[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the third part 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.]
Acta Politica (Volume 53, Issue 1)
By: Yasushi Hazama
Abstract: Voting behavior studies have paid scarce attention to the predominant party system (PPS), in which one party has won three consecutive legislative majorities, despite the fact that nearly half of the world democracies have had a PPS. It is often unclear why a large portion of voters prefer the same party over a long period of time. We propose two hypotheses to address the question. First, since PPSs often thrive when economic performance is strong, the long-term economic success of the incumbent party produces a “halo effect” that renders voters insensitive to short-term economic changes. Second, voters blame the incumbent party for the corruption of politicians only, and not for bureaucratic corruption. The current Turkish government initially established its wide electoral support on the basis of its economic performance, which gave rise to a PPS in 2011. However, the Turkish government has been tarnished in recent years by corruption allegations, especially since 2013. This paper applies a three-choice multinomial logit model to 2014 survey data to examine voter preference between the incumbent party, opposition parties, and neither in Turkey under its PPS. The results supported both hypotheses.
American Economic Review (Volume 107, Issue 10)
By: Christina D. Romer, David H. Romer
Abstract: This paper examines the aftermath of postwar financial crises in advanced countries. We construct a new semiannual series on financial distress in 24 OECD countries for the period 1967-2012. The series is based on assessments of the health of countries’ financial systems from a consistent, real-time narrative source, and classifies financial distress on a relatively fine scale. We find that the average decline in output following a financial crisis is statistically significant and persistent, but only moderate in size. More important, we find that the average decline is sensitive to the specification and sample, and that the aftermath of crises is highly variable across major episodes. A simple forecasting exercise suggests that one important driver of the variation is the severity and persistence of financial distress itself. At the same time, we find little evidence of nonlinearities in the relationship between financial distress and the aftermaths of crises.
American Ethnologist (Volume 44, Issue 4)
By: Jane E. Goodman
Abstract: In a seaside Algerian town, a cherished local theater was about to be demolished to make way for a touristic boardwalk. In response the community of actors gathered at the theater in what, from one perspective, appeared to be a street protest. Yet if we approach the apparent protest in terms of the unfolding material encounters between bodies, backhoes, and buildings, we begin to see alternative performances of vigil, visitation, and mourning that were under way that day. Through these encounters, the theater was “unmade” as it was awaiting demolition. As material and affective charges surge and recede in the street, the emergent experience of ruination comes to inform the development and deployment of theory. [materiality and affect, place making, ruination, luminosity, slow ethnography, performance and performativity, Algeria]
American Political Science Review (Volume 111, Issue 4 and Volume 112, Issue 1)
“Taking Religion Seriously? Habermas on Religious Translation and Cooperative Learning in Post-secular Society”
By: Giorgi Areshidze
Abstract: This article evaluates Jürgen Habermas’s attempt to reopen political liberalism to religion. In trying to “take religion seriously,” Habermas goes further than John Rawls and other liberal theorists by affirming that religious traditions articulate truths on which democratic societies continue to depend for their civic and moral health. “Post-secular” societies, in his view, should learn from religion by translating its “moral intuitions” into universal secular language. Although Habermas in this way appears friendlier to religion than Rawls, unlike Rawls he also calls for the “modernization of religious consciousness.” This theological transformation not only reveals the foundationalist presuppositions of liberalism, but also points to a highly attenuated conception of learning from religion. Taking religion seriously will require us to be open to its insights not only when they agree with, but especially when they challenge, our secular presuppositions. This dimension of religion is at risk of getting “lost in translation” in the Habermasian paradigm.
By: Gareth Nellis, Niloufer Siddiqui
Abstract: Does secular party incumbency affect religious violence? Existing theory is ambiguous. On the one hand, religiously motivated militants might target areas that vote secularists into office. On the other hand, secular party politicians, reliant on the support of violence-hit communities, may face powerful electoral incentives to quell attacks. Candidates bent on preventing bloodshed might also sort into such parties. To adjudicate these claims, we combine constituency-level election returns with event data on Islamist and sectarian violence in Pakistan (1988–2011). For identification, we compare districts where secular parties narrowly won or lost elections. We find that secularist rule causes a sizable reduction in local religious conflict. Additional analyses suggest that the result stems from electoral pressures to cater to core party supporters and not from politician selection. The effect is concentrated in regions with denser police presence, highlighting the importance of state capacity for suppressing religious disorder.
Anthropology & Education Quarterly (Volume 48, Issue 4)
By: Arshad Imtiaz Ali
Abstract: Reflecting upon a decade of research with Muslim youth across the United States, this article highlights the fears and concerns Muslim communities have expressed in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential victory. In explicating the concerns expressed by these youth, the author examines the context of Trump’s rise and its relationship to American political culture and economy. The article discusses some possibilities and challenges for educational anthropologists to respond to the contemporary political moment.
Ars Orientalis (Volume 47)
By: Nancy Micklewright
Abstract: Not available
“Religious Belief in Burial: Funerary Dress and Practice at the Late Antique and Early Islamic Cemeteries at Matmar and Mostagedda, Egypt (Late Fourth–Early Ninth Centuries CE)”
By: Alexandra D. Pleşa
Abstract: This essay explores local, individual expressions of religious belief in a burial context, using the evidence of funerary dress and burial practices from the late fourth- to early ninth-century CE cemeteries of Matmar and Mostagedda, in Middle Egypt. It proposes that the communities at Matmar and Mostagedda, although most probably nominally Christian, developed particular practices and beliefs that to a large extent continued older local traditions. The mixing of elements of traditional and Christian beliefs is best described in terms of religious syncretism, engendered by concerns related to salvation, protection in the afterlife, or a desire to express the piety of, and veneration practiced by, members of these agricultural communities.
“Inscribed Horizontal Bands on Two Cloth-of-Gold Panels and Their Function as Part of an Īlkḫānid Dress”
By: Corinne Mühlemann
Abstract: Around 1300, horizontal bands began to appear on cloths-of-gold produced in Central Asia and the Mediterranean. Embellishments to the silk panels, they are woven in from selvage to selvage, where they either interrupt or superimpose the pattern repeat. As cloths-of-gold were highly valuable, treasured trade objects, most found their way to Europe, where they functioned as liturgical vestments, grave furnishings, or in reliquaries. Following this object transfer, knowledge of the intended function of these bands was lost. Using the two horizontal bands on silks Ia and Ib, part of the dalmatic and tunicella of the so-called vestments of Henry II (d. 1024), this article seeks to determine where and during which interval these horizontal bands appeared on a cloth-of-gold, and to identify—by comparing silks Ia and Ib to other silks with horizontal bands and to depictions of horizontal bands in other media, as well as by discussing the Arabic inscriptions—these bands’ intended function in an Īlkḫānid dress.
By: Jennifer M. Scarce
Abstract: Europeans of many kinds—diplomats, soldiers, merchants, romantic adventurers, and artists—traveled in increasing numbers to the Ottoman Empire from the sixteenth century onward. Frequently, they adopted local dress for many reasons: courtesy to their host country, security in traveling to remote regions, curiosity. Among the garments that have survived is the complete Albanian dress which George Gordon, Lord Byron, purchased in Epirus in 1809. This article explores the dress as worn by Byron, its context in the richly varied tradition of Ottoman regional dress, and its use a symbol of national identity after the recognition of an independent Greek state in 1832.
By: Erin Hyde Nolan
Abstract: Commissioned for the 1873 Vienna World’s Fair, the photographic album Elbise-i Osmaniyye hosts a bona fide fashion show. Through seventy-four luminous photographs, it presents a transnational performance of regional Ottoman costume. As an intellectual index and a pictorial register of imperial industrial progress, the album testifies to an emergent and ethnically diverse modern Ottoman identity. This identity is not found in the faces depicted in the Elbise or in the wax figurines at the fair but materializes through the assertive quality of Ottoman dress. Through the Elbise and its exhibition in Vienna, drapery displaces physiognomy as the locus of a modern, multicultural Ottoman identity, manifesting a competition among legible surfaces: face, skin, and fabric. The costumes themselves, therefore, become faces—matrices for something other than themselves. This article explores what happens when Ottoman dress eclipses Ottoman faces, revealing Ottomanness to be as flexible and flamboyant as fabric, incapable of being signified by a single uniform or fixed image.
By: Aisa Martinez
Abstract: The subject of men’s national dress and its relationship to national identity in the Arab Gulf states has, with few exceptions, rarely been addressed in dress studies. This paper offers an introduction to the cultural biography and social life of men’s national dress in Muscat, Oman, through an exploration of the ways in which national dress asserts Oman’s identity as an historical imperial power in the western Indian Ocean, the role of men’s dress in state discourse that distinguishes Omanis from other Arab Gulf citizens with shared dress elements, and the ways in which elements of these outfits express personal taste and reveal modern consumption patterns. Such “foreign” elements as the kumma (cap) from East Africa and the massar (headcloth) from South Asia are combined with “local” elements of dishdasha (long tunic) and bisht (open robe), worn throughout the Arabian Gulf, in a cultural authentication process that results in a distinct Omani style.
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (Issue 378)
By: Christina Luke, Christopher H. Roosevelt
Abstract: Shallow conical depressions hewn into bedrock, known as cup-marks, have been documented at and around 2nd-millennium B.C.E. citadels in the Marmara Lake basin of the Gediz Valley, western Anatolia. These rupestral features are among the best indications of the presence of libation ceremonies in the region and provide evidence that local communities shared in cultural traditions spread over western and central Anatolia. Libation rituals in the basin were probably intended to summon the divine for protection, stewardship of the dead, and/or assurance of agricultural prosperity through maintenance of stable environmental conditions. Periodic catastrophes, resulting from massive inundations and/or droughts typical to the region, weigh in favor of an environmental interpretation. We frame our discussion of the topography and archaeology of the Gediz Valley and the evidence for Middle to Late Bronze Age cup-marks within the context of historical geography and the archaeology of Anatolia.
By: Edhem Eldem
Abstract: Very little is known about the acquisitions of the (Ottoman) Imperial Museum during the first decades of its existence. As a consequence of the haphazard way in which objects were collected and the absence of any form of institutionalization, the collections inherited from this early period generally lack the most basic contextual information concerning their provenance, date of entry, and mode of acquisition. Nevertheless, historical and archival research can offer a solution to this archaeological dead-end by tapping into other available sources to fill these lacunae. The following case study reconstructs the story of three marble reliefs in the collection utilizing such documentation. Although they were thought to be from Salonika (Thessaloniki) in northern Greece, they are in fact from Ascalon (Ashkelon) in modern Israel—the product of one of the earliest campaigns carried out by an Ottoman state official to fill the newly established museum in Constantinople with antiquities. Apart from correcting later attributions and guesses, this study also proposes a critical reassessment of the nature of early Ottoman archaeological ventures and a systematic analysis of the accumulation (or not) of knowledge and scholarship on the fringes of Europe.
“Seismic Environments of Prehistoric Settlements in Northern Mesopotamia: A Review of Current Knowledge”
By: Eric R. Force
Abstract: Historical archives, modern instruments, and archaeological excavations at plate-boundary sites have recorded an intricate—at times, seemingly relentless—recurrence of severe earthquakes related to the northward movement and convergence of the Arabian tectonic plate with neighboring plates. Based on such information, it is possible to contour average earthquake frequency and/or severity across the northern Mesopotamian region within about 200 km from the plate boundaries. The environments of the Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic habitations of this area range seismically from very active to nearly quiescent; however, not a single excavation report from sites therein considers seismic hypotheses for recorded damage. Exceptionally detailed excavation reports of tells located in two contrasting seismic environments nevertheless show some evidence more consistent with seismic damage than with other causes. The record for Tepe Gawra in the more active area suggests severe earthquakes closely clustered in time. In both areas, there is evidence of some earthquake damage averaging every 500 years or less, and almost all Halaf sites and Halaf-to-Ubaid transitions in northern Mesopotamia plot in areas where such frequencies are expected. Expected seismicity derived from the voluminous historical and instrumental records should play a prominent part in the interpretation of archaeological evidence of this region, as in others near tectonic plate margins.
By: Anat Mendel-Geberovich, Arie Shaus, Shira Faigenbaum-Golovin, Barak Sober, Michael Cordonsky, Eli Piasetzky, Israel Finkelstein
Abstract: Arad Ostracon 16 is part of the Elyashiv Archive, dated to ca. 600 B.C. It was published as bearing an inscription on the recto only. New multispectral images of the ostracon have enabled us to reveal a hitherto invisible inscription on the verso, as well as additional letters, words, and complete lines on the recto. We present here the new images and offer our new reading and reinterpretation of the ostracon.
By: Hayim Lapin
Abstract: Based on detailed archaeological survey, Uzi Leibner argued that there was a substantial decline in population in late antique Galilee. This article reviews the evidence from the survey, making use of standard quantitative methods, and points to non-demographic factors that have shaped the evidence on which the conclusion depends. A predominant proportion of the pottery was produced at a single site (Kefar Ḥananiah), and these forms generally have a higher sherd count than non–Kefar Ḥananiah forms. As sherd count is strongly correlated with the number of sites at which a form appears, assessments of the survival and population of sites based on proportions of pottery is distorted by the distribution of Kefar Ḥananiah pottery, which can be shown to decline with distance. Once we control for distance, site size also appears to be an important factor in the proportions of pottery from every period. Although these factors taken together do not necessarily negate Leibner’s conclusion, they do necessitate a reevaluation.
“The Circles Building (Granary) at Tel Bet Yerah (Khirbet el-Kerak): A New Synthesis (Excavations of 1945–1946, 2003–2015)”
By: Raphael Greenberg, Hai Ashkenazi, Alice Berger, Mark Iserlis, Yitzhak Paz, Yael Rotem, Ron Shimelmitz, Melissa Tan, Sarit Paz
Abstract: New excavations conducted in the Circles Building (Granary) at Tel Bet Yerah, first excavated in 1946, form the basis for a revised, detailed description of the construction and use of this unique structure. Stratigraphic soundings have established that the structure consisted of three platforms with seven circles sunk into them, enclosing a paved courtyard that was open toward the east. The structure was constructed in a single operation, at the transition between Early Bronze Age II and III, but it seems to have been abandoned before it was completed and given over to new tenants who changed the trajectory of its use. These new inhabitants are responsible for the bulk of the deposits excavated in and around the building, which are characterized by large quantities of Khirbet Kerak Ware and complementary lithic and other assemblages. We suggest that the building was conceived as part of the corporate urbanizing project of Early Bronze Age II, but was overtaken by a crisis that deflected the urban trajectory of Tel Bet Yerah in Early Bronze Age III and allowed the entry of migrant groups, such as those bearing the Khirbet Kerak Ware tradition.
By: Kathleen Birney
Abstract: Excavations of a Hellenistic neighborhood at Ashkelon revealed a suite of heavily plastered rooms, one with a mosaic floor, decorated in Greek Masonry Style. These rooms resemble the bathing suite identified in an elite 2nd-century residence at Tel Anafa and likely reflect a Phoenician style of “cleansing bathing” documented at Phoenician sites from the 4th through 2nd centuries B.C. Such suites differ in character, bathing type, and placement from Greek public and private baths in the Mediterranean and Levant, as well as from ritual baths in the Judaean tradition. The bathing suites appear at Phoenician and Phoenician-influenced sites in Israel during the Persian and Hellenistic periods but are presently under-recognized. This article presents a set of criteria by which to understand and identify Phoenician bathing suites and argues that the preference for this bathing style may, in part, explain why immersion bathing—popular in the western Mediterranean—failed to catch on in the Hellenistic East until the era of Roman control.
Dead Sea Discoveries (Volume 24, Issue 3)
By: Pieter B. Hartog, Jutta Jokiranta
Abstract: This introduction aims at situating the contributions of the Thematic Issue into wider debates on Hellenism and Hellenisation and changes taking place in scholarship. Essentialist notions of Hellenism are strongly rejected, but how then to study the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran site during the Hellenistic period? Each contextualisation depends on the (comparative) material selected, and themes here vary from literary genres, textual practices, and forms of producing knowledge, to material culture, networks, and social organizations. All contributors see some embeddedness in ideas and practices attested elsewhere in the Hellenistic empires or taking place because of changes during the Hellenistic period. In this framework, similarities are overemphasized, but some differences are also suggested. Most importantly, the question of Hellenism is a question of relocating Jewish and Judaean evidence in the study of ancient history.
By: Benjamin G. Wright
Abstract: The people who produced and used the scrolls offer us a particularly fascinating example of the extent to which we might call the people/communities of the scrolls “Hellenistic Jews.” The default concept of antiquity that scholars use, the way the term “sectarian” gets employed, and the geography of the Hellenistic world all separate the yaḥad from the larger Hellenistic world. Yet, the scrolls compare well with Hellenistic discourses and practices of collection, textual scholarship, and scientific knowledge. Moreover, if we read the scrolls alongside of other Jewish texts usually considered Hellenistic, we see similar patterns of thought and common interests. In this sense, then, the yaḥad and the scrolls fit well into their Hellenistic environment.
By: Dennis Mizzi
Abstract: The time when Qumran was studied in splendid isolation is long gone, but much work remains to be done when it comes to situating the site in its wider context. In this paper, Qumran is contextualized, on the one hand, within the larger ecological history of the Mediterranean and, on the other, within the Mediterranean world of classical antiquity. Questions regarding the functions of the Qumran settlement are addressed from the perspective of “marginal zones” in the Mediterranean, which provides an ideal backdrop through which to illumine aspects of daily life at Qumran. Furthermore, it is shown how comparative case studies from the Graeco-Roman Mediterranean help us to nuance the discussion concerning “Hellenization” or “Romanization” with regard to Qumran. Finally, a new understanding of L4, which is here interpreted primarily as a dining room, is proposed on the basis of archaeological parallels from the Graeco-Roman world. A pan-Mediterranean perspective, therefore, allows us to generate new insights on old questions and novel interpretations.
By: Benedikt Eckhardt
Abstract: Soon after the discovery of 1QS, comparisons with private associations from the Hellenistic and Roman world were suggested. There are clearly some parallels in internal organization. However, scholars using this comparison to explain features of the yaḥad have rarely taken the environment that made associations in the Hellenistic world possible into account. By way of a comparison of attitudes towards temples, this article seeks to reintroduce the social context of private associations into the debate. While Hellenistic associations can be said to have developed temple ideologies not dissimilar to certain features of the yaḥad, the conditions, aims and implications of those respective ideologies were fundamentally different. This has obvious implications for understanding the social identity of members, and should caution against decontextualized comparisons.
By: Hanna Tervanotko
Abstract: There is a rising scholarly consensus that consulting the divine will did not altogether cease in the Second Temple period. Rather, it took different forms, and one was consulting the divine will via existing texts. Meanwhile, the identity of such interpreters remains unclear. This paper explores the possible identities of interpreters by comparing the figures that interpret Jewish oracles with the chresmologoi that appear in ancient Greek compositions. Such a comparison provides new insights into the divinatory use of written oracles. The interpreters of the Jewish and Greek texts operated at least partly in similar ways. While their methods of interrogating the oracles are somewhat alike, Jewish interpreters enjoyed a status similar to that of prophetic figures, whereas Greek interpreters operated more independently and without a similarly evident divine mandate.
“Reading, Writing, and Memorizing Together: Reading Culture in Ancient Judaism and the Dead Sea Scrolls in a Mediterranean Context”
By: Mladen Popović
Abstract: This article focuses on reading culture as an aspect of the Dead Sea Scrolls textual community in its ancient Mediterranean context. On the basis of comparative evidence, the article approaches reading in ancient Judaism as a multi-dimensional and deeply social activity by taking reading aloud, writing, and memorizing as intertwined practices occurring in group reading events. The evidence discussed, such as from Philo of Alexandria, the first-century CE Theodotus inscription from Jerusalem, and 1QS 6:6–8, reflects certain aspects of reading cultures shared between different Jewish communities in the ancient Mediterranean during the Hellenistic and early Roman periods. In addition, it is argued that features such as scribal marks in manuscripts, evidence such as the writing of excerpts, manuscripts such as 4Q159 and 4Q265, or note-taking in 4Q175 and other such manuscripts should be considered within the context of the ancient procedure of reading by intellectual or scholarly readers. Moreover, the article suggests that the Genesis Apocryphon actually preserves a glimpse of the scrolls’ elite reading culture described in a text from Hellenistic-period Judaea.
Defence and Peace Economics (Volume 28, Issue 6)
By: Caroline Buts, Cind Du Bois
Abstract: Extant literature documents a relationship between military deployment and the risk of an international terrorist attack against citizens of the deploying country. It appears that deployment significantly increases the possibility of terrorist actions in the home country. In particular, if country A decides to send troops to nation B, then citizens of the former country are more likely to fall victim of an attack carried out by a terrorist organisation originating from the latter country. Contributing to this line of literature, we further refine this relationship by distinguishing between regions where the troops are sent as well as by introducing differences between types of deployment. Our results indicate that missions to Asia and the Middle East are more dangerous than missions to other regions as reflected by the terrorist threat in the home country. Robustness tests do however show that the significance of the location variable Asia is predominantly attributed to the mission to Afghanistan. As for types of deployment, only ad hoc missions seem to increase the risk of an attack, whereas no significant results are found for other missions such as operations under UN and NATO flag. Leaving out the missions to Iraq and Afghanistan however also increases the danger resulting from missions by fixed coalitions. Our results find however no evidence that ‘wearing a blue helmet’ increases the probability of a terrorist attack at home.
“Military expenditure and economic growth in Middle Eastern countries and Turkey: a non-linear panel data approach”
By: Duygu Yolcu Karadam, Jülide Yildirim, Nadir Öcal
Abstract: The economic growth effects of military expenditure have been the subject of a large literature in defence economics. Theories on the economic impacts of military expenditure greatly differ and include arguments that they either enhance economic growth or crowd out productive investments. Empirical literature on defence expenditure and economic growth nexus generally employs linear specifications to investigate the impact of defence expenditures on economic growth. Although it is now well established that many economic variables may have a non-linear data-generating mechanism, it seems that this reality has long been neglected in empirical work on defence–growth nexus. This paper attempts to fill this gap by employing non-linear panel data models to examine the effects of military expenditures on economic growth for Middle Eastern countries and Turkey, for the time period 1988–2012. Results show that the effect of military expenditure on economic growth is nonlinear such that the state of the economy actually determines the effect of the former on the latter. This is important not only in showing asymmetric relationship between these variables but also in revealing the reasons of mixed results of earlier literature.
The Dialogue (Volume 13, Issue 1)
By: Muhammad Tehsin
Abstract: This paper aims to analyze civil nuclear safety in the Middle East. The first section describes IAEA safeguards arrangements, which seek to contain proliferation and protect the unsafeguarded nuclear material and technology. Three sorts of safeguards arrangements with Additional Protocol are discussed to acquire an understanding of nuclear safety in the Middle East. Second section deals with the presence and possibility of civil nuclear programs in the Middle East. In the last section, an effort has been made to highlight how Pakistan can help set some precedents for any future Middle Eastern nuclear safety regime and how Pakistan’s application at NSG can facilitate this process.
By: Muhammad Usman
Abstract: Confluence of South, Central and West Asia, by virtue of its juxtaposition to world’s largest hydrocarbon reserves and owing to its proximity to Arabian Sea, Central Asian Republics (CARs), China and Russia, offers a space to various regional and global players to control and monitor the entire region. Presence of extra regional forces in Afghanistan, Western commitment to eliminate religious extremism and terrorism, Sino-Russian concerns of containing US hegemony, Indian desire to dominate Pakistan’s backyard and Iranian efforts to attract economic wealth of CARs are few of the indicators which can be regarded as the sideshows of “The New Great Game”. Indian current collaboration with Iran and Afghanistan can primarily be attributed to its energy security, access to Central Asia and its enduring rivalry with Pakistan. Geographically situated in between, Pakistan views Indian growing outreach in Afghanistan and Iran with considerable alarm as the emerging scenario appears to endorse Indian ambitions of strategic encirclement of Pakistan. “Indian Outreach in Afghanistan/ Iran – Regional Implications with Focus on Pakistan” highlights Indian motives, factors facilitating Indian ingress, how Indian presence in Afghanistan/ Iran will affect regional security calculus and how it is detrimental to national security of Pakistan.
Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict (Volume 10, Issue 2-3)
By: Anthony F. Lemieux, Erin M. Kearns, Victor Asal, James Igoe Walsh
Abstract: Why do individuals engage in or support acts of contentious politics? Building from previous work, this article uses a 2 (high/low grievance) × 2 (high/low risk) × 2 (high/low opportunity) online experimental design to examine the impact of these factors on political action with participants from Egypt (n = 517) and Morocco (n = 462). Participants assumed a first-person perspective as a member of a fictional oppressed ethnic minority group in one of eight vignettes. Participants then indicated the extent to which they would engage in various forms of protest and violence, and how justified such actions were. Participants answered several social-personality measures: Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), Right Wing Authoritarianism (RWA), and Activism and Radicalism Intentions Scale (AIS and RIS). Analyses show that higher SDO and RIS scores largely drive violent engagement and justification for these actions. Higher AIS scores predicted protest engagement and justification, while SDO negatively influenced non-violence. RWA scores decreased engagement in and support for any form of political action. In contrast with previous experimental findings, grievance did not impact decisions about political mobilization.
International Studies Perspectives (Volume 18, Issue 4)
“The Unintended Consequences of War: Self-Defense and Violence against Civilians in Ground Combat Operations”
By: Marcus Schulzke
Abstract: Although extensive research has been done on the causes of violence against civilians, it is usually directed at explaining why civilians are deliberately targeted or how militaries organize themselves in ways that lead soldiers to endanger civilians. As I show, many civilians are injured or killed by members of armed forces who strive to comply with the norms of war. Some attacks on civilians during ground combat operations in contemporary wars can be explained in terms of the tension soldiers experience between their indefeasible right of self-defense and their uncertainty about the identity and location of civilians on the battlefield. I illustrate this tension and explore its consequences by drawing on interviews with American and British veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This helps to explain the persistence of attacks on civilians even as the American and British armed forces make greater efforts to respect noncombatant immunity.
By: Yagil Levy
Abstract: This article is about a puzzle: strong civilian control of the military may promote the use of force not lessen it. Existing theories about civil–military relations and militarism do not adequately resolve this puzzle because they neglect the link between civilian control and the legitimacy to use force. The argument here is that an increase in the civilian control of the military may promote the use of force by legitimizing it under specific cumulative conditions: the existence of a previous militaristic infrastructure in the civilian political culture, which is triggered by an external event, and is augmented by three mechanisms deriving from civilian control that increase the legitimacy of using force by reducing deliberative decision-making. These three mechanisms are: (1) the depoliticization of the military caused by reinforcing civilian control, so the professional opinion of the military reigns supreme; (2) the militarization by inflating threats and setting ambitious war goals to remove such threats, which balances out the aversion to sacrifice for war that civilian control produces; and (3) the transition produced by civilian control to a volunteer, technology-intensive, downsized military that reduces the stake of citizens in military policies. The plausibility of this argument is explored by reference to the cases of the United States, Israel, and Russia.
International Studies Review (Volume 19, Issue 4)
“Beyond Statist Paradigms: Sociospatial Positionality and Diaspora Mobilization in International Relations”
By: Maria Koinova
Abstract: This article presents a new positional perspective for the analysis of diaspora mobilization in international relations (IR), seeking to shift debates beyond realist, liberalist, and constructivist thinking, and speaking to a cluster of sociopositional theories in IR. It provides a conceptual discussion and empirical illustrations of diaspora positionality—the power diaspora activists derive from their sociospatial positions in particular contexts—and its utility to account for different mobilization trajectories. Positionality as a sociospatial concept offers opportunities to analyze diaspora politics beyond statist paradigms, dominated by analyses of triadic relationships between diasporas, host states (immigration states), and home states (sending states). Diasporas have links to many contexts beyond host states and original home states. Such linkages structure their relationships globally. If diaspora entrepreneurs perceive themselves as deriving strong powers to achieve homeland-oriented goals from a particular sociospatial context, they are more likely to pursue claims through institutional politics and moderate means. If they perceive themselves as deriving weak powers from a context, they are more likely to engage with activist networks and pursue claims in transgressive ways. The conceptual discussion engages aspects of diaspora positionality in juxtaposition with other spatial concepts such as geographical proximity/distance and position in a social network. The empirical discussion brings patterns of mobilization trajectories from the Armenian diaspora mobilization for genocide recognition and the Palestinian diaspora mobilization for statehood, informed by a rich multisited fieldwork.
Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development (Volume 38, Issue 4)
“Iran’s Trade Modification Under Sanctions: An Evidence of Trade Divergence and Trade Convergence Through the Gravity Model”
By: Ehsan Rasoulinezhad
Abstract: This paper uses a panel exports/imports gravity model to investigate Iran’s trade pattern with its 50 top trading partners from Europe and Asia under sanctions. The empirical data are obtained from each of the 50 Iran’s trade partners over the period 2006 to 2015. The main purpose of this study is to find out how Iran’s trade pattern has been changed by sanctions. The empirical evidence revealed a significant negative effect of sanctions on Iran-EU bilateral trade (by an average of 38.1% on the Iran’s export to the EU and 45.8% on the Iran’s import from the EU), while it has a positive impact on trade between Iran and the Asian countries (by an average of 92.3% on the Iran’s import from the Asian countries and by 77.4% on the Iran’s export to these countries). Totally, these findings proved that the imposition of sanctions related to the Iran’s nuclear program pushed the foreign trade policy of this country towards the Trade Convergence (TC) with Asia (Asianization) and Trade Divergence (TD) from the EU (Europeanization).
“The Motivational Factors of Female Entrepreneurs in De-facto States: Planning for An uncertain Future”
By: Karen Howells
Abstract: The body of literature on entrepreneurship, including female entrepreneurship, in developing countries is growing. A very small number of developing countries have no legal status as a sovereign entity, and operate within a de facto framework. Inside these regions, while dealing with complex economic and political issues, individuals still need to set up enterprises and develop their businesses, which then increases the economic growth of these stateless regions. This paper sets out to identify a number of developing nations with de facto status, including the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the Republic of Kosovo, and Palestine, and it will highlight the issues for entrepreneurs in these regions, especially issues for female entrepreneurs within heavily patriarchal societies. Through an extensive literature review, as well as data from a previous mixed methods research study in North Cyprus, the paper seeks to underscore the issues for entrepreneurs in de facto states. In detail, the motivational factors of entrepreneurs in these de facto states will be emphasised, drawing attention to the possible links between the entrepreneurs of these regions, as well as comparisons to other developing nations. These three de facto regions have high Muslim populations, and the possible implications of this will also be uncovered.
By: Tayfur Bayat, Selim Kayhan, Mehmet Sentürk
Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate the causation linkage between economic growth and electricity consumption as an indicator of energy consumption in the Turkish economy between year 1967 and 2014. In this regard, we employ recently developed asymmetric causality analysis developed by Hatemi-J and Roca (2014) which allows testing asymmetric relations. Test results imply that there is a bidirectional causality between economic growth and electricity consumption. Moreover, an increase in electricity consumption does not affect economic growth positively and but a decrease in consumption of electricity induces a decrease in economic growth. On the other hand, economic growth affects electricity consumption in both positive and negative shocks. Results imply an asymmetric causation linkage between economic growth and energy consumption in the Turkish economy.
By: Ebaidalla Mahjoub Ebaidalla
Abstract: This paper examines the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on youth unemployment in MENA countries. The study employs a dynamic panel data for a sample of 17 countries, over the period 1995-2012. We investigate the effect of ICTs on total, male and female youth unemployment. The empirical results show that fixed telephones and internet have a negative and significant effect on youth unemployment, on both aggregate and gendered levels. The results also indicate that for both aggregate and the gendered levels of youth unemployment in the MENA region, the impact of mobile phones is found to be negative but it is not significant. The paper ends with some recommendations that aim to improve the employability of young workers in MENA countries, benefiting from the diffusion of ICT facilities in the region.
By: Rashedul Hasan, Siti Alawiah Siraj, Muslim Har Sani Mohamad
Abstract: Not available
Journal of Near Eastern Studies (Volume 76, Issue 2)
“An Efficacious Invocation Inscribed on the Dome of the Rock: Literary and Epigraphic Evidence for a First-Century ḥadīth”
By: Scott Lucas
Abstract: Not available
By: Mathieu Ossendrijver
Abstract: Not available
By: John Nicholas Reid, Klaus Wagensonner
Abstract: Not available
By: Geoffrey Khan
Abstract: Not available
By: Uri Gabbay
Abstract: Not available
By: Alfonso Archi
Abstract: Not available
By: Bartomeu Obrador-Cursach
Abstract: Not available
By: Jeremy D. Smoak
Abstract: Not available
By: Dorota Ławecka
Abstract: Not available
Mamluk Studies Review (Volume 20)
By: Sami G. Massoud
Abstract: Not available
By: Noah Gardiner
Abstract: Not available
“Recasting al-Bayḍāwī’s Eschatological Concept of Bodily Resurrection: Shams al-Dīn al-Iṣfahānī and Aḥmad al-Ījī in Comparative Perspective”
By: Abdelkader Al Ghouz
Abstract: Not available
“Between Beirut, Cairo, and Damascus: Al-amr bi-al-maʿrūf and the Sufi/Scholar Dichotomy in the Late Mamluk Period (1480s–1510s)”
By: Torsten Wollina
Abstract: Not available
“Theft, Plunder, and Loot: An Examination of the Rich Diversity of Material Reuse in the Complex of Qalāwūn in Cairo”
By: Iman R. Abdulfattah
Abstract: Not available
“The Turbah of Sitt Sutaytah: A Funerary Foundation for a Mamluk Noblewoman in Fourteenth-Century Damascus”
By: Ellen Kenney
Abstract: Not available
By: Bethany Walker, Sofia Laparidou, Annette Hansen, Chiara Corbino
Abstract: Not available
Middle East Review of International Affairs (Volume 21, Issue 3)
By: Dave McAvoy
Abstract: The Islamic State having lost its entire caliphate, save for a few strips of land in southern and eastern Syria, does not mean it is on the verge of defeat. Instead, it has learned the lesson from its predecessor, the Islamic State of Iraq. In 2010, the latter found itself all but defeated and thus adapted its military strategy to one based on a low-level insurgency requiring minimal manpower. By adopting this strategy, the Islamic State of Iraq could bide its time until it was able to exploit the subsequent power vacuums in Iraq and Syria to seize land and establish its caliphate under its new name, the Islamic State (IS). IS is now lying low, regrouping and seeking to gradually wear its enemies down until it is strong enough to reemerge as a force on the ground as it did in 2014 when it took Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.
By: Mordechai Chaziza
Abstract: The Kurdistan region’s decision to hold an independence referendum on September 25, 2017, created a new area of conflict in the Middle East. The international players and countries in the region fear that Iraqi Kurdish independence could fuel increased calls for separatism or irredentist activity that would create further instability in the region. China’s position toward the Kurdish question is complex. On the one hand, it maintains cordial diplomatic and commercial ties with the Kurds. On the other hand, it opposes a unilateral Kurdish declaration of independence, and would support an independent Kurdish state only if it obtained the consent of the countries in the region. In any case, the Kurdish question presents a dilemma for China’s foreign policy in the Middle East.
“’By, With, and Through’: How the U.S.-led coalition defeated the Islamic State in Iraq using tactics without coherent strategy for confronting Iranian influence”
By: Seth J. Frantzman
Abstract: The United States has engaged in several years of war in Iraq against the Islamic State (IS) since launching Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve in October 2014. The United States estimates that they have killed more than 60,000 IS members, conducted more than 22,000 airstrikes and trained more than 100,000 security forces throughout Iraq. The successful U.S. campaign is in contrast to past operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere and is best encapsulated in the “by, with, and through” approach of letting Iraqis lead operations. This bottom-up approach is tactically successful but is short on strategy, opening the door for Iranian influence in Iraq. The United States is modeling other counterterror operations throughout the world on its Iraq success with other “build partner capacity” programs. Based on two years of fieldwork and interviews, this article examines both the tactical successes and policy implications of the U.S. successes against IS in Iraq.
Near Eastern Archaeology (Volume 80, Issues 3 & 4)
By: William G. Dever
Abstract: Professor Dever reflects on eighty years of Near Eastern Archaeology within the changing disciplinary landscape of biblical and Near Eastern archaeology.
By: Laurel Bestock
Abstract: The kings of the ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055–1650 B.C.E.) conquered and subsequently administered a large territory in Lower Nubia, south of the First Cataract. Monumental fortresses that were built along the banks of the Nile were excavated in the early twentieth century, but largely destroyed by the floodwaters from the damming of the Nile in the 1960s. Recent discovery that two of these fortresses have survived has led to new archaeological work, including survey and excavation at the site of Uronarti. Preliminary work there shows the complexity of lifestyle and cultural interaction at this ancient colonial outpost.
By: Gregory Marouard
Abstract: The archaeology of Pre- and Early Dynastic Egypt has been one of the most active area in Egyptology in the past few decades, but despite the intensification of the fieldwork research in the Nile Delta or Middle Egypt, our knowledge of early Egyptian settlements in Upper Egypt is still limited to several prominent sites, some under excavation since the late nineteenth century. The work undertaken by a team from The Oriental Institute—on the concession of the French Archaeological Institute (IFAO)—in the intramural area of the Hathor and Isis sanctuaries at Dendara has uncovered the earliest archaeological levels discovered to date, with several strata from the Naqada IIC–D and Early Dynastic periods. These discoveries push back the date of a first permanent community at this site by more than five hundred years and add an important point on the map of the predynastic occupation of Upper Egypt, all the more significant since the site became one of the main provincial centers, the capital of the 6th Nome of Upper Egypt, in the following centuries.
By: Jason Ur
Abstract: After an absence of over two decades, foreign archaeology has returned in earnest to one of the “cradles of civilization” in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Two wars, international sanctions, and internal unrest had together brought archaeological research nearly to a standstill; only a few under-funded Iraqi teams and a handful of intrepid Europeans attempted fieldwork following the first Gulf War of 1991. Following a decline in political violence that began in 2008, archaeologists have returned to the Republic of Iraq. The resumption of fieldwork in the southern “heartland of cities” has been significant but slow, and hampered by internal politics. In the autonomous Kurdistan Region, however, foreign research has expanded rapidly and continuously, in partnership with local archaeologists and institutes. This essay reviews these new developments, discusses how the new discoveries are challenging long-held ideas and filling blank spaces on the archaeological map, and suggests some new directions for the future of Mesopotamian studies.
By: Alice Mandell, Jeremy Smoak
Abstract: How did ancient Israelites and Judeans interact with inscriptions located in subterranean contexts such as tombs, tunnels, and caves? What roles did writing hold in the darkness of such places? The present article argues that a multimodal approach to literacy needs to be applied to the study of such inscriptions in order to understand how they communicated to audiences underground in the dark. We challenge traditional approaches to the study of tomb inscriptions in ancient Judah, most of which have studied them for what they reveal about historical grammar and the development of orthography. We argue that a better understanding of how audiences interacted with such inscriptions proceeds from a consideration of the visual grammars of tomb aesthetics, architecture, and the funerary objects in these spaces. This context is what enabled ancient audiences to decode the meaning of inscriptions in tomb complexes.
By: Garegin S. Tumanyan
Abstract: The author presents the results of his investigation of sepulchers in the southern Caucasus that carry Cimmerian-Scythian features in the hopes of shedding light on the question of whether there was a Cimmerian-Scythian presence in the southern Caucasus in the late eighth to sixth centuries B.C.E. To identify eligible burial complexes, the author developed criteria based on a number of specific features: these included the presence of intrusive burials within the sepulchers, the presence of an anthropomorphic stone sculpture over the tomb or in the burial chamber, the skeleton’s position lying stretched on its back, the presence of human sacrifices, the practice of burying horsemen with their horse, and more. Specific burial goods, such as horse bits with stirrup-shaped ends, bronze mirrors, whetstones with holes for rings, javelins, acinac-type blades, and Scythian arrowheads, were also identified as indicating the presence of Cimmerian-Scythian burials. Based on a thorough exploration of available sources on sepulchers and burial complexes in the South Caucasus, the author identified 145 sepulchers and 63 burial grounds meeting his criteria and concluded that Cimmerian and Scythian cultures were present in the southern Caucasus of the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E.
By: Aren M. Maeir
Abstract: The Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath Archaeological Project commenced in 1996 and is one of the largest and longest continuously running archaeological projects in Israel. As the year 2017 marks twenty-two years of research and excavations, it is an apt opportunity to present an overview and reflection on the project in general, and various aspects of the research in particular. The opportunity to do this in two special issues of NEA is an excellent occasion, as this provides an expertly produced medium, read by many interested in the field of ancient Near Eastern history, archaeology, and culture.1 In this, first article of this special issue, I would like to provide an overview of the project and its primary accomplishments.
“Gath of the Philistines in the Bible and on the Ground: The Historical Geography of Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath”
By: Yigal Levin
Abstract: Archaeology is, for the most part, the study of material remains of the past. Archaeologists survey, excavate, analyze and construct a picture of past human life. They do their best to understand the daily life, the economy, the belief systems, the political and social structures, and so much else about long-gone civilizations. And, in many parts of the world and for long stretches of the human past, they do without recourse to written sources, simply because writing did not exist through most of that time. But if and when written records are available, they provide context, specific facts and dates, and much additional information that then give us a more complete picture of the history of the site or area that we are investigating.
By: Rona S. Avissar Lewis, Aren M. Maeir
Abstract: By 1899, Frederick J. Bliss was already a well-known archaeologist when he was asked by the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) to excavate the Shephelah mounds. Previously, he dug with William Flinders Petrie at Maidon and then replaced Petrie at Tell el-Hesi (1891–1893). Subsequently, Bliss excavated with Archibald Dickie in Jerusalem on behalf of the PEF (1894–1897). R. A. Stewart Macalister served as Bliss’s assistant field director. He had some experience in archaeological excavations in England, considered himself a photographer, and was “engaged with the architectural profession” as he claimed (Bliss 1894: 2; Albright 1956: 24; Moorey 1991: 26–27; Tubb 2015: 6–7). The site of Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath had been known to scholars for many years prior to the three seasons of excavations conducted by Bliss and Macalister from 1899 as part of the Shephelah mounds (Smith 1894: 142–43; Rey 1871: 123–25; Conder 1879: 153; Petrie 1891: 62; Waston 1915: 117).
By: Oren Ackermann, Noam Greenbaum, Hendrik Bruins, Avner Ayalon, Miryam Bar-Matthews, Dan Cabanes, Liora Kolska Horwitz, Frank H. Neumann, Mechael Osband, Naomi Porat, Ehud Weiss, Aren M. Maeir
Abstract: An archaeological site is an integral part of its surrounding landscape. This is one of the main novel approaches in the long-term archaeological project of Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath. The site has interacted with its surrounding for more than three thousand years. It was impacted by the ancient environment, but also had an impact on both the ancient environment and current conditions. The following is a summary of environmental research that has been carried out at the Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath environs from 1999 through 2012. This case study provides important information regarding the ancient landscape and interactions between climate, the environment, and humans.
By: Haskel J. Greenfield, Itzhaq Shai, Aren M. Maeir
Abstract: In 1899, Bliss and Macalister launched a brief but intensive campaign of excavation at the site of Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath and uncovered evidence for a large-scale fortification system and thick deposits from various time periods. While they argued that the majority of remains, including the fortifications, were of Iron Age or later origin, some Early Bronze Age remains also appeared in their reports and collections.
By: Haskel J. Greenfield, Tina L. Greenfield, Annie Brown
Abstract: Not available
By: Annie Brown, Haskel J. Greenfield
Abstract: Microdebris are the tiny remnants of activities that are not cleaned up after an activity is completed (fig. 1). Such activities are often archaeologically invisible with standard macrolevel artifact collection and analysis techniques. If microdebris are systematically and spatially collected across surfaces and different depositional contexts, their analysis can help guide excavation strategies (identification where such debris is located, which deposits are worth floating), identify activity areas, pest distributions, when, and which, rooms were used or abandoned, missing food sources that cannot be recovered through hand collections (plants, fish, and smaller remains), and so on (Rainville 2012; Steadman 1996; Rosen 1989; Weiner 2010). The utility of this approach is demonstrated with data from the Early Bronze Age excavations in Area E at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath.
By: Elizabeth R. Arnold, Haskel J. Greenfield
Abstract: Not available
By: Elizabeth Arnold, Jeremy Beller, Adi Behar, David Ben-Shlomo, Tina L. Greenfield, Haskel J. Greenfield
Abstract: : Not available
“Spatial Reconstruction of Selected Finds from the Early Bronze Age Neighborhood at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Area E”
By: Tina L. Greenfield, Andrea Squitieri
Abstract: Not available
By: Shira Albaz, Haskel J. Greenfield, Tina L. Greenfield, Aren M. Maeir
Abstract: Not available
By: Jon Ross, David Ben-Shlomo
Abstract: Not available
By: Adi Eliyahu-Behar
Abstract: Not available
By: Jeremy A. Beller
Abstract: Basalt is long thought to have been one of the more valued geological materials from which ground stone objects were manufactured (Ebeling and Rowan 2004: 108; Milevski 2008). Although it was readily available in some regions of the southern Levant, the widespread utilization of basaltic material was likely due to its physical and aesthetic properties. As a quick-cooling, extrusive igneous rock, basalt is dominated by mafic minerals and characterized by a high durability and hardness (Mohs’ scale 7), a fine-grained texture, and a green-black colored appearance (Le Maitre 2002). Furthermore, basalt sheens well and leaves less grit in processed food than other materials (Ebeling and Rowan 2004: 108).
By: Jill C. Katz
Abstract: During the Early Bronze Age II/III, Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath was fortified by a city wall. This wall has been exposed now in several areas, stretching from the acropolis in the west (Area F), alongside the central part of the southern ridge (Area P; fig. 1) to the lower slopes in the east (Area J), just below a significant Early Bronze Age neighborhood in Area E. In general, the wall width is approximately 2.5 m, but varies along its length, including periodic offsets that protrude over 0.5 m. The longest stretch of contiguous wall currently visible is 21 m, and a portion of that was exposed all the way to its foundation. This probe revealed that the stone structure itself was comprised of large and medium-sized, roughly-cut, local fieldstones to a height of 10 courses, or 2.4 m (fig. 2). In addition, there was most likely an original mud-brick superstructure on top of the stones as implied by the thick decomposed mud-brick accumulation just outside the wall.
By: Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Joe Uziel, Eric L. Welch, Aren M. Maeir
Abstract: The Early Bronze Age city at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath was among the largest urban centers in Canaan, or whatever they called their land at that time (Maeir 2012b: 13; Shai et al. 2016). The city and its people are still mostly a mystery to us. We do not know what they called themselves, or their city (but it was almost surely not “Gath”). They did not write, and we are not sure what language they spoke—perhaps an early Canaanite dialect. We do not know the names of any of their kings, as we do in most other periods at the site. But our excavations have taught us some things about them, their architecture, their pottery, and their diet. And we also know a good deal about the massive and extensive fortification wall that they built around their city, and that it must have taken a remarkable amount of organization and resources to accomplish it.
By: Itzhaq Shai, Joe Uziel, Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Aren M. Maeir
Abstract: The story of Canaanite Gath begins with the el-Amarna texts (Na’aman 1979; Rainey 2012; Levin, this issue), where it appears that the city was a major contender in the Shephelah power plays of the fourteenth century B.C.E. While some have contended the connection between Gath, Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi and the Amarna period ruler Šuwardatu (Moran 1992: 384), the petrographic examination conducted on the tablets create a strong link between them (Goren, Finkelstein, and Na’aman 2004: 280–86). In this light, the results of the surface survey prior to the onset of the excavations noted the existence of a large settlement at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath (ca. 27 ha; see:Uziel and Maeir 2005: 56). Yet, the survey results did not allow identification of differences within the Late Bronze Age (LB) between the subphases of the period.
By: Philipp W. Stockhammer
Abstract: Fragments of thirty-six Aegean-type vessels were found at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath in Areas A, E, F, and P between 1996 and 2014, some of which have already been published (Gadot, Yasur-Landau, and Uziel 2012; Shai et al., this issue) and then subsequently revaluated in a broader context (Stockhammer in press). The earliest import so far can be dated to the Mycenaean pottery phase Late Helladic (LH) IIIA1, which is the late fifteenth and early fourteenth centuries B.C.E. This closed vessel of unclear shape can be considered as one of the early Mycenaean imports to the southern Levant. It reached this region in a time when the spectrum of imports was still dominated by Aegean-type pottery from Crete.
By: Stefan Jakob Wimmer
Abstract: Some Egyptian inscriptions from Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath are found on amulets, such as a miniature figurine of the goddess Isis suckling the baby Horus and identified on the back pillar with a few hieroglyphs as 3s.t wr.t nb.t “Isis the Great, the Mistress” (Wimmer and Görg in press), and of course on scarabs (e.g., Münger, NEA forthcoming), such as abound on practically all sites in the Levant. Apart from these, traces of Egyptian writing are sparse at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath.
Politics, Philosophy & Economics (Volume 16, Issue 4)
By: Victor Tadros
Abstract: This article defends the right that Palestinians have to return to the territory governed by Israel. However, it does not defend the duty on Israel to permit return. Whether there is such a duty depends on whether the economic, social and security costs override that right. In order to defend the right of return, it is shown both that the current generation of Palestinians retain a significant interest in return, and that insofar as their interests are diminished, their rights are not diminished proportionally. The interests of Jewish Israelis in excluding the Palestinians are then considered. Their rights of self-determination, it is argued, do not powerfully favour excluding the Palestinians. The economic, social and security costs may do so. Overall, I conclude that either the Israel should grant return to the Palestinians or it should properly acknowledge the right of return and respond appropriately through a powerful effort to compensate and resettle them.
Security Studies (Volume 26, Issue 4 and Volume 27, Issue 1)
By: Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar
Abstract: This article provides a revisionist account of the occupation of the US embassy in Tehran in November 1979, one of the most conspicuous manifestations of anti-Americanism in recent history. Drawing solely upon primary documents, largely from various Iranian communists and Islamists, it questions the conventional wisdom that the Islamists’ takeover of the embassy was a grassroots reaction to American policies, particularly after President Carter admitted the ailing Shah. It also challenges the argument that the radical students stormed the embassy primarily to bring down the nationalist provisional government. Instead, I introduce a critical overlooked factor and argue that the Hostage Crisis can be better explained as a preemptive act by the Islamists to outbid the leftists’ anti-American activities. I demonstrate that the United States and the Islamists were seeking to maintain normal relations during and even after the 1979 revolution. However, various communist organizations that surfaced after the revolution posed an existential threat to the new Islamist-nationalist government, quickly dominating universities, labor unions, and intellectual circles throughout the country and accusing the Islamists and their nationalist allies of collaborating with the United States. In this climate, the Islamists strategically adopted the Left’s anti-imperialist language and eventually occupied the US embassy to establish their anti-American credibility.
“The Rotten Carrot: US-Turkish Bargaining Failure over Iraq in 2003 and the Pitfalls of Social Embeddedness”
By: Marina E. Henke
Abstract: Side-payments are commonly used in international relations to alter the foreign policies of states. Despite their frequent usage, however, our understanding is very limited as to why certain side-payment negotiations succeed, while others fail. This article tries to remedy this shortcoming. It argues that social embeddedness between actors involved in the negotiations has a major bearing on bargaining outcomes. Under ideal circumstances, social relationships can be used to reduce information asymmetries and increase trust. But in the presence of fractured social networks, social ties can foster information bias and distrust, ultimately increasing the likelihood of bargaining failure. The US-Turkish bargaining failure over the Iraq intervention in 2003 is used to illustrate and test this theory.
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism (Volume 40, Issues 10 – 12 and Volume 41, Issue 1)
By: Richard H. Shultz Jr.
Abstract: U.S. counterterrorism (CT) forces that deployed to Iraq in 2003 as Task Force 714 (TF 714) faced an ugly surprise. Tasked to dismantle the al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) dominated insurgency, the organization could not achieve that mission. General Stanley McChrystal, who commanded TF 714 concluded, “we were losing to an enemy … we should have dominated.” But TF 714 transformed in the midst of war and during 2006-2009 was able to largely dismantle AQI’s clandestine networks to a degree that they could no longer function in a cohesive manner. By developing the capacity to operate inside those networks, TF 714 was able, in the words of General McChrystal, to “claw the guts out of AQI.” This transformation runs counter to what organizational experts identify as barriers inhibiting militaries from learning, innovating, and changing, especially in wartime. To decipher the puzzle of how TF 714 overcame these barriers, two questions are addressed in this study: 1) How did TF 714 transform from a specialized and compartmented unit customized for executing infrequent CT missions in peacetime to a wartime industrial-strength CT machine that by 2009 dismantled AQI’s networks that operated across Iraq; and 2) Why was TF 714 able to achieve this remarkable transformation?
By: Merouan Mekouar
Abstract: The quick unraveling of authoritarian systems specifically designed to bear social pressure during revolutions is puzzling. Building on the 2011 Tunisian revolution, this article analyzes the collapse of the police apparatus during the 2011 revolution. In line with Way and Levitsky’s study of authoritarian collapse, this article shows that the low cohesion and low scope of the security forces is one of the main factors explaining the rapid collapse of one of the Arab world’s seemingly most solid repressive systems. At the theoretical level, this article will demonstrate that preference falsification is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can nourish authoritarian resilience. On the other, it can also weaken repressive regimes by making core members of the regime overestimate the loyalty of the low-ranking members of the security apparatus.
“Nationalist Jāhiliyyah and the Flag of the Two Crusaders, or: ISIS, Sovereignty, and the ‘Owl of Minerva’”
By: Simon Mabon
Abstract: This article argues that by understanding Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) state-building processes we are able to understand how ISIS has developed while also developing a united citizenship body built from people in Iraq and Syria and those making hijra. The fragmentation of Iraq and Syria resulted in conditions that would prove conducive to the group’s expansion and identifying these conditions is imperative to understanding Sunni extremism in the Middle East. The article argues that ISIS builds citizenship in two ways: first, by developing asabiyya—group feeling—among Sunni and second, by securitizing the Shi’a threat. Identifying and engaging with the concepts of sovereignty and citizenship helps to develop much stronger policy responses.
By: Tufyal Choudhury
Abstract: Cooperation in counterterrorism policing increases when communities can be confident that legislation and policy is not implemented in an arbitrary or discriminatory fashion: the ability to challenge executive overstretch, abuse, or misapplication of powers is vital for maintaining procedural justice. Through examining the experiences of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, one of the oldest British Muslim civil society organizations, we see how key structural features of the counterterrorism legal and policy framework—the wide definition of terrorism, the broad discretion in the use of stop and search powers at ports, and the expansion of Prevent into the opaque terrain of nonviolent extremism—undermine cooperation.
By: Aziz Z. Huq
Abstract: This article explores the idea that nonstate actors embedded in geographically and religiously defined communities have a distinctive role to play in responding to growing terrorist recruitment efforts in Europe and North America. The resulting “community-led counterterrorism” works through at least two causal channels, which I label “ideological competition” and “ethical anchoring.” Existing counterterrorism policing strategies do not harness these mechanisms and may well undermine them. Community-led counterterrorism thus presents an untapped opportunity, even as it raises new and difficult ethical questions for both Muslim minority communities in the West, as well as liberal democracies.
By: Tanya Silverman
Abstract: A growing number of British youth are traveling to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and participate in the conflict. In this modern iteration of “foreign fighters” community driven countering violent extremism (CVE) efforts remain necessary as the age of travelers to the conflict zone from geographical hotspots in the United Kingdom decreases, and numbers of those going increases. It is their immediate environments—their communities—which can help to prevent violent radicalization and subsequent travel to conflict. Weaknesses in the government’s approaches to community engagement can lessen the efficacy of community CVE capacity. This article aims to highlight some of these weaker U.K. government approaches while suggesting ways to improve community engagement that can strengthen CVE efforts.
By: Victor Asal and R. William Ayres
Abstract: Why do some ethno-political organizations get support from their diaspora while others do not? There is little analysis that examines why some organizations (both violent and nonviolent) get support. Using data on 112 organizations in the Middle East we examine how factors like the power of the organization, ideology, political behavior, and government treatment might impact the likelihood of an organization getting support from its diaspora. We argue that contentious political behavior should have the largest impact on such support. We find that those that do the best job of getting attention through visible action get the most support.
“Out with the Old and … In with the Old? A Critical Review of the Financial War on Terrorism on the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant”
By: Nicholas Ryder
Abstract: The aim of this article is to critically consider the effectiveness of the “Financial War on Terrorism” on the funding streams of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). The article begins by identifying that the origins of the “Financial War on Terrorism” can be found in the international efforts to tackle money laundering. It then moves on to consider if the “Financial War on Terrorism” is able to tackle the funding streams of ISIL. The article concludes that the “Financial War on Terrorism” is no longer fit for the purpose to tackle the funding streams of ISIL.
Terrorism and Political Violence (Volume 29, Issue 6 and Volume 30, Issue 1)
“The counterterrorism agreements of Europol with third countries: Data protection and power asymmetry”
By: Ethem Ilbiz, Christian Kaunert, Dimitrios Anagnostakis
Abstract: This article investigates empirically the impact of power asymmetry and interest formation in the European Union’s (EU) external relations with third countries in the context of the Europol data exchange and counterterrorism agreements. It focuses on three countries, namely the United States, Turkey, and Morocco, which each have a different level of counterterrorism cooperation with the EU. This article argues that the EU acts as a pragmatic actor with regard to Europol’s data exchange agreements with third countries, and that the power asymmetry between the EU and the third country under question determines the extent of the EU’s flexibility. If the power asymmetry favours the EU, then it insists on its data protection demands. Otherwise, the EU is more flexible towards its counterparts on data protection issues.
“Analysing labels, associations, and sentiments in Twitter on the Abu Sayyaf kidnapping of Viktor Okonek”
By: Joseph Anthony L. Reyes, Tom Smith
Abstract: This article investigates Twitter data related to the kidnapping case of two German nationals in the southern region of the Philippines by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). It explores perceptions of the ASG, along with associated organizations and sentiments indicated in the tweets together with statistically significant relationships. Findings revealed that: “Rebel” and “Militant” were the most frequently used labels for the ASG; a majority of the tweets contained sentiments that assess threats such as abduction and kidnapping of hostages; and almost half contained words that indicate negotiation or concession to the demands of the captors. Logistic regression analyses on “Rebel” and “Islamist” revealed positive coefficients for these sentiments used as predictors. This meant that people who assessed threats and expressed sentiments that responders should concede to the captors’ demands were more likely to use the “Rebel” or “Islamist” labels. Rather than the two longstanding dominant narratives of the ASG as terrorists and criminals, the emerging rebel and militant labels suggest a more domestically and politically sensitive Twitter commentary than is represented in the work of the Al-Qaeda-centric paradigm exponents. These findings, along with the complex associated political and policy contexts and implications, are discussed in this article.
“Understanding the Islamic State’s competitive advantages: Remaking state and nationhood in the Middle East and North Africa”
By: Stacey Erin Pollard, David Alexander Poplack, Kevin Carroll Casey
Abstract: While many researchers have examined the evolution and unique characteristics of the Islamic State (IS), taking an IS-centric approach has yet to illuminate the factors allowing for its establishment in the first place. To provide a clearer explanation for IS’s successes and improve analysts’ ability to predict future occurrences of similar phenomena, we analyze IS’s competitive advantages through the lens of two defining structural conditions in the Middle East North Africa (MENA): failure of state institutions and nationhood. It is commonly understood that the MENA faces challenges associated with state fragility, but our examination of state and national resiliency shows that Syria and Iraq yield the most deleterious results in the breakdown of the nation, suggesting that the combined failure of state and nation, as well as IS’s ability to fill these related vacuities, is a significant reason IS thrives there today. Against this backdrop, we provide a model of IS’s state- and nation-making project, and illustrate IS’s clear competitive advantages over all other state and non-state actors in both countries, except for Kurdish groupings. We conclude with recommendations on how policy-makers may begin halting and reversing the failure of both state and nation in Iraq and Syria.
By: Nilay Saiya
Abstract: This article examines the effect of blasphemy laws on Islamist terrorism in Muslim-majority countries. Although passed with the ostensibly noble purpose of defending religion, I argue that blasphemy laws encourage terrorism by creating a culture of vigilantism in which terrorists, claiming to be the defenders of Islam, attack those they believe are guilty of heresy. This study empirically tests this proposition, along with alternative hypotheses, using a time-series, cross-national negative binomial analysis of 51 Muslim-majority states from 1991–2013. It finds that states that enforce blasphemy laws are indeed statistically more likely to experience Islamist terrorist attacks than countries where such laws do not exist. The statistical analysis is supplemented with a brief case study of blasphemy laws and terrorism in Pakistan. The conclusion situates the findings in the context of policy.
By: Tazreena Sajjad, Anders C. Härdig
Abstract: Over the past decades, a pattern has emerged across the Islamic world of secular actors struggling to build sustainable social movements while Islamists show a higher success rate in doing so—a dynamic often accompanied by high levels of violence and little space for dialogue between actors from across the political spectrum. In this article, we illustrate the utility of social movement theory (SMT) in explaining the ability of some movements to mobilize en masse, while others become marginalized. Furthermore, we suggest that SMT is useful in understanding the processes that produce socio-political dynamics conducive to violent rather than non-violent tactics. Through a case study of Bangladesh, where in 2013 the secular Shahbag mobilization was derailed by a massive Islamist counter-mobilization, this article shows how movements not only capitalize on, but actually contribute to, shifts in cultural discourse through political maneuvering and long-term socialization. By anchoring their ideology in pre-existing religio-cultural imagery, Islamists have been successful in casting themselves as “authentic” defenders of Islam and their secular opponents as “atheists.” In such a socio-political context, the space for dialogue among the various political actors is severely limited and the impetus to employ violent tactics strong.
By: Alon Burstein
Abstract: This article compares the violent activity of secular and religious terror organizations. Utilizing data compiled by the Global Terrorism Database cross-referenced with secondary and primary sources regarding the degree of religious components embedded in organizations’ ideologies, it tests the violent patterns of activity carried out by organizations guided by predominantly secular, secular/religious, and religious ideologies, between the years 1970 and 2012. The findings confirm that a) religious ideology correlates with specific, more deadly, attack tactics and violent patterns; and b) the degree of religious components within terror organizational ideology should be tested along a spectrum: the more religious an organization is, the more attacks it tends to carry out, and the deadlier its attacks become.
“The Isolated Islamists: The Case of the Allied Democratic Forces in the Ugandan-Congolese Borderland”
By: Suranjan Weeraratne, Sterling Recker
Abstract: This study investigates the absence of substantive linkages between locally based Salafi Jihadist movements and their more transnational counterparts such as Al-Qaeda or ISIS. While studies have addressed the heterogeneity in Jihadi alliances, the question of why inter-Jihadi ties are completely absent or tenuous at times is under-theorized in the literature. Given ISIS’s recent inexorable advance through the Middle East and North Africa and its ever-growing ties with local Jihadists, it is timely to investigate under what conditions locally based militant Islamists are less likely to forge ties with global Jihadists. Using the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF)—a militant Islamist group in the Ugandan-Congolese borderland—as an illustrative case study, the research sheds light on conditions under which inter-Jihadi ties are less likely. These include the extent of ideological divergence between local and global Jihadists, the degree of relevance to the local community, and the fear of attracting new enemies in the form of more stringent counter-terrorism operations.
By: Bart Schuurman, Edwin Bakker, Quirine Eijkman
Abstract: This article empirically assesses the applicability of structural-level hypotheses for involvement in terrorism within the context of European homegrown jihadism. It uses these hypotheses to study how structural factors influenced involvement in the Dutch “Hofstadgroup.” Structural factors enabled the group’s emergence and its participants’ adoption of extremist views. They also motivated involvement in political violence and a shift in some participants’ focus from joining Islamist insurgents overseas to committing terrorism in the Netherlands. Finally, structural factors precipitated an actual terrorist attack. No support is found for the frequently encountered argument that discrimination and exclusion drive involvement in European homegrown jihadism. Instead, geopolitical grievances were prime drivers of this process.
“Al-Qaeda’s Propaganda Decoded: A Psycholinguistic System for Detecting Variations in Terrorism Ideology”
By: Shuki J. Cohen, Arie Kruglanski, Michele J. Gelfand, David Webber, Rohan Gunaratna
Abstract: We describe a novel hybrid method of content analysis that combines the speed of computerized text analysis with the contextual sensitivity of human raters, and apply it to speeches that were given by major leaders of Al-Qaeda (AQ)—both in its “core” Afghanistan/Pakistan region and its affiliate group in Iraq. The proposed “Ideology Extraction using Linguistic Extremization” (IELEX) categorization method has acceptable levels of inter-rater and test-retest reliabilities. The method uncovered subtle (and potentially non-conscious) differences in the emphases that Usama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri put on the various components of their ideological justification for terrorism. We show how these differences were independently recognized as the crux of the rift in AQ, based on documents that were confiscated in Abbottabad following Usama Bin Laden’s assassination. Additionally, several of the ideological discrepancies that we detected between AQ “core” and its Iraqi affiliate correspond to schisms that presumably led to the splintering of AQ Iraq and the rise of ISIS. We discuss IELEX’s capability to quantify a variety of grievance-based terrorist ideologies, along with its use towards more focused and efficient counter-terrorism and counter-messaging policies.
The Developing Economies (Volume 55, Issue 4)
By: Ceyhun Elgin, Muhammed Burak Sezgin
Abstract: In this paper, we use results of a novel survey covering 1,000 firms from 16 different sectors of the Turkish economy along with a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model to measure the extent of informality in these sectors. Moreover, we also evaluate the effects of two different policy tools on informality, namely, income taxes and tax enforcement. Our results show that while both are effective policy tools in dealing with informality, tax enforcement is a relatively more efficient tool and tax becomes quite ineffective at lower levels of informality.
Washington Quarterly (Volume 40, Issue 4)
By: Arash Heydarian Pashakhanlou
Abstract: Not available