[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the first in a series of “Peer-Reviewed Article Reviews” in which we present a collection of journals and their articles concerned with the Middle East and Arab world. This series will be published seasonally. Each issue will comprise one-to-three parts, depending on the number of articles included.]
Arab Media & Society (Issue 24)
“Mediated Policy Effects of Foreign Governments on Iraqi Independent Media During Elections”
By: Mohammad Al-Azdee
Abstract: I use the term mediated policy to refer to messages about Iraq sent by international news media outlets of foreign governments during the Iraqi parliamentary elections of 2010, and I hypothesize that US Mediated Policy, Iranian Mediated Policy, and Saudi Mediated Policy are three latent constructs interacting in a structural model where they influence a fourth latent variable, Iraqi Independent Media. To feed the model with data, I run a content analysis of relevant international and domestic media coverage. I measure saliences of two news media frames, Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. The analysis shows that in 2010: (1) English represented a barrier to Iraqi independent media. (2) US foreign policy simultaneously dealt with two opposing regional policies, Iranian and Saudi. (3) There were significant policy messages about Iraq carried by international news media of foreign governments, which evidently influenced Iraqi independent media.
“The Arab Spring in Israeli Media and Emergent Conceptions of Citizenship”
By: Dana Caplan & Gal Levy
Abstract: This article returns to 2011 and the beginning of the Arab Spring in order to ask how the Israeli middle class came to draw similarities between their conditions and those of the Arab citizens who had risen against authoritarian rule. This question is also about the movement of ideas through the media and their incorporation into a dominant culture, or what Raymond Williams saw as the emergent elements of culture. Specifically, it examines the way the conception of citizenship traverses national boundaries. Whereas most studies of citizenship in this context focus on the imaginary of citizenship of the Other, and on ‘Western’ perceptions of citizens of the ‘South,’ we inverse our outlook. By offering a textual analysis of Israeli media coverage of the uprisings, we seek to shed new light on the cultural conceptions of citizenship in Israeli society.
“Middle Eastern Minorities in Global Media and the Politics of National Belonging”
By: Elizabeth Monier
Abstract: Since the Arab uprisings began in 2010, some communities have experienced increased levels of violence or insecurity on the basis of their ethnic, religious, or linguistic identity. This article examines how such communities have mobilized and developed their media strategies in order to protect themselves and adapt to their changing circumstances. Through investigating the cases of Coptic Christians in Egypt and Ezidis in Iraq, this article demonstrates that both of these communities have begun to connect their community interests with international political concerns and narratives through engaging with global media. Recent scholarship on indigenous media shows globalizing trends in media production and consumption have led indigenous media to increasingly tap into both national and global media to support their advocacy. In my case studies, the move to engage global media has particularly flourished since 2014 but the emphasis is on direct engagement with international political discourses through global media. Most notable is the mobilization of a campaign to recognize violence against Christians and Ezidis in the Middle East as genocide. The aims in engaging the international level differ between the Coptic and Ezidi cases. For Copts, there is a balance between raising the profile of violence against Copts in global media while employing narratives that support Egyptian state policies and strengthen pre-existing Coptic discourses of national belonging. Ezidi diaspora activists seek international protection and potentially an autonomous area in Iraq. This article argues that the differences in the terms and aims of global media engagement stem partly from the way the community perceives its status within the home nation, particularly with regards the notion of being a minority, as well as experiences of national belonging.
“Al-Jazeera’s relationship with Qatar before and after Arab Spring: Effective public diplomacy or blatant propaganda?”
By: Zainab Abdul-Nabi
Abstract: Since its foundation in 1996 until the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, the Qatar-based and funded channel, Al-Jazeera, was considered by many media and politics scholars as a major element of a “pan-Arab public diplomacy” and even a “virtual state.” The main reasons behind Al-Jazeera’s success as an effective public diplomacy tool before the Arab Spring can be attributed to its popularity, credibility, critical coverage, and relative independence from Qatar’s politics. However, after 2011, Al-Jazeera, especially the Arabic channel, has “degenerated to a propagandistic agent” serving Qatar’s policy and agenda. Based on scholarly work and interviews conducted by the author, this article argues that the dramatic change in Qatar’s foreign policy from a neutral mediator to an aggressive militarily interventionist during the Arab uprisings, has been followed by a similar shift in Al-Jazeera’s editorial policy. More specifically, Al-Jazeera’s “dual standard coverage” of the uprisings in Bahrain and Syria has been entirely consistent with Qatar’s propaganda, interests, and politics at the time.
“The Politics of Representation on Social Media: The Case of Hamas during the 2014 Israel–Gaza Conflict”
By: Jinjin Zhang
Abstract: Alongside the military confrontation that took place in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in July and August 2014, a battle in the media sector was also underway. This study focuses on the agenda of Hamas during different stages of the psychological war between the two sides involved, namely itself and the Israeli government. By selecting texts and images from two Hamas-affiliated Arabic social media accounts respectively, the study applies grounded theory to inspect the themes of Hamas’s political marketing and tracks the evolution of the themes in terms of time and frequency by cross-referencing events on the timeline. It also explores how the themes interacted and co-evolved with local and international attitudes towards the Gaza Conflict.
Iran (Volume 55, Issue 1)
“A Neglected Source on the Life of Hasan-i Sabbah, the Founder of the Nizari ‘Assassin’ Sect”
By: Carole Hillenbrand
Abstract: This article translates into English for the first time a little-known Arabic account of the life of Hasan-i Sabbah, the famous leader of the Nizari Isma‘ilis, known in Western Europe as the “Assassins”. This account is found in a biographical dictionary, the Kitab al-Muqaffa’ al-Kabir of al-Maqrizi. The content of the text is then analysed, and various aspects of Hasan’s early career, his visit to Egypt and his military activities are discussed. Particular attention is paid in the commentary to certain unusual facets of his daʿwa included in this account; these are not found in the much better-known Persian narratives of Juvaini and Rashid al-Din.
“Sultans and Lovers: Gazorgahi’s Tales of Royal Infatuation”
By: Charles Melville
Abstract: Kamal al-Din Gazorgahi’s Majales al-‘oshshaq (“The Assemblies of Lovers”), dating from the last decade of Timurid rule in Khorasan, presents an entertaining and light-hearted selection of stories of the earthly loves of over 70 well-known poets, sufis and members of the Turkish ruling elites, cast in a pseudo-mystical framework. This paper discusses a handful of the latter cases of contemporary and near contemporary sultans, including the putative “author”, Soltan-Hosain Mirza, grandson of Bayqara, with a view to identifying any possible historical basis for Gazorgahi’s narratives, and in the process noting the strong cultural connections between the rival courts of Tabriz and Herat.
“Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi and Safavid Shi‘ism: Akhbarism and Anti-sunni Polemic During the Reigns of Shah ‘Abbas the Great and Shah Safi”
By: Robert Gleave
Abstract: The rise of the Akhbari school in the Safavid period has been portrayed as a challenge to both the clerical power of the ʿulamaʾ and sometimes even as in opposition to the Safavid state. As a counter example to these characterisations of Akhbarism, one might consider the example Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi (d.1070/1659), known as “The First Majlisi”, and father of the famous Safavid scholar Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi (“The Second Majlisi”, d.1110/1699 or 1111/1700). He had close relations with the Safavid court, dedicating a work to Shah Abbas II, and generally accepting royal patronage when it was offered. His system of legal interpretation and the analysis of hadith in particular, is thoroughly Akhbari. In this article I analyse Taqi al-Majlisi’s ideas as found in the introductory sections to his Lawamiʿ-i Sahibqirani, a Persian language commentary on an early collection of Twelver Shiʿi reports from the Imams. As an appendix, I translate one section which demonstrates not only his thoroughly Akhbari methodology, but also his originality within the Akhbari school. He should, I argue, be particularly remembered for promoting the authority of the ʿulamaʾ from an Akhbari perspective, and here he links the rejection of ijtihad (a hallmark of the Akhbari school) to the Shiʿi rejection of the selection of Abu Bakr as caliph. In doing this, he establishes and exploits a link between the support of ijtihad (that is, the Usuli position), the heresy of Sunnism and the betrayal of fundamental Shi‘i beliefs.
“Safavids Against Turkmen in the Early Seventeenth Century: Warfare Against the Nomads on the Caspian Steppe”
By: Giorgio Rota
Abstract: The present article is an analysis of Muhammad Tahir Bastami’s Futuhat-i firayduniyah, an account of several actions fought against the Turkmens by Firaydun Khan Charkas, the governor of Astarabad, during the first two decades of the seventeenth century. Although the information provided in the book is mostly of military nature and represents an important contribution to the military history of the Safavid period, the reader can find a certain amount of information on the Turkmens as well, their organisation and their way of life.
“Russian Terrorism in Tehran: A Qajar Princes’ Letters During the ‘Minor Tyranny’ of 1908”
By: Lloyd Ridgeon
Abstract: During the Minor Tyranny of 1908, a daughter of Naser al-Din Shah named Malakeh-ye Iran suffered the indignity of having her house in Tehran plundered when the autocratic Shah attempted to re-assert control over the newly won powers of the democratic Constitutional movement. It is generally thought that the ransacking of her house was due to the sympathetic views towards the Constitutional movement that she shared with her husband, Zahir al-Dawleh and their radical son, Zahir al-Soltan. Malakeh-ye Iran’s letters to her husband, who was in Gilan at the time of the attack, graphically describe this traumatic event and are intriguing because neither her supposed “pro-Constitutional” views are apparent, nor does she blame the autocratic Shah (and her nephew), Mohammad ‘Ali for the destruction of her home. It is to be speculated whether her reluctance to blame and criticise the Shah was due to her family connections or whether she feared that the letters might be intercepted and read by the Shah’s spies. Aside from shedding light on one of the most dramatic periods of the Constitutional Movement, the letters also demonstrate the erudition of a Qajar princess, and the bravery and courage of a hitherto unexplored character whose exploits and role during the Constitutional period deserve greater attention.
“‘Sheer Madness’ or ‘Railway Politics’ Iranian Style? – The Controversy over Railway Development Priorities Within the Persian Government in 1919–1920 and British Railway Imperialism”
By: Oliver Bast
Abstract: Using Iranian and British primary sources, this essay studies the heated dispute over Iran’s immediate priorities in railway building that erupted within the Iranian government in the autumn of 1919, at which moment in time making a serious start with the development of Iran’s so far virtually non-existent rail infrastructure involving, first and foremost, though not necessarily exclusively, Britain, appeared to be imminent due to the related stipulations of the Anglo-Persian treaty that had been signed in August of that year. Seeking conceptual inspiration from Ronald E. Robinson’s thought on Railway Imperialism and drawing on seminal work on the issue of railway building ambitions in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Iran by Paul Luft, this analysis seeks to contribute to two separate areas of inquiry. One the one hand, it represents an intriguing case study for a (yet to be written) history of how Iranians made foreign policy during the early constitutional period (as opposed to histories of Iran’s place in the foreign policies of the Great Powers during that time). On the other hand, it aims at contributing to the study of the impact of European Imperialism on the Middle East in the immediate aftermath of the First World War.
“The Curious Case of the Nuclear Company of Britain and Iran”
By: Ali M. Ansari
Abstract: In February 1977, on a routine visit to Tehran, Sir Walter Marshall, the chief scientist at the department of Energy and deputy chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, was made a seemingly impromptu “radical proposal” by the then head of the Atomic Energy Organisation, Dr Akbar Etemad for a strategic collaboration between the emergent nuclear industry of Iran and that of the UK which faced an uncertain future. Etemad’s proposal envisioned Iranian capital combining with British expertise in the form of a joint company that would be the salvation of both and mark a definitive new era in British–Iranian relations. Eighteen months of tough negotiations ended, failing to yield the desired commitment. But the encounter, largely ignored by historians sheds important new light on the politics of development in both Iran and the UK, along with the complexities of policy-making, and not least, the subtleties of the British–Iranian relationship in what would turn out to be the twilight of the Pahlavi dynasty.
“Non-understanding and Minority Formation in Iran”
By: Anja Pistor-Hatam
Abstract: Taking negative hermeneutics as an analytical frame, this article focuses on the way religious minorities are created in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Referring to the Qur’an, Khomeini’s utterances and the constitution, religious scholars and political scientists demonstrate their lack of understanding or purposeful misunderstanding of the quest for dignity made by members of those minorities. Instead, the authors under review refer to the status of the “protected minorities” as defined by Islam and allude to their obligations with regard to the Muslim majority. The official discourse in Iran depends on political imperatives and quite easily adapts to changing political contexts. Consequently, the Baha’i Faith can be treated as an organisation created by imperialists in order to destroy Islam, the Muslim world and Iran respectively. And at the same time, Baha’is can be considered apostates who want to destroy Shiite Islam from within in analogy to Zionism that is accused of destroying Judaism. In addition, conspiracy theories are quite helpful when it comes to misunderstanding and incomprehension.
Iran and the Caucasus (Volume 21, Issue 2)
“Construction Activities of Kavād I in Caucasian Albania”
By: Murtazali Gadjiev
Abstract: The article, on the basis of written sources and archaeological data, focuses on the Sasanian fortification construction activities in the territory of Caucasian Albania during the reign of Shahanshah Kavād I (488-531). This policy was aimed at creating both a stronghold against the nomads (the Sabirs, Huns, etc.), and an Iranian mainstay in the strategically important region of the Eastern Caucasus.
“The Beginnings of Pashto Narrative Prose”
By: Mikhail Pelevin
Abstract: The article argues that the first specimens of Pashto original narratives in free prose are to be found in the historiographical compilation Tārīkh-i muraṣṣaʿ (1724) among the texts of the chronicles, diaries, and memoirs written by the Khaṯak tribal rulers Khūshḥāl Khān (d. 1689) and Afżal Khān (d. circa 1740/41). Over thirty fragments from these texts may be qualified as short stories for, being focused on particular events and episodes, they are distinguished by strikingly realistic manner of narration and well developed elements of detailing, descriptiveness and emotiveness. Richly illustrated with translations of selected excerpts from original Pashto texts the article summarises the stories’ subject-matters by grouping them into three main categories (wars, incidents, everyday life events) and discusses various aspects of the authors’ narration techniques, such as compression of time and space in kea moments of action, accentuated portrayal of characters, extensive use of direct speech with a range of stylistic timbres. The article proves that the stories of the Khaṯak chiefs may be viewed also as unique documents on the realities of the Pashtun tribal life in pre-modern times.
“The Origins of Middle Persian Zamān and Related Words: A Controversial Etymological History”
By: Antonio Panaino
Abstract: Middle Persian zamān is one of the most important terms in the Iranian cultural and religious lexicon. Its origin, however, remains yet controversial, although, the scholarly debate on this lexeme has opened different perspectives with alternative solutions, particularly with regard to its ultimate roots—Semitic or Indo-Iranian. The present study is a thorough examination of all the aspects of the issue with new interpretation of the extant data.
“Sex-Slavery: One Aspect of the Yezidi Genocide”
By: Peter Nicolaus & Serkan Yuce
Abstract: Even though almost three years have passed since the black banners of the terror organisation, calling themselves the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) were first hoisted throughout the Yezidi heartland of Sinjar, the Yezidi community continues to be targeted by ISIS, militias. 300,000 vegetate in camps as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Iraqi Kurdistan; thousands of others have been killed, are missing, or remain in captivity where they are subjected to unspeakable sexual and physical abuse. With deference for these victims of violence, and without detracting from the collective suffering and trauma of the entire Yezidi community of Sinjar (families, women, men, and children alike), the authors have chosen to focus the present article on the plight and misery of the females; who were, and still are, facing despicable sexual abuses, unfathomable atrocities, and unfettered human rights violations. In doing so, they highlight the views of the fundamentalist Islam practiced by ISIS that encourages sex-slavery, while elaborating on the complacent acceptance of ISIS terror tactics by the local Sunni population of the territories they control. The work goes on to describe how survivors escaped, as well as how they are received and treated by the Yezidi community and state authorities. This discussion includes an overview of the national and international mechanisms available for prosecuting ISIS members for their crimes of genocide against the Yezidi people. The authors further stress that the genocide has contributed to, and even accelerated the process of the Yezidi selfidentification as a unique ethno-religious entity; which, in turn, has produced changes to their religious traditions. These changes will be briefly covered by examining a new approach to the institution of the Kerāfat.
“Comparative Analyses of Iran’s and the DPRK’s Nuclear Issues in the UNSC (2006-2013)”
By: Mher Sahakyan
Abstract: The paper focuses on some aspects regarding Iran’s and the DPRK’s (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea) nuclear issues during 2006-2013. It raises in particular the following questions: what were the main similarities and differences between Iran’s and DPRK’s nuclear issues; what types of similarities and differences existed in the UNSC resolutions on this issue; what were the main positions of the UNSC’s 5 permanent members on this issue.
Iraq (Volume 79)
“Recently Discovered Neo-Assyrian Royal Inscriptions from the Review Palace and Nergal Gate of Nineveh”
By: Ali. Y. Al-Juboori
Abstract: Between 1987 and 1992, Iraqi archaeologists under the direction of the local Inspectorate of Antiquities undertook excavations at Nineveh. In particular, they excavated east of the mosque located on the smaller mound of Nebi Yunus and at the Nergal Gate, the middle gate of the northern city wall. At the Nergal Gate, an inscription of Sennacherib was found on two bull colossi and two paving stones. At Nebi Yunus, a few inscribed clay and stone objects were discovered in the ruins of the armoury, the so-called “Rear Palace” (or “Review Palace”). These included a slab of Ashurnaṣirpal II, a prism fragment of Esarhaddon, two human-headed winged bull colossi of Esarhaddon, a winged-bull of Ashurbanipal, and an unsculpted wall slab of Ashurbanipal. Then, after east Mosul was liberated from ISIS/Daʾesh occupation in early 2017, seven further inscriptions of Esarhaddon were discovered in looters’ tunnels under the destroyed mosque. All of those inscriptions are edited here.
“Tell Khaiber: An Administrative Centre of the Sealand Period”
By: Stuart Campbell, Jane Moon, Robert Killick, Daniel Calderbank, Eleanor Robson, Mary Shepperson, Fay Slater
Abstract: Excavations at Tell Khaiber in southern Iraq by the Ur Region Archaeological Project have revealed a substantial building (hereafter the Public Building) dating to the mid-second millennium b.c. The results are significant for the light they shed on Babylonian provincial administration, particularly of food production, for revealing a previously unknown type of fortified monumental building, and for producing a dated archive, in context, of the little-understood Sealand Dynasty. The project also represents a return of British field archaeology to long-neglected Babylonia, in collaboration with Iraq’s State Board for Antiquities and Heritage. Comments on the historical background and physical location of Tell Khaiber are followed by discussion of the form and function of the Public Building. Preliminary analysis of the associated archive provides insights into the social milieu of the time. Aspects of the material culture, including pottery, are also discussed.
“The Land Behind the Land Behind Baghdad: Archaeological Landscapes of the Upper Diyala (Sirwan) River Valley”
By: Jesse Casana, Claudia Glatz
Abstract: While the Diyala (Kurdish Sirwan) River Valley is storied in Near Eastern archaeology as home to the Oriental Institute’s excavations in the 1930s as well as to Robert McC. Adams’ pioneering archaeological survey, The Land Behind Baghdad, the upper reaches of the river valley remain almost unknown to modern scholarship. Yet this region, at the interface between irrigated lowland Mesopotamia and the Zagros highlands to the north and east, has long been hypothesized as central to the origins and development of complex societies. It was hotly contested by Bronze Age imperial powers, and offered one of the principle access routes connecting Mespotamia to the Iranian Plateau and beyond. This paper presents an interim report of the Sirwan Regional Project, a regional archaeological survey undertaken from 2013–2015 in a 4000 square kilometre area between the modern city of Darbandikhan and the plains south of Kalar. Encompassing a wide range of environments, from the rugged uplands of the Zagros front ranges to the rich irrigated basins of the Middle Diyala, the project has already discovered a wealth of previously unknown archaeological sites ranging in date from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic through the modern period. Following an overview of the physical geography of the Upper Diyala/Sirwan, this paper highlights key findings that are beginning to transform our understanding of this historically important but poorly known region.
“Testing the Middle Ground in Assyro-Anatolian Marriages of the Kārum Period”
By: Yağmur Heffron
Abstract: Central Anatolia in the Middle Bronze Age is marked by a well-documented Old Assyrian presence during the kārum period (20th–17th century b.c.), a dynamic time of long-distance trade and cultural contact. One of the idiosyncrasies of the social history of this period is a special bigamous arrangement which allowed Assyrian men to enter second marriages on the condition that one wife remained at home in Aššur, and the other in Anatolia. In testing the extent to which a middle ground for cross-cultural compromise is recognisable in such Assyro-Anatolian marriage practices, this article considers whether the terminology used in reference to the first and second wives (amtum and aššatum respectively) can be interpreted as the crucial element of misunderstanding in middle ground formation.
“Embellishing the Interior Spaces of Assyria’s Royal Palaces: The Bēt Hilāni Reconsidered”
By: David Kertai
Abstract: The bēt ḫilāni is one of the most famous features of Assyria’s royal palaces as well as one of its most elusive. The term is mostly known from Assyrian royal inscriptions, which describe it as an architectural feature inspired by the architecture of Syro-Anatolia. Such explicit references to the architecture of other cultures is exceptional and provides a rare glimpse into the valuations of Assyria’s architects. Modern attempts to identify the bēt ḫilāni archaeologically are almost as old as the field of ancient Near Eastern Studies. Unfortunately, the discourse has become more convoluted over time through the integration of disparate architectural features into a single bēt ḫilāni discourse and a narrow view of how architectural exchanges occur. Past research has generally assumed a morphological correspondence between the Assyrian bēt ḫilāni and the external porticoes that typify Syro-Anatolian architecture. This article will argue that Assyrian architects had a different set of ideals and interests which led them to change the external Syro-Anatolian portico into an interior feature used to add monumentality and ornamentation to the rooms of Assyria’s palaces. This changes the bēt ḫilāni from a morphological category into a decorative one and contextualises it within the architectural traditions of Assyria.
“Tablettes de la Collection de Michel de Genouillac”
By: Camille Lecompte, Christine Pariselle
Abstract: Henri de Genouillac (1881–1940), one of the leading Assyriologists of his time, owned a collection of cuneiform tablets and inscribed artefacts. On his death, it was divided into two parts. Whereas the majority of these objects were bequeathed to the Musée des Antiquités in Rouen, his native city, a smaller part remained the property of his nephew, Michel de Genouillac. The present paper, which offers the publication of the latter, also aims to reconstruct its history. The Michel de Genouillac collection consists of 20 Ur III tablets (9 from Puzriš-Dagan, 10 from Girsu, 1 of uncertain origin), 1 clay cone with an inscription of Gudea and 5 Sargonic administrative tablets from Girsu.
“Remembering the Imām Yahyā Ibn Al-Qasim Mashhad in Mosul”
By: Richard Piran McClary
Abstract: This article consists of a detailed account of the mashhad of Imām Yaḥyā ibn al-Qāsim. The square-plan building, constructed on the cliff edge above the southern bank of the Tigris in the citadel of Mosul in c. 637/1239, was destroyed in an act of cultural terrorism by ISIS on 23 July 2014. This is a study of the work of earlier scholars on the building, a reassessment of the structure and its regional context, and a number of hypotheses regarding the original appearance of the tomb. In addition, the wide-ranging sources of the formal and decorative elements of the building are examined. The mashhad was the most richly ornamented of the medieval tombs in Iraq which had survived into the modern era, yet it had not been comprehensively studied in over a century. The remaining untranslated inscriptions are given in full, adding useful new information to the discussion regarding the important distinction between the ʿAlids versus Shīʿī associations of the building and its patron. Drawing on the limited published and archival images of the building, the internal appearance is reconstructed, and a series of new architectural plans and elevations are provided in order to preserve the memory of this important structure.
“A New Manuscript of Lugal-E, Tablet IV”
By: Sam Mirelman
Abstract: This study edits BM 48053, a newly identified Late Babylonian manuscript of the epic poem Lugal-e in the British Museum collection. This tablet, which is likely to come from Borsippa, contributes towards the reconstruction of Tablet IV of the epic in its late bilingual form. It is also of interest for its colophon, which specifies the swift return of the tablet following a same day loan, using the phrase ina mišil ūmīšu “in half a day” or perhaps “at midday”.
“The Manufacture, Evaluation and Conservation of Clay Tablets Inscribed in Cuneiform: Traditional Problems and Solutions”
By: Julian Edgeworth Reade
Abstract: Knowledge of ancient Middle Eastern history is largely based on written records preserved on clay tablets, but tablets have often been separated from other archaeological artefacts, with erratic consequences. This paper discusses the treatment, distribution and evaluation of tablets since the first major discoveries in 1850, the problems and potential advantages of identifying clay sources and methods of manufacture, the challenges of preserving and recording tablets found in different conditions in the field, and the development of cleaning and long-term conservation techniques. Early experiments in firing tablets at the British Museum and at Babylon were followed by the systematic work of Friedrich Rathgen in Berlin around 1900. While his methods were gradually accepted in principle, there was limited communication among specialists, and independent procedures evolved. The debate on best practice continues.
“Dāduša’s Stela and the Vexed Question of Identifying the Main Actors on the Relief”
By: Robert Rollinger
Abstract: This contribution deals with the famous stela of king Dāduša of Ešnunna (c. eighteenth century b.c.). The monument testifies to a correlation of text and image that is unique in the Ancient Near East. However, recent scholarship still disagrees on the identification of the three main actors in the top register of the stela. The paper discusses in detail the philological and epigraphic evidence and their larger contexts. It concludes that the slaying figure to the left standing on the defeated king of Qab(a)rā is Adad and the figure to the far right is the pious king of Ešnunna paying reverence to his god who guaranteed victory over his enemy.
“Excavations at Kurd Qaburstan, A Second MIllenium b.c. Urban Site on the Erbil Plain”
By: Glenn M. Schwartz, Christopher D. Brinker, Andrew T. Creekmore, Marian H. Feldman, Alexia Smith, Jill A. Weber
Abstract: Excavations at the 109 hectare site of Kurd Qaburstan on the Erbil plain in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq were conducted by the Johns Hopkins University in 2013 and 2014. The Middle Bronze Age (Old Babylonian period) is the main period of occupation evident on the site, and the project therefore aims to study the character of a north Mesopotamian urban centre of the early second millennium b.c. On the high mound, excavations revealed three phases of Mittani (Late Bronze) period occupation, including evidence of elite residential architecture. On the low mound and the south slope of the high mound, Middle Bronze evidence included domestic remains with numerous ceramic vessels left in situ. Also dating to the Middle Bronze period is evidence of a city wall on the site edges. Later occupations include a cemetery, perhaps of Achaemenid date, on the south slope of the high mound and a Middle Islamic settlement on the southern lower town. Faunal and archaeobotanical analysis provide information on the plant and animal economy of the second millennium b.c. occupations, and geophysical results have documented a thirty-one hectare expanse of dense Middle Bronze Age architecture in the northern lower town.
“Animals of the Sealands: Ceremonial Activities in the Southern Mesopotamian ‘Dark Age’”
By: Katheryn C. Twiss
Abstract: The Sealand Dynasty ruled in southern Mesopotamia ca. 1740–1460(?) b.c.e., but Sealand archaeological deposits are extraordinarily rare, and the dynasty itself is known almost entirely from a limited number of texts. Sealand Dynasty social and ecological practices remain mysterious, and ceremonial activities are at best poorly understood. Faunal remains from the small site of Tell Sakhariya in southern Iraq provide our first glimpse into the Sealand animal socio-economy. Sakhariya’s occupants herded and hunted in multiple environmental zones. In pre-Sealand times Tell Sakhariya was an important ceremonial site, and the large-scale food sharing and possible ritual dog burial in its faunal assemblage might indicate that Sakhariya retained ideological significance into the Sealand era.
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (Volume 60, Issue 4)
“Narrating Community: the Qiṣṣat Shakarwatī Farmāḍ and Accounts of Origin in Kerala and around the Indian Ocean”
By: Scott Kugle, Roxani Eleni Margariti
Abstract: The story of an Indian king’s conversion to Islam by the prophet Muhammad and of the subsequent foundation by Arab Muslims of communities and mosques across the sovereign’s former dominion in Kerala appears in various Arabic and Malayalam literary iterations. The most remarkable among them is the Qiṣṣat Shakarwatī Farmāḍ. This legend of community origins is here translated from the Arabic in full for the first time. Historians have dealt with such origin stories by transmitting them at face value, rejecting their historicity, or sifting them for kernels of historical truth. The comparative approach adopted here instead juxtaposes the Qiṣṣa with a Malayalam folksong and other Indian Ocean narratives of conversion as related in medieval Arabic travel literature to reveal underlying archetypes of just or enlightened kings as sponsors of community. The legend emerges as a crucial primary source for the constitution and self-definition of Islam in Kerala and for the discursive claims of this community vis-à-vis others.
“Civil-Servant Aspirants: Ottoman Social Mobility in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century”
By: Omri Paz
Abstract: With the transition from a government led by the military-administrative ruling class to that managed by the civil-servant sector during the Tanzimat reforms, the socioeconomic nature of the Ottoman bureaucracy changed dramatically. Studies have tended to focus on the new civil servants educated in the rüşdiye (state secondary schools), but poor, unskilled Ottomans seeking to improve their socioeconomic status found the newly established Ottoman police a vehicle to social mobility. A job as a policeman was one of the few these men could qualify for, allowing them to earn a steady income and receive social benefits. Gradually, service in the police force entailed becoming part of an evolving civil-servant sector.
“Mapping the Growth of an Arabian Gulf Town: The Case of Doha, Qatar”
By: Richard Fletcher, Robert A. Carter
Abstract: This paper is based on research undertaken for the Origins of Doha Project. It is a unique attempt to interrogate the construct of the Arab city against rigorously collected evidence and meticulous analysis of historical urban geography. We have found that Doha in its urban layout, physical development, architecture, and pre-oil demographics, combined its disparate cosmopolitan elements into a blend that probably typified the historic Gulf town, simultaneously encapsulating aspects of the generalised “Arab and Islamic town.” We have found strong structural principles at work in both the traditional and the early modern town, many of which correlate strongly with tribal social organisation, although the historic population of Doha was neither overwhelmingly tribal in character nor entirely Arab in origin. Rather, these constituted prevailing ideologies, social structures, and identities in a diverse and cosmopolitan population
“A Forgotten Mobilization: The Tunisian Volunteer Movement for Palestine in 1948”
By: Shoko Watanabe
Abstract: This paper goes beyond the ideological views of nationalist leaders who positioned the departure of Tunisian volunteer soldiers for Palestine in 1948 in the framework of national-liberation history, and it analyzes the volunteer movement to provide a picture of the internal mechanisms of popular mobilization. This was a dual movement, of spontaneous participation and organized recruitment by local committees. The volunteers were ideologically heterogeneous, some having had no previous political career. The decentralized nature of the mobilization and the regionally differing socioeconomic compositions of the volunteers suggest that regionally diverse trajectories of nationalism movements coexisted in Tunisia. Understanding this volunteer movement from the bottom up, focusing particularly on the socioeconomic conditions that made the mobilization possible, can help us understand the dynamism of nationalism as a social movement.
“Globalisation Interrupted? The Case of Opium in the Circulation of Medical Knowledge in Ming Dynasty China”
By: José Antonio Cantón Álvarez
Abstract: The spread of Western medical practices to China, initiated during the Mongol dynasty, is often considered an example of “medical globalisation,” but few studies have looked at the actual level of adoption of Western medicine in the period after the Yuan dynasty. This essay analyses eighteen Ming dynasty medical sources in order to assess the role of opium, a Western drug, in post-Yuan medical practice. This essay concludes that opium was not widely used in the first centuries of the Ming dynasty, and, when finally adopted in the sixteenth century, its use was disconnected from the Yuan dynasty medical tradition. These findings make us question the continuity and even the existence of the “Mongol medical globalisation,” as well as the validity of the use of synchronic methodology for the study of centuries-long processes such as globalisation.
Middle East Critique (Volume 26, Issue 3)
“The Ends of Revolution: Rethinking Ideology and Time in the Arab Uprisings”
By: Sune Haugbolle, Andreas Bandak
Abstract: Not available.
“There will be Blood: Expectation and Ethics of Violence during Egypt’s Stormy Season”
By: Samuli Schielke
Abstract: How did bloodshed emerge as a promising solution to the tensions and troubles of the revolutionary period? And how did different people who were on a particular side of the events from 2011 to 2013 react to the bewildering violence of the victorious in summer and autumn 2013? With these questions, I want to contribute to a conversation opened by engaged academics writing about Egypt, in order to try to understand the wide-scale support for killing that emerged in Egypt in the summer of 2013. My core argument is that, although the violence unleashed after June 30, 2013, evidently was the result of intentional manipulation and escalation by the most powerful players involved, many Egyptians’ actual support for that violence was thoroughly moral in character, a consequence of an intensifying process of polarization where the need to defend right against wrong was caught up in an ongoing sense of tension, confusion, and anxiety. In this mood of ‘broken fear’—not the same as the overcoming of fear, the expectation that ‘there will be blood’ was a promise of reaching clarity, purity and truth through a decisive battle. The incitement to bloodshed and the spiral of violence can be described as a form of ethical cultivation where a sense of purity is established through dramatic and radical confrontation. Paradoxically, during the bloody summer of 2013, moments of irbak—confusion, bewilderment, loss of solid ground—sometimes were more likely to open up ways out of the circle of hatred and confrontation than firm and clear principles. Wickedness and violence are akin to righteousness and purity, and there are times when weakness and confusion can be the better ethical stance. In this vein, I argue that if commentators failed to notice the inherent cultivation of violence, it was not because it wasn’t there, but because we didn’t want to see it. It didn’t fit well into the beautiful picture of revolutionary resistance. But we cannot separate beautiful resistance from terrible bloodshed, just as we cannot isolate the flourishing of cultural life from the spread of violent street crime in and after 2011, as they belong to one and the same process.
“Trickster Defeats the Revolution: Egypt as the Vanguard of the New Authoritarianism”
By: Walter Armbrust
Abstract: Egypt’s January 25 Revolution often has been viewed as an explicit contest between the Hosni Mubarak regime and its cronies, who were able to prevail by pulling the levers of a ‘deep state,’ and revolutionaries espousing progressive visions, albeit visions divided between those of Islamists and non-Islamists, and often seen by each as mutually incompatible with the other. The defeat of the January 25 Revolution’s progressive aspirations can be understood, to a substantial degree, as a victory by the old regime. However, revolution understood as a Liminal Crisis allows us to see the rise of ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi not as a straightforward restoration of the old regime, but as both a revolutionary outcome and as an instantiation of a New Authoritarianism that has been making significant strides toward power in the wake of the 2011 revolutions. Liminality is understood here as the intermediate stage in a transition as described in Victor Turner’s Ritual Process and recently reinterpreted in the context of politics by Bjørn Thomassen. The potential dangers of liminality often are controlled by ritual, but this is not the case in revolutions, which become liminal crises precisely because there is no conventionalized means for closing off the state of being in-between. In such circumstances Tricksters—beings at home in liminality and often-elaborated in myth, folklore, and literature—become potentially dangerous in politics. Sisi can be seen as a Trickster politician. But more broadly, the structuring of liminality through the global political-economic order of contemporary capitalism both creates a generalized precarity outside the most elite levels of society, and at the same time predisposes those compelled to live in precarity to be attentive to political Tricksters. Hence liminality can be seen as both the beginning and the end of revolution.
“L-Makhzan al-’Akbari: Resistance, Remembrance and Remediation in Morocco”
By: Miriyam Aouragh
Abstract: Morocco was prompted by the sense of making and witnessing history that began as the backdrop to the mass uprisings across the region in 2011 and continued well into 2012. At several moments the country at large burst into a mosaic of rebellion. As expected, the state intervened with media propaganda, smear campaigns and intimidation to pre-empt the growing impact of the activists and as such to erase this revolutionary episode effectively from Morocco’s collective memory. This article examines the practices and implications of the remediation of past experiences of struggles and brings the memories of past resistance together with experiences of present struggles. This article takes particular interest in the intersection between 20Feb activists’ political projects and the growing array of digital politics and allows us to understand better the impact of digital media in times of revolution.
“Freedom, Power and the Crisis of Politics in Revolutionary Yemen”
By: Ross Porter
Abstract: In the study of revolutionary events, it is often assumed that ‘political crisis’ attests to the failure of revolutionary ideals. Accordingly, revolution is understood as the pursuit of political consensus and the institutionalization of freedom and equality at the level of the state. In contrast, this article describes how, during the recent revolution in Yemen, revolutionaries actively negated proposals for a ‘political solution.’ It explores how the desire to contain power within the imaginary of ‘the people’ and safeguard revolutionary freedom produced instead an ethical charter for perpetuating a crisis of politics. As such, it argues that revolution should be understood less in terms of a seamless teleology of political development and more according to the immediate ethics of living a revolutionary life.
“The Most Beautiful Friendship: Revolution, War and Ends of Social Gravity in Syria”
By: Thomas Vladimir Brønd
Abstract: This article focuses on overlooked revolutionary friendship as a primary vehicle of revolutionary politics. It draws on ethnographic fieldwork among revolutionaries of Syria’s peaceful protest movements. The article depicts how friendships emerge in revolutionary moments. It analyzes the experience of friendship as a primary locus for revolutionary politics and as part of social transformations, which often occur during war and revolutions. Drawing on the anthropology of friendship and social theory, I demonstrate how new zones of social gravity were created in beautiful friendships challenging the neo-liberalism and authoritarianism of Ba’athist regime and installing social change.
“Endnotes: Wandering in the Wilderness or Entering the Promised Land?”
By: Bjørn Thomassen
Abstract: This article argues that one can analyze revolutions as ritual passages, as spatial and temporal liminality. In most Arab countries that experienced radical upheavals and revolutionary dynamics during and after 2011, people may feel ‘stuck in liminality.’ The aftermath of revolutions is what Arnold van Gennep termed the phase of re-aggregation and which Victor Turner also described as redress. Even in those states where institutional arrangements on the surface have been recomposed, perpetual crises seem everywhere. This situation characterizes a number of post-upheavals in the world. In this article, I draw on examples in Arab countries to reflect on how the current ends of revolution can be understood as perpetual liminality, and what it would take to exit liminality. I stress that legal and judicial processes are formalized and ritualized means toward re-aggregation, which have to go along with a cooling down of emotions and a taming of violence at the social level. This requires transforming the categories of ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’ of a revolution and adopting the language of ‘ordinary politics’ to replace revolutionary language. The re-aggregation process, however, is complicated by the fact that new regimes gain their legitimacy from available symbols of the revolution itself.
Middle Eastern Literatures (Volume 20, Issue 2)
“Dried spring, blind mirror, lost east: Ophelia, water, and dreams”
By: Nurdan Gürbilek
Abstract: Studies of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, a leading Turkish modernist author, have largely focused on his ideas regarding the fate of Turkish culture, the lost Empire and the East-West divide, circumscribing the writer as a conservative man of ideas. This essay rather focuses on Tanpınar’s imagery, most fundamentally on the persistent image of water, which serves as an eye, a mirror and a reflecting gaze. The essay also focuses on Tanpınar’s preoccupation with the figure of Ophelia and the “Ophelia complex” (a concept he borrowed from Gaston Bachelard’s Water and Dreams) and the figure of the “dead mother” (the French psychoanalyst André Green’s concept), her eyes frozen, her mirror dulled yet still laying claim to the present. The essay tries to cover two Tanpınar’s at once: The Tanpınar of reflecting “silver waters,” and one of dark waters and rusty mirrors that have lost their capacity to serve as an eye. The pre-modernist Tanpınar, obsessed with plenitude, continuity and a “return to the true self,” and the modernist Tanpınar, who comes to terms with the fact that what we call the “self” is a place built of loss: The Tanpınar of the dried spring, the blind mirror, and the lost East – a writer of the esthetics of loss.
“’The true face of the work’: sovereignty and literary form in literary historiography”
By: Veli N. Yashin
Abstract: This article reads Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s XIX. Asır Türk Edebiyâtı Târîhi(Istanbul,  1956) in relation to the notion of work that runs through his oeuvre. The philological relation between political sovereignty and the form of literary work that Tanpınar elaborates in his literary historiography aligns with his proposed political program for, and historical understanding of, the modern nation in the wake of Tanzimat. Literary modernity and political reform come together, as the identification and affirmation of work gives place to the modern auto-production of nation in perfectly self-enclosed form. Tanzimat thus becomes another name for Tanpınar’s own philological practice, insofar as it involves the formal organization of scattered efforts and inscriptions as singular works and the historicizing appropriation of life in line with a systematic program—the reforming imposition, in short, of a new sense of order in the name of the gathering and productive force of sovereignty.
“’Free spirited clocks’: modernism, temporality and The Time Regulation Institute”
By: Özen Nergis Dolcerocca
Abstract: This article reads Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s XIX. Asır Türk Edebiyâtı Târîhi (Istanbul,  1956) in relation to the notion of work that runs through his oeuvre. The philological relation between political sovereignty and the form of literary work that Tanpınar elaborates in his literary historiography aligns with his proposed political program for, and historical understanding of, the modern nation in the wake of Tanzimat. Literary modernity and political reform come together, as the identification and affirmation of work gives place to the modern auto-production of nation in perfectly self-enclosed form. Tanzimat thus becomes another name for Tanpınar’s own philological practice, insofar as it involves the formal organization of scattered efforts and inscriptions as singular works and the historicizing appropriation of life in line with a systematic program—the reforming imposition, in short, of a new sense of order in the name of the gathering and productive force of sovereignty.
“’What if one day things go mad?’: the unruly objects of Tanpınar’s modernism”
By: Sibel Irzık
Abstract: Objects of everyday life spinning out of control occupy an important place in modern Turkish narratives. From the prodigal sons of the first Turkish novels to the shanty town dwellers of contemporary Istanbul narratives, many characters suffer from the same malady: an inability to master, possess, and derive pleasure from objects, and a tendency to be menaced by them even as they fall under their spell. This tension between subjectivity and the everyday world of objects constitutes a prominent thematic structure in modern Turkish narratives and Tanpınar is pivotal for considering its significance and formal repercussions. His works register the cultural traumas of modernization and Westernization through his characters’ impotence in their practical, symbolic, and affective relations with objects that dominate them. They also propose and perform certain modes of aestheticizing everyday life as an antidote to this impotence. The purpose of this article is to delineate how Tanpınar’s novels dramatize crises of personhood in relation to objects and what these crises might reveal about the affective dimensions of “belated modernity.” Such a consideration underlines the importance of cultural and historical contextualization in object-oriented criticism.
“Original resemblance: the function of similarity in Tanpınar’s ‘Yaz Gecesi’”
By: Kaitlin Staudt
Abstract: This article examines how Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s short story “Yaz Gecesi (A Summer’s Night)” engages in a dialogue based on “resemblance” to James Joyce’s short story, “The Sisters.” In doing so, Tanpınar interrogates the discourses on authenticity and originality that emerged from the cultural politics of the early Turkish Republic. Read alongside Tanpınar’s other literary critical concepts like terkip, his story forges important links to Joyce’s concerns about narrative’s ability to contain cultural continuity while grounding them in and for the Turkish context. Examining Tanpınar’s critical writing on the Turkish novel, particularly the relationship between literary traditions and the concept of originality in the early Republic, this article demonstrates that Tanpınar’s short story is a creative embodiment of his concept of terkip. Through analyzing Tanpınar’s affirmation of the way literature from the past and from the West is integral for readers to interpret and derive meaning from contemporary Turkish literature, “Yaz Gecesi” can be read as a creative theorization of intercultural dialogue and intertextuality in the Turkish literary tradition.
“The past as an object: orientalist fantasies”
By: Ayse Ozge Kocak Hemmat
Abstract: Drawing on Tanpınar’s journal, letters and academic writings, this article challenges the established reading of his works as integrating the Ottoman past into the modern present, and argues that he emerges as a self-orientalist in his identification with a notion of the rational Western intellectual that molds his perception of the past as well as of the East. This results in Tanpınar’s treatment of the Ottoman past, particularly in Huzur (A Mind at Peace) (1949) as a mystified and mystifying entity that can be integrated into modern life only as an object of pleasure—not of intellect. While his protagonists’ longing for the past seem to hold the promise of creating continuity between traditions, their attitude in fact amounts only to coveting the past as an object—a desire to possess the past and to become its master through putting it outside of time and reason, thereby creating a beautiful shelter from the tensions of modernization.
“’I am not a nurse!’: femininity, maternalism, and heritage in A Mind at Peace”
By: Elizabeth Nolte
Abstract: In Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s novel A Mind at Peace, Nuran plays a central role as the beloved and provides the title for one of the four chapters, yet, much like the female characters in Tanpınar’s other works, receives little critical attention. This article examines Nuran through her femininity, maternalism, and heritage as the representation of a changing cultural and social identity tied to the Ottoman past but focused on the future. While Mümtaz, the male protagonist, inhabits a juvenile or deferred present, Nuran is rooted in the present through her multifaceted female identity and maintains a conflicted connection to the past and to her progeny through her family’s legacy, the “Song in the Mahur Mode.” This discord manifests in Nuran’s maternal duty to protect her daughter Fatma, who also bears the inheritance and emerges as Mümtaz’s main rival for Nuran’s affections. Nuran’s choice to pursue a transgressive relationship within the structure of her familial fate posits a feminine and cyclical alternative to the historical and aesthetic nostalgia of Mümtaz.
Middle Eastern Studies (Volume 53, Issues 3 & 4)
“Rethinking Russian pan-Slavism in the Ottoman Balkans: N.P. Ignatiev and the Slavic Benevolent Committee (1856–77)”
By: Aslı Yiǧit Gülseven
Abstract: In the mid-nineteenth century pan-Slavic ideology was evident at two levels: at the personal level in N.P. Ignatiev’s diplomacy, and at the institutional level in the Slavic Benevolent Committee’s activities. Both served to spread Russian influence among the Slavic Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman Sultan. The Russian Archives contain a wealth of material related to the Slavic Benevolent Committee and Ambassador N.P. Ignatiev’s activities concerning Russia’s Balkan policy. The memoirs of the Russian and Ottoman bureaucratic elites also offer great detail on the subject. Relying upon these archival sources and memoirs, this article aims to discuss the transformation of pan-Slavic ideology from a cultural organization into a Russian political asset, with special attention to N.P. Ignatiev and the Slavic Benevolent Committee.
“‘Raising a moral generation’: the Republican People’s Party and religious instruction in Turkey, 1946–1949”
By: Tuba Ünlü Bilgiç, Bestami S. Bilgiç
Abstract: When Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic, declared his government’s intention to raise a ‘religious generation’, his proposition drew harsh criticisms from Turkey’s secularists, who argued that doing so would clearly challenge the secular nature of the Turkish state. Yet it may come as a surprise to many that it was not a conservative party with Islamist leanings that first experimented with the idea of relying on religious education as an antidote to the perceived moral decadence of the society. Rather, it was the secularist party, the Republican People’s Party, which attempted to use religious instruction for the same purpose during the heyday of Kemalism in the 1940s. Against this backdrop, providing an analysis of how the Republican People’s Party had come to the point of offering religious education to school children and how it justified this policy can shed light on today’s debate on secularism and the secular character of the Turkish state.
“Sheikh Wahbah al-Zuhaili on international relations: the discourse of a prominent Islamist scholar (1932–2015)”
By: Sami E. Baroudi, Vahid Behmardi
Abstract: In recent years, radical and violent Islamist movements – such as al-Qaeda and its offshoot the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – have seized the spotlight. A corollary of this preoccupation has been the proliferation of studies on the political thought of radical Islamist figures such as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin-Laden. By contrast, scant attention has been paid to the thought of moderate contemporary Sunni Islamist scholars. This article attempts to rectify this situation by focusing on the international relations discourse of a prominent Syrian Islamist thinker Sheikh Wahbah al-Zuhaili (hereafter Zuhaili). The article examines Zuhaili’s views on three central and interrelated topics: (1) the nature and underpinning principles of international relations; (2) war; and (3) the role of international law and international norms and conventions in international relations. By shedding light on Zuhaili’s thought and situating it in its proper ideational and historical contexts, the article concludes that radical Islamist ideology is at the periphery of contemporary Islamist conceptualizations of international relations while the epicentre is held by mainstream Islamists whose perspectives on international relations are fairly compatible with prevalent western views, especially those emanating from the Realist school.
“Reading a bureaucratic career backwards: how did Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha become the Inspector-General of Rumelia?”
By: Sena Hatip Dinçyürek
Abstract: When Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha (1855–1918) was appointed as the Inspector General for the Rumelian Provinces (Vilâyât-ı Selâse Umûm Müfettişi) in November 1902, his eligibility for such a position was questioned by some of his contemporaries. This article aims to reconstruct and understand the path that led this statesman, from the very beginning of his career, towards the inspectorate during the time of Sultan Abdulhamid II (r. 1876–1909). Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha began his bureaucratic life in Midilli (Lesbos Island) in 1874, and he was very fortunate to encounter Namık Kemal and become his protégé. Apart from his early career, he mainly served in the southern Anatolian and Syrian regions of the empire, and later in Yemen. However, these regions were afflicted with similar problems, a fact that helped Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha evolve into a ‘crisis management expert’. The experiences he gained at each post opened the door for the next one, thus transforming him into a prominent statesman of the Hamidian administration and ultimately enabling him to reach the inspectorate of Rumelia.
“Oil and intra-state conflict in Iraq and Syria: sub-state actors and challenges for Turkey’s energy security”
By: Pinar Ipek
Abstract: The continuing dependency on fossil fuels of the Middle East not only in Turkey’s energy mix but also in world energy demand requires further analysis of oil and conflict in the region since the fall of Mosul in Iraq to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in June 2014. This article addresses the relationship between oil and conflict. Then, it examines the case of Turkey’s increasing energy relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government to elucidate the implications of inter-state and intra-state conflict on regional interdependence in the region. The argument asserts that risks of an abrupt regime change or revolutionary regime formation in the aftermath of civil war in Syria and ethnic or sectarian violence in Iraq, which are highly associated with intra-state conflicts, present challenges for Turkey’s energy security and most importantly for human security in the region.
“An analytical and comparative study of male and female images in Qajar dynasty paintings during the reign of Fath-Ali Shah (1797–1834)”
By: Zahra Fanaei, Bahar Rahimzadeh, S. Ali Mojabi
Abstract: Qajar dynasty painting began in the reign of Fath-Ali Shah (1797–1834) and ended with the death of Naser al-Din Shah (1831–1896). In this period, art was influenced by the government; new rules assigned to art as to sociopolitical conditions and figurative paintings were exploited as a tool in governing the country. In the paintings ascribed to Fath-Ali Shah’s period, women also appear alongside the images of men who were principally historical, political and religious key figures of their own time. The significant status of women was the most important factor in this. These images were not merely limited to eminent characters as musicians, dancers, servants, acrobats images were drawn as delicately and magnificently as male images and even enjoyed better radiance, vivacity, pep, variety and tonality than them. Male images were elegantly drawn in formal costumes, often with the same composition. The similarities and differences of male and female images in Qajar paintings can be assessed according to the criteria of composition, colour, positioning, and the number of figures, assimilation, the intricacies and the degree of characterization. This study also stresses the characteristics of men’s and women’s images in the paintings.
“Women, writing and politics in Sonallah Ibrahim’s That Smell and Notes from Prison”
By: Waed Athamneh
Abstract: In That Smell and Notes from Prison, Sonallah Ibrahim engages literary and feminist discourses in his political narrative against the Nasserist regime and the culture of commitment (iltizam) of the 1960s. Ibrahim’s antihero is a newly released writer who is faced with the challenges of overcoming his failure to connect with women and society, and find a motivation to write. He realizes that most readers, writers and critics are not in favour of his literature of exposé, which refuses to depict or treat the ugly reality as a beautiful one. In foreshadowing the 1967 defeat and the impotence of Arabs, That Smell and Notes from Prison warns of a prolonged cultural and literary decay should political corruption override basic human and women’s rights in the Arab world.
“Religious voluntarism, political individualism, and the secular: nineteenth-century evangelical encounters in the Middle East”
By: Aimee E. Barbeau
Abstract: In 1819, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) began a mission in the Middle East. Though initially the missionaries sought to convert Muslims and Jews to the Christian faith, they soon turned to revitalizing their co-religionists. This puzzling situation of Christians proselytizing other Christians occurred because the two groups of Christians, American and Middle Eastern, held very different cultural and political notions of what that identity meant. In the end, the American mission remained minimally effective at conversion but influential in its secular goals of educating, furthering religious freedom, and modernization. Counter-intuitively, the missionaries’ religious proselytizing became implicated in a kind of secularization.
“Local demands and state policies: general councils (Meclis-i Umumi) in the Edirne and Ankara provinces (1867–1872)”
By: Yonca Köksal
Abstract: By comparing the decisions of various meetings of the General Councils of Edirne and Ankara provinces from 1283 to 1288 (1867–1872 AD), this study analyses social and economic dynamics of both provinces, the state vocabulary for handling local demands, and the boundaries of responsibility for the state and the local actors in provincial administration. Instead of reading the Tanzimat as a top-down imposition, this article defines General Councils as sites of negotiations between state and local actors and instruments for local development. This article challenges the conventional view of provincial councils as weak and unable to implement various policies. It contributes to a new generation of studies that challenges the separation between state and social forces and looks at how both interacted in provincial administration.
“Non-Muslim citizens as foreigners within: how Ecnebi became Yabancı from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic”
By: Olivier Bouquet
Abstract: Since the establishment of the Republic in 1923, any non-Muslim born in Turkey, whatever his/her religion, is a Turkish citizen as are any of his/her Muslim fellows. However, sometimes he/she might consider him/herself an alien and might even be regarded as such by the official authorities. The purpose of this article is to shed light on this reality from an historical perspective. Based on the comparison of two terms (ecnebi and yabancı, both meaning foreigner) that had become frequently used during the last Ottoman decades, the analysis establishes to what degree ecnebi was replaced by yabancı in official republic terminology. The article argues that this change might be related to the formation of less visible categories of foreigners that partly originated from the confessional imperial framework based on the differentiation between Muslims and non-Muslims. Far from being set aside as the Kemalists have long claimed, this framework has prevailed. It partly explains to what extent, as a result, in the history of the Turkish Republic, non-Muslim Turkish citizens have sometimes been regarded as ‘foreigners within’ (içerdeki yabancı).
“Tunisia and Israel: relations under stress”
By: Jacob Abadi
Abstract: This article provides an analysis of the relations between Tunisia and Israel. The author argues that Israel’s attempt to establish diplomatic relations with Tunisia was motivated largely by its quest to reach the countries in the periphery of the Middle East. In addition, the author argues the Israeli leaders were concerned about the fate of the Jewish community in Tunisia. At the same time, the Tunisian ruling Neo Destour party was motivated by the pragmatic considerations of its leader Habib Bourguiba who sought to pursue a unique policy towards Israel based on a willingness to recognize its existence and a just solution to the Palestinian question. Furthermore, the author argues that although the Tunisian regime criticized Israel for its occupation of Arab territories, the contacts between the two countries never ceased entirely. The bilateral connections reached their climax after 1993, when the Oslo accord between Israel and the Palestinians was signed. Despite the continuing tension, both sides remained interested in keeping the contacts and it was primarily Tunisia’s concern for its tourism industry that kept it from severing its relations with Israel. The article also shows that Tunisia’s Western orientation had a salutary effect on the bilateral relations.
“Policing the ‘suspects’: Ottoman Greeks and Armenians in Istanbul, 1914–18”
By: Deniz Dölek-Sever
Abstract: During the First World War, a primary domestic political aim for all belligerent countries was to preserve the socio-economic status quo in order to provide appropriate conditions for the survival of the state. Therefore, war governments paid particular attention to the maintenance of internal order. While doing this, the central authority of governments became paramount and this situation had remarkable repercussions on state–society relations. This article examines the wartime public order policies of the Ottoman government specifically concerning the Ottoman Greeks (Rum) and Armenians living in Istanbul. During the Great War, these non-Muslim elements were officially regarded as ‘suspects’, in other words, as ‘potential political criminals’ threatening the internal order of the capital. To control the Ottoman Greeks and Armenians, the war government implemented a number of policing strategies that consisted of deportation of individuals and groups, strict control on travel, and close surveillance of ‘suspects’.
“Echoes from below? Talking democracy in Baʿthist Iraq”
By: Achim Rohde
Abstract: Drawing on Iraqi print media published during the late 1980s and 1990s, this study contributes to the historiography of Baʿthist Iraq by offering a fresh reading into open sources that have long been used by scholars. It focuses on issues like democratization, freedom and the rule of law and how they were articulated in Iraqi print media. This discourse functioned as a strategic tool of communication to reproduce and stabilize the existing order. By moving beyond mechanisms of bureaucratic control, repression or cooptation, the study highlights a neglected element of the former regime’s techniques of governance. The evidence presented in this study suggests that the Iraqi Ba’thist regime aimed to demobilize a target audience it suspected of harbouring oppositional feelings and pro-democracy ideas that went beyond what Saddam Hussein was willing to consider. It did so by installing, simulating or tolerating spaces of contestation that helped to ease the ‘cognitive dissonance’ Iraqis sensed between an official discourse of a people united in love for its leader, and the daily experience of brutal repression and deteriorating living conditions.
“Politics in the Kurdish periphery: clan networks and local party strategies in a comparative perspective”
By: Feryaz Ocakli
Abstract: Despite the return to violence and state repression in the Kurdish conflict, the ruling Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party – AKP) has remained the only alternative to the Kurdish National Movement (KNM) for Turkey’s Kurdish citizens. What local-level strategies did the AKP employ in Kurdish areas to reinforce its national-level appeal to Islamic values? Under what conditions did local vote-seeking strategies help the AKP to overcome its pro-Kurdish rivals at the ballot box? This article examines the politics of local coalition building in the periphery of the Kurdish landscape – Bingöl and Muş. Despite their many similarities, the two cities voted for different political parties in national elections. This article examines how the AKP’s local party organizations interacted with local authority structures, recruited influential local elites, and pursued new voters. The vitality of clan networks in parts of Bingöl enabled the AKP to build a reliable local coalition. The gradual weakening of clan networks in Muş and their permeation by the KNM prevented a similar coalition. Instead, the parties of the KNM were able to take advantage of divided clan networks to win national electoral contests in the province.
“The reflection of the Israeli ‘incorporation regime’ in the land allocation institution in Israel’s urban area, 1950–1960”
By: Ella Trachtenberg, Alexandre Kedar, Deborah Shmueli
Abstract: This article focuses on the Israeli land regime as reflected in the land allocation activities of the Development Authority (DA) in urban areas between 1950 and 1960, and particularly on how allocation of space influenced the development of a social stratum during this nation-building period. The analytical lens applies two concepts to the empirical data on DA activities during this period: ‘incorporation regime’ and ‘citizen discourse’. The outcome is an understanding of the ‘rules of the game’ supporting selective access to land allocations in given areas. Accessibility was aimed at distinct Jewish groups – wealthy, connected/networked, and veteran citizens, in line with the republican discourse in Israel at the time. The findings provide a deeper understanding of connections among institutional mechanisms, citizenship discourse and land allocation, and their expression both spatially and in terms of the fabric of life that developed within the social, political and land regime contexts.
“Hide and seek? Israeli–Turkish relations and the Baghdad pact”
By: Orna Almog, Ayşegül Sever
Abstract: The aim of this article is to address the impact of the Baghdad Pact and the Anglo-American defense system and its collapse on the Turkish–Israeli relationship from 1954 to 1958, a discussion that is absent from scholarly studies. The article will highlight the different approaches and views of the two parties and their impact on the cold war alliances and the Arab–Israeli conflict. Examining this from the perspectives of both Ankara and Jerusalem will contribute to a comprehensive study of the bilateral relations during the 1950s. Some of the main questions to be addressed are: to what extent, if at all, did the Baghdad Pact change bilateral relations between Turkey and Israel? What were Israel’s main concerns? Were its suspicions of Turkey’s changing policy founded? How much was Turkey influenced by Iraq’s membership of the Pact and its hostile attitude toward Israel? Was Turkey’s attempt to maintain reasonable relations with both Israel and Iraq a realistic aim? All these will be assessed against regional upheavals and the cold war politics with current implications.
“Divide and conquer: the consolidation of Hafiz al-Assad’s policy toward Lebanon – the early stages”
By: Dan Naor
Abstract: This article examines the attitude of Syria toward Lebanon during the first years of Hafiz al-Assad’s regime. Assad adhered to the policy of ‘divide and conquer’, in which Syria purposefully prevented any Lebanese figure from becoming too powerful in the political arena. The article will analyze two cases of prominent Lebanese leaders in which Syria applied this policy, President Suleiman Frangieh and the Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt. Both were close allays of Assad, but this fact did not prevent the latter from acting against his friends. The article’s main claim is that by using this policy, Assad paved the way for Syrian intervention and increasing influence in the land of the cedars.
“The legal notion of nationality in the Turkish Republic: from Ottoman legacy to modern aberrations”
By: Emre Öktem
Abstract: Shortly after its emergence, the Turkish Republic adopted legislation inspired by European legal systems and traditions, including a law on nationality. The implementation of this law was affected by the staunchly nationalistic early republican policies which were not immune from the influence of the concept of ‘race’, as well as by the Ottoman legal conceptions on nationality based on religion, both of which guided the application of the new laws by the judiciary and the administration. This article proposes a critical legal approach to the issue of Turkish nationality, based on historical reflections. After a survey on the laws on nationality since the foundation of the Republic, it addresses the major confusions in connection with the concept of nationality in the light of textbooks from the relevant period, in order to observe, in conclusion, inherent and insolvable inconsistencies within the law, and a tenacious survival of Ottoman conceptions within the current law on nationality, especially with regard to religious minorities, which are assimilated to dhimmis in the legal subconscious and often equated to foreigners in practice.
“The hand of Glubb: the origins of the Trucial Oman Scouts, 1948–1956”
By: Tancred Bradshaw
Abstract: This article discusses the origins and formative years of the Trucial Oman Levies (renamed Trucial Oman Scouts in March 1956), a small force that was established by the British in Trucial States in 1951. The establishment of the Levies highlights a myriad of issues including who was going to command the force, how and where to recruit soldiers, the financial cost of the levies, and the diplomatic and strategic implications of raising a small force in a region whose strategic value grew immensely due to the exploitation of oil. Recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq highlight the contemporary importance of understanding the historical experience of trying to raise indigenous armed forces.
Palestine – Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture (Volume 22, Issue 2 & 3)
“Transformational Leadership and the Prospects for Peace”
By: Daniel Kurtzer
Abstract: Not available.
“Israel or Occupation?”
By: Daniel Kurtzer
Abstract: Not Available.
“The Impact of Occupation on Israeli Democracy”
By: Izhak Schnell
Abstract: Not available.
“Toward a Progressive EU Agenda for a Two-State Solution”
By: Izhak Schnell
Abstract: Not available.
“After 50 Years of Occupation, It Is Time for Justice and Peace: If Not Sharing the State, then a Fair Sharing of the Land”
By: Ziad AbuZayyad
Abstract: Not Available.
“The Processes and Mechanisms of the Occupation: Dangers and Challenges”
By: Daniel Bar-Tal
Abstract: Not available.
“A Palestinian State Now or Equal Rights Until There Is a Solution”
By: Tony Klug
Abstract: Not available.
“Between Now and Then: A More Realistic View of Palestinian History and Identity”
By: Hind Khoury
Abstract: Not available.
“Review Power of Israel’s High Court of Justice with Regard to the Settlement Legalization Law”
By: Frances Raday
Abstract: Not available
“The Implications of Siege and the Internal Palestinian Division on the Situation in the Gaza Strip Since 2007”
By: Omar Shaban
Abstract: Not available.
“UN Security Council Resolution 2334: An Important Lease on Life for the Two-State Solution”
By: Alon Liel
Abstract: Not available.
“Jewish Settlements in the Israeli Occupied State of Palestine Undermining Authentic Resolution of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict”
By: Jad Isaac
Abstract: Not available.
“Fifty Years of Occupation: The Effectiveness of Activity for Peace in Israel, 1967-2017”
By: Tamar Hermann
Abstract: Not available.
“The Psychological Impact of 50 Years Occupation”
By: Safa Dhaher
Abstract: Not available.
“Israeli Negotiations Since 1967”
By: Galia Golan
Abstract: Not available.
“Apartheid, Settler Colonialism and the Palestinian State 50 Years On”
By: Walid Salem
Abstract: Not available.
“The Impact of Occupation on Israel’s Corruption”
By: Edward Kaufman
Abstract: Not available.
“Occupied East Jerusalem: A Continuous Colonial Scheme”
By: Adnan Abdelrazek
Abstract: Not available.
“Saving Israel by Ending the Occupation”
By: Jessica Montell
Abstract: Not available.
“Fifty Years of Israeli-Palestinian Economic Relations, 1967-2017: What Have We Learned?”
By: Mohammed Samhouri
Abstract: Not available.
By: Mahmoud Darwish
Abstract: Not available.
“Four Cups for the Seder against the Occupation”
By: Amos Oz
Abstract: Not available.
“Israeli TV Host Warns Israelis: ‘Apartheid has been here for ages’”
By: Assaf Harel
Abstract: Not available.
“Diary of My Israel/Palestine Trip in September 2016 (Excerpts)”
By: Lynne Reid Banks
Abstract: Not available.
Review of Middle East Economics and Finance (Volume 13 Issue 2)
“An Empirical Investigation of Oil-Macro-financial Linkages in Saudi Arabia”
By: Ken Miyajima
Abstract: Against the backdrop of low oil prices, oil-macro-financial linkages in Saudi Arabia are analyzed by applying panel econometric frameworks (multivariate and vector autoregression) to macro- and micro-level data for 9 banks spanning 1999–2014. Lower growth of oil prices and nonoil private sector output leads dampen credit and deposit growth and lift nonperforming loan ratios. Positive feedback loops within bank balance sheets in turn dampen economic activity. U.S. interest rates are not found to be a key determinant. The banking system remains strong at present, but policy makers should monitor its health with the important macro-financial feedback loops in mind.
“Political Instability and Economic Growth in Egypt”
By: Hossam Eldin Mohammed Abdelkader
Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between political instability and economic growth in Egypt. The literature claims there is a relationship between political instability and economic performance. Empirical studies, however, show different results for different world regions, different countries, and different periods. Studies concerning the effect of political instability on the economic growth path are rich with cases from several countries, but do not include developing countries, such as Egypt. This paper investigates the robust relationship between economic growth in Egypt and political instability in the last five decades. We examine time-series data from 1972 to 2013, using the Cointegration approach to determine the short-term and long-term relationships. Consequently, we use an Error-Correction Model (ECM) to estimate the relationship between economic growth and political instability in Egypt. The results show that the impact of political instability on economic growth is negative and significant for all indexes of political instability used in the case of Egypt. The results have implications for policymakers who are planning for the economic growth of the country in the short- and long-term.
“Iran’s Inflationary Experience: Demand Pressures, External Shocks, and Supply Constraints”
By: Magda Kandil, Ida A. Mirzaie
Abstract: This paper studies determinants of inflation in Iran. The buildup of international reserves has accelerated during the episode of higher oil price. The associated increase in government spending has limited contribution to capacity building and pronounced inflationary pressures, which accelerated at the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, and eased at the end of the war in 1988. Accommodating monetary stance has proven to be an important determinant of inflation, both in the long and in the short-runs. In the long-run, depreciation of the rial increases the cost of intermediate goods, increasing inflationary pressures with limited significant effect on output. In contrast, depreciation could boost competitiveness of non-energy exports, in support of higher demand and output growth in the short-run. For policy implications, priorities going forward should be in place to direct both public and private resources toward relaxing binding capacity constraints, capitalizing on oil resources in Iran and the prospects of the positive implications of lifting sanctions in the context of the recent nuclear agreement between Iran and the G5+1 countries.
“Analysis of Food Imports in a Highly Import Dependent Economy”
By: Simeon Kaitibie, Munshi Masudul Haq, Manitra A. Rakotoarisoa
Abstract: This analysis of food imports used an enhanced gravity model of trade, with food imports from approximately 136 countries from 2004 to 2014. Using improved panel data techniques, we show that total income, inflation in the food exporting country, corruption perception in the food exporting country, trade openness in the food exporting economy, GCC membership are important determinants of food imports by Qatar. In addition, we show that Qatari food imports mostly originate in countries with, on average, similar economic sizes. Finally, Qatar’s factor endowment is dissimilar to those of most of its trading partners, a situation that potentially fosters international food trade in accordance with the Heckscher–Ohlin theory of trade.
Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics (Volume 37)
“Cultural Journals and Modern Arabic Literature: A Historical Overview”
By: Sabry Hafez
Abstract: Not available.
“Nahḍa’: Mapping a Keyword in Cultural Discourse”
By: Hannah Scott Deuchar
Abstract: Not available.
“Al-Kawakibi: From Political Journalism to a Political Science of the ‘Liberal’ Arab Muslim”
By: Stephen Sheehi
Abstract: Not available.
“Mediating Iltizām: The Discourse on Translation in the Early Years of al-Ādāb”
By: Adam Spanos
Abstract: Not available.
“Printed Matter(s): Critical Histories and Perspectives on Tunisian Cultural Journals”
By: Hoda El Shakry
Abstract: Not available.
“Richard Wright as a Cold War Literary Journalist”
By: Mahmoud Zidan
Abstract: Not available.
“Fictional Boundaries in the “Journalistic Fiction” of Gabriel García Márquez and Rabee Jaber”
By: Francisco Rodríguez Sierra
Abstract: Not available.
“The Cultural Newspaper Akhbar al-Adab and the Making of Egypt’s ‘Nineties Generation’”
By: Nancy Linthicum
Abstract: Not available.
“Reformed Discourse: Awrāq, Journal of the Syrian Writers’ Association”
By: Alexa Firat
Abstract: Not available.
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Volume 80, Issue 2)
“On some readings and interpretations in the Aramaic incantation bowls and related texts”
By: Matthew Morgenstern, James Nathan Ford
Abstract: This study takes a new look at a number of obscure passages in the Aramaic incantation bowls and related texts discussed in Christa Müller-Kessler’s article “More on puzzling words and spellings in Aramaic incantation bowls and related texts”, published in BSOAS 75/1, 2012, 1–31. Among the words discussed are ברזא ‘wild boar’, מנוביא ‘wailing’, מסחיפתא ‘overthrower (type of demon)’, ספסיפא ‘burning’ and פרהזני ‘protectors’, all new to the Jewish Babylonian Aramaic lexicon, ככא ‘tusk’ and תברי “‘broken’ sounds of the shofar (as a maleficent force)”, which show new meanings for previously attested lexemes, and the new plural form שולניתא ‘maidservants’. Additional evidence for the words or expressions פגיתא ‘attack (a type of demon)’, אידיורא ‘helper’ / אידיורותא ‘help’, חי חי מץ (a divine epithet), מרוביא (a type of demon), נירבא (a hard metal) and שיפורי ‘shofars (a type of demon)’ is also adduced and a preliminary edition of the magic bowl Nippur 12 N 387 is presented.
“Book lists from the Cairo Genizah: a window on the production of texts in the middle ages”
By: Miriam Frenkel
Abstract: The historicity of books – their role as a force in history – has been addressed in post-war literary studies from different perspectives and across various disciplines. Nevertheless, the scholarship on the history of the book in medieval Islam is still relatively sparse, even though this society underwent a thorough process of textualization. But even authors who do consider the social and cultural role of books in medieval Islam look only at the production and consumption of Arabic books within the boundaries of Muslim society, relying on Islamic sources which reflect mainly the courtly milieu of scribes and secretariats. None discuss books produced and consumed by the religious minorities that were an indispensable part of this society, and none have made use of the abundant Genizah documents as source material. In the present programmatic article, I call attention to the many book lists found in the Cairo Genizah and to their potential as significant tools for developing a better understanding of the cultural and social history of the medieval Islamicate world.
“Crossing the line: Mamluk response to Qaramanid threat in the fifteenth century according to MS ar. 4440 (BnF, Paris)”
By: Malika Dekkiche
Abstract: The present article investigates the complex dynamics of the relationship between the Mamluk sultans and Qaramanid rulers in the second half of the fifteenth century. Based on the revealing of an unpublished corpus of letters (MS ar. 4440, BnF, Paris), which preserved copies of the correspondence exchanged between sultan Īnāl and Ibrāhīm II after the Qaramanids’ Rebellion in 860–862/1456–58 and their capture of the Mamluk fortresses in Tarsus and Gülek. After briefly sketching the history of their contact and alliances, I then concentrate on the Qaramanid Rebellion itself, presenting the new data provided by the corpus and analysing the stakes and extent of the Qaramanids’ threat to Mamluk policy in the Anatolian context.
“A Hanafi law manual in the vernacular: Devletoğlu Yūsuf Balıḳesrī’s Turkish verse adaptation of the Hidāya-Wiqāya textual tradition for the Ottoman Sultan Murad II (824/1424)”
By: Sara Nur Yıldız
Abstract: This study examines how Devletoğlu Yūsuf Balıḳesrī’s versified Hanafi law manual, written in Anatolian Turkish and dedicated to the Ottoman sultan Murad II (d. 855/1451), engages in a complex relationship between the nascent vernacular, Anatolian Turkish, and the Classical Arabic religious textual tradition. Devletoğlu Yūsuf’s work, Manẓūm fıḳıh, is a Turkish paraphrase of the Wiqāya, a popular abridgement of the major Hanafi law handbook, the Hidāya, in the form of a mathnawī (verse work of rhymed couplets). Several passages from the “Book on the Affairs of the Qadi” in Devletoğlu Yūsuf’s work are analysed in order to gain insight into how the work functions as a normative text in the Classical Hanafi tradition set within a localized context. Furthermore, this study explores how the work expounds upon the benefits of transmitting religious knowledge in the vernacular and justifies the use of Turkish for religious texts by drawing on Hanafi-approved Persian language practices of religious devotion. Of particular interest is how Devletoğlu Yūsuf grounds his argumentation on the rhetorical theories of the Classical Arabic grammarian, ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī.
“Another Sogdian–Chinese bilingual epitaph”
By: Bi Bo, Nicholas Sims-Williams, Yan Yan
Abstract: Two stone tablets in the Wangye Museum, Shenzhen, contain a bilingual Sogdian and Chinese epitaph for a Sogdian merchant and his wife, who lived in the northern Chinese city of Ye 鄴 in the late sixth century ce. The two texts are published here for the first time and accompanied by a detailed commentary on philological and historical points of interest.
“The science of sensual pleasure according to a Buddhist monk: Ju Mipam’s contribution to kāmaśāstra literature in Tibet”
By: Sarah H. Jacoby
Abstract: Of all the myriad aspects of Indian learning to be incorporated into Tibetan Buddhist scholarship, one of the least likely would seem to be the Indian science of sensual pleasure, kāmaśāstra. Even so, we do find traces of Sanskrit kāmaśāstra transposed into Tibetan Buddhist idiom. The most innovative example is the Treatise on Passion (’Dod pa’i bstan bcos) written by Ju Mipam Jamyang Namgyel Gyatso (1846–1912). This article investigates the reasons why the polymath monastic scholar Ju Mipam included kāmaśāstra in his expansive literary output, as well as his sources and influences for doing so. It argues that Mipam’s work builds on an intertextuality already apparent in late medieval Sanskrit tantric and kāmaśāstric works, but one that took on new importance in the context of the non-biased outlook (Tib. ris med) that characterized Ju Mipam’s nineteenth-century eastern Tibetan milieu.
“Polities and nomads: the emergence of the Silk Road exchange in the Tarim Basin region during late prehistory (2000–400 bce)”
By: Tomas Larsen Høisæter
Abstract: The Silk Road trade network was arguably the most important network of global exchange and interaction prior to the fifteenth century. On the question of how and when it developed, scholars have focused mainly on the role of either the empires dominating the two ends of the trade network or the nomadic empires on the Eurasian steppe. The sedentary people of Central Asia have, however, mostly been neglected. This article traces the development of the city-states of the Tarim Basin in eastern Central Asia, from c. 2000 bce to 400 bce. It argues that the development of the city-states of the Tarim Basin is closely linked to the rise of the ancient Silk Road and that the interaction between the Tarim polities, the nomads of the Eurasian steppe and the Han Empire was the central dynamic in the creation of the ancient Silk Road network in eastern Central Asia.
Critical Studies on Terrorism (Volume 10, Issue 2)
“’9/11 is alive and well’ or how critical terrorism studies has sustained the 9/11 narrative”
By: Harmonie Toros
Abstract: This article argues that despite engaging in a powerful critique of the construction of the attacks of 11 September 2001 (or “9/11”) as temporal break, critical terrorism scholars have sustained and reproduced this same construction of “9/11”. Through a systematic analysis of the research articles published in Critical Studies on Terrorism, this article illustrates how critical scholars have overall failed to extricate themselves from this dominant narrative, as they inhabit the same visual, emotional and professional landscape as those they critique. After examining how CTS has reproduced but also renegotiated this narrative, the article concludes with what Michel Foucault would describe as an “effective history” of the attacks – in this case, a personal narrative of how the attacks did not constitute a moment of personal rupture but nonetheless later became a backdrop to justify my scholarship and career. It ends with a renewal of Maya Zeyfuss’ call to forget “9/11”.
Terrorism and Political Violence (Volume 29, Issues 4 & 5)
“Tailoring Strategies According to Ever-Changing Dynamics: The Evolving Image of the Kurdish Diaspora in Germany”
By: Bahar Baser
Abstract: Germany might be considered as the European country that has suffered the most from the spatial diffusion of Turkey’s internal conflicts. It has received the highest number of Kurdish migrants in Europe and it became the core of Kurdish mobilization in transnational space. Germany’s approach to the Kurdish Question on its own soil—combined with the strategies that the Kurdish activists used—determined the scope of opportunity structures for the mobilization of the Kurdish movement. This article explains how Kurdish activism has come to be perceived in Germany, and analyzes the German political environment by focusing on the criminalization and stigmatization of the Kurdish movement, especially during the 1990s. It then describes the discursive shift and change in framing strategies that the Kurdish diaspora experienced after the capture of the the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) leader in 1999. Lastly, it touches upon the recent developments in the Middle East, especially in Kobane, and their impact on the image of the Kurdish movement. The article is based on extensive fieldwork in Germany and includes testimonies of Kurdish diaspora activists, with a focus on their own perceptions about their situation and how they respond to securitization policies in the host country.
“Leadership Matters: The Effects of Targeted Killings on Militant Group Tactics”
By: Max Abrahms, Jochen Mierau
Abstract: Targeted killings have become a central component of counterterrorism strategy. In response to the unprecedented prevalence of this strategy around the world, numerous empirical studies have recently examined whether “decapitating” militant groups with targeted killings is strategically effective. This study builds on that research program by examining the impact of targeted killings on militant group tactical decision-making. Our empirical strategy exploits variation in the attack patterns of militant groups conditional on whether a government’s targeted killing attempt succeeded against them operationally. In both the Afghanistan-Pakistan and Israel-West Bank-Gaza Strip theaters, targeted killings significantly alter the nature of militant group violence. When their leaderships are degraded with a successful strike, militant groups become far less discriminate in their target selection by redirecting their violence from military to civilian targets. We then analyze several potential causal mechanisms to account for these results and find strongest evidence that targeted killings tend to promote indiscriminate organizational violence by empowering lower level members with weaker civilian restraint.
“Divergent Paths to Martyrdom and Significance Among Suicide Attackers”
By: David Webber, Kristen Klein, Arie Kruglanski, Ambra Brizi, Ariel Merari
Abstract: This research used open source information to investigate the motivational backgrounds of 219 suicide attackers from various regions of the world. We inquired as to whether the attackers exhibited evidence for significance quest as a motive for their actions, and whether the eradication of significance loss and/or the aspiration for significance gain systematically differed according to attackers’ demographics. It was found that the specific nature of the significance quest motive varied in accordance with attackers’ gender, age, and education. Whereas Arab-Palestinians, males, younger attackers, and more educated attackers seem to have been motivated primarily by the possibility of significance gain, women, older attackers, those with little education, and those hailing from other regions seem to have been motivated primarily by the eradication of significance loss. Analyses also suggested that the stronger an attacker’s significance quest motive, the greater the effectiveness of their attack, as measured by the number of casualties. Methodological limitations of the present study were discussed, and the possible directions for further research were indicated.
“’New Terrorism’ = Higher Brutality? An Empirical Test of the ‘Brutalization Thesis’”
By: Sebastian Jäckle, Marcel Baumann
Abstract: This article focuses on the so-called “brutalization” of terrorism. The brutalization thesis as part of the larger theoretical concept of “new terrorism” argues that “new terrorism” is more brutal than “old terrorism.” Many scholars claim that the 9/11 attacks mark the beginning of a new era of terrorism that has lifted international as well as domestic terrorism to a new level of violent brutality. Others argue that this process had already started in the early 1990s. After discussing possible ways to operationalize a brutalization of terrorism, for example focusing on suicide bombings or terrorist attacks against soft targets, this article tests the empirical credibility of the brutalization thesis regarding both potential starting points. Data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) shows that only three out of nine indicators increased significantly during the 1990s, partially backing the idea of a general brutalization, whereas increasing numbers of suicide attacks and beheadings after 9/11 support the notion of a qualitative change in terrorism and its brutality connected with the idea of maximizing media and public attention. Yet, these developments are regionally limited and the brutality of this “new terrorism” exceeds the levels known from the zenith of “old terrorism” in the 1970s and 1980s in only a few cases.
“Hezbollah’s Global Tentacles: A Relational Approach to Convergence with Transnational Organized Crime”
By: Christian Leuprecht, Olivier Walther, David B. Skillicorn, Hillary Ryde-Collins
Abstract: That terrorists, criminals, and their facilitators exploit the global marketplace is well known. While the global movement of illicit goods is well documented, robust empirical evidence linking terrorism and organized crime remains elusive. This article posits Network Science as a means of making these links more apparent. As a critical case study, Hezbollah is quite possibly the most mature globalized terrorist organization, although it thinks of itself as the “Party of God.” However, the means seem to justify the ends: this article shows that Hezbollah’s holy men have no qualms about resorting to pornography, contraband cigarettes, immigration fraud, and credit card fraud to raise funds. Beyond establishing links, Social Network Analysis reveals other important characteristics, such as the relative autonomy from Hezbollah headquarters that local fundraising networks enjoy. That finding implies a paradigm shift: Hezbollah is no less a terrorist organization than an organized crime syndicate. This is apparent in a network’s structure. Transnational Organized Crime is typically about nodes being connected to many others in the network. Yet, Hezbollah fundraising networks allow such connectivity because of the group’s typically high levels of mutual trust and familial relationships. This creates a vulnerability that can be exploited by law enforcement and intelligence organizations.
Third World Quarterly (Volume 38, Issues 6-9)
“Virtuous power Turkey in sub-Saharan Africa: the ‘Neo-Ottoman’ challenge to the European Union”
By: Mark Langan
Abstract: European officials veer towards exceptionalism in their policy communications concerning the EU’s global role, particularly in terms of African development. This article poses a rejoinder to such tendencies through examination of the rise of ‘virtuous power Turkey’ in Africa. It examines how Turkish elites constructed a moralised ‘neo-Ottoman’ foreign policy in wake of stalled EU accession. It then underscores how elites framed humanitarian interventions in sub-Saharan Africa in contrast to the perceived neo-colonialism of an EU ‘other’. In this vein, the article explores the meaning of normative ‘neo-Ottomanism’ for ostensible beneficiaries in Africa, for the EU, and for Turkey itself.
“Hedonists and husbands: piracy narratives, gender demands, and local political economic realities in Somalia”
By: Brittany Gilmer
Abstract: The grand narrative of piracy has been instrumental in shaping how piracy off the coast of Somalia is understood and responded to. Self-proclaimed pirates, suspected pirates, and convicted piracy prisoners continue to tell the story of taking up arms against foreign illegal fishers to protect their personal livelihoods as well as Somalia’s natural resources. Although the grand narrative remains the most popular piracy narrative, this paper introduces and examines two newly emergent narratives of Somali piracy – the Somali women’s narrative and the piracy prisoner self-narrative. I explore how these narratives reveal a central paradox surrounding piracy and social reproduction in Somalia that, until now, has been absent from discussions about piracy narratives and the issue of Somali piracy. Whereas the grand narrative of piracy fails to address gender demands and local political economic realities in Somalia, the new narratives present piracy as a gendered experienced that is situated within the broader, evolving context of courtship and marriage in Somalia. I argue the new narratives can help push beyond over-simplistic understandings of piracy off the coast of Somalia as a ‘man’s crime’ that should be addressed by men.
“Culturalism and the rise of the Islamic State: faith, sectarianism and violence”
By: Tim Jacoby
Abstract: This paper looks at the ways in which culturalist discourses have influenced our understanding and representation of the rise of the so-called Islamic State. It argues that, in keeping with older narratives on the motives of ‘bad’ Muslims, its political and economic objectives have been overlooked and/or downplayed. Instead, I propose, there has been a strategically efficacious focus on its appeal to Islam, on its sectarian rhetoric and on its use of violence. By continuing to emphasise the ethical over the political in these ways, the culturalism that underpins the dominant representation of the Islamic State’s emergence has, I conclude, served three key purposes – the mobilisation of the ‘good’ Muslim, the exculpation of Western foreign policy and the legitimisation of force.
“The Syrian chemical weapons disarmament process in context: narratives of coercion, consent, and everything in between”
By: Karim Makdisi & Coralie Pison Hindawi
Abstract: This article explores the successful Syrian chemical weapons disarmament process (2013–2014) within the context of post-Cold War coercive arms control policy and scholarship, particularly related to the Middle East. Based on extensive interviews with individuals involved in the process, we explore the coexistence of two rival, apparently contradictory narratives: one (backed by Western states) claimed coercion was the main contributor to disarmament, while the other (defended by Syrian authorities and Russia) insisted on the process’s consensual features. Our study suggests that the hybrid disarmament framework, embodied in a unique joint mission between the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, conveniently accommodated both narratives, which in turn contributed to the mission’s success. We then ask whether, with the apparent US retreat in the Middle East, the Syrian case (as well as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal) signals a possible turn in international non-conventional arms control processes that would leave more room for consent and diplomacy.
“Regions that matter: the Arab–South American interregional space”
By: Silvia Ferabolli
Abstract: This article critiques interregionalism as a concept that is trapped in the European Union (EU) foreign policy toolkit narrative, which in turn structures what can be said meaningfully and legitimately about interregionalism. Drawing on the experience of the Arab–South American (ASPA) Summit, it shows that, when speaking on interregionalism in International Relations (IR), one need not be speaking about the EU interregional model, which is understood as a vertical relationship established between the EU and an objectified regional partner of its choice. Rather, a broader definition for interregionalism is proposed, one that builds up from the basic ‘region-to-region’ dialogue–arrangement–cooperation and interrogates the meaning it has for those who engage in this practice. This was made possible by the construction of a framework for the analysis of the practices that lead to the materialisation of the ASPA interregional discourse and that reveal how this form of interregionalism in the Global South ‘matters’ in IR.
“Sovereignty, bare life and the Arab uprisings”
By: Simon Mabon
Abstract: Five years after people took to the streets in protest at political organisation across the Middle East, the consequences of these actions remain. As the protests gained traction, states began to fragment and regimes sought to retain power, whatever the cost. While a great deal of focus has been upon what happened, very little attention has been paid to the role of agency within the context of the fragmenting sovereignty and political change. This article contributes to these debates by applying the work of Giorgio Agamben to the post-Arab Uprisings Middle East, to understand the relationship between rulers and ruled along with the fragmentation of the sovereign state. The article argues for the need to bring agency back into conceptual debates about sovereignty within the Middle East. It concludes by presenting a framework that offers an approach building upon Agamben’s bare life.
“Post-Islamism and fields of contention after the Arab Spring: feminism, Salafism and the revolutionary youth”
By: Markus Holdo
Abstract: In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, conflicts in Egypt and Tunisia over the authority to rule and the role of religion in society raised questions about these societies’ capacity for reconciling differences. In retrospect, the conflicts also raise questions about the theoretical tools used to analyse regional developments. In particular, the ‘post-Islamism’ thesis has significantly changed the debates on ‘Islam and democracy’ by bringing to light the changing opportunity structures, and changed goals, of Islamist movements. However, this paper argues that the theory underestimates differences within post-Islamist societies. Drawing on field theory, the paper shows how the actual content of post-Islamism is contingent on political struggle. It focuses on three fields whose political roles have been underestimated or misrepresented by post-Islamist theorists: Islamic feminism, Salafist-jihadism and the revolutionary youth. Their respective forms of capital – sources of legitimacy and social recognition – give important clues for understanding the stakes of the conflicts after the Arab Spring.
“‘East’ and ‘West’ in contemporary Turkey: threads of a new universalism”
By: Katerina Dalacoura
Abstract: The tired old civilisational categories of ‘East’ and ‘West’, loosely identified with ‘Islam’ and ‘modernity’, are alive and well, nowhere more so than in contemporary Turkey. The Justice Development Party (AKP) currently in government employs them assiduously to political advantage but they have a long history, having defined the parameters of societal identity and political discourse throughout the history of the Turkish Republic. The paper takes the strength of the categories as its starting point but moves beyond them by asking if discourses, narratives and identities, individual and collective, exist in Turkey which question, overcome and ultimately undermine the categories of ‘East’ and ‘West’. The paper starts by investigating the evolution of ideas about East and West since the late Ottoman period and accepts that they are still dominant. However, since the 1980s in particular, they are being undermined in a de facto way by cultural developments in literature and music, new trends in historiography and novel ways of relating to the past. In some ways in contemporary Turkey, the paper concludes, culture trumps the inherently essentialist idea of ‘civilisation’ and Turkish society is ahead of its political and intellectual elites.
“‘State of exception’ or ‘state in exile’? The fallacy of appropriating Agamben on Palestinian refugee camps”
By: Dag Tuastad
Abstract: To refer to Palestinian refugee camps as states of exception, appropriating the paradigm of Giorgio Agamben, is definitely tempting. Agamben argues that in times of crisis, individual rights of citizens are diminished and entire categories of people kept outside the political system. Nevertheless, there are flaws in applying Agamben’s perspective on Palestinian camps. It acquits the camp residents from the autonomy over their own political agency. Historically, in Lebanon, camp residents experienced an almost limitless access to free political organisation. But this access has not been converted into the development of representative, legitimate political structures.
American Anthropologist (Volume 119, Issue 3)
“A New Tide of Racism, Xenophobia, and Islamophobia in Europe: Polish Anthropologists Swim Against the Current”
By: Michał Buchowski
Abstract: Not available.
Global Media Journal (Volume 15, Issue 28)
“A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Factors Influencing News Coverage: Studying the Impact of State Interests on News Portrayal”
By: Abdel Aziz FMd
Abstract: Purpose: To explore the factors related to journalism, which have significant influence on news coverage. Methods: The research has incorporated a cross sectional as well as quantitative approach, which focused on a variety of news content including newspaper media, television, and the internet. The data have been gathered from 47 journalists (Males and Females) from the Egyptian Journalists Federation. Results: The government encouragement for biasness and organizational factors (r=0.612) have been found positively associated and appears as an influential factor for the news coverage. Personal morals of the journalists have been found associated with the medium of advertisement (r=0.715) and organizational factors (r=0.395). Conclusion: The interest of State in portraying the news plays a major role in its coverage. There is a need to raise the awareness of public about particular events as the audiences are affected by the news what journalists produces.
“How to Get More Likes, Shares and Comments? Factors Influencing User Engagement on Mainstream UAE News Websites”
By: Shujun Jiang & Ali Rafeeq
Abstract: The Internet as a media and communication platform is facilitating the proliferation of digital media content-channelled through websites, news apps designed for mobile devices-challenging the traditional print media and redefining journalism. More sophisticated news websites have been developed providing media users more fulfilling and interactive news experiences. In the post-Web 2.0 era of widespread use of mobile devices, tablets, and social media networks, media consumers have become active players in the news production processes. Media users react to news stories through comments, help in the news production process by sharing media content including photos, videos, text on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This study of four news websites – Gulfnews.com, TheNational.ae, Albayan.ae, Emeratalyoum.com – belonging to leading print daily newspapers of the United Arab Emirates, examines the factors that lead to user engagement such as social media sharing and comments on the news websites. Content analysis of 1637 news items collected from the four news websites showed that placement of news on the website, use of multimedia features, news origin and news topics have the significant impact on user engagement as in the form of social media shares, likes, and comments, while the use of hyperlinks has no effect. These findings are discussed along with the limitations of the study and suggestions for future research.
Journal of Contemporary History (Volume 52, Issue 3)
“Who Are to Be the Successors of European Jewry? The Restitution of German Jewish Communal and Cultural Property”
By: Jason Lustig
Abstract: Who are to be the successors of European Jewry? This question faced Jewish leaders after the Holocaust, in terms both legal – inheriting heirless property – as well as spiritual – carrying forward Jewish culture. Looted Jewish property was never merely a matter of inheritance. Instead, disputes revolved around the future of Jewish life. While Jewish restitution organizations sought control of former communal property to use around the world, some German-Jewish émigrés and survivors in Germany sought to establish themselves as direct successors to former Jewish communities and institutions. Such debates set the stage and the stakes for mass archival transfer to Israel/Palestine in the 1950s. The fate of the German Jewish communal archives highlights the nature of postwar restitution debates as proxy for the issue of the continuation of Jewish culture and history, calling into question the nature of restitution itself. As opposed to policies of proportional allocation to meet the needs of radically diminished Jewish communities, wholesale transfer of archives reflected a belief in a radical rupture in German Jewish existence as well as Israel’s position as successor to European Jewry. The fate of the archives, which broke with archival practices of provenance, concretized and validated the historical rupture represented by the Holocaust.
“The Art of Decolonization: The Battle for Algeria’s French Art, 1962–70”
By: Andrew Bellisari
Abstract: In May 1962 French museum administrators removed over 300 works of art from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Algiers and transported them, under military escort, to the Louvre in Paris. The artwork, however, no longer belonged to France. Under the terms of the Evian Accords it had become the official property of the Algerian state-to-be and the incoming nationalist government wanted it back. This article will examine not only the French decision to act in contravention of the Evian Accords and the ensuing negotiations that took place between France and Algeria, but also the cultural complexities of post-colonial restitution. What does it mean for artwork produced by some of France’s most iconic artists – Monet, Delacroix, Courbet – to become the cultural property of a former colony? Moreover, what is at stake when a former colony demands the repatriation of artwork emblematic of the former colonizer, deeming it a valuable part of the nation’s cultural heritage? The negotiations undertaken to repatriate French art to Algeria expose the kinds of awkward cultural refashioning precipitated by the process of decolonization and epitomizes the lingering connections of colonial disentanglement that do not fit neatly into the common narrative of the ‘end of empire’.
Journal of Peace Research (Volume 54, Issues 4 & 5)
“The legacy of foreign patrons: External state support and conflict recurrence”
By: Niklas Karlén
Abstract: Why do some armed conflicts that have ended experience renewed fighting while others do not? Previous research on conflict recurrence has approached this question by looking at domestic factors such as how the war was fought, how it ended or factors associated with its aftermath. With the exception of the literature on third-party security guarantees, the influence of outside actors has often been overlooked. This article explores the role of external states and suggests when and how their involvement is likely to affect the probability of renewed warfare. The main argument is that the legacy of outside support creates an external support structure that affects the previous combatants’ willingness as well as their opportunities to remobilize. This means that armed conflicts with external state support will experience a greater likelihood of recurrence compared to other conflicts which did not see external support. The theory is tested using Cox proportional hazards models on global data of intrastate armed conflicts 1975–2009. The findings suggest that external support to rebels increases the risk of conflict recurrence in the short term as groups receive or anticipate renewed assistance. The results also indicate that it is more important for rebel groups to have had enduring support over the years in the previous conflict rather than access to multiple state sponsors. External support provided to governments is not associated with conflict recurrence.
“Oil export, external prewar support for the government, and civil conflict onset”
By: Jungmoo Woo
Abstract: The literature on civil war onset focuses on the effect of oil on domestic actors but relatively little suggests its effect on external actors who can intervene in an oil-producing state, although most revenues of oil-producing states are generated by their oil export to other states. This article advances a theory of oil export, external prewar support for the government, and civil war onset. In the international oil market, although oil is a primary energy source in most states, there are few oil exporters. This implies that costs of breaking an oil trade tie are greater for an oil-importing state vis-à-vis an oil-exporting state and, thus, oil-importing states are likely to have concerns about oil-exporting states’ political instability that can cause civil conflict onset and break their oil trade ties. I hypothesize that a state’s oil export increases the likelihood of external prewar support for its government. However, because oil-exporting states are likely to conceal the information about their oil export to prevent public grievances against the distribution of oil revenues and their governments’ incompetence in oil export, rebels are less likely to have complete information about oil export. The secrecy of oil export hinders finding a mutually acceptable bargaining range between the government and rebels, and increases the likelihood of civil conflict onset in oil-exporting states without external support for the government. I measure each state’s oil export using network analysis, and test these hypotheses using logit models. Empirical results support the hypotheses.
“Does counterterrorism militarize foreign aid? Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa”
By: Tobias Heinrich, Carla Martinez Machain
Abstract: This article studies whether the pursuit of counterterrorism militarizes foreign aid flows. It focuses on the case of US foreign aid to sub-Saharan African states, which recently have experienced an increase in the presence of al-Qaeda or its affiliate terrorist organizations. This article argues that as terrorist groups carry out attacks inside a state’s territory, aid towards that state will serve such counterterrorism goals. For one, the state’s executive branch will receive increased military aid to immediately fight al-Qaeda or affiliates. For the other, the United States also steps up aid for civil society and development, which could over time undermine al-Qaeda’s mobilization and recruitment efforts. In an empirical analysis that covers 46 African states from 1996 to 2011, our results largely corroborate the hypothesized patterns for attacks that occur on a country territory and in the neighborhood. We note, though, that the overall composition of aid shifts relative to the military when there are direct attacks, something that does not occur when attacks happen in the neighborhood only. Our article concludes that concerns about militarization of aid are warranted, but that actual manifestations are nuanced.
“When human capital threatens the Capitol: Foreign aid in the form of military training and coups”
By: Jesse Dillon Savage
Abstract: How does aid in the form of training influence foreign militaries’ relationship to domestic politics? The United States has trained tens of thousands of officers in foreign militaries with the goals of increasing its security and instilling respect for human rights, democracy, and civilian control. We argue that training increases the military’s power relative to the regime in a way that other forms of military assistance do not. While other forms of military assistance are somewhat fungible, allowing the regime to shift resources towards coup-proofing, human capital is a resource vested solely in the military. Training thus alters the balance of power between the military and the regime resulting in greater coup propensity. Using data from 189 countries from 1970 to 2009 we show that greater numbers of military officers trained by the US International Military Education and Training (IMET) and Countering Terrorism Fellowship (CTFP) programs increases the probability of a military coup.
“The limits of socialization and the underproduction of military violence: Evidence from the IDF”
By: Devorah Manekin
Abstract: Research on socialization can obscure the agency of its targets, presenting socialization as a uni-directional process shaping beliefs and behaviors. This assumption is even stronger for the military, a totalizing institution often portrayed as fashioning its members into violence professionals through a top-down process of domination. In contrast, this article argues that even powerful socialization processes are not omnipotent, and that individuals retain a measure of agency even under pervasive social control. Drawing on the case of the Israel Defense Force during the Second Intifada, it shows that norms inculcated during military socialization can be undermined by the more ambiguous conditions of deployment. When soldiers also subscribe to competing norms and receive social support for their dissent, resistance can emerge, increase, and become more overt. Analysis of resistance to violence underscores the power of military socialization while drawing attention to its limits. It therefore challenges homogenizing views of soldiers, illuminating the processes through which military violence is produced and curbed.