[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 three-to-four parts, depending on the number of articles included.]
The Arab Studies Journal (Volume 26, Issue 2)
By: Shehab Ismail
Abstract: Not available
From Mandate Borders to the Diaspora: Rashaya’s Transnational Suffering and the Making of Lebanon in 1925
By: Reem Bailony
Abstract: Not available
De-Exceptionalizing the Field: Anthropological Reflections on Migration, Labor, and Identity in Dubai
By: Neha Vora, Ahmed Kanna
Abstract: Not available
By: Graham Auman Pitts
Abstract: Not available
By: Judith Naeff
Abstract: Not available
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (Issue 380)
A Possible Location in Northwest Sinai for the Sea and Land Battles between the Sea Peoples and Ramesses III
By: James K. Hoffmeier
Abstract: The naval invasion of Egypt during the reign of Ramesses III by the Sea Peoples, coupled with the land invasion, represent critical events in ancient Egyptian history. This study explores a location for the maritime conflict, based on recent archaeological and palaeo-environmental investigations of the northwestern Sinai. Where the land battle occurred is hotly debated in light of new, putative evidence that the Philistines originated from northern Syria. Based on a careful reading of the Medinet Habu Sea Peoples’ reliefs, their accompanying texts, and the emerging picture of Egypt’s eastern frontier defense network in Ramesside times, it is posited that the ground attack also occurred in the northwestern Sinai, not far from the location of the naval encounter.
A Middle Timnian Nomadic Encampment on the Faynan-Beersheba Road: Excavations and Survey at Nahal Tsafit (Late 5th/Early 4th Millennia B.C.E.)
By: Kyle Knabb, Steven A Rosen, Sorin Hermon, Jacob Vardi, Liora Kolska Horwitz. Yuval Goren
Abstract: Excavations at Nahal Tsafit, on the Rotem Plain in the northeastern Negev, have uncovered a Middle Timnian encampment dated to the late 5th/early 4th millennia B.C.E. A large tumulus field, comprising 115 large cairns and three open-air shrines characteristic of the early phases of Timnian culture, was surveyed on the ridge above the site. Although contemporary with the Ghassulian-Beersheba Chalcolithic culture of the settled zone, the architecture revealed and material culture recovered from excavation of the encampment place it clearly in Middle Timnian culture, the desert complement to the Ghassulian. The location of the site on the road between Beersheba and Faynan, and the presence of potsherds originating in Faynan, suggest Timnian involvement in the early copper trade.
By: Jodi Magness, Shua Kisilevitz, Matthew Grey, Dennis Mizzi, Daniel Schindler, Martin Wells, Karen Britt, Raʿanan Boustan, Shana O’Connell, Emily Hubbard, Jessie George, Jennifer Ramsay, Elisabetta Boaretto, Michael Chazan
Abstract: Excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s eastern Lower Galilee are bringing to light a Late Roman synagogue, a medieval public building, and the remains of ancient and modern (pre-1948) villages. In this interim report, we describe the major discoveries of the 2014–2017 seasons, including the extraordinary figural mosaics decorating the synagogue floor. Our discoveries provide evidence of a Galilean Jewish community that flourished through the 5th and 6th centuries C.E.—a picture contrasting with recent claims of a decline in Jewish settlement under Byzantine Christian rule. The possibility that the medieval public building might also be a synagogue has important implications for understanding Galilean Jewish settlement in the Middle Ages, about which almost nothing is known. The excavations also shed light on the last phase of the settlement’s long history: the development of the modern village of Yakuk in the 19th through 20th centuries.
By: Matasha Mazis, Nicholas L. Wright
Abstract: Bronze arrowheads featuring barbs, a tang, and a nodule at the base of the head were widespread throughout the Mediterranean region from the 6th century b.c.e. to the end of the Hellenistic period. This article investigates a variant of the main type bearing a stamped device in the form The general arrowhead form is often called “Cretan,” and previous studies have specifically associated the stamped type with Cretan archers in the service of the Ptolemaic queen, Berenike II. By looking at the distribution and physical attributes (including through X-ray fluorescence analysis) of the stamped arrowheads, this article provides fresh insight into the social organization of bow-armed fighting units in the Levant during the late Hellenistic period. In doing so, the authors challenge some long-held assumptions and interpretations about the arrowhead type. Relying on a mix of literary, iconographic, and archaeological evidence, the article demonstrates that the stamped arrowhead type should be associated with a body of archers involved in the campaigns of the Seleukid king Antiochos VII Sidetes (138-129 b.c.e.).
By: Eleonora Cussini, Maura K. Heyn, Jeremy M. Hutton, Nathaniel E. Greene, Catherine E. Bonesho
Abstract: Three Palmyrene funerary busts are part of the collections of the Harvard Semitic Museum. This article discusses the epitaphs, the portraits, and their stylistic features, summarizes the funerary busts’ documented history of possession, and offers a palaeographic analysis of the inscriptions.
Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East(Volume 38, Issue 2)
By: E. Ann McDougall
Abstract: The historiography of the Sahara and trans-Saharan trade provides an explanatory key as to how premodern Saharan slavery has been understood since the nineteenth century. Part 1 of McDougall’s article deconstructs that historiography in terms of the intersecting influences of the Atlantic model (slavery, slave trading, and the black diaspora), the Atlantic trade (commodities, including slaves out of West Africa), and Orientalism (Islam and Eastern visions of slavery). Part 2 develops a case study of a medieval Saharan commercial center, Awdaghust, to explore how these influences have been articulated in a concrete history. By first engaging with a recently published book on race, slavery, and Islam—all key factors in that articulation—and then revisiting largely overlooked 1970s and 1980s research, she suggests that there is much still to be learned about Saharan slavery that cannot be seen from within either the Atlantic or the Oriental worldview.
By: Dahlia E. M. Gubara
Abstract: The study of something termed Arab/Islamic slavery has flourished in recent years. Through a close reading of a seminal text, ‘Aja’ib al-athar fi’l-tarajim wa’l-akhbar by the late eighteenth-century Ottoman scholar ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti, Gubara’s essay critically engages this literature and its key organizing concepts: namely, the ideas of race, slavery, and freedom. In place of the free-unfree, black-white dichotomies pervading contemporary understandings of labor and subjectivity, the essay calls for greater attention to other concepts and grammars before and outside of Europe.
By: Abdul Sheriff
Abstract: Slavery is not a fixed condition but a spectrum of unfreedom. The term Islamic slavery has been bandied about for four decades without an adequate definition. At the birth of Islam there were a large number of captives from endemic intertribal warfare, many of them Arabs who were often exchanged or ransomed. When the original Islamic state in Medina expanded to become dynastic Muslim empires that conquered large parts of the Byzantine and Persian empires, the ethical principles in the Quran and the hadiths regarding the treatment of captives were no longer adequate to deal with the new situation. They had to be reduced to enforceable laws by the various sharia schools. The empires inherited the Mesopotamian plains, which required irrigation on a large scale based on massive slave labor. Commercially acquired slaves became the norm, and large concentrations of imported slaves from Africa and elsewhere living under harsh conditions ultimately led to the Zanj Revolution. It threatened even the survival of the Abbasid dynasty, and led to the abandonment of plantation use of slaves.
By: Fatima Harrak
Abstract: ‘Abid al-Bukhari was a special army devised by Isma’il (1672–1727), the ‘Alawi sultan of Morocco, as an instrument of domination in a context characterized by pressing foreign threat and severe fragmentation of the country. It was not an army of slaves, since it was composed of Moroccan freemen, slaves, and haratin, but its variegated membership was linked to the sultan by a mutual oath of fidelity and obedience to the Prophet’s commands. Conceived and constructed by Isma’il as a new social group within a new social power structure and groomed to play a particular role in the social and political fabric of Isma’il’s state system, the institution of ‘abid al-Bukhari affords the scholar an opportunity to question the prevailing Atlantic slavery paradigm in an endeavor to move toward a broader characterization of bondage and servitude and a more nuanced system of power relations.
The Forgotten Sudanic Palace Guards of Ali Bey I: Their Genesis, Functions, and Legacy in Ottoman Tunisia
By: Ismael M. Montana
Abstract: Between 1512 and 1574, after they halted Spain’s imperial and colonial ambitions, with the exception of Morocco the Ottomans in turn occupied the Maghrib. To administer this new eyalets (provinces), which was now incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, the Ottomans introduced a military system based exclusively on mamluk infantry, the vast majority of whom were of slave castes. By comparison to the mamluks, employment of military slaves and militia derived from the regions of sub-Saharan Africa that had occurred both before and after the Ottoman period has been overlooked in the recent and growing interest in military slavery in the historiography of the Ottoman domains in general. In Ottoman Tunis, for instance, while the existence of a lesser-known Sudanic military corps has been documented by contemporaneous sources, to date very little is known about their presence, roles, or functions.
By: Nadia von Maltzahn
Abstract: Von Maltzahn’s article looks at the relationship of Lebanese artists and cultural players to state institutions, in particular the ministry of culture. Why do cultural players in Lebanon call for the state’s involvement in cultural production, while in most countries of the region they wish for less involvement? What is it that artists and cultural players who are not content with the status quo ask for? This article argues that artists and intellectuals look for state support of culture as long as it does not intervene in their artistic freedom, showing that this search is connected to the idea of citizenship and rights to culture. By looking at the debates around the establishment of a ministry of culture in the early 1970s and 1990s, this article sheds light on the formulation of cultural policies in Lebanon.
By: Rounwah Adly Riyadh Bseiso
Abstract: Bseiso’s article examines how art production was understood during a particular moment in Egypt’s political and cultural history. It examines the ways understandings of art were liberated from the former (and predominant) understanding of art as an elitist, private endeavor located in private/socially restrictive spaces to one of an open, accessible, spontaneous, and at times communal art whose natural location became the street. This liberated understanding of an art that could be created by anyone, anytime, and anywhere emphasized the importance of accessibility and art’s connection to its social and political context, as well as to the community at large. Through a localized, contextualized study that puts at the forefront conversations and interviews with cultural producers and artists in Cairo, it argues that understandings of revolutionary art during the Egyptian revolution (from its beginning in January 2011 to arguably its end in the aftermath of the events in Rab’a in August 2013) came in the creation—the doing—of art rather than the actual artwork itself.
By: Dina Matar
Abstract: Matar’s essay addresses the PLO’s cultural activism, in other words, its investment in diverse spheres of popular culture, at the beginning of the revolutionary period 1968–82. Drawing on archival research of the main spheres of the PLO’s cultural output, it traces how the PLO strategized popular culture to enhance its image, create a new visibility for Palestinians, and mediate a Palestinian-centric liberation aesthetic rooted in real experiences of, and participation in, the Palestinian revolution. The PLO’s cultural activism combined an agential understanding of what it means to be Palestinian with popular armed struggle, language, and images to conjure power in grassroots action, turn attention to the Palestinians themselves, and evoke enduring affective identifications with the organization despite various setbacks and the passage of time. The essay does not romanticize the role of the PLO or popular culture in a golden age of liberation politics. Rather, it underlines the role of mediated aesthetics in political struggles, addressing it not as an epiphenomenal or causal sequence, but as a key component of revolutionary processes.
Defence and Peace Economics (Volume 29, Issues 5 & 6)
By: Aviad Tur-Sinai, Dmitri Romanov
Abstract: Palestinian uprising, ‘intifada’, aggravated the recession of 2001–2004 in Israel which dampened demand for labor in all industries except security services. We use this exogenous shock to study whether a cohort of young men who were attached to temporary jobs as security guards for unusually long periods of time during the intifada landed on an inferior career path, as compared to security guards from a pre-intifada cohort. We find that the intifada cohort had less employment mobility, were ultimately less connected with the labor market, and earned less on jobs after the security services, relatively to the pre-intifada cohort.
By: Ugur Berk
Abstract: Previous studies on the relationship between individual’s enlistment decisions and their personal characteristics examined a number of variables such as age, marital status, gender, family background, geographical background, employment situation and education level. However, attitudes towards working, expectations from a good job and centrality of working are also important determinants in this process. This paper examines the profile of juveniles who seek a career as gendarmerie non-commissioned officers (NCO) in the Turkish Armed Forces and their attitudes and expectations towards working in general within the framework of Meaning of Working (MOW) researches. According to the results of the survey conducted with 500 NCO candidates in Turkey, learning something new, good relations with colleagues and employment guarantee are detected as the main expectations of juveniles who seek a career in military. Results also show that having a job is so important for these young people that they consider having a job even prior to their families.
By: Avni Önder Hanedar, Elmas Yaldız Hanedar, Erdost Torun, Hasan Murat Ertuğrul
Abstract: During the transformation period of the Ottoman Empire leading to the Republic of Turkey, many conflicts took place between 1918 and 1923. These conflicts interrupted the servicing of the Ottoman war bond. The reimbursement likelihood of this bond was related to the outcomes of First World War and the hostilities. This paper analyses the impacts of First World War and hostilities on the risk assessments regarding the Ottoman war debt, using manually collected data on the price of the Ottoman war bond traded at the İstanbul bourse between 1918 and 1925. The empirical results imply that the defeat of the Bulgarian army and the peace offer of Austria-Hungary were associated with the increasing premium demanded by investors of the bond. The victories of the Turkish National Movement and the peace offer of the Allies to end the hostilities by 1922 positively affected the likelihood of the servicing of the debt.
By: Godwin Okafor, Jenifer Piesse
Abstract: This study investigates the determinants of terrorism in countries that are in the top category of the Fragile States Index (FSI), and are also prone to terrorism. Panel data for 38 countries mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia for the years 2005–2014 are used. Findings from the negative binomial and fixed effects estimation show that fragile state, number of refugees and youth unemployment have positive and significant impacts on terrorism. Military spending is positive but less robust across models. Conversely, FDI and remittances have a negative impact on terrorism with the former less robust. Governance and foreign aid are negative and insignificantly related to terrorism. Policy implications follow from the findings.
Democratization (Volume 25, Issues 5 & 7)
By: Şebnem Yardımcı-Geyikçi, Özlem Tür
Abstract: Five years on from the Tunisian revolution, Tunisia stands as the sole success story of the Arab Spring. The country since then has managed to adopt a pluralist and democratic constitution, and held three free and fair elections. Accordingly, in the eyes of several observers, Tunisia is now in the process of consolidating its new democracy. However, the reality on the ground seems much gloomier, as most recent opinion surveys suggest that there is a significant degree of dissatisfaction, not only with political parties and Parliament but also with the very institution of democracy. Nevertheless, what accounts for this change? After the collapse of the long-lasting and oppressive Ben Ali regime, how, just in five years, has Tunisians’ confidence in the democratic process changed? This article accounts for this state of affairs from a party politics view, arguing that political parties, which are the main protagonists of the consolidation process, fail to fulfill their role of acquiring legitimacy for the new regime. While party–state relations seem to be stabilized due to the inclusiveness of the constitution-making process, both inter-party relationships and the relationship between parties and society suffer from numerous flaws which, in turn, hamper the democratic consolidation process.
By: Joanne McEvoy
Abstract: Referendums have been used to legitimate power-sharing settlements in deeply divided societies transitioning from conflict. This article assesses the capacity of referendum rules to facilitate the “voice” of multiple groups or “peoples” in the decision to share power as a “constitutional moment.” Drawing on the constitutional referendums in Northern Ireland in 1998 and Iraq in 2005, the author demonstrates that referendum rules matter in highlighting the variable degrees of support for the elite-negotiated deal on the part of the contending groups. The institutional design process prior to the referendum is crucial for incentivising groups to support the settlement, particularly the previously dominant group. When faced with a choice between a simple majority threshold and countermajoritarian procedures, majoritarianism is appropriate only in so far as the main groups see their constitutional preferences satisfied and concurrent majorities can be secured. A qualified majority referendum threshold to protect a minority group is appropriate for divided states where the groups are regionally concentrated and when the groups agree to such rules. Important for the legitimation of power-sharing, referendums highlight the likely variable extent of approval on the part of the main groups, necessitating ongoing efforts to foster public support for the deal.
How authoritarian rulers seek to legitimize repression: framing mass killings in Egypt and Uzbekistan
By: Mirjam Edel, Maria Josua
Abstract: How do authoritarian rulers legitimate repressive actions against their own citizens? Although most research depicts repression and legitimation as opposed strategies of political rule, justified coercion against some groups may generate legitimacy in the eyes of other parts of the population. Building upon this suggested link between legitimation and repression, this article studies the justifications of mass killings. To this end, framing theory is combined with recent research on the domestic and international dimensions of authoritarian rule. We contend that frames are directed towards specific audiences at home and abroad. Moreover, given the common threats at the global level and the diffusion of repressive tactics, we assume that learning processes influence discursive justifications of repression in authoritarian regimes. We provide an analysis of government rhetoric by comparing the protest crackdowns of Rabi’a ‘Adawiya Square in Egypt and Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan, taking into account the audiences and the sources of the frames that justify repression. In both cases, we find the terrorism frame to emerge as dominant.
Wolves in sheep clothing or victims of times? Discussing the immoderation of incumbent Islamic parties in Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia
By: Esen Kirdiş
Abstract: This article discusses the “immoderation” of incumbent Islamic parties – defined by the pursuit of a moral agenda and by an unwillingness to compromise with the opposition – through a comparative study of four incumbent Islamic parties in the socio-politically different regimes of Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. Building on literature from religion and politics, social psychology, sociology of religion, and on the inclusion-moderation hypothesis, this study argues that (1) Islamic parties’ strong organizations resulted both in their success and in the absence of internal pluralism and that (2) their dominant status in the party system consolidated their majoritarian understanding of democracy. Through its discussion of “immoderation” this study aims to contribute to the interdisciplinary literature on religion and politics.
By: Kjetil Selvik
Abstract: The article analyses Ali Khamenei’s discourse on insiders and outsiders in the Islamic Republic of Iran, arguing that it shows the leader of an electoral revolutionary regime striving to counter elite fragmentation and growing democratic demands. It studies identity demarcation as a tool of autocratic legitimation. In a political system where the possibility to access political positions depends on supporting a belief-system, all cadres share a basic identity, which rulers can exploit to draw boundaries between “us” and “them”. The analysis reveals how Iran’s leader capitalizes on the existence of an insider-outsider divide to promote ideas about an imagined “we” of the regime. The “we” is portrayed as an Islamic we, fully committed to his rule. The article maintains that Khamenei developed this discourse in response to the challenge of the Iranian reform movement. It analyses, first, the context in which the discourse emerged and, second, the discursive strategy itself, to substantiate the claim. It concludes that the discourse had two essential aims in the containment (1997–2003) and crushing (2009–2010) of the pro-democracy reformist and Green movements: to de-legitimate Khamenei’s opponents through othering and to legitimate the counter-mobilization of repressive agents.
Self-expression values, loyalty generation, and support for authoritarianism: evidence from the Arab world
By: Sabri Ciftci
Abstract: This study examines the micro foundations of political support in Arab polities. Most Arab states rank highly in aggregate human development or economic wealth, but they lag behind in democracy defying the predictions of modernization theory. Modernization and human development perspective implies that increased resources and self-expression values will induce critical political outlooks toward the regime. This study questions the applicability of this theory to the Arab region and proposes that colonial state formation history, international patron–client relations, and the domestic patronage networks have more leverage in explaining regime support in the Arab region. A series of multilevel and fixed effects regression estimations utilizing the Arab Democracy Barometer reveal that modernization perspective has some relevance. However, world system theory inspired patron–client perspective and loyalty generation through domestic distributive mechanisms play a greater role in shaping political attitudes. The results provide important insights about micro foundations of Arab authoritarianism and the differential utility of emancipative values formed in the context of hierarchical world order.
By: Galib Bashirov, Caroline Lancaster
Abstract: Turkey’s Justice and Development Party, AKP, was for many years believed to be paramount in ushering in a new era of moderate Islamism. However, in recent years, AKP has troublingly reversed course. From violent repression of the Gezi protests of 2013 to the 2016 abortive coup and subsequent crackdown on opposition, the party has lost all semblance of moderate Islamism and radicalized. If AKP had truly moderated, how could the party have changed in such a short period of time? What explains the radicalization of AKP? First, we argue that the strategic benefits of moderation far outweighed its costs, rendering it analytically improbable to determine whether AKP’s actions were genuine or merely strategic. Second, we show that AKP has been in a process of radicalization characterized by the adoption of anti-system, anti-democratic, and violent tactics and rhetoric since 2011. The disappearance of domestic and international structural constraints created the requisite background conditions for the party’s radicalization. Radicalization was facilitated by what we call ‘Erdoganization’, an ongoing de-institutionalization process within which Tayyip Erdogan gained complete control over the party. Additionally, a series of four “external shocks” threatened the party’s primary goal of gaining hegemony and caused the party to radicalize.
Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict (Volume 11, Issue 3)
Examining the utility of social control and social learning in the radicalization of violent and non-violent extremists
By: Thomas J. Holt, Joshua D. Freilich, Steven M. Chermak, Gary LaFree
Abstract: Research on radicalization to accept extremist ideologies has expanded dramatically over the last decade, particularly attempts to theorize pathways to violence. These models are complex, and contain aspects of key criminological frameworks including social learning and social control theories. At the same time, they do reconcile the inherent differences in these frameworks, requiring research to examine how these models could be combined and the utility in using an integrated model to account for radicalization as a whole. This analysis uses four case studies developed from two of the most well-known open-source terrorism databases to assess these frameworks, using two far-right and two jihadist perpetrators, with one engaged in violence and the other non-violent activity in each ideological grouping. The implications of this analysis for our understanding of radicalization and the utility of criminological theories are considered in depth.
By: Hayden J. Smith
Abstract: There is significant debate over Iran’s nuclear program and their potential for weaponization. One camp of scholars and policy makers argue that a nuclear Iran would bring stability to the region while others argue that the regime will become a more aggressive threat. To better analyze the situation we must understand Iran’s intentions. To investigate Iran’s intentions I use a multimethod approach, employing operational code and image theory, to examine the worldview of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, in regards to how he perceives the international system broadly, and the United States specifically. Understanding Khamenei’s perceptions and motivations provides a foundation on which to analyze the issue of a nuclear Iran. The results suggest that Khamenei is moderate and seeks to compromise and work with other actors, provided the other actors negotiate without making threats, consistent with prior research positing that nuclear weapons are sought to increase influence on the world stage.
By: Tyler Welch
Abstract: This paper analyses a large content sample of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) English-language magazines. Dabiq (15 issues, 2014–2016) and Rumiyah (13 issues, 2016–2017) represent the largest cohesive text sample of ISIS propaganda targeted at English speakers. This qualitative analysis, creates a typology to explain and categorize articles within the sample. Magazine articles are divided into five categories: (1) Islamic theological justification and inspiration for violence, (2) descriptions of community, belonging, and meaning, (3) stories of progress or heroism, (4) establishment of a common enemy, i.e., the West and Muslim “apostate s,” and (5) instructional and inspirational articles empowering individual violent action. A focus on unity and community was more common in Dabiq, while instructional articles encouraging lone wolf attacks appeared more often in Rumiyah. Moreover, tales of heroism and progress are far more common in Dabiq, while Rumiyah issues focus on Islamic justification and call for loyalty and sacrifice. This follows the shift in ISIS’s operational focus from administering a physical caliphate to inspiring attacks locally and abroad. Knowing exactly what types of messages and narratives are being circulated in ISIS propaganda has important implications for understanding the psychology of terrorism, radicalization, securitization, and counterterrorism.
By: Arie Perliger, Daniel Milton
Abstract: Since September 11, there has been marked rise in research on the transnational aspect of terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. However, there has been little focus on when and why nations sometimes cooperate in counterterrorism, while at other times they deal with the challenge of terrorism separately. Our contribution here is two-fold. First, we develop a conceptual framework that identifies the different ways in which polities cooperate when they are executing CT policies. Second, using a newly collected dataset of CT campaigns and state cooperation from 1970 to 2007, we test the theoretical framework in an effort to explain under which conditions countries choose to cooperate or fight alone. The results indicate that traditional power-centric explanations for cooperation matter, but not to the exclusion of less-tangible factors such as identity and the nature of the violence used by the terrorist group.
International Interactions (Volume 44, Issue 6)
By: Vito D’Orazio, Idean Salehyan
Abstract: What does the American public label as “terrorism?” How do people think about the factors motivating violence, and in turn, the policies that are favored? Using ingroup and outgroup dynamics, we argue that the terrorist label is more readily applied to Arab-Americans than Whites, and to members of militant groups. Moreover, people attribute different motives to violence committed by Arabs versus Whites, and favor different policies in response. We conducted an experiment where we randomly assigned one of six stories about a failed armed attack, each with a different combination of ethnicity and group affiliation. We find that an Arab ethnicity and Islamist group affiliation increase the likelihood of labeling an act as terrorism. Attacks by Whites and members of a White supremacist group are less likely to be labeled terrorism. Rather, Whites are more likely to be called “mass shooters.” Despite never discussing motive, Arab-American attackers are more likely to be ascribed political or religious motives, while White suspects are more likely to be seen as mentally ill. Lastly, an Arab ethnicity increases support for counterterrorism policies and decreases support for mental health care.
Iran and the Caucasus (Volume 22, Issue 3)
By: Manuel Castelluccia
Abstract: During the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age the lands around the Lake Sevan basin witnessed the emergence of a distinctive local culture, marked by characteristic burial practices, abundant metalwork and varied pottery production generally called the “Lčašen Culture”. It was named after the numerous finds from the village of Lčašen, but its features are spread throughout the lake basin also seen in neighbouring regions. Its intriguing nature has attracted the attention of numerous scholars, and different interpretations, as well as definitions, have been proposed. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the main archaeological features of the Lčašen Culture, with particular reference to its landscape archaeology, burials and material culture.
By: Antonio Panaino
Abstract: The present article deals with the methodological treatment of the problems connected with the interpretation of a series of astral omina concerning the political life of the Pontus king Mithridates VI Eupator (about 120-63 B.C.), as referred to by Classical authors like Pompeus Trogus (via the Epitomae of Justinus, XXXVII, 2, 1-3) or Seneca (Naturales Quaestiones VII, 15, 2). If some scholars have tried to find the explanation of these events invoking some presumed Iranian religious patterns, this study shows that in reality these attempts are completely groundless, not only with direct reference to the properly Zoroastrian sources, but also to the more complex and pertinent astrological literature. The political use and abuse of these astral events for propaganda needs can be better framed without assuming a pseudo-Iranian favourable vision of the comets or of the falling stars. More reasonably, Mithridates VI, having lived between different cultures, knew well the Mazdean hostile tradition, which considered all these unpredictable celestial bodies as demons, not only and simply for a superstitious hostility, but according to a clearly framed theological interpretation of the world and of its cosmology.
By: Peter Nicolaus
Abstract: The Prophet Noah is not a predominant figure within the Yezidi mythology, and so it should come as no particular surprise that he is often absent from the Yezidi sacred hymns. This peculiarity seems easily explained by the Yezidi cosmogonic myth, which places the emergence of Yezidis as a separate and wholly distinct occurrence from the genesis of the rest of humanity. Hence, a mythical catastrophe reducing mankind to merely one family would certainly contradict said cosmogony. And yet, the tale of “Noah and the Serpent” somehow finds itself recounted within every Yezidi community. The present paper will demonstrate that this veneration of Noah is a remnant of an essential Gnostic myth and has the makings of a Wandersage—containing elements of Central Asian beliefs and Mesopotamian mythology,—which is not only widely attested among the Muslim and Christian neighbours of the Yezidis in Northern Iraq but narrated throughout Asia Minor, Central Asia, as well as South-eastern and Eastern Europe.
By: Magdalena Rodziewicz
Abstract: The article is devoted to the Persian concept of āberū, which in contemporary Persian expresses the meanings of ‘good reputation’, ‘good social image’, and ‘honour’ that a man possesses in the eyes of others. This concept, fundamental to the Persian culture, can be studied from multiple perspectives—linguistic, sociological, religious, or ethical. However, the present article’s main objective is to draw attention to the parallelism between the concept of āberū and the idea of light and luminosity. The author attempts to reconstruct the ‘memory’ of this concept by analysing the etymology of the term āberū, its semantics and selected contexts of its use in the classical Persian texts.
By: Garnik Asatrian, Gohar Hakobian
Abstract: The *-d- > -l- and *-š- > -l- changes in New Iranian are usually regarded as Eastern Iranian phonetic features. However, a thorough study of the Western New Iranian lexicon, particularly that of the dialects located geographically at a great distance from Eastern Iranian linguistic domain, unveiled a considerable number of lexemes, definitely genuine forms, with the same characteristics. The paper presents a comprehensive corpus of all lexical units in WNIran. in which these phonetic peculiarities are manifested.
Justice and Development Party’s Understanding of Democracy and Democratisation: Cultural Relativism and the Construction of the West as the ‘Other’
By: Birgül Demirtaş
Abstract: The perception of Turkey as a model of attractive country in the region has started to change in the recent years. In the first decade of the JDP rule Turkey was seen as an emerging power with its strong economy, improving democracy and inspiring foreign policy. However, the developments since the Arab Uprisings in the neighbourhood, Gezi movement at home, end of the Kurdish peace process, as well as coup attempt and subsequent de-democratisation harmed the soft power of Turkey. This study argues that the JDP’s understanding of democracy and democratisation has been full of flaws from the very beginning of its rule. The Turkish example shows that countries can experience subsequent processes of de-democratisation and de-democratisation if governing parties did not endogenise the basic norms of democracy. Therefore, it is argued that the reverse wave of de-democratisation characterises Turkey more than the “selective” processes of democratisation. It is also argued that JDP elite via its discourse has been constructing the West as the ‘Other’.
By: Ronen A. Cohen, Olga Petrova
Abstract: The structural tensions that exist in the religious dynamics between Shi‘its and Sunnis in Azerbaijan Republic has led the country’s government to establish a new institution to monitor and supervise the religious issues. This article not only aims to surface the tensions between the “State Committee for Religious Affairs” and the informal religious institutions, but also to show if the secular image of the Azerbaijani State has been affected by this tensions.
Middle East Policy (Volume 25, Issue 3)
By: Jeremy Salt
Abstract: Not available
By: Nikita Odintsov
Abstract: Not available
By: Kilic Bugra Kanat, Jackson Hannon
Abstract: Not available
By: Mark C. Thompson, Neil Quilliam
Abstract: Not available
By: Torgeir E. Fjærtoft
Abstract: Not available
By: Mordechai Chaziza
Abstract: Not available
Middle East Quarterly (Volume 25, Issue 4)
By: Efraim Karsh
Abstract: Not available
By: Daniel Pipes
Abstract: Not available
By: Hassan Dai
Abstract: Not available
By: Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen
Abstract: Not available
Middle Eastern Studies (Volume 54, Issues 5 & 6)
By: Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal
Abstract: The relationship between Turkey and Britain shifted dramatically in the first three decades of the twentieth century, with the one-time diplomatic defender of Ottoman integrity emerging as its most formidable foe during the First World War and War of Independence. Despite this history of enmity, Turco–British relations entered a period of remarkable recovery in the years after 1923 as potential areas of conflict, such as the status of Mosul province and militarisation and access to the Dardanelles and Bosphorus, were resolved. Nevertheless, recriminations with their origins in this crucial period of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and foundation of the Turkish Republic lingered, sustaining suspicions over British intentions towards Turkey and its neighbours up until the present. Perhaps surprisingly, the UK–Turkey relationship has remained notably cordial in the midst of growing diplomatic hostility between Turkey and its Nato partners over the past two years. In a special issue of Middle Eastern Studies, historians re-examine diplomatic, economic, cultural, and intellectual connections between the two countries during the period 1914–1939, advancing historical scholarship on this crucial relationship through the use of sources from Turkey, Britain, and further afield.
By: Camille Cole
Abstract: This article examines two sites of British investment in nineteenth-century Iraq, exploring the different interests and ideologies – both British and Ottoman – underlying each one, and using the funding controversies which plagued both projects as windows on the political and economic relationships which crystallized through these ventures and informed post-war governance. Ottoman Iraq provides an important perspective on global British economic interests: although it encompassed zones of Britain’s informal empire, the Ottoman state intensified its own imperial ambitions towards the end of the nineteenth century. This created tensions within Ottoman policies towards the British, which were complicated by the friction between British state and commercial interests. By 1914, the controversies which plagued both projects seemed close to a breaking point. The outbreak of the First World War, however, entrenched existing patterns of financial and infrastructural involvement as part of the occupation, and encouraged the creation of a development paradigm in the Mandate.
By: Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal
Abstract: The short-lived Allied occupation of Istanbul produced a distinctive blend of legal innovation and revival, creating new mixed courts, reanimating the contested capitulations, and pressuring the Ottoman government to abandon wartime legislation in favour of new laws conducive to European interests. Such measures were intended to serve a military regime notable as much for its disregard for legal procedure when it suited the interests of the occupying Allies as its insistence on protecting the legal privileges of its own subjects. The article shows how the resulting tensions between Britain and the Istanbul and Ankara governments over law and its enforcement furthered the rift between Britain and Turkey until the eventual abandonment of extraterritoriality during the Lausanne conference in 1923.
Elusive forces in illusive eyes: British officialdom’s perception of the Anatolian resistance movement
By: Alp Yenen
Abstract: In the aftermath of the First World War, British officials had difficulty understanding the elusive forces behind the Anatolian resistance movement. They anxiously assumed that Kemalists were being controlled by the Unionist leaders in exile and that they were part of an international conspiracy. In this confusion, the fugitive Unionist leaders received disproportionate attention and credit in British intelligence reports, with critical consequences for their political sense-making and decision-making. I argue that the preconception of ‘Young Turks’ in general as well as assumptions about Unionist leaders’ alleged and actual activities after 1918 were crucial for British officialdom’s policies towards the Anatolian resistance movement.
By: Jordi Tejel Gorgas
Abstract: This article proposes to re-examine the Turkish–Iraqi Frontier dispute by observing the strategies and attitudes of local populations, in particular in the border areas, between 1918 and 1925, a time when the region became a battleground of British and Turkish agents seeking to secure the loyalties of the local community leaders. The latter played a relevant role in two fundamental and complementary ways. First, by playing different sides, local leaders helped to inform the discourse that served to justify the opposing claims over Mosul province. Second, borderlanders pushed British and Turkish authorities to come to the conclusion that an international agreement was the best solution for both countries. I argue the socio-historical process that led Turkey and Great Britain to accept the Brussels line cannot be fully apprehended without taking into account local players and their interactions with a variety of both state and non-state actors.
By: Dilek Barlas, Seçkin Barış Gülmez
Abstract: This article seeks to explain how Britain and Turkey established a partnership in the second half of the 1930s despite the fact that they failed to agree upon a common rival to stand against. The prevailing International Relations literature highlights the existence of a common enemy as an essential component of alliance formation in world politics. The paradox underlying the British–Turkish partnership was the absence of a common enemy, since Britain was mainly disturbed by the revisionist policies of Germany, while Turkey was threatened by Italy’s aggressive policy over the Mediterranean. In this respect, the article will first discuss how the academic literature explains the essential components of alliance formation in international relations. The second section will discuss in detail how British and Turkish threat perceptions diverged emphasizing the lack of a common rival. The final section will discuss how a bilateral partnership was successfully forged despite the absence of a common rival. Overall, the article argues that Britain and Turkey formed a partnership without a common enemy, as they shared a common fear of abandonment, i.e. the fear of losing an actual or a potential ally to an enemy.
By: Stephanie Cronin
Abstract: In 1971, E. P. Thompson published a seminal article on eighteenth century English bread riots which was to become a foundational text for the study of such protests. Challenging older elite notions of the irrationality, illegitimacy and even criminality of the ‘mob’, Thompson situated popular direct action in times of food crises within a very specific historical, economic and, most importantly, cultural context. This context produced a deeply held adhesion among the poor to the concept of a ‘moral economy’ and an equally profound rejection of the free market as enshrined in the new political economy of the eighteenth century. This article returns to Thompson’s original text in order to assess to what extent his paradigm may be useful in understanding bread riots in Iran. In particular, it examines the evidence which supports the notion that Iran experienced a ‘golden age’ of bread riots in the 1890s and early 1900s, just before and indeed contributing to the outbreak of the constitutional revolution.
By: Uǧur Bayraktar
Abstract: This article traces the military employment patterns of the highlanders of Dibra in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It addresses how the Albanian highlanders found different opportunities for military employment in a period largely associated with political instability. The Albanians as ‘mountain bandits’ have been regarded as the primary culprit of the violence that ravaged the Balkans. The same bandits, this article shows, constituted at the same time the irregular forces the Ottoman army came to rely on in the late eighteenth century. By demonstrating different prospects of employment with which the Albanian irregulars were preoccupied, it provides a broader perspective to observe the turmoil the Balkans underwent in a period of political instability. This article also deals with the intricate interplay between the Albanian irregulars and the Ottoman military administration. It reinserts the Albanian bandits-cum-irregulars into the background of the military reforms. Showing how different prospects for military employment that ranged from freelance plunder to service either for the imperial army or the retinue of the rogue Albanian pashas came to clash with the discourse of military reforms, this article also traces the increasing tension between the Albanian irregulars and the modernising Ottoman army.
The social history of Fez Jews in the gold-thread craft between the Middle Ages and the French colonialist period (sixteenth to twentieth centuries)
By: Shai Srougo
Abstract: Not available
The ʿAssāf family of Miʿilya: an example of a Greek Catholic family in the Western Upper Galilee, eighteenth–twenty-first centuries
By: Rabei G. Khamisy
Abstract: This article sheds light on the Melkite Catholics in Galilee. It strengthens the assumption that many Melkite Catholics arrived in the Acre region during Ḍāhir al-ʿUmar’s reign (1730s–1775), and it shows that relations between the Christians and adherents of other faiths were good enough in day-to-day life, allowing the Christians to develop their business and to share important properties with Muslims. It also shows that some familial traditions have been preserved since the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the branch of the ʿAssāf family discussed here preserved the tradition of higher education and business. This study proves that in the village of Miʿilyā, and probably in other Christian villages, there is a relationship between the arrival date of the families, the location of their quarters in the villages and the feasts that they are responsible for. In Miʿilyā, the earlier families settled the castle and were responsible for the most important feast days.
Exile, resistance and deportation: Circassian opposition to the Kemalists in the South Marmara in 1922–1923
By: Caner Yelbaşı
Abstract: Not available
By: Nimrod Lin
Abstract: This article examines Zionist debates regarding the status of the Arab minority in the Jewish State following the Royal Commission’s recommendation to partition Palestine. Three conclusions arise from the debates: first, that the Zionist leadership regarded the civil and political rights of the Arab minority to be dependent on the power equilibrium between Jews and Arabs in all of Palestine. Second, the Zionist leaders imagined the Jewish State as a parliamentary democracy, but argued that a democratic regime should be created only after a Jewish majority had been achieved. Finally, because democracy in the Jewish State – including minority rights – was dependent on the creation of a Jewish majority, Zionist plans to transfer Arabs out of the Jewish State were not considered by them to be undemocratic, but rather a precondition to the creation of a Jewish and democratic state.
Britain, the Soviet Union, and the Arab–Israeli conflict after the Six-Day War: cooperation and competition
By: Arieh J. Kochavi
Abstract: Following the June 1967 Six-Day War, the Soviet Union and Britain invested significant efforts in rehabilitating their relations with the Arab countries, notably Egypt. While both supported the withdrawal of Israel from the Arab-occupied territories, the two countries differed over the nature of the settlement. Still, at the UN Security Council, the Soviet Union supported the British draft resolution for solving the Middle East conflict. Cold War interests and competition over influence in the Middle East, however, led the Soviets to launch a public campaign against British policy in the Middle East and prevented the two countries from joining efforts to bring about a breakthrough in the Arab–Israeli conflict.
By: Yehuda U. Blanga
Abstract: Not available
The Mojahedin-e Khalq versus the Islamic Republic of Iran: from war to propaganda and the war on propaganda and diplomacy
By: Ronen A. Cohen
Abstract: Not available
By: Joel D. Parker
Abstract: Not available
Near Eastern Archaeology (Volume 81, Issue 3)
By: Burcu Yıldırım, Laurel D. Hackley, Sharon R. Steadman
Abstract: Intramural burials are common on the Anatolian plateau, beginning in early prehistory. Neolithic examples indicate that the incorporation of human remains into domestic architecture was a regular part of the rhythm of family life. By the Late Chalcolithic, adult burials have largely moved into extramural cemeteries, although there are some exceptions. Infants and small children, however, continue to be buried within the house and these interments are a common feature on the Anatolian plateau. At the site of Çadır Höyük in central Anatolia, well over one dozen Chalcolithic infant burials were placed in corners of existing rooms, in areas of possible ritual function, and incorporated in walls at the time of construction. This study investigates the relationship between the spatial context of these burials and their function in the domestic context, and considers the possibility that some infant burials served as foundation deposits in the architecture at Chalcolithic Çadır.
By: Timothy Matney
Abstract: The Early Bronze Age tradition of intramural tombs at settlements in the Middle Euphrates region is well established, with examples from many excavations. Often these intramural tombs comprise stone-built cist chambers with adult or juvenile occupants and a range of funerary offerings. They are located within domestic residences and interpreted as family crypts. Less well explored are contemporary infant burials, which, in addition to poor preservation, are often located beneath the living floors of domestic houses but not within the cist tombs. This study reviews the evidence for the intramural burial of infants at mid-to late Early Bronze Age Titriş Höyük in southeastern Turkey in the context of broader funerary traditions at the site and in the region. The author suggests that the division between adult/juvenile and infant burial treatments might be more pragmatic than dogmatic; the implications of this observation for domestic funerary rituals and household cults are explored.
By: Miriam Müller
Abstract: Foundation ceremonies are well known from the Egyptian royal and sacred spheres: They mark the beginning of construction work and ensure the effectiveness and longevity of the building to which they belong. One important component of these ceremonies is the foundation deposit, which is often placed under the corners of a temple or tomb and contain various items. Although foundation deposits are also attested in connection with profane architecture, such as storage buildings belonging to the royal household, they are uncommon in the nonelite sphere. The author discusses the evidence for this practice from a neighborhood of the ancient city of Avaris (Tell el-Dab’a) in the eastern Nile Delta. These finds are evaluated in light of comparative evidence from other parts of Egypt and the Near East. The author concludes that domestic foundation rituals are essentially poorer versions of royal ones, serving to sanctify, protect, commemorate, and elaborate. The evidence for this practice at Tell el-Dab’a furthermore hints at a mixture of Near Eastern and Egyptian elements at the site, opening up a new area of research in Egyptian domestic architecture.
By: Melissa S. Cradic
Abstract: Disposal of the dead within occupied buildings of the Middle Bronze Age Levant, or intramural burial, offered inhabitants a way of closely interacting with the physical remains of the deceased. Residential burials provided permanent spatial connections between the living and the dead and served as loci of social memory for the intergenerational household. Drawing on archaeological evidence from Tel Megiddo, this article presents a model for residential burial and social memory focusing on the diversity of body disposal methods. Burials inside the settlement varied significantly in terms of type and architecture, body disposal methods, and grave goods. In several cases, burials were reopened periodically to reposition corpses while others were never disturbed. The author argues that the high degree of diversity within this mortuary corpus relates to differential social roles of the deceased after burial, and that mourners’ close encounters with deceased bodies transformed the status of the dead in a complex and protracted sequence of funerary rituals.
Household Rituals and Sacrificial Donkeys: Why Are There So Many Domestic Donkeys Buried in an Early Bronze Age Neighborhood at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath?
By: Haskel J. Greenfield, Tina L. Greenfield, Itzhaq Shai, Shira Albaz, Aren M. Maeir
Abstract: A few years ago, a domestic donkey (Equus asinus), or ass, was discovered at Tell eṣ-Ṣafi/Gath in modern Israel and determined to have been sacrificed and buried as a foundation deposit beneath the floor of an Early Bronze III house. Since then, three additional complete domestic donkey burials have been revealed beneath the floors of another house in the same Early Bronze neighborhood. These animals were buried within a nonelite domestic neighborhood at the edge of the city. The authors suggest that this urban space may have been the location of the homes and work spaces of merchants who relied upon donkeys as “beasts of burden” to transport their goods regionally and interregionally.
Materiality of Religion in Judean Households: A Contextual Analysis of Ritual Objects from Iron II Tell en-Naṣbeh
By: Aaron Brody
Abstract: The author highlights household religion through a direct, contextual presentation of ritual artifacts from one Judean household compound at Tell en-Naṣbeh in their original contexts. The compound is made of five conjoined pillared houses that constitute the living space of one extended family. The author takes a gendered approach to the artifacts, which include female pillar figurines, animal figurines, horse-and-rider figurines, incense stands, and zoomorphic vessels. Ritualized utilitarian objects are also taken into account. This approach to ritual at the site adds to our understanding of the religious culture of women, men, children, families, and households at Naṣbeh. Most notably the author proposes that the concentration of ritual objects near the two kitchen spaces in the compound suggests that the female head of household who provided sustenance for the extended family and its dependents also presided over the religious health of the household.