The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the fifth 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.
Arabica (Volume 65, Issue 3)
By: Aaron M. Hagler
Abstract: The historical chronicle al-Kamil fi l-taʾriḫ (The Complete History) of Ibn al-Atir al-Ǧazari (555/1160-630/1233) treats conservatively the existing corpus of narratives of the fitna, the first Muslim civil war (36/656-41/661). Ibn al-Atir alters his main source’s accounts of troublesome moments, usually through omission, to present a universal history that serves to rehabilitate the reputation of the Umayyads without criticizing the partisans of ʿAli. While this approach may be understood as remarkable scholarly detachment from perhaps the most contentious episode of the early Islamic narrative, in fact this narrative strategy is carefully calculated to present a past that can serve as an example for the future: one in which the disagreements that had fractured the umma were surmountable, and its unity was recoverable. Such changes, while small, had a large qualitative impact due to the narrative centrality of the fitna within the wider early Islamic narrative. La chronique historique d’Ibn al-Atir al-Ǧazari (555/1160-630/1233), intitulée al-Kamil fi l-taʾriḫ (L’histoire complète) traite avec prudence le corpus des récits de la fitna, première guerre civile des musulmans (36/656-41/661). Ibn al-Atir modifie les récits des moments gênants de sa source principale, généralement par le biais d’omissions, afin de présenter une histoire universelle qui réhabilite la réputation des Omeyyades, sans pour autant critiquer les partisans de ʿAli. Bien que cette approche puisse être interprétée comme un remarquable détachement de la part d’un savant à l’égard de l’épisode le plus litigieux de l’histoire des débuts de l’islam, cette stratégie narrative est soigneusement calculée pour faire du passé un exemple pour l’avenir. Un futur dans lequel les désaccords qui avaient fracturé la communauté sont surmontables, et l’unité possible. Bien que minimes, de telles de modifications narratives ont un large impact, en raison de la centralité de la fitna dans le récit plus général des premiers temps de l’Islam. This article is in English.
A Mirror for the Modern Man: The Siyar Šaʿbiyya as Advice Literature in Tunisian Judeo-Arabic Editions
By: Rachel Schine
Abstract: Historically, the siyar saʿbiyya (sing. sira) corpus—a collection of popular, orally-performed Arabic chivalric legends—have been cast as being outside of the ambit of adab (belles-lettres). Rather, scholars and critics both classical and modern have tended to regard them as tall tales and pseudo-histories. In closing his 1887 Judeo-Arabic edition of Sirat Sayf b. Ḏi Yazan (Sirat al-azaliyya), the Tunisian-Jewish litterateur Rabbi Eliezer (Lazarro) Farhi provides a seven-point list detailing the practical benefits of reading a sira. In doing so, he opens a different pathway for approaching the text, in the manner of a mirror-for-princes. Examining Farhi’s framework in its historical context as well as with reference to scholarship on other popular works such as the 1001 Nights and on the nature of adab and wisdom literature, I offer a model for re-envisioning the siras as principally didactic texts, rather than sources for entertainment. This I do in accordance with the terms of the siras’ fin-de-siècle publisher, who casts them as a mirror for the modern Jewish man aspiring to keep apace with life in French colonial Tunis. I conclude not only that Farhi’s approach to the sira was likely widespread, but that his work testifies to sustained interest among Jewish audiences in the siras into modern times, making this minority group’s use of these texts integral to the siras’ diachronic reception history. Historiquement, le corpus des siyar šaʿbiyya (sing. sira) – une collection de légendes populaires de la chevalerie arabe transmises par voie orale – a été considéré comme ne relevant pas du domaine de l’adab (belles-lettres). Au contraire, les savants et les critiques classiques et modernes ont tendance à les considérer comme de grandes épopées et des pseudo-histoires. En achevant son édition judéo-arabe de Sirat Sayf b. Ḏi Yazan (Sirat al-azaliyya) en 1887, le littérateur juif tunisien Rabbi Eliezer (Lazarro) Farhi donne une liste en sept points détaillant les avantages pratiques de la lecture d’une sira. Ce faisant, il ouvre une voie différente pour aborder le texte, à la manière d’un miroir des princes. En examinant le cadre proposé par Farhi dans son contexte historique et en se référant aux études sur d’autres œuvres populaires telles que les Mille et une nuits et sur la nature de l’adab et de la littérature sapientielle, je propose un modèle pour relire les siras comme des textes principalement didactiques, plutôt que comme sources de divertissement. Ceci correspond aux termes de l’éditeur de siras de la fin du siècle, qui en faisait un miroir pour l’homme juif moderne aspirant à poursuivre sa vie dans la ville coloniale française de Tunis. Je conclus non seulement que l’approche de la sira par Farhi était probablement répandue, mais que son travail témoigne d’un intérêt soutenu du lectorat juif pour les siras dans les temps modernes, rendant l’utilisation de ces textes par un groupe minoritaire intrinsèque à l’histoire de la réception des siras. This article is in English.
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Volume 81, Issue 2)
By: Marijn van Putten
Abstract: This paper examines the evidence for the marginal feminine endings *-ay- and *-ay- in Proto-Semitic, and the feminine endings *-e and *-a in Proto-Berber. Their similar formation (*CV̆CC-ay/ay), semantics (verbal abstracts, underived concrete feminine nouns) and plural morphology (replacement of the feminine suffix by a plural suffix with -w-) suggest that this feminine formation should be reconstructed to a shared ancestor which may be called Proto-Berbero-Semitic.
The Silk Road and the Iranian political economy in late antiquity: Iran, the Silk Road, and the problem of aristocratic empire
By: Richard E. Payne
Abstract: The Iranian Empire emerged in the third century in the interstices of the Silk Road that increasingly linked the markets of the Mediterranean and the Near East with South, Central, and East Asia. The ensuing four centuries of Iranian rule corresponded with the heyday of trans-Eurasian trade, as the demand of moneyed imperial elites across the continent for one another’s high-value commodities stimulated the development of long-distance networks. Despite its position at the nexus of trans-continental and trans-oceanic commerce, accounts of Iran in late antiquity relegate trade to a marginal role in its political economy. The present article seeks to foreground the contribution of trans-continental mercantile networks to the formation of Iran and to argue that its development depended as much on the political economies of its western and eastern neighbours as on internal Near Eastern factors.
By: D.G. Tor
Abstract: The province of Khurasan constituted the centre of political, cultural, and religious life in the Sunni Islamic world from the ninth until the mid-twelfth century, after which Khurasan was completely eclipsed. The question of how this occurred has remained almost completely unstudied; and the one study that there is does not consult the key primary literary sources for the time. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to re-examine what the primary sources reveal about the catastrophic cultural and political eclipse of Khurasan in the mid-twelfth century, in order to demonstrate that this catastrophe was not due to “climate, cotton and camels”–in fact, Khurasan was doing very well until the 1150s–but to concrete human agency and action: namely, the province’s destruction by the rampaging Oghuz Turkmens after Sultan Sanjar had been taken captive by them in 1153, thus leading directly to the downfall of the Great Seljuq Sultanate.
Democratization (Volume 25, Issue 3)
By: Christian Houle
Abstract: Does oil impede democratization? This article posits that in order to understand the effect of oil on democratization one has to decompose the transition process into two steps: (1) the ending of the authoritarian regime, which initiates the process; and (2) the subsequent establishment of a democracy rather than an autocracy. I argue that oil has different effects on the two phases of the transition process: while oil has contradictory effects on the likelihood that an authoritarian regime fails, it diminishes the likelihood of the establishment of democracy following the failure. Oil’s negative effect is conditional on the breakdown of the authoritarian regime, which itself is unaffected by oil. That is, although oil does not initiate the transition process, it does influence its outcome. Using data on 118 autocracies, I find evidence consistent with this hypothesis.
When and where do elections matter? A global test of the democratization by elections hypothesis, 1900–2010
By: Amanda B. Edgell, Valeriya Mechkova, David Altman, Michael Bernhard, Staffan I. Lindberg
Abstract: Successive multiparty elections in sub-Saharan Africa are associated with incremental democratization. Yet tests in other regions are less than encouraging. Non-significant findings on Latin America and post-communist Eurasia, as well as conceptual criticism regarding the theory’s application in the contemporary Middle East, suggest that this may be a case of African exceptionalism. This article moves these debates forward by posing a comprehensive, global set of tests on the democratizing effect of elections. We seek to establish the scope conditions of the argument geographically, temporally, and substantively. Although we find a correlation between reiterated multiparty elections and improvements in the liberal-democratic components of electoral regimes globally since 1900, the relationship is only substantial in the period since the onset of the third wave of democracy. Experiences with iterated multiparty elections have substantive importance for democratization in sub-Saharan Africa, the post-communist region, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia. For the Middle East and North Africa, the relationship is weaker and less robust. Finally, the results suggest that reiterated sequences of multiparty elections are associated with improvements to liberal and deliberative components of democracy more so than egalitarian components.
By: Jessica Leigh Doyle
Abstract: Mainstream academic and policy literature emphasizes the nexus between an active and vibrant civil society sector and greater political accountability. As a result, support for civil society has become central to international policy efforts to strengthen democracy in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. However, the empirical evidence presented in this article questions the validity of this assumption. Drawing on information gathered through thirty-eight in-depth qualitative interviews with women’s organizations from across the seven administrative regions of Turkey, and key representatives from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), this article analyses the role of the AKP government in co-opting and influencing women’s organizations in Turkey. The results that emerge demonstrate that the government is actively involved in fashioning a civil society sector that advances their interests and consolidates their power. Independent women’s organizations report that they are becoming increasingly excluded from policy and legislative discussions, as seemingly civic organizations are supported and often created by the government to replace them. These organizations function to disseminate government ideas in society and to provide a cloak of democratic legitimacy to policy decisions. These findings and their implications have significant consequences for theory and policy on civil society and its role in supporting democracy.
By: Shimaa Hatab
Abstract: What accounts for the failed transition and restructuring of authoritarianism in Egypt after a fleeting rupture in 2011? How did the dominant statist party lose its iron grip on power? Why did the collapse of the dominant party not bring about significant democratic transformation and generate power-sharing pacts? The article aims to go beyond the question of the importance of either authoritarian resilience or the transition paradigm to offer a two-layered analytical framework based on leverage level and the coherence of pro-democracy forces’ demands to account both for the timing of one-party collapse and the consequent dynamics of authoritarian revival. I allow room for complex and strategic interactions between different components of pro-democracy forces and the old ruling class to elucidate the contingent political trajectory after the time of disintegration. When pro-democracy forces maintained their leveraged position and kept a demand-claiming framework unified, they secured a ‘cooperative differentiation’ position and were able to apply consistent democratization pressure that led to regime breakdown. When they adopted a conformist stance and accommodated their demands to the incumbent regime, they became captive to the interests of old regime holdovers and asserted an “antagonistic identification” position that hobbled efforts to move towards democratization.
By: Jens Heibach, Mareike Transfeld
Abstract: In contrast to the empirical conditions in large parts of the authoritarian world, the systematic literature on political opposition under authoritarianism either treats the opposition as a static entity or fails to comprehensively address its dynamic character. On the basis of a critical literature review and an ensuing analysis of the Joint Meeting Parties, a cross-ideological opposition alliance that gradually evolved to become the main competitor of the Salih regime in Yemen, we suggest that political opposition in electoral authoritarian regimes is an intrinsically dynamic institution in terms of its organizational shape, its goals and its modes of contestation. We also show that, while authoritarian structures do set the basic conditions defining opposition action, much of what motivates this action and contributes to opposition dynamism emerges from within the opposition. In addition, our findings on the Yemeni case suggest that opposition dynamism peaks when the strength of the opposition is nearly on par with that of the regime.
Global Media Journal (Volume 16, Issue 30)
By: Omed Aziz Ismail
Abstract: This paper is an attempt to find out the role of mass media in criticizing public officials in the government by referring to its constitutional framework. This role, however, can be restricted through the libel suit which might be filed by the public officials against media. Under the right of freedom of expression, media has been enabled to criticize public officials in favor of public interest. The right of criticism often empowers media to participate in public life and protect people from the tyranny system. While practicing its constitutional functions, media might be charged to defame the privacy of others. Consequently, the defamation claims may run against the right of freedom of criticism, and restrict the role of media in some legal cases. A balance between the right of privacy protection and free speech of media should be taken into consideration. Hence, the current paper shed lights on how defamation law should be set in a way that does not suppress media in performing its function. For that, defamation law in the United States and Iraq will be compared in regards to the above mentioned point.
By: Jamel Zran, Moez Ben Messaoud
Abstract: A large proportion of the media around the world, especially those related to radio and television, belong to the state. In principle at least, there are three different terms to talk about these types of media: • The public media that draws on the treasury to present programming that is in the interest of the general population. They do not support any political party, not even the party in power. • National media owned by the state and using the treasury money are also controlled directly by the state. • Government media that is owned by the ruling party and uses the treasury money, are also controlled by the ruling party. These three models coexist already in the Arab world since independence. This phenomenon almost removed the clear distinction that existed in principle between the government media and the public media. After the Arab Spring in 2011, however, this distinction remains important. The public broadcaster model was based on a principle that is still justified for most of the world and that the private media alone cannot guarantee the pluralism of broadcasting. The problem, however, is that the government media have also largely failed. In several countries, the arrival of private media has pushed governments to exercise editorial control of the public media. The discussion of media regulation is aimed primarily at ensuring that the media financed by the public treasury exercise their profession with the full independence of the government of the day to which they are entitled, rather than aiming to restrict the freedom of the media that already enjoy full editorial independence. In the Arab world, there have been some attempts to recover and modernize the ideal model of public media, as for example the case of Tunisia, Morocco, and Jordan. This study aims to search if the Arab podcasting meet the recognized standards and the requirements of the concept of public service?
The Bureaucratic Broadcasting Governing Structure and Content Diversity: The Case of the Egyptian National Television System
By: Rasha Allam N
Abstract: Media regulations become quite essential due to the rapid technological innovations appearing at unprecedented pace leading to change in the media marketplace. These changes bring along change in the framework that governs this media. Although the research on media management has been of great concern since the 1960s, it has recently gained the attention of media scholars and political economists. The main reason is the increased awareness of the scholars about the impact and the importance of media management on the media performance and on society. According to one of the recent research, media market mechanisms and dynamics has a measurable impact on the quality and the type of media that reaches the public. Because it is difficult to stop or prevent audience from being exposed to different sources of information, it is difficult as well to stick to a state run broadcasting system within an era characterized by deregulation, satellite broadcasting, technological development and the Internet. Therefore it is important to maintain at least one medium that promotes the notion of social capital and national identity. Yet, this kind of broadcasting requires regulation and independence in order to be sustainable amidst the fierce competition. As the Egyptian media is in a transitional period that requires changes to cope within the new media landscape, this study will analyze the deficiencies of the state owned Egyptian media organizational structure and the ways it affects media content. And measure the relative importance of the derived organizational principles to be applied in the Egyptian media system to ensure independency.
By: Ali Alshabnan
Abstract: This research focused on the politicization of specific Gulf media outlets brought on by the current crisis between Qatar and its neighbors. The analysis looked at al-Jazeera on the Qatari side and al-Arabiya and Sky News Arabia on the Saudi/ UAE side. Twenty-five total content samples were researched to provide the analysis and conclusion offered by this paper.
Beyond Access to Social Media: A Comparison of Gratifications, Interactivity, and Content Usage Among Egyptian Adults
By: Mohamed Fadl Elhadidi A
Abstract: Based on the concepts and new trends of Uses and Gratifications Theory and its application on new media, this study searched in the gratifications sought from Social Media SM sites among Egyptian adults (N=322); how they use the content and practice interactivity through the sites. Data were collected through a quantitative study applying a questionnaire conducted in February and March 2017. Findings through Exploratory Factor Analysis showed four categories of motives and six of content usage. Despite some sites predicting some motives, Facebook was the most leading medium to satisfy all types of users’ needs. Outcomes revealed that specific content not only can satisfy specific needs but also can meet other purposes of SM usage. In addition, both Facebook and Twitter were the most predictive of interactivity among Egyptian users. The study also found some effects of demographic variables on both users’ gratifications sought and interactivity.
By: Bora Erdem
Abstract: This paper probes effects of deterioration of media freedom in Turkey on bilateral relations between Ankara and Washington. The US-Turkey ties are going through turbulent times and tested by a number of thorny issues. This study claims that the lack of press freedom in Turkey and absence of alternative voices in media prevents maintenance of a healthy dialogue, mutual understanding between two allies and limits effective cooperation in diplomacy, trade, international and regional relations. The rise of anti-Americanism, Turkey’s hostage policy and its coup-related accusations against Washington get only worse with lack of media freedom.
By: Bora Erdem
Abstract: This essay aims to explore the progress and setbacks regarding press freedom in Turkey in line with Ankara’s decade-long efforts for EU accession, and EU standards in particular during Justice and Development Party (AKP) administration over the past decade. Its central theme is to analyze the major components of media system and how press freedom faced obstruction and challenges in Turkey’s ever-evolving and changing political domain beset by periodic crises and direct and indirect interference from non-governmental actors, bureaucratic power sources, and outside elements. The scope of the study spans several decades, but mostly focuses on the past few years. It examines the cases of journalists who faced prison sentences and different forms of legal investigations in Turkey over their journalistic works and how they brought their cases to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) when all options for legal remedy at domestic legal channels have been rendered near impossible. Press freedom in Turkey according to European standards, therefore, happens to be the main theme of the study to offer a comparative analysis regarding entrenched problems in Turkey’s legal system and how the ECtHR involved in cases regarding media freedom. It delves into details of specific cases that were taken by the Strasbourg-based court, which has recently been overwhelmed by tens of thousands of applications from Turkey in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016. Taken in a broader historical perspective and context, the study aims to provide a background to the problems that have dogged Turkey in terms of media freedom from the EU prism. Given that more than one hundred journalists languish in Turkey’s prisons and around 160 media outlets have been shut down in the post-coup crackdown, the issue appears to be currently relevant to today’s politics.According to New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Turkey is the top jailer of journalists in the world. As a methodological framework, the essay will provide a narrative, descriptive history of the media and government relations. It will also offer content analysis and historical assessment to make a compelling case.
International Interactions (Volume 44, Issue 4)
By: Jeremy M. Berkowitz
Abstract: State sponsorship of terrorism, where a government deliberately provides resources and material support to a terrorist organization, is common in the international system. Sponsorship can provide significant strategic and political benefits for a state, but there are inherent international and domestic risks associated with delegating foreign policy to these actors. Using principal–agent analysis, I develop a model that evaluates the impact of potential costs and benefits on a state’s decision to sponsor terrorism. I test my model by using a novel dataset on sponsorship behaviors that ranges from 1970 to 2008. The results of my analysis support the validity of the principal–agent model in explaining sponsorship, as states will be more likely to engage in sponsorship when the strategic benefits of weakening the targeted state are high and the risks of international reputation loss and domestic dissatisfaction are low.
By: Milos Popovic
Abstract: From the Patriotic Front struggle against the minority rule in Rhodesia to the seven-party mujaheddin alliance in Afghanistan, inter-rebel alliances make the armed opposition more resilient and successful in the face of government repression. Why then do some rebel groups cooperate with each other while others do not? Drawing on the principal-agent theory, I argue that the presence of foreign sponsors is likely to encourage alliance formation in civil wars especially when two rebel outfits share a state sponsor. Shared sponsors may demand cooperation between their agents and credibly threaten to punish them for non-compliance. They may also insist on the establishment of umbrella institutions to improve their monitoring and sanctioning capacity, and to increase the legitimacy of their agents. I test this argument using the UCDP Actor dataset with new data on alliances between rebel groups. I find strong evidence that shared sponsors increase the probability of inter-rebel alliance.
International Journal of Middle East Studies (Volume 50, Issue 3)
By: Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins
Abstract: Recent Palestinian Authority (PA) initiatives to help Palestine adapt to climate change help shine light on the role that climate uncertainties play in how political futures can be represented. UN-led adaptation has occasioned opportunities for new networks of actors to make claims about Palestinian futures and to perform PA readiness for statehood. These actors weigh scientific uncertainties about climate against uncertainties over if and when settler colonialism in Palestine will end. How they do so matters because it is the foundation of requests for capital that could be translated into some of the most important institutions and infrastructures of Palestinian governance over the next several years, including those that provide Palestinians with access to water. It also matters because it constitutes the image with which PA officials represent what needs to be “fixed” in Palestine in important international forums such as the United Nations. Climate change adaptation is a new approach to the management of uncertain environmental futures. This analysis offers insight into how this approach shapes and is shaped by practices of statecraft in places marked by the volatilities of war, economic crisis, and occupation.
By: Caterina Scaramelli
Abstract: This article analyzes the transformation of the Kızılırmak Delta on the Black Sea coast of Turkey into a Turkish wetland. This production involved the transformation of international categories of wetlands into national imaginaries, as well as the material remaking of landscapes themselves. Population and agro-economic shifts concurrent to the formation of the Turkish nation-state transformed the delta into an agricultural landscape, and subsequently into a contested conservation area whose use is informed by changing Turkish and international notions of wetlands. I focus on the situated, local processes and practices through which wetlands are produced and become relevant to different social groups as subjects of scientific knowledge and environmental imaginations. These, I argue, have rendered the wetland an open-air laboratory and an object of care for environmental advocates, scientists, and residents.
By: Simone Popperl
Abstract: Scientists who study Dead Sea sinkholes come to know them in particular ways (as generalized hydrogeoloic phenomena, symptoms of a regional environmental crisis, or divine retribution) and at particular scales (from the distant orbit of Earth observation satellites, from digitally altered aerial photographs, and occasionally from the inside). Using ethnographic data gathered between 2012 and 2015 in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), Israel, and Jordan, I compare how groups and individuals study, think, and learn about Dead Sea sinkholes. The way hydrogeologic knowledge about these sinkholes is gathered and circulated helps define land around the Dead Sea as territory to be colonized. These scientific processes can nullify Palestinian claims to the Dead Sea, eliminate Palestinian people from Dead Sea landscapes, and marginalize Bedouin opposition to Jordanian government policies. I suggest that attention to “geologies of erasure” helps scholars to understand the scientific and political impacts of settler colonialisms on the collection of knowledge about changing natural environments in the Middle East and beyond.
By: Emily McKee
Abstract: As activists frame campaigns, their region’s broader cultural and political context intercedes. In Israel and Palestine attempts to work across national lines and undertake activism that links ecological, economic, and social issues have long been stymied. This article examines how the fraught historical and contemporary relationships of Israelis and Palestinians with land bestow both flexibility and limitations on their framing of campaigns. In particular, it ethnographically analyzes the framing of two projects—the building of an “eco-mosque” and a Jordan River restoration effort—to examine how activists grapple with frame flexibility and its limits. It finds that an Israeli tendency to deterritorialize environmental issues and curb environmental campaigns that are “too political” conflicts with Palestinian criticism of apolitical frames because they euphemize violence and domination. These cases demonstrate how local connotations can make or break environmental campaigns. The eco-adage, “Think global, act local” is not enough. One must think local, too.
Governing Through Timescape: Israeli Sustainable Agriculture Policy and the Palestinian-Arab Citizens
By: Natalia Gutkowski
Abstract: Social scientists commonly know that time is a social construct and a tool for governing by those holding power. Yet, how exactly is time used for governing? This article examines how timescape (embodiment of approaches to time) works in practice as a tool of power by considering multiple networks of time that manifest in al-Batuf/Beit Netofa Valley planning policy. This valley’s agriculture, mostly owned by Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel, is considered by ecologists and officials a unique traditional agriculture landscape and wetland habitat that has become scarce in Israel due to its development and wetland drainage. Assembling separate modes of anthropological inquiry that attend to time as a technique, I show that knowledge, ethics, and time management are not separate spheres of governance but rather interwoven as one timescape tool of governing. Thus, the case of al-Batuf/Beit Netofa elucidates the ways in which time is used for governing in the context of an agricultural-environmental development policy and plan.
By: Hande Özkan
Abstract: This article analyzes Turkish forestry as a site of nation building. To understand the ways in which forestry shaped ideas of the state and citizenship, I explore the history and memories of the forestry enterprise, Zingal, from the early twentieth century to the present. I argue that the conflicting narratives around Zingal in archives and memory are symptoms of the contradictions inherent to nationalist modernity. I also reveal the continuation of similar contradictions in the twenty-first century by showing how citizens’ discourse of resentment over deindustrialization can coexist with their objection to a potential nuclear industry.
By: Bridget L. Guarasci
Abstract: This article analyzes the restoration of Jordan’s UN Dana Biosphere Reserve cottages for ecotourism and home building in the neighboring village of Qadisiyya as competing land projects. Whereas a multimillion-dollar endowment from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) restores Dana’s houses as a “heritage” village for a tourist economy, families in Qadisiyya build houses with income from provisional labor to shore up a familial future. Each act of home building articulates a political claim to land. This article argues for attention to the architecture of the environment in the comparison of two, once-related villages. A comparative analysis of Dana and Qadisiyya reveals the competing socio-political objectives of home building for the future of Jordan and the implications of environment in that struggle.
By: Nisreen Mazzawi, Amalia Sa’ar
Abstract: This article documents the hawakir of Nazareth. Once widespread in the city, these traditional domestic gardens were integral to households of all economic backgrounds. They served as a space for work and socializing, constituted a center of collective (extended family) life, and provided a wide diversity of crops. However, in recent decades hawakirhave disappeared rapidly as new houses were built overtop them and residents’ tastes changed. Today people prefer gardens with green lawns and flowers. Intended strictly for recreation and ornament, this new kind of garden acts as a marker of privacy and economic success. We use ethnographic data to provide detailed descriptions of historical and contemporary examples of the traditional garden. The analysis dwells on the resonances between changing practices around and meanings of hawakir and the changing character of the urban landscape, on the value of hawakir as sites of attachment and identity, and on the potential of their revival to generate urban sustainability.
International Political Science Review (Volume 39, Issue 3)
By: Katrina Burgess
Abstract: Home-country institutions are increasingly engaged in reaching out to their emigrants to further their domestic agendas. Using a most-different systems design, I compare two cases in which emigrant outreach is dominated by the state (Philippines and Mexico) and two cases in which it is dominated by parties (Lebanon and the Dominican Republic). My main argument is that each type of outreach results in a different trade-off between electoral mobilization and partisan autonomy. State-led outreach encourages emigrants to transcend partisan divisions but does not mobilize overseas voters. By contrast, party-led outreach generates higher electoral turnout while reproducing and reinforcing sectarian and/or clientelist patterns of interest representation. I conclude with the implications for whether emigrants are likely to play a democratizing role in fragile democracies with serious deficits in participation, representation, and accountability.
By: Gerasimos Tsourapas
Abstract: Can labor emigration form part of a state’s foreign policy goals? The relevant literature links emigration to states’ developmental needs, which does not explain why some states choose to economically subsidize their citizens’ emigration. This article explores for the first time the soft power importance of high-skilled emigration from authoritarian emigration states. It finds that the Egyptian state under Gamal Abdel Nasser employed labor emigration for two distinct purposes linked to broader soft power interests: first, as an instrument of cultural diplomacy to spread revolutionary ideals of Arab unity and anti-imperialism across the Middle East; second, as a tool for disseminating development aid, particularly in Yemen and sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on Arabic and non-Arabic primary sources, the article identifies the interplay between foreign policy and cross-border mobility, while also sketching an evolving research agenda on authoritarian emigration states’ policy-making.
International Studies Review (Volume 20, Issue 2)
By: Sandra Halperin
Abstract: Predictions about the future of the Middle East have proliferated in step with recent events and escalating tensions in the region. This paper highlights the usefulness of historical comparative research for addressing predictive questions and, specifically, those relating to the current Islamic revival. It challenges assumptions that have prevented researchers from exploring this avenue of research; and describes a generally overlooked chapter in modern European history: Europe’s nineteenth-century revival of militant, literal, religion, and the region-wide, battle it unleashed between religious and secular forces through the region. It then highlights similarities, both in the nature of revivals in Europe and the Middle East and of the socio-economic structures which sustained them. Finally, it suggests how and why the battle between religious and secular forces in Europe came to an end. While, it does not offer predictions for the Middle East, it suggests how comparative insights might contribute to producing better ones.
Iran and the Caucasus (Volume 22, Issue 2)
By: Hamidreza Pasha Zanous, Juping Yang
Abstract: In the reports of Chinese travellers submitted to the Emperors, they mentioned the places they had visited or heard of. Although some scholars have tried to identify these Chinese names as specific places in the Iranian Plateau and its bordering plains, their locations are still somewhat vague and debatable. This article discusses the place-names mentioned in Chinese sources and attempts to verify that they could have denoted the localities along the ancient Great Khorasan Road and other routes, which were once the main sections of the Silk Road. Among them, the route that Chinese traveller Gan Ying might have passed before he reached the western frontier of the Arsacid Empire will also be discussed in this study.
By: Richard Foltz
Abstract: The role of Iranian merchants in the maritime trade of the Indian Ocean basin from antiquity up to the sixteenth century is often underestimated. From scholarly histories to popular culture the “Muslim sailor” is typically portrayed as being an Arab. In fact, from pre-Islamic times the principal actors in Indian Ocean trade were predominantly Persian, as attested by the archaeological data, local written records, and the names of places and individuals.
By: Akhmed Osmanov; Magomedkhabib Seferbekov, Ruslan Seferbekov
Abstract: The paper describes several interesting details from the rich repository of folk beliefs, cults, rites and ceremonies of obviously pre-Islamic nature, recorded among the Gidatlis. The latter are a sub-ethnic group of the Avars living in the Shamil region of Dagestan.
By: Ervand Margaryan
Abstract: The article deals with the relationship of such concepts as the world-system and civilisation, both living independently and co-existing in time and space. World-systems and civilisations may be forced to unite into hyper-systems, or world-empires of different kind—self-sufficient, militarist-parasitic, and mixed type. Militarist empires-parasites can be settled and nomadic. Nomadic or bivouac empires are empires-armies, which exist only in movement. Stopping leads either to the death of the empire-army, or to the transformation into one but usually several stationary empires, mostly also militarist-parasitic.
An Overview of the Missions Activities of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Foreign Mission Board in Iran
By: Philip O. Hopkins
Abstract: This paper overviews the American missionary activity in Iran from the Southern Baptist Convention’s Foreign Mission Board. Much of the research is based on the Board of Trustee minutes of the Foreign Mission Board, as well as archival material from the International Mission Board, the new name for the Foreign Mission Board that includes personal correspondences, letters, communications, statistics of churches in Iran, strategies for missions, and other documents. Academic papers, diaries, composed and written oral histories, and other information from Foreign Mission Board missionaries of this period also are used. Therefore, the significance of this paper lies, I hope, at least in presenting documents previously unknown and inaccessible.
By: Armen Petrosyan
Abstract: Among the attested personal names in the Hayasa onomastics, there are some of the probable Aryan origin. Three of them are associated with the religion (Akni, Š(a)ummatar, takšanna) and one, with the ruling elite of the kingdom (Mariya). If this is correct, it can be assumed that the Aryans could constitute a considerable part of the population of Hayasa.
By: Mary Elizabeth Smith
Abstract: This paper presents “social moves” as a new strategy de facto states can use in their interactions with the international community, with or without the possibility of a formal recognition of sovereignty. Special attention is paid to Abkhazia’s continuing desire for an independent state compared to South Ossetia’s desire for Russian absorption in light of both regions’ ethnic histories and turbulent relationships with Georgia. Key analysis includes discussion of the diplomatic soft power “social moves” the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry has begun in the last two years and the absence of similar “social moves” within the South Ossetian Foreign Ministry.
Islamic Law and Society (Volume 25, Issue 3)
A Tale of Two Kufans: Abu Yusuf’s Ikhtilaf Abi Hanifa wa-Ibn Abi Layla and Schacht’s Ancient Schools
By: Sohail Hanif
Abstract: In this article, I address the long-standing debate on the existence of regionally defined schools of law in Islam’s formative period by focusing on the early Kufan tradition, with special attention to Ikhtilaf Abi Hanifa wa-Ibn Abi Layla, attributed to Abu Yusuf (d. 182/798). By studying reports and legal opinions in the text, I argue that the legal thought of Kufan jurists in Abu Hanifa’s generation was based on a general deference to regional, Kufan authorities and that this larger legal project may meaningfully be termed a school. I provide a model for legal method in these early schools, taking into account the contributions of supporters and detractors of the regional-school concept. I suggest that formative-period legal methods are also expressed in the classical Hanafi school, enabling us to view questions of ijtihad, taqlid and madhhab formation in a new light.
By: Rosemary Admiral
Abstract: Historical studies of Islamic legal systems have focused primarily on courts and prominent muftis. My research shifts the focus to the community level, with particular attention to women and their relationships with male family members, drawing on cases from Fez and its environs under the Marinid dynasty from the mid-seventh/thirteenth to the mid-ninth/fifteenth century. I argue that people actively engaged with Islamic law in their daily lives and relationships, and that women had access to informal legal spaces that allowed them to influence the legal process, making interpretive decisions on issues where the Maliki school accepted multiple opinions. Through an analysis of fatwas issued by Marinid jurists, I explore how communities and legal officials resolved contentious disputes, and how women used legal knowledge to participate in the legal process.
By: Yüksel Sezgin
Abstract: Should a democratic regime formally incorporate religious laws and courts into its otherwise secular legal system? This is not a hypothetical question. Some democratic nations already formally integrate religion-based laws in the field of family law (especially Muslim Family Law–MFL). Although state-enforced MFLs often affect human rights negatively, many governments, especially non-Muslim majority ones, have refrained from direct legislative interventions into substantive MFLs. Instead they have empowered civil courts to play the role of “reformer.” But how successful have civil judiciaries in non-Muslim regimes been in “reforming” Muslim laws? On the basis of an analysis of the MFL jurisprudence of Israeli and Greek civil courts over the last three decades, I argue that civil courts could not have brought about any direct changes in Muslim law, however, they have had an indirect effect by pressuring religious courts/authorities to undertake self-reform.
By: Dörthe Engelcke
Abstract: Using Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice as a theoretical framework, I establish links between the structure of the Jordanian legal system, processes of reforming family law between 2001 and 2010, and the development of the content of family law. The daʾirat qadi al-qudat, the Supreme Justice Department (SJD), is a state institution that enjoys considerable autonomy in overseeing the shariʿa courts that apply Islamic family law. As the Jordanian king chose not to participate in the reform process, the SJD came to dominate the reform process, which concluded with the issuing of the 2010 family law. Its control over the reform process allowed it to influence the content of the law. This article is based on semi-structured interviews as well as written sources such as Jordanian family laws, procedural laws, minutes of parliamentary debates, royal speeches, and relevant statistics.
Journal of Developing Societies (Volume 34, Issue 2)
By: Simin Fadaee
Abstract: This article explores master frames of social movement mobilization over the course of the long twentieth century in Iran. It illustrates that while participants were diverse, democratization remained the dominant master frame of the grand social movements of the twentieth century. In this article, I present historical analyses of four social movements in Iran which demonstrate that although Iran’s integration into the capitalist world system fostered profound economic and social transformation, its political system remained comparatively unaffected. This explains why demands for political reforms served as key mobilizing frames for social movements. This continuity reveals a profound crisis of the Iranian political system, because although nationwide social movements have experienced success the state–society relationship remains fraught with contention.
By: Fernando López Castellano, Isabel Marín Sánchez
Abstract: The main goal of this article is to explore the relationship between taxation and development in Morocco, particularly among university students in the city of Tetouan. This article analyzes the culture and tax morale in a sample of university students, in order to offer a deeper explanation on the obstacles that hamper the construction of human development in that country. A fairer and more equitable tax system is at the basis of human development. In this sense, this research shows the necessity to restore the relationship and trust of citizens toward their states. The work is organized as follows: first, there is a brief introduction; then the second part raises the theoretical framework of the research. The third part analyzes the data collected through the survey on tax culture and development, and the article concludes with a brief reflection.
Journal of Institutional Economics (Volume 14, Issue 2)
By: Antoine Parent, Robert Butler
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to recall the forgotten opposition of Clément Juglar to the colonization of Algeria, the originality of this position, and his contributions to the genesis of analysing colonial institutions. Juglar was not a theoretician of colonialism, but a liberal economist who rejected the process of colonization on economic grounds. This paper provides evidence that conventional wisdom on French colonialism is indebted to his work. The issues of capital returns in the colonies, French colonialism as mercantilism and protectionism, and the role of colonial institutions in economic development were all addressed by Juglar. He identified property rights and colonial institutions as central issues in his explanation of the predictable failure of colonialism, and in doing so he can be regarded as a forerunner of neo-institutionalist analysis of colonialism.
Journal of Peace Research (Volume 55, Issue 4)
By: Anna Getmansky, Tolga Sınmazdemir, Thomas Zeitzoff
Abstract: What factors influence attitudes towards refugees? Do negative attitudes towards refugees also influence attitudes towards conflict in the host countries? Previous studies suggest that an influx of refugees, and locals’ reaction to them, may destabilize receiving countries and lead to conflict. In particular, actual or perceived negative effects of refugees’ presence, such as increased economic competition with the locals, disruption of ethnic balance in the host country, and arrival of people with ties to rebel groups may lead to an increased likelihood of civil conflict in countries that receive refugees. These effects can lead to instability by changing the locals’ incentives and opportunities of engaging in violence. Indeed, some studies find a positive correlation at the cross-national level between influx of refugees and conflict in receiving countries. We contribute to this literature by experimentally manipulating information about the externalities of hosting refugees. We conducted a survey-experiment in the summer of 2014 in Turkey, a country that hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees. We examine how different messages about the possible effects of hosting refugees–increased economic burden, disruption of ethnic balance, and ties with rebels, as well as a positive message of saving innocent women and children–affect locals’ perceptions of the refugees and their attitudes towards the Turkish-Kurdish peace process. We find that some messages cause locals, especially majority non-Kurds, to hold more negative views of the refugees, and in some cases to view them as a threat. Generally speaking, this information does not affect support for the peace process within Turkey. Rather, fundamental factors, such as partisanship, and previous exposure to conflict are better predictors of attitudes towards peace.
Journal of Political Economy (Volume 126, Issue 3)
By: Ruben Durante, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
Abstract: Politicians may strategically time unpopular measures to coincide with newsworthy events that distract the media and the public. We test this hypothesis in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We find that Israeli attacks are more likely to occur when US news on the following day is dominated by important predictable events. Strategic timing applies to attacks that bear risk of civilian casualties and are not too costly to postpone. Content analysis suggests that Israel’s strategy aims at minimizing next-day coverage, which is especially charged with negative emotional content. Palestinian attacks do not appear to be timed to US news.
Journal of Qur’anic Studies (Volume 20, Issue 2)
By: Massimo Campanini
Abstract: The idea developed in this paper is that of a philosophical Qur’anology, or al-falsafiyya al-Qurʾaniyya. It builds on the ideas elaborated in my most recent book, Philosophical Perspectives on Modern Qur’anic Exegesis, which set out to devise a systematic approach to a philosophical Qur’anology. In Philosophical Perspectives I argued that truth is manifestation or disclosure (a-letheia) in the Greek and Heideggerian sense, and I stressed that disclosure is not simply ostensio (“showing”) and kashf (“unveiling”), but also orientation of the text (I use “orientation” here with the sense of “producing meaning”). With respect to the Qur’an, the a-letheia means that the essence of truth consists in bringing to light the evidence of the text in its Ẓahiri dimension (from the perspective of Ibn Hazm al-Qurṭubi (d. 456/1064)), a topic which deserves further study.
The approach taken in this article is, then, philosophical and theoretical. Although philosophy has been widely used to interpret the Qur’an, what I am proposing is a modern philosophical approach to the Qur’an as philosophy. Thus, in the same way that the Qur’an has been studied as a revealed, or literary, text, I propose that we also read it as a philosophical text.
By: Adam Flowers
Abstract: The Qur’an’s employment of diverse modes of discourse is, perhaps, the text’s defining literary feature. These discourses, ranging from apocalyptic, to narrative, to legal, have long been observed by Western scholars. Genre studies of the Qur’an, however, have largely stagnated, and little progress has been made beyond cursory classifications. This stagnation is particularly stunting to the study of the textual history of the Qur’an, as vital questions concerning the development of individual genres and the relationship between Qur’anic genre and the unit of the sura remain unanswered. This article marks a first attempt at formulating a literary framework for approaching Qur’anic genre. It will synthesise existing conceptions of Qur’anic genre into a common interpretative framework: individual Qur’anic genres exist as thematically and syntactically demarcated literary units. The article will then propose a novel, literary approach that utilises a comparative thematic and syntactic structural analysis of the Qur’an text to uncover the original, communicated pieces of Qur’anic revelation from the Prophet to an audience in time, or “Qur’anic utterances.” This literary analysis is applied to Surat al-ʿImran and will demonstrate that it is constructed of thirty-four individual utterances and nine distinct literary genres.
Exegetes of Nishapur: A Preliminary Survey of Qur’anic Works by Ibn Habib, Ibn Furak, and ʿAbd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi
By: Martin Nguyen
Abstract: This article provides a preliminary study of three previously unstudied Qur’anic works, each of which has been ascribed to an important fifth/eleventh-century member of the Shafiʿi elite of Nishapur. Previous studies have documented the importance of the city in the formation of the classical tafsir tradition, with special attention paid to al-Thaʿlabi (d. 427/1035) and his student al-Wahidi (d. 468/1076). Nevertheless, other important Nishapuri personalities demonstrating a wide range of interests have yet to receive proper coverage. By examining the bio-bibliographical records and the extant texts, I introduce three important Nishapuri scholars as exegetes and outline the nature of their contributions. The first work is an ʿulum al-Qurʾan text written by Abu’l-Qasim Ibn Habib (d. 406/1016) the famed Qur’an scholar who marks the beginning of the Thaʿlabi-Wahidi lineage of exegetical development. Then follows the tafsir of the Ashʿari theologian Ibn Furak (d. 406/1015), of which only a part survives. The third and final work is another tafsir, which has been attributed to Ibn Furak’s Ashʿari colleague Abu Manṣur ʿAbd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi (d. 429/1037).
The Preacher of the Meccan Qur’an: Deuteronomistic History and Confessionalism in Muhammad’s Early Preaching
By: Walid A. Saleh
Abstract: There has been a trend in recent scholarship on the Qur’an to downplay the role of Muhammad in delivering and preaching the Qur’an, such that one is almost presented with a disembodied Qur’an which has no relationship to his prophetic career. The disappearance of Muhammad from the Qur’an, and the pretence that there is no preacher, allows for a radical rereading of the text, such that one can then claim not only that it is an outgrowth of a Christian preaching environment, but that the Qur’an’s main audience was a Biblically-saturated community. However, there is also a more serious issue at hand. Our Fragestellung about what the Qur’an has to tell us about Muhammad is problematic. It seeks to reconstruct his life in the manner of a nineteenth-century biography, outlining a linear and comprehensive life-story. The Qur’an is unlike the Gospels, we are repeatedly told: there is no sustained biography of Muhammad there to be found, and no chronological order to its parts. Indeed, the mantra that the Qur’an does not tell us much about Muhammad is now a truism in Qur’anic studies. However, the Qur’an is packed with information about Muhammad: it is actually a record of his preaching.
In this article I will investigate the most important details we can find in the Qur’an about Muhammad, and assess the image of the preacher of the Qur’an as fashioned there. I will then develop the historical implications of my analysis, and show that when we analyse the information in the Qur’an we can obtain historical information about Muhammad, his community, and their respective ideas. The analysis will be confined to the image of Muhammad in the Meccan parts of the Qur’an: the topic of his image in the Medinan Qur’an is a matter for another study.
Journal of the American Oriental Society(Volume 138, Issue 2)
By: Chelsea Sanker
Abstract: This article addresses meter in the Hurrian parables from Boğazköy (KBo 32.14). Bachvarova (2011) has characterized this text as having four stressed syllables per line; others have suggested that the pattern of unstressed syllables may also contribute to the meter (e.g., Haas and Wegner 2007, Neu 1988), although the widely variable line lengths pose a problem for an isosyllabic meter. I offer evidence for a meter consisting of four stressed syllables per line, with one to three unstressed syllables between stressed syllables. I further reconcile a syllable-counting meter with the observed variability in line length by positing that lines are in groups of two to three, forming semantic units. Within these groups, the average difference in syllable count between lines is significantly lower than it is between non-grouped lines. The similarity within groups of lines suggests that, despite apparent differences based on the orthography, lines within groups may have matched exactly in number of syllables. Postulating this exact match, I offer three phonetic interpretations of the orthography that build on phonological characteristics discussed by Wilhelm (2008) and Wegner (2007): 1) an underlying glottal stop producing disyllabicity of sequences and potentially other plene vowel sequences as well; 2) elision at word boundaries where the first word ended with a vowel and the following word began with a vowel; 3) a monosyllabic realization of a word-internal sequence of a high vowel followed by another vowel. Such a syllable-counting meter provides a new line of evidence for the phonology of Hurrian as well as contributing to the metrical characteristics that can be found in poetry of the ancient Near East.
By: Karel van der Toorn
Abstract: This article looks at the evidence for a turbulent episode in the life of the Jewish community at Elephantine. In the months leading up to the destruction of the Yaho temple, the summer of 410 BCE, Jews and Egyptians found themselves at loggerheads in a conflict about a precious stone. The stone had been stolen from the Egyptians and then turned up in the hands of Jewish traders. Six letters from the Elephantine archives document the affair. Their analysis leads to the reconstruction of a crucial period in the relations between Persians, Jews, and Egyptians in the late Achaemenid era.
By: Michael Ebstein
Abstract: This article focuses on hadith al-nawafil (“the tradition concerning supererogatory works”), which is one of the most quoted traditions in Islamic mystical literature. The tradition describes how the believer may draw close to God and gain His love by performing supererogatory works, to such an extent that her organs become divine. The article discusses the significance of the nawafil tradition in various mystical writings composed in the formative and classical periods of Islamic mysticism (third–seventh/ninth–thirteenth centuries), with special attention given to the writings of the influential mystic Muhyi l-Din Ibn al-ʿArabi (d. 638/1240). The article likewise attempts to demonstrate the relevance of certain Shi’a conceptions to the understanding of hadith al-nawafil and its interpretations in Sunni mysticism.
Law and Development Review (Volume 11, Issue 1)
By: Kim Economides
Abstract: In this article, I explore whether and how Middle Eastern legal process can be reconciled with the idea of timeliness. The idea that any procedure physically within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions could be both fair and expeditious may appear counterintuitive to those brought up in the Anglo-American legal tradition, and the suggestion that there could exist a notion of “timely Middle Eastern procedure” that produced just and fair results is more than likely to be treated as an oxymoron. Administrative, political and legal processes throughout the Levant and Arab world are, when viewed through Western eyes, more than likely to be characterised as corrupt, slow or even Kafkaesque. I argue that procedural delay is an inherently problematic and relative concept, both legally and culturally speaking, which cannot make sense without introducing robust time standards against which court processing time can be evaluated. I seek to elucidate the fundamental nature and causes of procedural delay in relation to civil trials and propose the adoption of a distinct methodology that could be used to more objectively assess court efficiency in handling civil cases throughout the GCC and MENA regions.
Reintegrating the Legal into the Social: Reviving Islamic Transactional Law in the Context of the Civil Economy, with Special Reference to Waqf
By: Adi Setia
Abstract: The potentialities and role of Islamic transactional law (ITL) and its underpinning axio-teleological concepts are explored in the cause of reclaiming the development process. In the Islamic scheme of values, the economic enterprise is premised on the organization of livelihood for sufficiency rather than perpetual growth so as to ensure overall socio-economic equilibrium. In this respect, there are discernibly close conceptual, structural and functional connections between the socio-economic objectives of ITL and those of the civil economy (CE). By making intelligent use of these substantive connections between ITL and CE, one can then devise effective legal strategies to substantively revive the former by taking strategic advantage of the already existing legal framework governing the latter. Thus, alient aspects of ITL are discussed in terms of invisible structures serving as formal, socio-legal means toward organizing socio-economic sufficiency, with special reference to the institution of waqf (charitable endowment) as a case in point.
Middle East Journal (Volume 72, Issue 3)
By: Rory McCarthy
Abstract: This article is a case study of how Tunisia’s Islamist party, the Ennahda Movement, responded to new political opportunities that opened up after the 2011 Arab uprisings. It argues that Ennahda chose to make a hard-to-reverse commitment to politicization in the pursuit of electoral legitimacy, as protection from repression, and for fear of marginalization. The article demonstrates how the context of a democratic transition exposed internal debates within the movement over ideology, strategy, and organizational structure, ultimately dislocating the relationship between political ambitions and the religious social movement.
By: Kylie Moore-Gilbert
Abstract: This article examines Bahrain’s 14 February Coalition, an anonymous and decentralized youth movement that was formed during the small Gulf state’s 2011 Arab Spring–inspired uprising. Drawing on fieldwork interviews and a content analysis study of the group’s Facebook page, this article explores how the group uses its opaque organizational structure and strong social media presence to promote its off-line activities. In providing empirical data on the ideology, aims, and approach to activism of this important yet understudied group, this article questions prevailing sectarian narratives and makes the case for a more nuanced understanding of Bahrain’s ongoing civil unrest.
By: Hamad H. Albloshi, Michael Herb
Abstract: This article seeks to explain the failure of the 2012–14 Kuwaiti reform movement Karamet Watan. We compare Karamet Watan with two previous reform movements in Kuwait: Nabiha Khamsa in 2006 and Irhal in 2011. All three movements were nonviolent, which Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan have shown to be associated with the success of reform movements. We argue that Karamet Watan differed from the earlier movements in its choice of goals; its choice of tactics, especially the boycott of parliamentary elections; and the regional context. Our findings help illustrate the challenges facing political reform movements in Kuwait, the obstacles to further movement toward greater political participation, and the conditions under which reform might succeed in the future.
By: Carin Berg
Abstract: Using Hizballah as a case study, this article acknowledges how different types of anashid fill a central function in Islamist organizations, not simply to stir up support for jihad. Dividing anashid into mainstream Islamist and jihadi genres and based on fieldwork observations of political events put on by Hizballah, this article argues that anashid play a significant role in transmuting the group’s shared goals and ideology. The core argument is that both types of anashidconstitute a vital part in fostering a Hizballah movement identity that underpins the group’s political ambitions and mobilizes its supporters to action.
By: Oren Barak
Abstract: This article argues that part of the reason why some Middle Eastern states remain democratically challenged is the emergence, operation, and political influence of “security networks” and “deep states”—informal actors in the area of national security. The article explains what these actors are, situates them in a broad theoretical and comparative perspective, assesses their impact on democratic development, and provides examples from Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt.
Middle East Policy (Volume 25, Issue 2)
By: Yehuda U. Blanga
Abstract: Not available
By: Mohammed M. Hafez
Abstract: Not available
By: Chris Parker
Abstract: Not available
By: Mehmed S. Kaya
Abstract: Not available
By: Anthony Paphiti, Sascha‐Dominik (Dov) Bachmann
Abstract: Not available
Middle East Quarterly (Volume 25, Issue 3)
By: Efraim Karsh
Abstract: Not available
By: George L. Simpson, Jr.
Abstract: Not available
By: Anne-Christine Hoff
Abstract: Not available
By: Ardavan Khoshnood, Arvin Khoshnood
Abstract: Not available
Middle Eastern Studies (Volume 54, Issues 3 & 4)
By: Berrak Burçak
Abstract: This article examines discussions on Ottoman-Muslim female beauty, health and hygiene in the Hamidian Era (1876–1909). Analysing the Hamidian popular press, advice literature and textbooks for girls, the article argues that these discussions were more than just female “physical culture” debates, involving larger issues of late-Ottoman regeneration. Wars, epidemics, massive migration movements and fluctuations in population pushed the late-Ottoman state to create healthy generations as a productive force to secure the Empire’s future in general and the Ottoman Muslim population’s welfare in particular. Maintaining good health expanded from a religious obligation into now also becoming a patriotic duty incumbent upon Ottoman subjects knowing and applying modern hygienic principles. Focus on Ottoman-Muslim women’s procreativity shifted female beauty into a public discussion, now defined as a reflection of health. The new hygienic beauty discourse distinguished between preserving vs. harming one’s health in the face of Western fashions and cosmetics: healthy beauty mirrored a “good complexion.”
Fragile frontiers: Sayyid Taha II and the role of Kurdish religio-political leadership in the Ottoman East during the First World War
By: Metin Atmaca
Abstract: At the start of the First World War the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), the ruling party of the Ottoman Empire, used numerous means to ensure that the Kurdish leaders remained allies. Interpretations of Jihad became a major tool for recruitment of Kurdish soldiers by all sides in the war, including the Ottomans, Russians, British, and Kurds, though the tactic had limited success. During this period, several religio-political leaders emerged among the Sufi orders in Kurdistan and created their own regiments that fought alongside the Ottomans. Other leaders sided with Russian and British forces. Among those leaders that did not support the Ottomans, Sayyid Taha II arose as a rational, yet unorthodox political figure. His political maneuvering proved that the frontiers were fragile, fluid and impermanent. The present study aims to show that in the context of the First World War the Kurdish leaders of the time, primarily Sayyid Taha II, vis-à-vis the non-religious notables in Istanbul, were transformed into political leaders by their experiences during and after the war.
Building the country or rescuing the people: Ben-Gurion’s attitude towards mass Jewish immigration to Israel in the mid-1950s
By: Avi Picard
Abstract: In mainstream scholarship, David Ben-Gurion is described as one of the main supporters and primary advocates of the policy of encouraging mass Jewish immigration to Israel (aliya) in the 1950s. The Zionist movement had two different motives for supporting aliya: Diaspora Jews’ need for a safe haven (which would require mass aliya), and the need to build a solid and stable Jewish society in mandatory Palestine/Israel (which would require selective aliya).
When Ben-Gurion, in the 1940s, came to favour mass aliya, he did so because of the immigrants’ potential contribution to the attainment of statehood and then the independent state.
In the first years after independence, when entire communities immigrated to Israel, they included old and infirm people who did not fit the image of the pioneers of pre-state aliya. Nevertheless, for Ben-Gurion, their demographic contribution outweighed the burden of their absorption. By 1952, he had changed his mind and became one of the strongest supporters of selective immigration. He continued to support selectivity even when, in 1955, the safety of Moroccan Jews and their freedom to emigrate was in jeopardy. Ben-Gurion’s attitude to aliya from Morocco, in the shadow of the Czech-Egyptian arms deal, reflected his priority–a strong and secure Israel.
Who represented the Israeli middle class? The crystallization of the General Zionists from 1948 to 1949
By: Amir Goldstein
Abstract: The establishment of the State of Israel was a watershed moment in the history of the General Zionists movement. The ending of the British Mandate–characterized by its responsiveness to private enterprise–symbolized the denouement of a regulatory strategy era as an exclusive modus operandi for the general organizations. The transfer of power to a participatory Jewish democracy, whereby independent institutions drew on electoral support, required that bourgeois and petit-bourgeois leaders relinquish their reservations about the political-partisan game. For the first time, they sought to gain ascendancy over a political party in the hope that it would stand up for the rights and interests of the middle class. This article will analyze the formation process of the center party and its attempt to become a significant factor in Israeli society.
Sheikh Muhammad Abu Zahra (1898–1974) on international relations: the discourse of a contemporary mainstream Islamist
By: Sami E. Baroudi
Abstract: The literature on Political Islam has not devoted ample space to the intellectual contributions of contemporary moderate Islamists. This article attempts to rectify this by examining the international relations discourse of a twentieth-century Egyptian religious scholar: Sheikh Muhammad Abu Zahra. Despite Abu Zahra’s prominence in the Islamic world, his writings have received scant attention from academics. The article provides a close reading of his three principal works on international relations: al-ʿAlaqat al-Duwaliyya fi al-Islam, Nazhariyat al-Harb fi al-Islam and al-Wihda al-Islamiyya; as well as a fourth work with a significant bearing on the subject: al-Mujtamaʿ al-Insani fi Dhil al-Islam. It contends that Abu Zahra’s international relations discourse is part of a more than a century-old tradition of theorizing on international relations that dates back to the religious reformers Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad Abdu. Accordingly, Abu Zahra is treated here as an exemplar of what I refer to as the moderate and reformist school in contemporary Islam, in contradistinction to the radical school that is associated with salafi-jihadist figures and movements. A close analysis of Abu Zahra’s international relations discourse thus provides penetrating insights on one pivotal, albeit understudied, dimension of this reformist/moderate current in contemporary Islam: its perspectives on international relations.
Interpretation and mutability: socio-legal texts of the Quran; three accounts from contemporary Iran
By: Ali Akbar
Abstract: Since the advent of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, radical changes have taken place in the views of many Iranian scholars regarding the nature of religious belief. In particular, the issue of the compatibility or incompatibility of Islam’s socio-legal precepts and the challenges of time and space have become a crucial matter for numerous Iranian intellectuals. This paper discusses how three prominent Iranian intellectuals of the post-revolutionary era, namely Mostafa Malekian, Mohsen Kadivar and Hasan Yousefi-Eshkevari, have put forward arguments in favor of the contingent nature of the Quran’s socio-legal passages. The paper argues that these scholars challenge the notion of the immutability of the Quran’s socio-legal texts, claiming that they could be applied differently depending on the specific time and place. In this sense, the paper establishes the groundwork for showing how these scholars have re-examined traditional understandings of religion in light of the new challenges that are arising in the modern world.
Islamists against the class cleavage: identity formation and interest representation in the case of Hak-İş in Turkey
By: Aykut Öztürk
Abstract: One of the central characteristics of current Middle Eastern politics is the weakness of class-based political organizations. While structural explanations of this pattern abound, hegemonic struggles of Islamists to erode the class cleavage have so far been largely overlooked. In order to bring this perspective into the literature, this article studies discourses, affects and policies promoted by the Islamic trade unions confederation of Turkey, Hak-İş. After the introduction, I first demonstrate that the identity of Hak-İş has consistently been based on a fantasy of social cohesion and aversion to class-based politics. Building on this, I detail how Hak-İş has developed new economic and political practices, in a deliberate effort to overcome class-based unionism. Finally, I argue that the role of Hak-İş has evolved into representing workers’ interests within the framework of the corporatist regime built by pro-Islamic AKP government.
By: Marat Iliyasov
Abstract: This article critically assesses the ostensible transformation in Chechen ethnic identity. Journalists and scholars who came to this conclusion based their claim on obvious changes in Chechen behavior. The brave and irreconcilable resistance the nation demonstrated during the First and the Second Russo-Chechen Wars of 1994–1996 and 1999–2009, respectively, was replaced by a submissive and loyal stance with regard to the new authorities and recent enemies. This article investigates whether such a change in behavior reflects a corresponding change in ethnic identity. This article asserts that “non- Chechen” behavioral models do not signify changes in Chechen ethnic identity by presenting and analyzing Chechen narratives concerning the question. In summary, this article concludes that the ethnic identity of the nation remained mainly untouched. This conclusion is supported by the observed continuity of Chechen resistance, which has always been driven by cherished values such as freedom.
‘Let them entertain themselves’: the fall of the Mubarak regime seen through Egyptian political cartoons
By: Rania Saleh
Abstract: This article examines the issues underlying the downfall of the Mubarak regime from the perspective of Egyptian cartoonists. A total of 2734 political cartoons published in five leading newspapers between January 2010 and February 2011 are analyzed. Because they form a significant part of the cultural context within which these cartoons are created, popular political jokes are also referenced. The study identifies political stagnation, domestic issues and corruption as the three most significant issues that paved the road to the fall of Mubarak.
By: Archana Prakash
Abstract: This article explores the origins of French influence in Egyptian education by examining the circumstances under which Muhammad Ali Pasha (r. 1805–1848) sent two organized student missions to study in Paris over other European destinations. In the history of modern Egyptian education, French influence on educational institutions is linked to persistent French imperial interest following their occupation of Egypt (1798–1801). French involvement in education was not initially a government project, but rather evolved to become a government project by the end of the Pasha’s rule. Using historical evidence, I show that the first mission was a personal venture of ex-Bonapartists who desired to keep the spirit of the Napoleonic expedition alive through informal cultural imperialism despite the Restoration government’s disinterest. The French government’s official involvement in the second student mission of 1844 was motivated by their colonial interests in North Africa. Previous historians have projected those motivations backwards on the earlier period and that Egyptian choice to make use of French expertise and knowledge was a contingent one.
By: Cihangir Gündoğdu
Abstract: The present article situates the systemic efforts to annihilate stray dogs within the wider picture of Ottoman modernizing reforms in the nineteenth century. The period under investigation witnessed an increasing desire on the part of the modern Ottoman state to control and reform disenfranchised human and animal groups, which were believed to jeopardize public order, security and hygiene. These groups–beggars, orphans and the unemployed–were identified as actors irreconcilable with the modern image that the reforming bureaucracy and modernizing elites sought to project. In the face of increasing challenges from European powers, they were the epitome of underdevelopment and backwardness. Ottoman elites and official authorities therefore proposed and implemented institutional measures in the form of forced labor, reformatories, or deportation to reform the conditions of these groups, segregate them from the greater public and discipline them. In the modern period, along with the proposals that called for the removal of dogs, modernizing intellectuals and professionals proposed alternative plans to render non-human animals beneficial to human needs and the modern state’s expectations.
An island unmixed: European military intervention and the displacement of Crete’s Muslims, 1896–1908
By: Uğur Z Peçe
Abstract: This article examines the displacement of the majority of Crete’s Muslim population after an upheaval led to the establishment of an autonomous regime on the island in 1898, following the military intervention by a coalition of European powers (Britain, France, Italy and Russia). By drawing a connection between Cretan topography and the type of intervention, I argue that the coalition’s policies played a central role in Muslim emigration from the greatest Ottoman island. The article highlights the sectarian lens through which the European decision-makers regarded relations between the island’s Christian and Muslim populations. In so doing, it makes a contribution to the history of European intervention in the Ottoman Empire. The final section offers a glimpse into the diminished Muslim minority under the autonomous regime, which was established after Abdülhamid II withdrew his soldiers from Crete, signifying de facto termination of Ottoman sovereignty on the island.
The Turkish Republic’s Jihad? Religious symbols, terminology and ceremonies in Turkey during the Korean War 1950–1953
By: Nadav Solomonovich
Abstract: On 25 July 1950, a month after the beginning of the Korean War, the newly elected Democratic Party (DP) in Turkey announced that a brigade would be sent to assist South Korea as part of the UN mission led by the United States. The main argument of this article is that although the DP regime is considered a secular and Kemalist one, the state continued the Ottoman tradition and practice of using Islam to gain support for the war and to mobilize the Turkish nation. To do so, the article will show the similarity of both the means and the content of religious propaganda used in the Korean War to those used in the Ottoman jihad in the First World War. This article suggests that parts of the public understood the war as a religious conflict and not just as an ideological one thus indicating the success of the religious messages and their efficiency.
By: Robert Johnson
Abstract: The Sykes-Picot Agreement is often cited as evidence of a Western conspiracy to carve up the Middle East and subordinate the Arabs. It is a prevalent view across the region, and has been a refrain repeated by critics. Yet very little is known of the far more significant conclusions of a Committee, formed by Maurice de Bunsen on the orders of the British government, which ascertained the options open to the Allies in 1915. Far from a nefarious conspiracy, the Committee came down in favour of a decentralised, ultimately independent region. The First World War compelled some revision of the original intent, but the essence of the committee’s conclusions remained intact throughout the war, and after. Conversely, Sir Mark Sykes repudiated the “agreement” he had made with the French diplomat Picot, and substantial revisions were made to that temporary scheme. Yet it seems that ‘conspiracy sells’, and generations have colluded with the theme of perfidy to reinforce particular narratives, including, most recently, the Da´esh movement’s claim to have “ended Sykes-Picot.”
By: Marco Nilsson
Abstract: This study analyzes how Kurdish women experience the violence and other consequences of the armed conflict raging between the PKK and the Turkish state. Interviews conducted in Istanbul, Ankara, and Diyarbakir suggest that Kurdish women experience the conflict both as members of an oppressed minority and as women. The study first focuses on identifying sources of conflict related stress that are specific to women, such as the need to be silent to protect their families, and then analyzes the strategies that Kurdish women use to deal with this stress as women, including networking and education.
From terror to public diplomacy: Jibril Rajoub and the Palestinian Authorities’ uses of sport in fragmentary Israeli–Palestinian conflict
By: Yair Galily
Abstract: Focusing on sport as an arena of struggle in the Israel/Palestine conflict, the current study traces, conceptually and historically, the way in which the Palestinian Authority in general, and Jibril Rajoub in particular, have shifted efforts toward the sporting arena in order to promote global awareness of the Palestinian case. In the current case study, the Palestinians were not successful at drawing attention to their political goals or in suspending Israel from Fédération Internationale de Football Association. However, their attempt emphasizes the ways in which conflicts had changed and the importance of images in the information age we live in. Conflicts today are very much battles of ideas and the information designed by the media. Alongside the military confrontations, an Image War is taking part in which each side tries to justify its ideas, beliefs and actions.
By: Sarwar Abdullah, Tim Gray, Emily Clough
Abstract: This article examines clientelism in Iraq as a case study of one form of corruption. Iraq is an unusual case of corruption, because a key feature of Iraq’s corrupt environment is an institutionalised factional political system based on sectarian quotas. The article explores the many links between clientelism and political factionalism, discussing whether clientelism arose because of factionalism, or whether factionalism merely determines the ways that clientelism currently operates in Iraq. Using fieldwork data, the findings show there are two distinct levels of clientelism in Iraq, both of which are linked to political factions: the individual level and the organisational level. First, clientelism at the individual level entails the elites of many political factions regarding “money politics” as a means of influence in Iraq/Kurdistan by buying people’s affiliations and thereby governing people. Second, clientelism at the organisational level entails that the spoils of political office are shared out among the elites of the political factions in a proportionate fashion. The article concludes that clientelism is a form of political rather than economic corruption; and that while there may be some immediate value in clientelism, its long-term harm outweighs its short-term value.
The UN’s response to the underlying causes of the Arab Spring before and after the eruption of events: a critical assessment of the UN’s pursuit of its core values and purposes
By: Tuba Turan
Abstract: This article aims to assess whether the United Nations is effectively pursuing its core values and purposes, focusing on the Arab Spring and UN efforts in the MENA region. It examines how the United Nations responded to the long-standing causes of the Arab Spring uprisings, both before and after their eruption. After linking the conflict resolution literature with the literature on the root causes of the Arab Spring uprisings, the article surveys UN efforts between 1994 and 2017 regarding human development, democratization, human rights, conflict prevention and peacebuilding, alongside the resolutions of relevant UN bodies. This comprehensive survey of the activities of the UNDP, UN human rights machinery, human security apparatuses, and the General Assembly and Security Council suggests that the UN was limited in promoting its core values democratic governance and human rights, which could have addressed the long-standing root causes of the Arab Spring. The article concludes that the United Nations’s limitations, stemming from its non-interference principle also paved the way for power politics, external intervention and instability in the region.
By: Amir Magdy Kamel
Abstract: The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) provided a poignant example of how Iran successfully pursued a unique grand strategy that was established following, and had evolved since, the 1979 Revolution. As a result, Tehran was able to stifle attempts by Washington, DC to influence domestic Iranian affairs. In this context, this article argues that Iran’s grand strategy juggled a commitment to the regime’s revolutionary mantra, formed in 1979, and a pragmatic approach to pursuing national interests. This is accomplished by analyzing the foundation and evolution of Iran’s grand strategy, and where the United States fits in this dynamic. By focusing on the negotiations leading up to and the eventual signing of the JCPOA, this article sheds light on how Iran’s grand strategy was formulated, what constitutes the main drivers and barriers to the strategy, and indeed how this manifested itself in the US–Iran relationship context.
By: Jacob M. Landau
Abstract: The paper will attempt to examine the reactions of the Hebrew press to the Kemalist reforms and their importance for world civilization in general and Turkey’s progress in particular. The newspapers wrote approvingly about the process of decision-making by the Kemalists who weighed carefully all options and then carried out all decisions firmly. The press emphasized what it considered Turkey’s liberation from an Asiatic civilization and a theocratic regime via the establishment of a secular republic open to Europe and the West. The newspapers praised highly Turkey’s drive towards modernization in its political, social and economic development. They were highly appreciative of the language reform and the purification of Turkish from Arabic and Persian loanwords–a process similar to what was going on then in modern Hebrew in Palestine. Some commended the well-organized introduction of the Latin script, an issue which was being debated then in Palestine (but with different results). They also praised the equalization in the status of women in Turkey.
Millennium: Journal of International Studies(Volume 46, Issue 2)
By: Nivi Manchanda
Abstract: The “ tribe” is a notion intimately related to the study of Afghanistan, used as a generic signifier for all things Afghan, it is through this notion that the co-constitution of coloniser and colonised is crystallised and foregrounded in Afghanistan. By tracing the way in which the term “tribe” has been deployed in the Afghan context, the article performs two kinds of intellectual labour. First, by following the evolution of a concept from its use in the early nineteenth century to the literature on Afghanistan in the twenty-first century, wherein the “ tribes” seem to have acquired a newfound importance, it undertakes a genealogy or intellectual history of the term. The Afghan “tribes2 as an object of study, follow an interesting trajectory: initially likened to Scottish clans, they were soon seen as brave and loyal men but fundamentally different from their British interlocutors, to a “problem” that needed to be managed and finally, as indispensable to a long-term ‘Afghan strategy’. And second, it endeavours to describe how that intellectual history is intimately connected to the exigencies of imperialism and the colonial politics of knowledge production.
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture (Volume 23, Issue 2&3)
By: Naomi Chazan
Abstract: We must construct a revamped vision and architecture upon the more resilient conceptual, substantive, and procedural building blocks tested in the course of the multiple efforts to translate the prospect of a durable arrangement into a working and viable reality.
By: Mohammed Samhouri
Abstract: Only with full Palestinian sovereignty over the land occupied in 1967 can the Palestinian economy regain lost ground, recover the ability to function and grow, and secure the requisite conditions to proceed on the path of sustainable development.
By: Galia Golan
Abstract: Although the ambiguity of the Oslo Accords facilitated the actions of the spoilers that ultimately led to failure, the foundation laid by the PLO’s 1988 resolution and the breakthrough that came of Israel’s response created a positive turning point.
By: Adnan Abdelrazek
Abstract: A summary of UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions following the Oslo Accords shows how, unlike the General Assembly resolutions, supported by great number of nations, the Security Council is prevented from being firmer with the Israeli violations and its obligations under the international law.
By: Ilan Peleg
Abstract: In the long run, Oslo and the two-state solution may still prove successful, given the immense problems with agreeing on and implementing any imaginable alternative solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
By: Dan Rothem
Abstract: One could only imagine what might have happened had the United States vigorously promoted its final status proposals from early on and throughout the process.
By: Sufian Abu Zaideh
Abstract: The Palestinian negotiators found themselves alone in front of the Israeli negotiators with the delusion of having an American mediator, whereas there was no significant difference between the United States and the Israeli position.
By: Menachem Klein
Abstract: The Oslo Accords created a framework comprised of many parts, each of which contains a structural contradiction, and the framework is holding up precisely because of its complexity and fragility.
By: Hassan Asfour
Abstract: Given Israel’s failure to comply with the Oslo Accords and wars waged against Gaza, it is time for the Palestinian leadership to withdraw from the accords and declare the State of Palestine.
By: Izhak Schnell
Abstract: From the euphoria of the first days following Oslo to the loss of direction today, the peace process went through waves of ups and downs.
By: Omar Shaban
Abstract: The Trump administration has adopted the Israeli regional plan and has started to implement it.
By: Emanuel Shahaf, Arieh Hess
Abstract: An underlying assumption of this proposal is the genuine pursuit of Jewish-Palestinian social, economic, and political equality in a federation, and a concerted effort to minimize regional income differentials.
By: Walid Salem
Abstract: Israel in its seventieth year appears to have returned to the early days of Zionism, combined with all its aggressiveness and exceptionalism that leaves no place for Palestinians.
Political Studies (Volume 66, Issue 2)
By: Amit Avigur-Eshel, Dani Filc
Abstract: Existing analytical frameworks for the study of Israel’s political sociology and political economy tend to view the Israeli society as polarized into a neoliberal secular and peace-seeking elite and religious ethno-republican social groups. The turn to ethno-republicanism following the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, and two neoliberal economic programs in 2002 and 2003, exposed the limitations of those approaches. We suggest that a Neo-Gramscian approach provides a better theoretical framework for the analysis of the early years of the twenty-first century. We argue that during the years 2001–2006 a hegemonic project was constituted which succeeded in combining neoliberal and ethno-republican elements. This project was based on a relatively stable socio-political alignment of social groups, primarily drawn from the Jewish middle class. In order to establish our argument, we characterize the project and analyze the position of the main social groups in Israeli society relative to it.