayyad
Abstract: Not available
Chomsky-Klug: A Present and Future Perspective
By: Alon Liel
Abstract: Not available
Incompetence or Accomplice?
By: Sam Bahour
Abstract: Not available
The Vision Thing is Not the Thing
By: Ian S. Lustick
Abstract: Not available
A Look at Israeli Positions on Palestinian Statehood
By: Galia Golan
Abstract: Not available
By: Paul Scham
Abstract: Not available
How Low Can the Dehumanization of the Palestinians Go?
By: Adnan Abdelrazek
Abstract: Not available
The Two-State Solution – Illusion and Reality
By: Avi Shlaim
Abstract: Not available
Greater Israel and Its Fried Chicken
By: Nisreen AbuZayyad
Abstract: Not available
Making the Middle East Partnership for Peace Act a Game Changer in Israeli-Palestinian Civil Society Peacemaking
By: Nimrod Goren
Abstract: Not available
Review of Middle East Economics and Finance (Volume 17, Issue 3)
The Effect of the Regional “Income Tax Withholding Allowance” and “Social Security Premium Support” Programmes on Labour Outcomes in Turkey
By: Eleftherios Giovanis, Oznur Ozdamar, Eda Akilotu
Abstract: This paper examines the employment effects of the “Income tax withholding allowance” and “Social security premium support” programmes implemented in Turkey in 2012. The programmes aim to provide incentives to firms and generate employment opportunities for groups in targeted regions in the Eastern part of Turkey. The analysis relies on detailed micro-level data derived by the Household Labour Force Survey in 2008–2016. We apply the difference-in-differences (DID) method, and we use as treated subjects the respondents located in the regions affected by the policy. Moreover, we propose the propensity score matching approach within the DID framework to reduce the possible selection bias. The findings show a positive impact of the programme on employment, wages, the number of working hours and labour force participation, but we find a negative effect on the probability of being employed in a permanent job for the treated group.
Trade Potential in Arab Nations: The Case of the GCC and PAFTA
By: Dimitrios Dadakas
Abstract: We examine trade flows for Arab nations concentrating on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Pan-Arab Free Trade Area (PAFTA) areas, to identify opportunities to enhance intra-Arab trade and facilitate regional integration. We employ panel data for the years 2003–2017 and a structural gravity model together with an “aggregate” trade potential measure that treats the GCC and PAFTA areas as single countries. Results suggest that, by 2015, intra-area trade had reached maximum capacity for both blocs. Potential to trade also reached capacity with many of the largest Free Trade Areas around the world, however, opportunities for trade expansion that still exist with the MERCOSUR and ASEAN, as well as many distinct destinations, can assist in strategic planning to enhance integration efforts.
The Asymmetric Impact of Oil Prices on Unemployment in the MENA Region
By: Iman Cheratian, Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, Saleh Goltabar
Abstract: We examine the effects of oil prices on unemployment rates in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) over the period of 1991–2017. Using the panel nonlinear autoregressive distributed lag (panel NARDL) model, the results show that in the long run, positive changes of oil prices exert a positive (increasing) impact on the unemployment rate. However, negative changes in oil prices have a significant decreasing effect on the unemployment rate in the MENA region. We also find that the short run changes in oil prices do not show a significant effect on unemployment rates. Our findings are robust to an alternative measure of oil rents per capita and in line with predictions of the resource curse hypothesis. Countries with higher dependency on natural resource rents experience, on average, a slower long run economic growth rate (and thus higher unemployment rates), compared with countries with lower dependency.
The Middle East Journal (Volume 75, Issue 4)
The Far Right, Labor Unions, and the Working Class in Turkey since the 1960s
By: İlker Aytürk, Berk Esen
Abstract: This article tracks far-right attitudes and policies toward organized labor and the working class in Turkey since the 1960s. In particular, we attempt to explain why nationalist attitudes have remained unchanged over nearly six decades, whereas political Islamists have shifted to neoliberal policies since the 1990s under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In explaining Erdoğan's neoliberalism, we highlight the working relationship between Islamist mayors and the so-called pious bourgeoisie in local governments as well as the willingness of neoliberal ulema to endorse these ties.
Memorializing the Conquest of Constantinople and Strengthening the Turkish-Greek Alliance in the Context of the Early Cold War
By: Gözde Emen-Gökatalay
Abstract: Despite the significance assigned to the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople by official and popular narratives of Turkish history, the Turkish government in 1953 chose to minimize the scope of the event's 500th anniversary celebrations. This choice reflected the country's main foreign policy objective at the time: maintaining close ties with Greece and the West in the context of the Cold War. Drawing on press reports, memoirs, and parliamentary records, this article shows how Turkey's proWestern orientation shaped the remembering of this world-historical event.
Religion in the First Year of the Pandemic: Shi'i Jurisprudence on Covid-19 in the Islamic Republic of Iran
By: Magdalena Rodziewicz
Abstract: The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Iran forced considerable changes in many parts of Iranians' personal and social lives, including their religious lives, as health-related precautions affected places of worship. The pandemic has also been an important issue for Iranian religious authorities, for whom overseeing sacred spaces and mass rituals constitute an important element of strengthening the nation's religious identity and legitimizing political power. This article examines the positions of Shi'i clerics toward various problems arising from the Covid-19 pandemic in its early phases, based on fatwas and other public statements.
A Social Contract Moment: Egypt's National Action Charter and Saudi Arabia's Ten-Point Program Compared
By: Relli Shechter
Abstract: Egypt's National Action Charter and Saudi Arabia's Ten-Point Program were issued in 1962 amid a context of domestic and regional insecurity for both regimes. This article reviews the context that shaped each regime's pledges for both political and (rather similar) socioeconomic reforms, challenging the common analysis of the so-called authoritarian bargain as a simplistic exchange of economic benefits for the political rights of citizens. Both documents also simultaneously embedded their proposed reforms in their country's respective legacies, ushering in a new era of state-led development.