SECTARIANIZATION MAPPING THE NEW POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST

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Sectarianization

Author : Nader Hashemi
ISBN : 9780190664886
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 58.4 MB
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As the Middle East descends ever deeper into violence and chaos, 'sectarianism' has become a catch-all explanation for the region's troubles. The turmoil is attributed to 'ancient sectarian differences', putatively primordial forces that make violent conflict intractable. In media and policy discussions, sectarianism has come to possess trans-historical causal power. This book trenchantly challenges the lazy use of 'sectarianism' as a magic-bullet explanation for the region's ills, focusing on how various conflicts in the Middle East have morphed from non-sectarian (or cross-sectarian) and nonviolent movements into sectarian wars. Through multiple case studies -- including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and Kuwait -- this book maps the dynamics of sectarianisation, exploring not only how but also why it has taken hold. The contributors examine the constellation of forces -- from those within societies to external factors such as the Saudi-Iran rivalry -- that drive the sectarianisation process and explore how the region's politics can be de-sectarianised. Featuring leading scholars -- and including historians, anthropologists, political scientists and international relations theorists -- this book will redefine the terms of debate on one of the most critical issues in international affairs today.
Category: Political Science

Sectarian Gulf

Author : Toby Matthiesen
ISBN : 9780804787222
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 34.49 MB
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As popular uprisings spread across the Middle East, popular wisdom often held that the Gulf States would remain beyond the fray. In Sectarian Gulf, Toby Matthiesen paints a very different picture, offering the first assessment of the Arab Spring across the region. With first-hand accounts of events in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, Matthiesen tells the story of the early protests, and illuminates how the regimes quickly suppressed these movements. Pitting citizen against citizen, the regimes have warned of an increasing threat from the Shia population. Relations between the Gulf regimes and their Shia citizens have soured to levels as bad as 1979, following the Iranian revolution. Since the crackdown on protesters in Bahrain in mid-March 2011, the "Shia threat" has again become the catchall answer to demands for democratic reform and accountability. While this strategy has ensured regime survival in the short term, Matthiesen warns of the dire consequences this will have—for the social fabric of the Gulf States, for the rise of transnational Islamist networks, and for the future of the Middle East.
Category: Political Science

Islam Secularism And Liberal Democracy

Author : Nader Hashemi
ISBN : 9780199886524
Genre : Religion
File Size : 45.87 MB
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Islam's relationship to liberal-democratic politics has emerged as one of the most pressing and contentious issues in international affairs. In Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy, Nader Hashemi challenges the widely held belief among social scientists that religious politics and liberal-democratic development are structurally incompatible. This book argues for a rethinking of democratic theory so that it incorporates the variable of religion in the development of liberal democracy. In the process, it proves that an indigenous theory of Muslim secularism is not only possible, but is a necessary requirement for the advancement of liberal democracy in Muslim societies.
Category: Religion

Citizen Hariri

Author : Hannes Baumann
ISBN : 9780190862718
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 30.3 MB
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Rafiq Hariri was Lebanon's Silvio Berlusconi: a 'self-made' billionaire who became prime minister and shaped postwar reconstruction. His assassination in February 2005 almost tipped the country into civil strife. Yet Hariri was neither a militia leader nor from a traditional political family. How did this outsider rise to wield such immense political and economic power? Citizen Hariri shows how the billionaire converted his wealth and close ties to the Saudi monarchy into political power. Hariri is used as a prism to examine how changes in global neoliberalism reshaped Lebanese politics. He initiated urban megaprojects and inflated the banking sector. And having grown rich as a contractor in the Gulf, he turned Lebanon into an outlet for Gulf capital. The concentration of wealth and the restructuring of the postwar Lebanese state were comparable to the effects of neoliberalism elsewhere. But at the same time, Hariri was a deeply Lebanese figure. He had to fend against militia leaders and a hostile Syrian regime. The billionaire outsider eventually came to behave like a traditional Lebanese political patron. Hannes Baumann assesses not only the personal legacy of the man dubbed 'Mr Lebanon' but charts the wider social and economic transformations his rise represented.
Category: Political Science

The New Sectarianism

Author : Geneive Abdo
ISBN : 9780190233143
Genre : RELIGION
File Size : 27.30 MB
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"The New Sectarianism considers the causes for growing Sunni-Shi'a animosity in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. It illustrates how the two groups perceive one another after the Arab uprisings, how these perceptions have affected Arab life, and how these contestations pose a serious threat to the stability of regional states and to stakeholders in the wider world"--
Category: RELIGION

Sectarianism In Iraq

Author : Fanar Haddad
ISBN : 9780190237974
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 24.10 MB
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Viewing Iraq from the outside is made easier by compartmentalising its people (at least the Arabs among them) into Shi'as and Sunnis. But can such broad terms, inherently resistant to accurate quantification, description and definition, ever be a useful reflection of any society? If not, are we to discard the terms 'Shi'a' and 'Sunni' in seeking to understand Iraq? Or are we to deny their relevance and ignore them when considering Iraqi society? How are we to view the common Iraqi injunction that 'we are all brothers' or that 'we have no Shi'as and Sunnis' against the fact of sectarian civil war in 2006? Are they friends or enemies? Are they united or divided; indeed, are they Iraqis or are they Shi'as and Sunnis? Fanar Haddad provides the first comprehensive examination of sectarian relations and sectarian identities in Iraq. Rather than treating the subject by recourse to broad-based categorisation, his analysis recognises the inherent ambiguity of group identity. The salience of sectarian identity and views towards self and other are neither fixed nor constant; rather, they are part of a continuously fluctuating dynamic that sees the relevance of sectarian identity advancing and receding according to context and to wider socioeconomic and political conditions. What drives the salience of sectarian identity? How are sectarian identities negotiated in relation to Iraqi national identity and what role do sectarian identities play in the social and political lives of Iraqi Sunnis and Shi'as? These are some of the questions explored in this book with a particular focus on the two most significant turning points in modern Iraqi sectarian relations: the uprisings of March 1991 and the fall of the Ba'ath in 2003. Haddad explores how sectarian identities are negotiated and seeks finally to put to rest the alarmist and reductionist accounts that seek either to portray all things Iraqi in sectarian terms or to reduce sectarian identity to irrelevance.
Category: Social Science

Copts And The Security State

Author : Laure Guirguis
ISBN : 9781503600805
Genre : History
File Size : 74.48 MB
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Copts and the Security State combines political, anthropological, and social history to analyze the practices of the Egyptian state and the political acts of the Egyptian Coptic minority. Laure Guirguis considers how the state, through its subjugation of Coptic citizens, reproduces a political order based on religious identity and difference. The leadership of the Coptic Church, in turn, has taken more political stances, thus foreclosing opportunities for secularization or common ground. In each instance, the underlying logics of authoritarianism and sectarianism articulate a fear of the Other, and, as Guirguis argues, are ultimately put to use to justify the expanding Egyptian security state. In outlining the development of the security state, Guirguis focuses on state discourses and practices, with particular emphasis on the period of Hosni Mubarak's rule, and shows the transformation of the Orthodox Coptic Church under the leadership of Pope Chenouda III. She also considers what could be done to counter the growing tensions and violence in Egypt. The 2011 Egyptian uprising constitutes the most radical recent attempt to subvert the predominant order. Still, the revolutionary discourses and practices have not yet brought forward a new system to counter the sectarian rhetoric, and the ongoing counter-revolution continues to repress political dissent.
Category: History

Modern Middle East Authoritarianism

Author : Noureddine Jebnoun
ISBN : 9781135007300
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 60.74 MB
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While the Arab uprisings have overturned the idea of Arab "exceptionalism," or the acceptance of authoritarianism, better analysis of authoritarianism’s resilience in pre- and post-uprising scenarios is still needed. Modern Middle East Authoritarianism: Roots, Ramifications, and Crisis undertakes this task by addressing not only the mechanisms that allowed Middle Eastern regimes to survive and adapt for decades, but also the obstacles that certain countries face in their current transition to democracy. This volume analyzes the role of ruling elites, Islamists, and others, as well as variables such as bureaucracy, patronage, the strength of security apparatuses, and ideological legitimacy to ascertain regimes’ life expectancies and these factors’ post-uprisings repercussions. Discussing not only the paradigms through which the region has been analyzed, but also providing in-depth case studies of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran, the authors arrive at critical conclusions about dictatorship and possibilities for its transformation. Employing diverse research methods, including interviews, participant observation, and theoretical discussions of authoritarianism and political transition, this book is essential reading for scholars of Middle East Studies, Islamic Studies and those with an interest in the governance and politics of the Middle East.
Category: Political Science

Ivory Towers On Sand

Author : Martin S. Kramer
ISBN : 0944029493
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 70.56 MB
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"In this iconoclastic expose, Martin Kramer surveys the ruins of Middle Eastern studies, to ask how and why they went wrong. Ivory Towers on Sand is the most thorough critique of Middle Eastern studies in America ever published - and a necessary step toward their reconstruction."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Category: Political Science

Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy

Author : Neil Partrick
ISBN : 9780857729903
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 75.73 MB
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As the only oil producer with sufficient spare capacity to shape the world economy, Saudi Arabia is one of the most significant states in twenty-first century geopolitics. Despite the enormous potential for Saudi Arabia to play a more robust regional and international role, the Kingdom faces serious internal and external challenges in the form of political incapacity and competition with states such as Iran. In this examination of Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy, Gulf expert Neil Partrick, and other regional analysts, address the Kingdom’s relations in the Middle East and wider Islamic world, and its engagement with both established and emergent global powers. In doing so, he analyses the factors, ranging from identity politics to Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons that determine the Kingdom’s foreign policy. As Saudi Arabia prepares for a generational shift brought about by an ageing leadership, the rapidly changing balance of power in the Middle East offers both great opportunity and great danger. For students of the Middle East and international relations, understanding Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy and its engagement with the region and the world is more important than ever. ‘A very welcome addition to the literature on Saudi Arabia – a much needed overview of Saudi foreign policy for scholars and policy makers, while also being accessible to the wider public.’ - Gabriele vom Bruck, Senior Lecturer in the Anthropology of the Middle East, SOAS, University of London. ‘This volume is terrific as a reference and also a good read.’ – Michele Dunne, Director and Senior Associate, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace ‘A timely book to help us understand the history and motivation of the major Sunni regional power. This collection of articles covers the whole gamut of Saudi's main external relationships including the role play by Islam and oil in shaping its foreign policy.’ - Sir William Patey, UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia 2007-10
Category: Social Science