[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-fout parts, depending on the number of articles included.]
American Political Science Review (Volume 112, Issue 4)
Exclusion and Cooperation in Diverse Societies: Experimental Evidence from Israel
By: Ryan D. Enos, Noam Gidron
Abstract: It is well-established that in diverse societies, certain groups prefer to exclude other groups from power and often from society entirely. Yet as many societies are diversifying at an increasingly rapid pace, the need for cross-group cooperation to solve collective action problems has intensified. Do preferences for exclusion inhibit the ability of individuals to cooperate and, therefore, diminish the ability for societies to collectively provide public goods? Turning to Israel, a society with multiple overlapping and politically salient cleavages, we use a large-scale lab-in-the-field design to investigate how preferences for exclusion among the Jewish majority predict discriminatory behavior toward Palestinian Citizens of Israel. We establish that preferences for exclusion are likely symbolic attitudes, and therefore stable and dominating of other attitudes; are held especially strongly by low-status majority group members; and powerfully predict costly non-cooperation. This preferences/behavior relationship appears unaffected by mitigating factors proposed in the intergroup relations literature. The demonstrated influence of symbolic attitudes on behavior calls for further examination of the social roots of exclusionary preferences.
Anthropology & Education Quarterly (Volume 49, Issue 3)
Negotiating Tradition and Contemporary Education: An Enrichment Center for Jewish Ultra‐Orthodox Children in Israel
By: Rachel Haller, Deborah Golden, Louis Tavecchio
Abstract: This paper addresses the negotiations of Haredi (Jewish Ultra‐Orthodox) kindergarten teachers with contemporary educational understandings as these emerge in a Haredi Enrichment Center for kindergarten children. Using the prism of Thirdspace, a close look at the themes around which the Enrichment Center and its activities were organized reveals the cultural strategies involved in the amendments that contemporary ideas and practices must undergo in order to be conceptually accepted and practically implemented by Haredi educators.
Arab Law Quarterly (Volume 32, Issue 4)
In Search of the Sharīʿah
By: Mohammad Omar Farooq, Nedal El-Ghattis
Abstract: The centrality of Sharīʿah as a term and concept, together with its ubiquitous usage, reflects present Muslim understanding of their religion. Existing research indicates this Sharīʿah-based conception represents a later historical development. However, earlier studies have not documented contemporary understanding and use of the term in the primary sources of Islam. This has important implications regarding the imparting of sacredness according to its traditional conceptualization. Based on comprehensive research and close examination of the Hadith literature in particular, this represents the first work to examine whether and to what extent the term Sharīʿah was used by the Prophet and his companions. The present investigation makes the case for fundamentally re-evaluating the role of the Sharīʿah in understanding Islam, and argues that this is necessary in order for a positive impact on contemporary Muslim societies and their relationship with the rest of the world to occur.
The Political Economy and Underdevelopment of the Muslim World: A Juridico-Philosophical Perspective
By: Muhammed Shahid Ebrahim, Mustapha Sheikh
Abstract: This article studies the relation between Islam and economic development from a juridico-philosophical perspective. A fresh review of this issue is timely, because of the ongoing laggardness of Arab and Muslim economies due to decades of Pareto-inferior poverty traps. We disentangle the viewpoints on the Islamic-economic nexus and determine that the backwardness of Muslim countries’ economies is primarily due to the retrograde outlook of the jurists (fuqahāʾ). Flawed jurisprudential reasoning is instrumental in the paucity of financial instruments, markets, and institutional development. We also scrutinise the jurists’ co-option by the ruling elite, which legitimises the elite’s autocracy. We conclude by recommending a salient strategy critical to fostering economic development and growth.
Litigation or Arbitration for Resolving Islamic Banking Disputes
By: Farouq Saber Al-Shibli
Abstract: When investors decide to deal with Islamic banks, one of their main concerns is to ensure their businesses are protected in the case of disputes arising. For this reason, developing a good legal framework for resolving disputes is crucial to strengthen the position of Islamic banks in the global financial market. However, the unique nature of Islamic financial products and transactions requires that the disputes arising from this sector should not be dealt with by means of conventional laws and courts (litigation). It can be said that current practice, where Islamic banking and finance disputes are resolved by litigation with lopsided judgments is counterproductive to the practice of Islamic banking and finance. This article therefore explores the problems associated with resolving Islamic banking disputes through litigation and proposes arbitration as an alternative method for establishing a legal framework for dispute resolution in countries where Islamic banking is implemented.
Capital Punishment for Apostasy in Islam
By: Man Baker
Abstract: This article sheds light on the Islamic legal ruling concerning apostasy (riddah). It reviews the verses of the Qur’an and the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad concerning apostasy, with the aim of reaching a firm conclusion on this topic, particularly because Islam has been accused of being a religion that forces people to embrace it, even against peoples’ free will. The article also reviews Muslim scholars’ points of view concerning this topic and the historical circumstances and conditions regarding it. The article concludes that Islam never sentences anyone to death for eschewing Islam; it merely does so for riddah.
Standard Terms Contracts: The Approaches of Qatari Civil Law and UNIDROIT Principles 2016. A Comparative Study
By: Nisreen Mahasneh
Abstract: This study compares the approach that Qatari Civil Law No. 22/2004 (QCL) takes to standard terms with that taken by the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts 2016. The main difference between QCL and the UNIDROIT Principles, is that the QCL relates standard terms contracts with adhesion contracts. The latter are only concerned with strategic goods and services that are monopolized by the supplier. Another difference is the remedy; under the QCL, the judge has the authority not only to exempt the adhering party from the oppressive standard term, but to also amend that term. However, under the UNIDROIT Principles, surprising terms are invalid. The study recommends that the Qatari legislator remove the connection in the QCL between standard terms contracts and adhesion contracts, and limit judges’ authority to exempting disadvantaged parties from oppressive terms.
Combatting Money Laundering: A Study under Emirati and International Law
By: Mohammad Amin Alkrisheh, Zeyad Mohammad Jaffal
Abstract: Money laundering is one of the most serious economic crimes. It is linked to all criminal activities, generates substantial illegal profits, and has always posed a serious threat to national and international economies. Most countries employ multiple approaches to fight this crime. The UAE has implemented several laws to tackle money laundering. In this regard, the UAE issued Federal Law No. 4 of 2002 on Anti-money Laundering. This article defines the concept of money laundering and explores its economic effects in the UAE. It also identifies the approaches taken against this crime at national and international levels. It concludes with recommendations for further research.
Constitutionality of Article VII of the New York Convention of 1958 under Egyptian and Jordanian Law
By: Lafi Daradkeh
Abstract: This article examines the constitutionality of Article VII of the 1958 New York Convention (NY Convention) under Egyptian and Jordanian law. Under Article VII, which provides for the application of the more-favourable-right provision, the winning party in an arbitration can rely on any regime provided by the local legal system to recognize and enforce the arbitral award. In doing so, the winning party can bypass provisions under which the losing party can resist enforcement. This article examines whether Article VII constitutionally provides modes of enforcement by which the winning party can enforce a legal arbitral award as well as providing grounds of refusal by which the losing party can resist enforcement of illegal awards. As such, this article examines the constitutionality of Article VII, and asks whether it balances the interests of the winning party and the losing party under constitutional law in Egypt and Jordan.
Intellectual Property Rights for Innovations on the Internet: The Islamic Law Requisites
By: Abdullahi Saliu Ishola, Isa Olawale Solahudeen, Ibrahim Akangbe
Abstract: Not available
The Impact of Slight Fraud on the Contract: An Analytical Study of Article 189 of the UAE Civil Code
By: Iyad Mohammad Jadalhaq
Abstract: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) legislator has regulated gross fraud in the Civil Code, which derives its provisions from the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence. A penalty was adapted so that when gross fraud has an impact on a contract, the defrauded contracting party can terminate the contract in question. The legislation also regulates slight fraud, but only in two very specific cases. This article aims at determining the accuracy of Article 189 that regulates slight fraud, and then identifies its shortcomings by analysing the cases in which slight fraud affects a contract. It concludes that this text is inaccurate, and suggests the UAE legislator amend Article 189. In addition, we suggest a new definition of terminal illness.
Arab Studies Quarterly (Volume 40, Issue 4)
To Paint and Die in Arabic: Code-Switching in Rabih Alameddine’s Koolaids: The Art of War
By: Syrine Hout
Abstract: I focus on multilingual usages, specifically code-switching between English and Arabic, in Lebanese American Rabih Alameddine’s 1998 novel Koolaids: The Art of War. While the novel portrays English as the emancipatory language of coming out and self-acceptance for gay Lebanese men living in the United States between the late 1970s and mid-1990s, Mohammad, a painter, only comes to terms with his impending demise by reverting to Arabic during the final stages of his losing battle with AIDS. Drawing on findings from psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, translation, and medical/neurological studies, I compare and contrast verbal encounters between Mohammad and various Lebanese and American characters to foreground strategies intended to exclude and/or include certain parties, be they characters or readers. While Arabic words actually employed are few, I argue that implied code-switching and the dynamics of speaker(s), interlocutor(s), setting(s), and context(s) establish links among AIDS, Arabic, art, and acceptance of death; Arabic resurfaces, when Mohammad is on his deathbed, as the language of his childhood and even serves as the bridge toward his “afterlife.” The primary theoretical impacts of my reading are twofold: minimal code-switching does not, as some claim, showcase shallow multilingualism, and a language-minded approach adds a new dimension to the definition of Lebanese (Arab) American literature by focusing on the emotional rather than the national/ethnic facets of the embedded native language.
Violent Intersectionalities and Experiences of Marked Arabness in Randa Jarrar’s A Map of Home
By: Lynn Darwich, Sirene Harb
Abstract: This article proposes an alternative analytical model to examine the shifting devaluation of racialized, classed, and gendered lives in Randa Jarrar’s A Map of Home. As the novel depicts powerful instances of nonnormative practices, it lends itself to new analytical approaches for understanding the relationship between power, normativity, and value in Arab American fiction. The intellectual and political frameworks that inform this reading of the novel draw on Arab and Arab American feminisms, women of color feminisms, and queer of color critique. This emphasis marks a shift from existing criticism in proposing to interpret the characters’ experiences, not as struggles of identity and belonging but as tense processes of gendered and classed racialization, self-representation, and political determination. In doing so, the discussion moves toward a critique of coercive practices that render Arab and Arab American lives in the United States vulnerable to threats of violence/exploitation in the context of neoliberalism.
Shakespeare in the Arab Jordanian Consciousness: Shylock in the Poetry of ʿArār (Mustafa Wahbi Al-Tal)
By: Hussein A. Alhawamdeh, Ismail Suliman Almazaidah
Abstract: Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice has been reimagined, adapted, and appropriated by Arab playwrights and poets. The Arab Jordanian poet ʿArār (Mustafa Wahbi Al-Tal; 1897–1949) appropriates Shakespeare’s anti-archetype of the figure of the Jew, Shylock, to criticize two local issues in the early twentieth-century context in Jordan and Palestine. First, the phenomenon of money-lending by Jordanian merchants, which led to the confiscation of the poor peasants’ lands in the early twentieth century. Second, the condemnation of Zionism and its association with Western colonialism. Shakespeare’s Shylock, on one hand, is recreated as a Jordanian Shylock, who is a usurer, and, on the other, as a Zionist Shylock. This remoulding of Shakespeare’s Shylock as an Arab and Zionist reveals the post-Shakespeare Arab audience’s new perception of The Merchant of Venice as a play about the political and behavioral affiliations of Shylock rather than about his Jewish ethnicity.
British Journal of Political Science (Volume 48, Issue 4)
Moral Identity and Protest Cascades in Syria
By: Wendy Pearlman
Abstract: Cascade models explain the roles of the intrepid few who initiate protest and the masses who join when the expected utility of dissent flips from negative to positive. Yet questions remain about what motivates participation between those points on the causal chain, or under any conditions of high risk. To explain these anomalies, this article employs theories of moral identity to explore the interdependence of a facet of decision making that rationalist models typically regard as fixed: individuals’ awareness of and need to express values central to their sense of self. Three mechanisms describe ways that individuals’ responses to early risers trigger moral identity-based motivations for protest. First, by conjuring normative ideals, first movers can activate bystanders’ urge to follow their example in order to earn their own self-respect. Secondly, by demonstrating the joy of agency, early risers can inspire bystanders’ desire to experience the same gratification. Thirdly, by absorbing punishments, early risers can activate onlookers’ sense of moral obligation to contribute to collective efforts. These mechanisms redouble bystanders’ sense of the inherent value of protest, apart from its instrumental utility, and intensify their acceptance of risks, independent of the actual risks anticipated. Original interviews with displaced Syrians about their participation in demonstrations illustrate these processes.
Comparative Studies in Society and History (Volume 60, Issue 4)
Theologies of Auspicious Kingship: The Islamization of Chinggisid Sacral Kingship in the Islamic World
By: Jonathan Brack
Abstract: This article explores the fashioning of a new discursive realm of Islamic kingship in thirteenth–fourteenth-century Mongol-ruled Iran (the Ilkhanate). It examines how literati, historians, and theologians ingeniously experimented at the Ilkhanid court with Persian and Islamic concepts and titles to translate and elaborate their Mongol patrons’ claims to govern through a unique affinity with heaven. The fusion of Mongol and Islamic elements formulated a new political vocabulary of auspicious, sacred, cosmic, and messianic rulership that Turco-Mongol Muslim courts, starting in the fifteenth century, extensively appropriated and expanded to construct new models of imperial authority. A comparison with Buddhist and Confucian assimilative approaches to the Mongol heaven-derived kingship points to a reciprocal process. Mongol rulers were not simply poured into preset Muslim and Persian molds; symbols and titles were selectively appropriated and refashioned into potent vessels that could convey a vision of Islamic kingship that addressed Chinggisid expectations. From their desire to collect and assume local religious and political traditions that could support and enhance their own legitimizing claims, the Mongols set in motion a process that led to their own integration into the Perso-Islamic world, and also facilitated the emergence of new political theologies that enabled models of divine kingship to inhabit the Islamic monotheistic world.
Economic Affairs (Volume 38, Issue 3)
The Middle East Needs to Rediscover its Market Roots
By: Nima Sanandaji
Abstract: Enterprise, banking, free markets and free‐market economic policies are often assumed to have a relatively new Western origin. In fact, the practice of market exchange had already evolved 4,000 years ago in the ancient Middle East. Later, market‐based economies independently also developed in China and India. The oldest recorded intellectual support for free‐market economic policy is found in ancient Persia and China. Acknowledging the Eastern roots of capitalism is important at a time when Eastern cultures are moving towards a market renaissance.
European Political Science Review (Volume 10, Issue 4)
Unleashing the watchdogs: explaining congressional assertiveness in the politics of US military interventions
By: Florian Böller, Marcus Müller
Abstract: This article contributes to a burgeoning literature on parliamentary war powers by investigating the case of the US Congress drawing on both International Relations (IR) research and traditional war powers studies. Applying a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis and case study method, we examine the conditions shaping congressional assertiveness. The article shows that the lack of national security interests and divided government are important conditions for members of Congress to criticize presidential intervention policies. While previous US war powers studies focused on the influence of partisanship, this article holds that domestic as well as international factors influence congressional behavior. A short comparative case study of two US military interventions (Libya 2011, ISIS 2014–15) during the Obama presidency serves to illustrate the findings.
International Affairs (Volume 94, Issues 5 & 6)
The soft power–soft disempowerment nexus: the case of Qatar
By: Paul Michael Brannagan; Richard Giulianotti
Abstract: There are four areas in which soft power is open to critical scrutiny. First, research has centred on large and/or developed nations, notably in North America, Europe, east Asia and the BRICs. Second, scholars have called for greater clarity of the concept, noting that it lacks clear explanation of how instances of attraction equate to various power outcomes. Third, others suggest Joseph Nye developed an Americanized-centric understanding of soft power, and hence a narrow account of what constitutes ‘attraction’. Finally, research has failed to examine how states’ soft power attempts can backfire, leading to what we call ‘soft disempowerment’. Drawing on the case of Qatar—with a particular focus on the state’s acquisition of the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals—we seek to offer responses to these criticisms. We do this by refining the concept of soft power to take account of variegated power outcomes, and by focusing on a small state and a non-American context, in order to explore the intersections of soft power and soft disempowerment. In doing so, we introduce the ‘soft power–soft disempowerment nexus’ which, we go on to argue, affords an analytical framework for examining how soft power works and how it may be hampered through negative international scrutiny.
Iran, its clients, and the future of the Middle East: the limits of religion
By: Afshon Ostovar
Abstract: Iran has steadily expanded its strategic influence across the Middle East in large part due to its cultivation of a network of foreign co-religionist militant clients. Those clients have enabled Iran to fight adversaries by proxy in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Iran’s growing regional influence is often credited to the shared religious ties and loyalties of its clients. This article challenges that notion by examining Iran’s post-1979 track record of developing clients and argues that, although Iran’s successes—such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iraq’s Badr—are well known, its failures to develop or retain the loyalty of clients have received much less attention. This article finds that Iran’s relations with its clients are strongest when three conditions exist: first, those clients share Iran’s theocratic interpretation of Shi’a Islam; second, Iran is the sole patron or the leading outside source of support to the client; and third, the client either shares or does not oppose Iran’s ambitions in its country and agenda in the region. In cases when all those factors are present, Iran has been successful at preserving strong ties with clients over time. However, if one of those conditions is absent, then Iran’s ties to a client can be susceptible to weakening and outside competition. These findings have important implications for the future of Iranian influence in the region and the Middle East more broadly.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (Volume 42, Issue 6)
‘Problem Spaces’ and Struggles Over the Right to the City: Challenges of Living Differentially in a Gentrifying Istanbul Neighborhood
By: Özlem Öz Mine Eder
Abstract: Focusing on everyday life and the dynamics of contestations between very different groups thrown together in dangerous proximity in a neighborhood of Istanbul called Tophane, this article contributes to debates on urban transformation, political aspects of gentrification and the right to the city, with a focus on how to live differentially. Amidst rising political tensions and polarization in Turkey, competing economic interests, gentrification pressures and/or ultimate clashes over norms and values have fueled these contestations, which have degenerated into violent encounters. Calling for a re‐evaluation of ‘the right to the city’, we argue that, unless the concept of right to the city is complemented by a commitment to live differentially—that is, by a right to difference—mediating and addressing these contestations will be difficult. Whether clashes over the right to the city and everyday encounters can lead to a new politics committed to resisting urban transformation that pushes the boundaries of urban citizenship, or whether these uncomfortable encounters will continue to escalate, with one group claiming hegemony over space until the neighborhood is finally and fully gentrified, remains very uncertain. But it will, ultimately, be the litmus test of the country’s democracy and inclusive citizenship.
Hopeful City: Meritocracy and Affect in Global Cairo
By: Harry Pettit
Abstract: Contemporary forms of ‘world‐class’ or ‘global’ city making have displaced, excluded and imperilled millions of urban inhabitants across the global South. This article departs from conventional approaches in urban geography to understanding the relationship ‘global cities’ forge with those inhabitants, which focus on the displacement, resistance and inventive survival of the poor within the ‘informal city’. Instead, it highlights more interstitial and less combative experiences. First, it explicates the presence of a group of Egyptians stripped of their ability to forge a middle‐class life in the context of Cairo’s ‘global city’ project. Thereafter, rather than focusing on their propensity to engage in political mobilization—a dominant trend after Egypt’s 2011 Uprising—the article utilizes 11 months of ethnographic fieldwork to argue that Cairo’s ‘global’ city offers up a semblance of inclusion to this excluded group. By extending a meritocratic promise that ‘global’ belonging is achievable through hard work, it keeps aspirational young men attached to a feeling of hope. The article therefore shows not how ‘global’ or ‘world‐class’ urban projects induce the resistance of wider urban populations, but how they secure legitimacy.
International Political Science Review (Volume 39, Issue 4)
An umbrella of legitimacy: Rebel faction size and external military intervention
By: Levente Szentkirályi, Michael Burch
Abstract: How may the legitimacy of rebel groups shape the decisions of third-party states to support insurgencies militarily? In aiming to better understand how the (group-level) attributes of insurgencies motivate interventions on their behalf, we argue that the size of rebel forces serves as a proxy for a revolution’s perceived legitimacy within the international community. Specifically, we maintain that the larger the insurgency, the greater the insurgency’s perceived legitimacy and, thus, the more likely intervention on its behalf becomes. This analysis challenges previous studies that have confined the causal salience of faction size to relative capabilities or strength, and it also underscores the controversial policy implications of this finding.
International Political Sociology (Volume 12, Issue 3)
Transnational Citizenship Capacity-Building: Moving the Conversation in New Directions
By: Melissa Finn; Michael Opatowski; Bessma Momani
Abstract: Challenging statist understandings of citizenship neglectful of their own ironies, we explore the literature on circulation to argue that political actors build citizenship capacities through the transfer of various technologies, ideas, and modes of organization and by enhancing self-understanding across and within borders. This work is largely conceptual. Although we focus on transnational activist engagement with and within the Middle East, the theoretical linkages we make here can be extended to other social and political actors that operate within and across multiple geographical locales. To make our case, we briefly examine the importance of transnational circulation for citizenship capacity-building through a review of the relevant literature and then discuss how theories related to liminality and rhizomatic action can move the theoretical discussion in new directions. Our central argument is that the circular flow of people, political ideas, and tools across nation-state borders—including activists’ affinities, identifications, loyalties, animosities, and hostilities—are transforming contemporary social and political relations, including how people see themselves as citizens and build civic capacities in others. Political actors who act purposefully in various sites and scales of struggle are transforming how political subjectivity and citizenship are negotiated, claimed, justified, and legitimated regardless of citizenship status.
Contested States, Hybrid Diplomatic Practices, and the Everyday Quest for Recognition
By: Dimitris Bouris; Irene Fernández-Molina
Abstract: This article examines the diplomatic practices of contested states with the aim to challenge structural legal-institutional accounts of these actors’ international engagement, which are unsatisfactory in explaining change and acknowledging their agency. Considering contested states as liminal international actors, their diplomatic practices stand out for their hybridity in transcending the state versus nonstate diplomacy dichotomy, as well as for their structure-generating properties in enabling social forms of international recognition—absent legal recognition. The concept is empirically applied to examine the everyday interaction between the representatives of Palestine and Western Sahara and the European Union (EU)’s institutions in Brussels. It is argued that there has been a renewal and expansion of the Palestinian and Sahrawi repertoires of diplomatic practices vis-à-vis the EU, which has entailed growing hybridization. Innovation originated in more “transformative” diplomatic practices capitalizing on the contested states’ own political in-between-ness, which established relations that contributed to constituting and endogenously empowering them in the Brussels milieu. The way was thus paved for more “reproductive” diplomatic practices that mimic traditional state diplomacy to gain prominence. The impact achieved on “high politics” demonstrates how bottom-up practice-led change may allow contested states to compensate for their meagre material capabilities and punch above their structural weight in international politics.
International Politics (Volume 55, Issue 5)
Parties’ foreign policy approach and the outcome of coalition allocation negotiations: the case of Israel
By: Matt Evans
Abstract: Foreign policy research has explored the impacts of different aspects of domestic politics on actors’ international behavior. This work looks in the other direction, examining how political parties’ foreign policy approach affects the share of payoffs they successfully negotiate in parliamentary government coalitions. This study integrates political psychology research, correlating IR paradigms and negotiating behavior, with studies of coalition formation. The article also expands on previous coalition allocation research through analysis of ministers, deputy ministers, and committee chairs in eight coalition governments in Israel from 1992 to 2015. The results indicate that political parties characterized by a realist approach obtain a higher share of coalition payoffs, quantitative and qualitative, than parties with a constructivist or liberal approach. Realists’ advantage is revealed to be significantly greater among non-formateur parties. This work contributes to research on coalition allocation, political behavior, political parties, and foreign policy analysis.
International Relations (Volume 32, Issue 3)
A master institution of world society? Digital communications networks and the changing dynamics of transnational contention
By: Tobias Lemke, Michael W Habegger
Abstract: In English School theory, the putative change from an international society of states to a world society of individuals is usually associated with the diffusion of a benign form of cosmopolitanism and the normative agenda of solidarism. Consequently, the notion that world society might enable alternative expressions of transnational politics, independent from international society, remains underdeveloped. Drawing on the literature of contentious politics and social movements, this article challenges orthodox accounts and suggests that the global proliferation of digitally mediated linkages between individuals and nonstate actors constitutes a fundamental challenge to traditional dynamics of interstate communication in the form of the diplomatic system. This provides an opportunity to reconceptualize world society as an alternative site of politics distinct from mainstream international society and generative of its own logic of communication, mobilization, and action. The 2011 events in Egypt and the ongoing digital presence of the so-called Islamic State are used to demonstrate how massive increases in global interaction capacity are transforming the pathways for political contention and collective mobilization worldwide.
International Studies Perspectives (Volume 19, Issue 4)
Organized Criminal-Terrorist Groups in the Sahel: How Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency Approaches Ignore the Roots of the Problem
By: Isaac Kfir
Abstract: The Sahel region is home to several groups that profess to be jihadi in orientation. To raise funds, these groups rely on criminal activity that nets them millions of dollars, and helps them embed within local communities. As worrying as the presence of these entities is, what is of greater concern is the way the United States and France have militarized the region. The argument made in this article is twofold. First, the appeal of the Sahel jihadi-criminal groups is based in pervasive human insecurity and not theological affinity with radical Islam. Second, the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency policies promoted by the United States and France militarize the region and are likely to cause more instability. It is imperative to rethink interventionist policy in the region.
International Studies Review (Volume 20, Issue 3)
Trends in Terrorists’ Weapons Adoption and the Study Thereof
By: Nicole A Tishler
Abstract: In pursuit of universal models and readily observable indicators, existing accounts of terrorists’ weapons adoption have privileged environmental and group-based characteristics at the expense of appreciating the fundamental, albeit sometimes idiosyncratic, role played by individuals in the weapons innovation process. This article develops in three stages an individual-centric approach to examining terrorist groups’ weapons adoption in empirical and theoretical models: first, a critical review of existing terrorist weapons adoption and innovation literature, organized into three levels of analysis—the situational, the organizational, and the individual; second, a theoretical argument—drawing on organizational learning and knowledge transfer theory—that posits individual expertise as a crucial underlying factor in terrorists’ weapons adoption; and third, a stylized case study of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)’s weapons use trends as a demonstration of the argument’s practical utility in today’s security environment. The article concludes with insights for continued scholarly inquiry into terrorist groups’ weapons adoption.
Israel Studies (Volume 23, Issue 3)
A State Like Any Other State or a Light Unto the Nations?
By: Michael Brenner
Abstract: Not available
Six Days—A Watershed? Cleavages in the Way Israelis View Their History
By: Mordechai Bar-On
Abstract: Not available
“The Seven Good Years?” Israel, 1967–1973: The Critical Change
By: Sarah Ozacky-Lazar
Abstract: Not available
The Rabin Assassination as a Turning Point in Israel’s History
By: Itamar Rabinovich
Abstract: Not available
The In-Between Time from the Rabin Assassination to the 1996 Elections—On Emotions and Their Impact on the Public Sphere
By: Orit Rozin
Abstract: Not available
The Gods that Failed in Israel
By: Donna Robinson Divine
Abstract: Not available
Ethical and National Redemption
By: Nurith Gertz
Abstract: Not available
From Left to Right
By: Colin Shindler
Abstract: Not available
Begin, Chach’chachim, and the Birth of Israeli Identity Politics
By: Eran Kaplan
Abstract: Not available
Israel’s Past at 70: The Twofold Attack on the Zionist Historical Narrative
By: Eyal Naveh
Abstract: Not available
Israel at 70: Heritage Preservation and Social Resilience
By: Yossi Ben-Artzi
Abstract: Not available
Studying the Holocaust in Israel
By: Dalia Ofer
Abstract: Not available
Immigration is Israel’s History, So Far
By: Aviva Halamish
Abstract: Not available
Turning Points in the Historiography of Jewish Immigration from Arab Countries to Israel
By: Esther Meir-Glitzenstein
Abstract: Not available
The Life of Jewish Immigrants from Muslim Countries in the Transit Camps as Reflected in the Arabic Journalistic Discourse in Israel, 1950–1967
By: Mustafa Kabha
Abstract: Not available
The Two Israels Revisited
By: Alex Weingrod
Abstract: Not available
Israel at 70: A Gender Perspective
By: Naomi Chazan
Abstract: Not available
Religious-Zionism and Gender: 70 Years of Redefining the Identity of Women in the Military, Religious, and Public Spheres
By: Lilach Rosenberg-Friedman
Abstract: Not available
The Rule of Law in Israel
By: Nir Kedar
Abstract: Not available
Israel at 70: The Rule of Law and the Judiciary
By: Mohammed Saif-Alden Wattad
Abstract: Not available
The Dynamics of Israel’s National Security Constitution since 1948
By: Amichai Cohen and Stuart Cohen
Abstract: Not available
Changes and Developments in Israeli Civil Religion: 1982–2017
By: Eliezer Don-Yehiya
Abstract: Not available
The Supreme Court, Yeshiva Students, and Military Conscription: Judicial Review, the Grunis Dissent, and its Implications for Israeli Democracy and Law
By: David Ellenson
Abstract: Not available
“A Nation that Dwells Alone”: Israeli Religious Nationalism in the 21st Century
By: Paul Scham
Abstract: Not available
The Historical Linkage: Israel’s Legitimacy and the Idea of Partition
By: Asher Susser
Abstract: Not available
Israelis and Palestinians: Has the Gap Narrowed?
By: Alan Dowty
Abstract: Not available
Why There Is No Solution to the Palestinian Arab-Jewish Conflict
By: Yoav Gelber
Abstract: Not available
Choices Facing the United States: Greater Israel or Global Israel?
By: Daniel C. Kurtzer
Abstract: Not available
The Security Network and its Impact on Israeli Politics
By: Gabriel (Gabi) Sheffer
Abstract: Not available
Journal of Civil Society (Volume 14, Issue 4)
Polarization and the environmental movement in Turkey
By: Ş. İlgü Özler,Brian Obach
Abstract: Environmental civil society organizations in Turkey have been drawn into the deep cultural and religious divide that characterizes Turkish society more broadly. Turkish environmental organizations are viewed by the Islamist leaning government as proxies for secularist opposition forces and not as independent voices truly committed to environmental protection. Interview data from fifty environmental leaders and Turkish state officials are analyzed to demonstrate how effective civil society functioning in the environmental sphere has been undermined by these deep partisan divisions. Local environmental struggles create one area of opportunity where environmental advocates can bridge the divide and work in collaboration with conservative government supporters.
Journal of Developing Societies (Volume 34, Issue 3)
Economic Integration and Security in the Middle East and North Africa: What Prospects for a Liberal Peace?
By: Imad El-Anis
Abstract: Since the late 1980s governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have created commercial institutions in order to promote regional economic integration. The primary aim of this policy has been regarded as the promotion of economic welfare gains at the national level. The second, albeit less-emphasized goal, has been to promote regional peace through economic interdependence. This study examines the prospects for a liberal peace in the MENA by analyzing two stages of the commercial institutional peace. First, the study considers whether commercial institutions have promoted intra-regional trade in the MENA. Second, it examines whether economic interaction has had an impact on promoting peace within the region. Twenty states are considered here and the unit of analysis is the dyad-year over a 25-year period from 1990 to 2014. This study finds that commercial institutions in the MENA have only a limited positive correlation with trade volume and while there is a direct positive correlation between economic integration and peace in the region, this is quite limited. These findings suggest that the conclusions made by previous studies demonstrate a direct positive correlation between commercial institutions (and economic integration more generally) and peace, may be less applicable to some regions such as MENA.
Journal of Near Eastern Studies (Volume 77, Issue 2)
The Worst Revolt of the Bisitun Crisis: A Chronological Reconstruction of the Egyptian Revolt under Petubastis IV
By: Uzume Z. Wijnsma
Abstract: Not available
The Hero Dons a Talismanic Shirt for Battle: Magical Objects Aiding the Warrior in a Turkish Epic Romance
By: Helga Anetshofer
Abstract: Not available
The Oil Omens from Hattuša: An Investigation of the History and Transmission of a Babylonian Divination Compendium
By: Netanel Anor, Yoram Cohen
Abstract: Not available
How To (Not) Be King: Negotiating the Limits of Power within the Assyrian Hierarchy
By: Shana Zaia
Abstract: Not available
The Role of Authors in the “Uruk List of Kings and Sages”: Canonization and Cultural Contact
By: Sophus Helle
Abstract: Not available
How to Get Credit and Avoid Foreclosure in Arrapḫe
By: Eva von Dassow
Abstract: Not available
New Information about the ziqpu-Stars, the Sun, and Cubits Based on one New Tablet (BM 37373) and Some Previously Known Texts
By: Jeanette C. Fincke, Wayne Horowitz
Abstract: Not available
Going for the Subarean Brand: The Import of Labor in Early Babylonia
By: Vitali Bartash
Abstract: Not available
The Evolution of Free Choice Indefinites in Hittite
By: Andrei Sideltsev
Abstract: Not available
Journal of Palestine Studies (Volume 48, Issue 1)
A Primer for a New Terrain: Palestinian Schooling in Jordan, 1950
By: Mezna Qato.
Abstract: This article offers a close reading of the first geography textbook printed by the Ministry of Education after the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan annexed the West Bank in 1950. Examining the Hashemite regime’s early curricular attempts to incorporate its new Palestinian citizens, refugees and otherwise, the article highlights the tactics used to achieve these ends, namely a topographic centralization of Jordan, an erasure of human geography in favor of a natural one, and the foreclosure of other forms of national attachment and belonging. The discussion seeks to expand our understanding of one of the most significant narrative materials confronted by Palestinians in the aftermath of the Nakba, seeing in it a possible mechanism by which to understand the challenges to Palestinian demands for a self-determined education.
“Nothing to Lose but Our Tents”: The Camp, the Revolution, the Novel,
By: Nasser Abourahme
Abstract: Palestinian revolutionary politics were in part defined by the historical challenge of the refugee camps. To politically mobilize the encamped Palestinian body and become a popular mass movement, the revolution required nothing less than the transformation of the camps into the means of their own undoing. This article examines three novels of the revolutionary period (by Kanafani, Abu Shawir, and Yakhlif) to show that Palestinian revolutionary realism both heeded this insurrectionary call but also undermined it. On the one hand, camp life is mediated as only the superficial expression of deeper political totality that lies elsewhere—in other words, only in armed struggle outside the camps can camp life be overcome—and on the other, just at the point when the camp should be overcome in the protagonist’s journey toward militancy, the very narrative drive itself stutters. Reading these novels, I argue, points us to political roads not taken, and to ways of thinking about Palestinian camp life as more than a means to another end elsewhere.
Toward a Palestinian History of Ruins: Interwar Gaza
By: Dotan Halevy
Abstract: Ruins typically mark the endpoint of historical stories, regarded as objects worthy of attention only for the bygone times they represent. But what might a history reveal if it took ruins as its departure point? How would a history of ruins look? This article aims to write ruins into history by pondering the case of Gaza in the aftermath of World War I. The ruins of the city, it is argued here, were the site of a transformation in the modalities of urban change: what had been a ubiquitous and organic process of evolution in the cityscapes of the Middle East up to the late nineteenth century was replaced by top-down spatial convention, imposed by the modern state. This transformation deprived ruins from their long-standing role as essential elements of the urban landscape and flattened them into mere emblems of cultural decay. Consistent with the ontological stance of the progress/decline binary, by the early twentieth century, spatial ruination had become regarded as a unidirectional rather than multidirectional process. This modern framing of ruins proved especially significant for postwar Gaza, whose reconstruction efforts were consequently plagued by internal contradiction.
Journal of Politics (Volume 80, Issue 4)
Mirrors for Princes and Sultans: Advice on the Art of Governance in the Medieval Christian and Islamic Worlds
By: Lisa Blaydes, Justin Grimmer, Alison McQueen
Abstract: When did European modes of political thought diverge from those that existed in other world regions? We compare Muslim and Christian political advice texts from the medieval period using automated text analysis to identify four major and 60 granular themes common to Muslim and Christian polities, and examine how emphasis on these topics evolves over time. For Muslim texts, we identify an inflection point in political discourse between the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, a juncture that historians suggest is an ideational watershed brought about by the Turkic and Mongol invaders. For Christian texts, we identify a decline in the relevance of religious appeals from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Our findings also suggest that Machiavelli’s Prince was less a turn away from religious discourse on statecraft than the culmination of centuries-long developments in European advice literature.
Containing Rogues: A Theory of Asymmetric Arming
By: Andrew J. Coe
Abstract: Weak opponents of a strong state often cannot compete directly with its power and so resort to other means of shifting the balance of power, such as developing weapons of mass destruction, sponsoring foreign terrorism or insurgency, or undertaking regional aggression. I develop a formal model of bargaining between a state that might seek unconventional means to power and another that might try to prevent this by diplomacy, war, or containment. The standard bargaining problems of commitment and asymmetric information give rise to costly conflict, but the form of this conflict is determined by the cost effectiveness of containment versus war. I calibrate the model to the situation of the United States and Iraq after the Gulf War and derive from it a new account of the Iraq War’s origins based on evidence that the anticipated costs of containment came to exceed those of war, causing the war.
Conspiracy and Misperception Belief in the Middle East and North Africa
By: Brendan Nyhan, Thomas Zeitzoff
Abstract: Misperceptions and conspiracy theories about foreign powers and religious and ethnic groups can inflame intergroup conflict and distort public opinion, especially in divided and contentious regions like the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Why do people acquire and maintain these false or unsupported beliefs? This study reports the results of a novel survey experiment examining conspiracy beliefs in the MENA region. We find that belief in conspiracy theories about the West, Jews, and Israel is widespread and strongly associated with generalized anti-Western and anti-Jewish attitudes, especially among individuals with high political knowledge. However, both experimental and observational data indicate that these beliefs do not appear to be the result of feelings of powerlessness—our findings provide little support for the hypothesis that a lack of control makes people more vulnerable to conspiracy theories.
The Social Costs of Public Political Participation: Evidence from a Petition Experiment in Lebanon
By: Laura Paler, Leslie Marshall, Sami Atallah
Abstract: While it is widely appreciated that public political action can be socially costly, there is little evidence of the effects of social pressure on petition signing despite its importance as a mode of political participation. We examine the social costs of petition signing in the context of mass mobilization to reform the sectarian political system in Lebanon. We invited a representative sample of 2,496 adults to sign a petition calling for an end to sectarian politics, randomly assigning respondents to a public condition where they had to provide their names or a private condition where they did not. Our results show that public signing reduced willingness to participate by 20 percentage points despite substantial private support for reform and that this reduction was significantly greater for those more afraid of social sanctioning. This is strong evidence that social pressure can deter individuals from publicly expressing their private political preferences.
Journal of Qur’anic Studies (Volume 20, Issue 3)
The Byzantine Panoplia Tradition and Greek Qur’an Translation in the Latin West
By: Christian Høgel
Abstract: Byzantium has played only a minor role, if any at all, in the Western appropriation of knowledge on Islam. One exception to this is the Panoplia dogmatike by Eustathios Zigabenos, active under and working on the commission of the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118). The Panoplia dogmatike (‘Dogmatic Armoury’) was a most imperial text, designed to support the emperor’s fight against heretics. The text carried not only standard Byzantine views about Islam, but also, in almost documentary style, quotations from the Qur’an that originated from a Greek translation used by Niketas Byzantios (working in the 860’s and 870’s) and Evodios (late ninth century). In the Latin translation of the Panoplia dogmatike by Pier Zini in 1555 a selection of Qur’anic quotations, accompanied with Byzantine comments, were made available to Latin readers.
Inspicientes—et non inspicientes—eius legem: Thirteenth-Century Dominicans, the Qur’an, and Islam
By: Thomas E. Burman
Abstract: This article explores the interesting fact that, while we know of a number of Dominicans in the thirteenth century that were eius legem inspicientes (‘inspectors of [Muḥammad’s] law’), the vast majority of preaching friars, and indeed the great bulk of thirteenth-century scholastic intellectuals, were very pointedly eius legem non inspicientes. Even some of those who are most commonly held up as impassioned students of Islam, particularly the brilliant Semitic linguist, Ramon Martí OP (fl. 1250–1284), turn out on examination to have had only a passing interest in the challenge of Islam. The amazing extent of learning in things Islamic possessed by Martí and his confreres William of Tripoli OP (fl. 1250–1273) and Riccoldo da Monte di Croce OP (d. 1320) certainly deserves our attention, but so also does the much more common disinterest, disinterest which, indeed, often borders on intentional ignorance. As this article shows, the nearly obsessive engagement with Qur’an and Islam that we find among some Dominicans at certain times is the counterpart to a vast disinterest which is often just as obsessive.
The Perennial Importance of Mary’s Virginity and Jesus’ Divinity: Qur’anic Quotations in Iberian Polemics After the Conquest of Granada (1492)
By: Mercedes García-Arenal, Katarzyna K. Starczewska, Ryan Szpiech
Abstract: This paper studies the little-known Spanish Qur’anic translations included within Christian works of polemics that were produced in Iberia in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. Such fragments are an important testimony of otherwise rare translations of the Qur’an into Iberian vernacular languages. This study focuses on the Qur’anic material cited by authors connected to Martín García, Bishop of Barcelona (c. 845–928/1441–1521) in polemical treatises written for the evangelisation of the Granadan Muslims (converted to Christianity by the decree of 1502) and the conversion of the Valencian and Aragonese Muslims (legally Muslims until 1526). It considers two treatises, authoured respectively by Juan Andrés and Johan Martín de Figuerola, belonging to the genre that has come to be known as Antialcoranes, or ‘anti-Qur’ans’. These are further compared to the quotations included by Martín García himself in his sermons as well as by two subsequent sixteenth-century authors, Lope de Obregón and Bernardo Pérez de Chinchón.
Two Hungarian Jesuits and the Qur’an: Understanding, Misunderstanding, and Polemic
By: Paul Shore
Abstract: Two Hungarian Jesuits active in the early seventeenth century, Stephanus Arator and Peter Pázmány, wrote polemical pieces drawing on the Qur’an. Arator’s work, Confutatio alcorani (1610) relies on the 1543 Bibliander edition of the translation made by Robert of Ketton and on Juan Andrés’ Confusión o confutación de la secta Mahomética y del Alcorán. Pázmány, in his Az mostan tamat uy tvdomaniok hamissaganak (1605) also draws on Bibliander, while presenting his own translations of, and commentaries on, Bibliander into Hungarian, the language of Pázmány’s work. Both Arator and Pázmány were influenced more by the political and confessional dynamics surrounding them than by any apparent desire to grasp the meaning of the Qur’an. The crisis that both Catholicism and, more broadly, European Christianity, faced in the early seventeenth century overshadows these Jesuits’ efforts to explore the Qur’an. Pázmány, in particular, uses the Qur’an to make a case against Protestant sects and Unitarians, whose influence and numbers had greatly increased in Hungary. However further study of the Jesuit Austrian Province, in which both men worked, is needed to understand more fully the factors shaping these two examples of anti-Qur’anic literature.
Bulghaith al-Darawi and Barthélemy d’Herbelot: Readers of the Qur’an in Seventeenth-Century Tuscany
By: Pier Mattia Tommasino
Abstract: This paper is an exercise in the history of reading and textual production in seventeeth-century Florence. Through the analysis of a very short and fascinating miscellaneous manuscript (BNCF, MS Magliabechi XXXIV.31), this article aims to disentangle the complex and intertwined relations between European orientalism, Italian intellectual history, and Muslim exegesis of the Qur’an in the seventeenth century. Despite its fragmentary nature, the material, linguistic, and doctrinal features of this miscellaneous manuscript shed new light on the study of Oriental languages in seventeenth-century Florence and, especially, on Barthélemy d’Herbelot’s (1625–1695) stay in Tuscany between 1666 and 1671, and the Muslim scholars he worked with and learned from during this time.
Sleeping in the Cave: Zechendorff’s 1632 Latin Translation of the Qur’an
By: Reinhold F. Glei
Abstract: Johann Zechendorff’s (1580–1662) manuscript includes an interlinear Latin translation and a complete edition of the Arabic Qur’an. This article presents a thorough linguistic examination of a longer passage of the Latin translation of Sūrat al-Kahf (Q. 18), on the aṣḥāb al-kahf (‘the Companions of the Cave’). The aim is to give an impression of the difficulties which this European pioneer of Qur’anic studies faced when he embarked on this project. The article gives insights into Zechendorff’s method of translation, his technical and linguistic abilities, as well as the shortcomings of his work. The shortcomings reflect the general standard of Arabic studies in Europe, the lack of sources and tools (such as dictionaries and tafsīrs), as well as the peripheral position of Zwickau, where this translation was produced.
The Qur’an of Johann Zechendorff: Features and Sources of the Arabic Text of Sūrat al-Kahf (Q. 18)
By: Roberto Tottoli
Abstract: This article focuses on features and peculiarities of the Arabic text of Sūrat al-Kahf in Zechendorff’s newly discovered Qur’an manuscript. Zechendorff’s work is the result of his efforts to produce a faithful copy of a Muslim Qur’an manuscript, including the text and all the signs such as vocalisation and aids for recitation. On the whole, the sample analysed shows that he carried his work out with care, although some problems with the Qur’an’s orthography led to some oversights and mistakes. Some of these are typical lapses in writing but a number of them can also be attributed to limits in knowledge. This is also evident in the case of the aids for recitation added above the line and of the verse divisions, the rules of which were a constant problem for European scholars who had no relevant literature at their disposal. Notwithstanding, Zechendorff’s Arabic Qur’an is a significant scholarly achievement the defects of which are mainly due to the lack of sources.
The Qur’an in Comparison, and the Birth of ‘scriptures’
By: Alexander Bevilacqua, Jan Loop
Abstract: Early modern Europeans developed several ways of thinking about the Qur’an and the person whom they took to be its author, the Prophet Muḥammad. This article looks at two distinct traditions of reading the Qur’an as law and as literature and shows how these traditions intersected and eventually merged. Together, they made the Qur’an fruitful for ‘thinking with’ under a variety of headings. Philologists, not philosophes, advanced this long-term process, though prominent non-scholars such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) took advantage of its fruits and used the example of Muḥammad and the Qur’an in their work.
The Qur’an made another contribution to what is now called the Enlightenment. Not too foreign and yet at an intellectually productive distance from Judaism and Christianity, it was a useful point of comparison for the Hebrew Bible. The reinterpretation of Hebrew Bible and Qur’an proceeded in lock step, often through bi-directional comparison, as both works came to be perceived through new aesthetic, rhetorical, and historical lenses. As a result, the two works converged as never before in European intellectual history. What is more, the study of the Qur’an helped to generate a new comparative concept: that of lowercase, plural scriptures.
After Marracci: The Reception of Ludovico Marracci’s Edition of The Qur’an in Northern Europe from the Late Seventeenth to the Early Nineteenth Centuries
By: Alastair Hamilton
Abstract: The Latin Qur’an translation by Ludovico Marracci (1612–1700), which finally appeared in 1698, not only dwarfed all previous translations but dominated all future Qur’an translation projects for over a century to come. Although objections might be made to Marracci’s style, and although later Arabists might disagree with certain points in his bilingual edition (above all in his commentaries), whenever they had recourse to tafsīrs they almost invariably took their quotations from Marracci’s Alcorani textus universus and even their translations tended to follow Marracci closely. This article explores the reception of Marracci’s translation in Northern Europe, especially in Germany, the Low Countries, and England, from its appearance until the early nineteenth century when certain—but by no means all—translators started to pursue an independent course. Some, such as Augusti, Hammer Purgstall, and Friedrich Rückert, would endeavour to translate the Qur’an in verse, while a scholar like Johann David Michaelis had deviated from Marracci by trying to do without tafsīr. Generally speaking, the attitude to Marracci, especially in Protestant Germany, was one of rivalry tempered by admiration. Marracci’s own generous response to one of his critics and would-be rivals, Andreas Acoluthus (1654–1704) from Breslau, is recorded in a rare fragment from their correspondence reproduced in the Appendix.
The Philological Uncanny: Nineteenth-Century Jewish Readings of the Qur’an
By: Susannah Heschel
Abstract: Is the Qur’an a Jewish book? When Jews first began studying and analysing Qur’anic texts as students at German universities in the 1830s, they experienced what this essay calls a ‘philological uncanny’—elements and aspects which are both recognisable and alien, giving a sense of being at home and in a different place simultaneously. The Qur’an, in that moment of first reading, may well have appeared uncanny to these young Jewish students, suddenly rendering in Arabic, in the Scripture of Islam, words from the Hebrew of the Mishnah.
This article follows the experience and interpretation of these elements in the writing of key figures among Jewish scholars of Islam from the 1830s to the 1930s. These Jewish scholars, raised in religiously observant homes and given a classical Orthodox Jewish education in Talmud and its commentaries, played a central role in establishing the field of Islamic Studies in Europe. From Abraham Geiger (1810–1874) and Gustav Weil (1808–1888), to Ignaz Goldziher (1850–1921) and Eugen Mittwoch (1876–1942), they shaped an approach to the Qur’an that placed it within the context of rabbinic Judaism, outlining parallel texts and religious practices, even as they also created an important stream of Jewish self-definition in which Judaism and Islam were identified as the two most intimate monotheistic religions.
Journal of Social History (Volume 52, Issue 1)
Peasant Women and Rights to Land in Nineteenth Century Egypt: Sites of Resistance?
By: Maha A Ghalwash
Abstract: The literature on nineteenth-century Egyptian women includes two important themes: one, the tendency of women to resist patriarchy; and two, the ostensibly negative impact of state modernization projects on women. This essay’s exploration of patterns of female land acquisition during the mid-century decades challenges these depictions. It argues that the number of peasant women landholders remained low during the nineteenth century because of the widespread prevalence of the societal notion that identified landholding as a male prerogative, and that this entailed intense male opposition to female landholding as well as the internalization of this notion by the majority of peasant women. This caused women to relinquish their shares of the family land patrimonies to capable men (often relatives) in return for assistance during crisis times. After the introduction of the 1858 land law, women relied on it to negotiate more advantageous land-for-security exchanges with their brothers.
Mamluk Studies Review (Volume 21)
Between Function and Fiction: The Representation of Women in al-Ibshīhī’s Mustaṭraf
By: Mirella Cassarino
Abstract: The concepts of performativity and iterability, considered in relation to the social construct of gender identity, can prove useful in approaching the representations of women that al-Ibshīhī (d. ca. 1446)—also known as al-Abshīhī or al-Ibshayhī—transmitted in the seventy-third chapter of his encyclopedic work Al-Mustaṭraf fī kull fann mustaẓraf (“The Exquisite elements from every art considered elegant”). The chapter in question, which sits in the context of adab alnikāḥ, carries the title “On women and the qualities that distinguish them; on marriage and repudiation; on what is praised and blamed in relationships.”
The Representation of Slave Girls in a Physiognomic Text of the Fourteenth Century
By: Antonella Ghersetti
Abstract: Scientific, or—in modern eyes—para-scientific texts (under-researched compared with the religious, normative, or literary texts towards which most analysis has been oriented) could in fact give useful insights into the ways women were represented. In this article we will focus on the description of female slaves (jawārin) contained in a treatise on physiognomy (firāsah) of the first half of the fourteenth century with a view to add a small piece to the complex picture of the images of women in the Mamluk period. Ours will thus be a textually oriented approach directed towards the discourse of physiognomy, which was considered a secondary natural science inextricably tied to medicine. In this article we shall translate the section on female slaves of the Kitāb al-siyāsah fī ʿilm al-firāsah of Shams al-Dīn al-Dimashqī; then map its intertextual connections by outlining its relation to its antecedents, its parallels, and its sources (or what the author claims to be such). The text will then be read in conversation with materials on female slaves of a legal nature (normative texts and purchase deeds), in order to compare their different narratives of the feminine and to show their nature as a construct. The documents we intend to question could also be relevant for a gender studies approach with a historical perspective. Nevertheless, considering the kind of approach we have chosen, we limit ourselves to drawing the attention of the experts in this field to such materials.
Women and Men in al-Suyūṭī’s Guides to Sex and Marriage
By: Pernilla Myrne
Abstract: This article examines the sexual ethics in three works by Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī on marital sex (nikāḥ) and gender norms: Al-Wishāḥ fī fawāʾid al-nikāḥ, Shaqāʾiq al-utrunj fī raqāʾiq al-ghunj, and Nuzhat al-mutaʾammil wa-murshid al-mutaʾahhil. Wishāḥ is al-Suyūṭī’s main contribution to the genre of Arabic-Islamic sex manuals, a genre that originated in the fourth/tenth century in Baghdad, and was influenced by translations of Greek, Persian, and Indian medicine and erotology. In Wishāḥ, al-Suyūṭī attempts to reconcile the earliest erotological tradition with the Islamic sciences, something he does more consistently than his predecessors. The result is an extensive investigation of the sexual pleasures permitted for Muslims—particularly men, but also, to a certain degree, women. Women’s sexual behavior and obligations are treated by al-Suyūṭī in Shaqāʾiq al-utrunj and Nuzhat al-mutaʾammil, which rely partly on the same sources as Wishāḥ.
Medieval Arabic Islam and the Culture of Gender: Feminine Voices in al-Suyūṭī’s Literature on Sex and Marriage
By: Daniela Rodica Firanescu
Abstract: This article examines the feminine voices perceptible in works attributed to the renowned polymath of the Mamluk period, Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī (d. 911/1505), pertaining to the field of adab al-nikāḥ, literature on sex and marriage, or, more generally, erotic literature. As much of the early Arabic erotic literature—produced in the ninth and tenth centuries—was “lost without a trace,” 1 it is fortunate that later authors, such as al-Suyūṭī, preserved some of this early production in their compilations and the (sometimes ample) quotations from earlier authors that they inserted in their own works.
The Woman as a Construct: Reconsidering Men’s Image of Women in the Arabic-Islamic World—the Case of Seventeenth-Century Cairo
By: Paulina B. Lewicka
Abstract: The aim of the present article is to present and discuss a relatively unknown text, which, written in the Sufi environment of early post-Mamluk Cairo, constitutes noteworthy evidence of male patterns of thinking and fantasizing about women. The text is a part of the still unedited manual composed by ʿAbd al-Raʾūf al-Munāwī (1545–1621) titled Tadhkirat ūlī al-albāb bi-maʿrifat al-ādāb, which can be translated as “Memorandum for knowledgeable persons on the rules of [decent] behavior” or, alternatively, “What every knowledgeable Muslim male should know about life.” Used as a demonstration model, the text provides a chance to examine the multidimensional context of the way in which the “women’s issue” was conceptualized and problematized in the Arabic-Islamic intellectual discourse in the period of the Mamluk-Ottoman transition.
Between Venice and Alexandria: Trade and the Movement of Precious Metals in the Early Mamluk Period
By: David Jacoby
Abstract: The investigation of coinage and monetary systems in the Ayyubid and Mamluk dominions has gained in intensity in the last decades. The meticulous examination of coins, combined with textual evidence, has yielded new insights into the operation of these systems from the second half of the twelfth century onward. It is commonly acknowledged in general terms that the import of gold and silver from the West, both bullion and coins, strongly impacted upon the monetary evolution and economies of Egypt and Syria. However, much textual evidence on this movement has remained untapped, a result of the compartmentalization of Islamic and Western studies. Contemporary sources drafted in Western languages offer precious evidence on the movement of precious metals. In some cases the Latin or vernacular version of treaties between Egypt and the main Western maritime nations, Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, is the only extant one, while in others it provides information absent from the corresponding Arabic version. Western trading manuals, official records, and private documents yield data not found in Arabic sources on a variety of monetary issues in Egypt, which include the transfer, sale, and refining of precious metals, the minting of coins, mint charges, coin circulation, moneys of account, and exchange rates. Moreover, they offer a Western perspective on these issues. The present article addresses some of them in the period extending from ca. 1250 to ca. 1350 within the context of contemporary trade patterns, with special attention to Venice, a prominent bullion market and a major trading partner of Egypt.
Middle East Critique (Volume 27, Issue 4)
Theorizing Normative Power in European Union-Israeli/Palestinian Relations: Focus of this Special Issue
By: Ian Manners
Abstract: This article provides a theoretical perspective on the question of how EU-Israeli/Palestinian relations should be conceived 50 years after the occupation. The article sets out how a critical social theory of normative power could be seen as a way both of analyzing and changing these relations. According to Craig Calhoun, critical social theory should be seen as an ‘interpenetrating body of work which demands and produces critique… [that] depends on some manner of historical understanding and analysis.’ The normative power approach represents a critical social theory in that it seeks to be explanatory, practical, and normative, all at the same time. The article suggests how these criteria may be applied to the study of EU-Israeli/Palestinian relations and their consequences, 50 years after the occupation.
How, When and Why Did the Way the EU Speaks About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Change?
By: Anders Persson
Abstract: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the Israeli-Arab conflict/the conflict in the Middle East, as it was called in official EC/EU language all the way up to the 2000s, presented what was widely perceived in Europe to be a golden opportunity for the EC to unite its foreign policy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. However, as important that goal was, many European politicians—from left to right—simultaneously saw an equally golden opportunity for the EC to contribute to help resolve the conflict. The EC/EU’s self-perceived ‘special,’ ‘moral,’ ‘unique’ and ‘distinctive’ role as a peace-builder is one of the defining features of its 50-years involvement in the conflict. Another defining feature during these five decades of EC/EU involvement in the conflict is the centrality of the conflict for instability/stability in the wider Middle East. There are many references in the Bulletin of the EC/EU describing the conflict as lying at the heart of continuing tension in the Near East or being of the utmost importance to Europe and to the whole world.
The EU and 50 Years of Occupation: Resistant to or Complicit with Normalization?
By: Daniela Huber
Abstract: This article focuses on the role the EU has played in the normalization of the 50-year long Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory. Has it resisted the occupation, challenging its normalization, or has it been complicit in it, thus contributing to it? To answer this question, the article proceeds in two steps. Firstly, it describes the ‘occupation’ through an inductive approach that reconstructs its structure through how it is experienced and described by key Israeli, Palestinian, and European human rights organizations active in the field, namely as a continuously expanding legal and territorial structure of domination. Secondly, it then juxtaposes the occupation so conceptualized with EU discursive and policy practices on the multilateral, bilateral, and unilateral levels. It reveals that, besides the widely noted discourse–practice gap related to the territorial structure of control, there is also a practice–discourse gap related to the legal structure of control, but which is silenced in EU discourse although partially addressed in its practice. The EU has been both complicit in and resistant to the occupation and therefore its role in the normalization of the occupation has been ambiguous.
The Limits of Securitized Peace: The EU’s Sponsorship of Palestinian Authoritarianism
By: Alaa Tartir
Abstract: Since the Oslo Accords came into force in 1993, the European Union (EU) and its individual member-states have invested billions of Euros, with a view to establishing the basis for an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. As Israel’s colonization of the Palestinian West Bank has progressed, Palestinian statehood has become little more than a myth. As the state-building process has atrophied, securitization has found a renewed impetus, being elevated at the expense of initiatives that seek to promote democratization. This article argues that, far from being a neutral process grounded within the building of capacities, Security Sector Reform (SSR) has strengthened the foundations of Palestinian authoritarianism. In focusing upon the development of the EU’s police mission in the West Bank (EUPOL COPPS), this article argues that EU-sponsored ‘reform’ has contributed directly to the ‘professionalization’ of Palestinian authoritarianism. The article therefore suggests that the EU consistently has failed to acknowledge the political implications that extend from its technical mandate and interventions. The EU has become, to the extent that its interventions extend Israel’s colonial project, part of the problem. In concluding, the article offers an assessment of the decade-long EUPOL COPPS (The European Union Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories) commitment, with a view to developing key lessons and recommendations that can inform future EU interventions.
Political Legitimacy and Celebrity Politicians: Tony Blair as Middle East Envoy 2007–2015
By: Michelle Pace, Annika Bergman Rosamond
Abstract: After Tony Blair resigned as the United Kingdom’s prime minister in June 2007, he was appointed as the official envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East. His appointment was marred with controversy not the least with regard to his suitability for the role and his performance as peace envoy, with many observers questioning his ethical credentials. The EU along with the US, Russia and the UN make up the Quartet and funded Blair’s office until 2012. With the US and the EU as the key regional players in this conflict, Blair became an embodiment of these players in this specific role. This article employs critical discourse analysis to nuance whether Tony Blair’s role as Middle East envoy, and as an embodiment of the EU, was indeed a legitimate one in terms of achieving at least some of its stated aims, particularly those pertaining to the Palestinians who live under Israel’s colonization. It does so by engaging with the work of John Street and more broadly the literature on celebrity politicians and by counterbalancing this conceptual framework with a critical reflection on Blair’s time as Middle East envoy.
Euroscepticism as an Instrument of Foreign Policy
By: Sharon Pardo, Neve Gordon
Abstract: This article advances three arguments about Euroscepticism. First, using Israel as a case study we describe its alliances with Eurosceptic political actors, claiming that while each side hopes to benefit from these alliances to advance particular interests, the attraction among the actors are based on ideological affinities that do not align with the norms informing EU policies. If these norms become more contested, it may make it more difficult to construct a ‘normative power’-based approach in EU foreign policy. Second, we reveal how third parties can use Euroscepticism as an instrument for shaping EU foreign policy. Finally, we expose how this strategy produces a political paradox. By allowing itself to become an instrument deployed by a third party, the Eurosceptic member state also agrees to be pushed back into the fold of the EU apparatus, thus reconstituting itself as an internal actor, one which has stakes in the process and is willing to play by the rules of the game.
Middle East Report (Volume 48, Issue 288)
Turkey’s Constitutional Coup
By: Aslı Bâli
Abstract: Turkey has undergone a dizzying array of crises over the last five years. Beginning with the repressive crackdown against the Gezi Protests during the summer of 2013, the country has gone from being cited as a model Muslim democracy to taking pride of place on the growing worldwide list of democratic reversals. Pundits now lump Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in with populist authoritarian leaders ranging from Hungary’s Victor Orbán to the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte. On some indices Turkey leads the pack, jailing more journalists than any other country, throttling the independence of the judiciary and establishing a near total stranglehold on the media.
Crisis of Capitalism, Crisis of the Republic
By: Yahya M. Madra
Abstract: To the extent that it is a crisis of capitalism, of a financialized regime of accumulation, its own internal business cycles are synchronous with the cycles of global capitalism. Even though the current economic crisis takes the form of stagflation (a high inflation rate combined with recession), its driving factor is the increased default risk of the highly-leveraged corporate sector. The Justice and Development Party (AKP), governing an economy fully-integrated to the international financial system since 2002, enjoyed the benefits of global liquidity as it consolidated its hegemony. Today, as the crisis hits corporations and households alike, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP resort to anti-imperialist jargon to pass the proverbial buck, and cover up their helplessness in the face of the vast scope of the crisis.
The AKP’s Foreign Policy as Populist Governance
By: Evren Balta
Abstract: Turkish foreign policy throughout the Cold War was limited and largely predictable: narrowly focused on national security and preserving the sanctity of its borders while hewing to a predominantly Western orientation. Turkey’s foreign policy reflected the constraints of the bipolar international system, which granted little room for smaller powers to adopt independent policies. As such, Turkey pursued membership in key Western multilateral frameworks (the Council of Europe 1949, the OECD 1948 and NATO 1952) in order to improve its negotiating capacity; to enhance its security and status; and to compensate for its relative lack of an independent foreign policy. Membership in these Euro-Atlantic institutions also enabled Turkish policymakers to assert their affiliation with Western culture.
The Failed Resolution Process and the Transformation of Kurdish Politics
By: Cuma Çiçek
Abstract: On March 21, 2013 in the symbolic Kurdish city of Diyarbakır, on the symbolic new year’s day of Newroz, in front of a crowd composed of almost a million people and broadcast live by most Turkish news channels, a letter from the imprisoned Kurdistan Worker’s Party’s (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan was read. The letter urged Kurds to end their nearly 30-year armed struggle against the Turkish state and open a new page for democratic politics within the framework of Turkish sovereignty.
Turkey’s Purge of Critical Academia
By: Muzaffer Kaya
Abstract: The crackdown on academia undertaken by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) began in early 2016 with the repression of the group of anti-war university professors and scholars who became known as the “Academics for Peace.” It was followed by an all-out government purge of higher education—including the mass expulsion of more than 6,000 academics and the prosecution of hundreds more, university closures and institutional restructuring—during the emergency rule that followed the failed July 2016 coup attempt against President Erdoğan. Authorities also routinely interfere with student protests on campus and monitor academic research on sensitive topics.
Unequal Turkey Under Construction
By: Volkan Yilmaz
Abstract: Turkey has undergone major socio-economic transformations that have generated numerous contradictions since the 1980s. One of the most significant has been Turkey’s transformation from a predominately rural and agrarian society to a largely urban society as it enters the new millennium. The fast pace of urbanization, coupled with a decrease in agricultural employment and an increase in service sector employment transformed Turkey into a largely working-class society by the mid-2000s. This unprecedented urban and socio-economic development has in turn generated, and in some cases heightened, pressing social and economic problems such as unemployment, stark income inequality and restricted access to adequate housing.
The Contradictions of Turkey’s Rush to Energy
By: Sinan Erensu
Abstract: The Turkish energy sector—companies involved in the exploration and development of oil or gas reserves, drilling and refining, or integrated power utility companies including renewable energy, coal or nuclear power—has experienced major and systemic transformation and growth since the early 2000s under the rule of consecutive Justice and Development Party (AKP) governments.
The Politics of Family Values in Erdogan’s New Turkey
By: Hikmet Kocamaner
Abstract: Often peppered with religious references, “family values” rhetoric has become a trademark of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002. His frequent encouragement of early marriage and criticism of childless women illustrate an ever-expanding repertoire of conservative pronouncements regarding gender, reproduction and the family. During an iftar dinner in 2014, for example, Erdoğan urged female college students not to be picky in selecting a prospective spouse “because our dear prophet advised us to get married and to procreate, so that he could take pride in the sizable presence of the ummah in the afterlife in comparison to other [religious] communities.” At a ceremony hosted by the Women and Democracy Association in 2016, he claimed that “A woman who abstains from maternity by saying ‘I have a job’ means that she is actually denying her femininity … She is lacking, she is an incomplete person, no matter how successful she is in the business world.”
The AKP’s Problem with Youth
By: Ayça Alemdaroglu
Abstract: Government-funded religious İmam Hatip schools have expanded considerably across Turkey since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came to power in 2002: from 84,000 students in 450 schools in 2002 to 1.3 million students in over 4,000 schools by 2017. The Ministry of National Education (MEB) justifies this expansion as a natural response to what they claim to be “high demand from parents” but recent reports reveal that these schools draw about 50–60 percent less students than their capacity each year.
The Crisis of Religiosity in Turkish Islamism
By: Mucahit Bilici
Abstract: In 2017 İhsan Fazlıoğlu, an Islamist professor of philosophy at Istanbul Medeniyet University, was visited by a group of concerned teachers and parents from the İmam Hatip high school (a government-funded secondary school that trains Muslim preachers) he once attended. The visitors wanted his advice on the growing trend of deism and atheism among young people and what was to be done about it. The professor responded with a shocking observation of his own: In the past year, of the many religious students who came to consult with him, no fewer than 17 women had confided that although they continued to wear a hijab (headscrarf) they had left Islam and considered themselves atheists.
Muqarnas (Volume 35, Issue 1)
The Agdal of Marrakesh (12th to 20th Centuries): An Agricultural Space for Caliphs and Sultans. Part II: Hydraulics, Architecture, and Agriculture
By: Authors: Julio Navarro, Fidel Garrido, Íñigo Almela
Abstract: The Agdal is a royal estate located south of Marrakesh, founded by the Almohad caliph Abu Yaʿqub Yusuf (r. 1163–84). Its current walled perimeter contains 340 hectares, mostly orchards that have been cultivated uninterruptedly, and more than 40 preserved buildings, with numerous archaeological remains scattered throughout its interior. This article is a continuation of one published previously in Muqarnas 34 (2017), which focused on the history of the estate and provided an analysis of the written sources. In this second part, we present an archaeological and architectural study of the Agdal from the material record that we documented in two archaeological surveys carried out in 2012 and 2014. We discuss the complex hydraulic system that has sustained the estate, the internal organization of the enclosures and plots, its diverse agricultural production, the configuration of palatine architecture and spaces for animals, as well as the successive historical transformations of the Agdal.
A Tale of Two Mosques: Marrakesh’s Masjid al-Jamiʿ al-Kutubiyya
By: Abbey Stockstill
Abstract: The Kutubiyya Mosque, the hallmark monument of the Almohad dynasty (1121–1269) in their capital city of Marrakesh, has resisted scholarly interpretation due to its unique plan, featuring two prayer halls wedged apart by the monumental minaret. The south-facing qibla and the architectural use of a prior dynasty’s palatial remains further complicate the narrative surrounding the function of the mosque within the urban fabric and the Almohads’ dynastic self-concept. This article argues that such idiosyncrasies are indicative of the Almohads’ sensitivity to the intellectual, religious, and legal arguments of the day, expressed through a deliberate adaptation or repudiation of the architectural precedents in the Islamic West. The Kutubiyya must be understood as a monumental record of the dynastic shifts in ideology and identity as the Almohads struggled to define themselves against their predecessors and competitors. The site’s unique plan and complex construction history are the physical evidence of this struggle, which makes the role of the Kutubiyya in the urban history of Marrakesh all the more significant.
An Illustrated Genealogy between the Ottomans and the Safavids
By: Melis Taner
Abstract: This paper focuses on an early seventeenth-century illustrated genealogy (Museum of Ethnography Ankara, No. 8457), which is stylistically attributable to Baghdad, and is iconographically and textually pro-Safavid at a point when Baghdad was under Ottoman rule. Taking the format of the illustrated genealogy, which was widespread in the Ottoman realm from the mid-sixteenth century onwards, the Ankara manuscript adapts the Ottoman genealogical tree tradition with a particularly Safavid tenor. In its immediate visual graspability and use of the genealogy as a methodological tool to claim legitimacy, this manuscript represents contested identities in the frontier province of Baghdad.
Mosque-Building on the Ottoman-Venetian Frontier, circa 1550–1650: The Phenomenon of Square-Tower Minarets Revisited
By: Maximilian Hartmuth
Abstract: In the Balkan region of Herzegovina is found a series of Ottoman-period mosques distinguished by minarets of an atypical form: unlike standard Ottoman designs with cylindrical or polygonal minaret shafts, the square plan of these minarets makes them more reminiscent of bell towers. Despite this salient and unusual feature, the “campanile minarets,” as some scholars choose to call them, remain little studied as a historical phenomenon; outside the former Yugoslavia, they are still practically unknown. The current article aims to establish the reasons for the popularity and dissemination of this curious architectural feature in a particular region and time. It discusses two hypotheses that link square-tower minarets morphologically to the Catholic Adriatic and Arab world, but ultimately offers a different interpretation of their formal origins and their establishment as a type.
Immigrant Narratives: The Ottoman Sultans’ Portraits in Elisabeth Leitner’s Family Photo Album, circa 1862–72
By: Nebahat Avcıoğlu
Abstract: This article is a study of the family photo album of Elisabeth Leitner (ca. 1842?–1908), a Hungarian immigrant in the Ottoman empire. The album contains a complete set of cartes de visite portraits of the Ottoman sultans by the Abdullah Frères. As the only surviving example of such a collection with a known provenance, it provides a rare opportunity for understanding how such images were used in the context of identity formation and social mobility undertaken by a member of the immigrant population. The album, which has never been studied before, is also a fascinating source for investigating the history of Hungarian immigrants in the Ottoman empire who were displaced after the 1848 Revolution. The article approaches the intriguingly autobiographical album by means of a close reading of Elisabeth Leitner’s diaries and unfinished autobiography. My interpretation serves to dismantle notions of a carefree global cosmopolitanism and exposes a historiographical bias that privileges men and their collections of images and ethnographic artifacts over those of women. Elisabeth Leitner’s writings and photographic collection also represent a vast and entirely untapped resource for investigating cultural contacts between Europe and the Ottoman empire in the second half of the nineteenth century.
History Regained: A Modern Artist in Baghdad Encounters a Lost Tradition of Painting
By: Saleem Al-Bahloly
Abstract: This essay explores how the re-encounter with a medieval history of manuscript illustration laid a foundation for the practice of modern art in Iraq. It focuses on the artist Jewad Selim (1919–61) and his discovery of Yahya al-Wasiti’s illustrations of the Maqāmāt al-Ḥarīrī, but it also marks the ways in which that discovery was mediated by the enterprise of orientalist scholarship, the context of European modernism, and the broader cultural renewal that occurred with the collapse of the Ottoman empire and the creation of new nation-states in the Middle East.
Two Rare Early Abbasid Paint-Decorated Ceramic Bowls from el-Khirba/Nes Ziyyona, Israel
By: Itamar Taxel, Ayala Lester, Uzi ʿAd
Abstract: This article discusses two near-complete ceramic vessels—a deep, cup-shaped bowl and a shallow bowl/plate—found in recent excavations carried out at the rural site of el-Khirba/Nes Ziyyona in central Israel, in an early Abbasid context dated to the ninth century. The vessels bear unusual painted decorations on their exterior and interior. The decoration of the first bowl consists of alternating pairs of large black and white palm trees and large birds. The second bowl/plate is decorated with eight stylized trees emerging from a central circle, with small circles between them; these motifs were drawn in black over a white-painted surface. These bowls are associated with a local fine ware ceramic group, known as Fine Byzantine (or Fine Islamic) Ware, which originated in the Jerusalem region. However, their decorations reflect stylistic traditions familiar across the Early Islamic Near East and beyond, including from statuary works, illustrated manuscripts, and other ceramics. Altogether, it can be suggested that rural elites in Early Islamic Palestine used luxury ceramics decorated with pan-Islamic patterns as a way of identifying themselves with cosmopolitan, pan-Islamic society.
A Preliminary Study of a Nineteenth-Century Persian Manuscript on Porcelain Manufacture in the Sipahsalar Library, Tehran
By: Mehran Matin, Moujan Matin
Abstract: The Risāla dar tafṣīl-i sākhtan-i chīnī (A Treatise on Porcelain Manufacture) is a Qajar-period manuscript in Persian, housed at the Sipahsalar Library in Tehran. It is the only known source that details the modern technology of porcelain production in the Qajar era (1789–1925). According to the information in the colophon, the scribe, Masih ibn Muhammad Baqir al-Firuzabadi, completed the manuscript in the year 1284 (1868). The text mentions that it is the translation of a French work, but no further reference to the original book is given. The purpose of this essay is to introduce and review the Persian manuscript, to reveal its relation to the three-volume Traité des arts céramiques ou des poteries (Treatise on Ceramic Arts or Potteries) by Alexandre Brongniart, a nineteenth-century scientist and director of the Sèvres Porcelain Factory, and to underline its importance to the history of art and technology in Qajar Iran.
An Unknown Collection of Preliminary Drawings and Extra Illustrations Prepared for The Arabian Antiquities of Spain by James Cavanah Murphy in the Gennadius Library, Athens
By: Lynda S. Mulvin
Abstract: In the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece, is a heretofore unknown large-format volume that contains many extra illustrations, original drawings, and proofs of plates for The Arabian Antiquities of Spain by James Cavanah Murphy (1760–1814). Based on research conducted between 1802 and 1809, The Arabian Antiquities of Spain features engravings of major monuments of Hispano-Islamic architecture, including the Alhambra, the Great Mosque at Cordoba, and the Generalife at Granada; the work was published posthumously in 1816. Since the Gennadius volume also includes sketches of Islamic monuments from Malaga, Seville, and Xeres, it appears that Murphy originally intended to publish a complete survey of Hispano-Islamic monuments in southern Spain. In the Gennadius volume, grangerized drawings are placed opposite published engravings for comparative purposes; the drawings include notes written by Murphy to the engravers, and several are hand-tinted, which reveal Murphy’s interest in polychromy. This article presents the newly discovered drawings in the Gennadius volume, which adds to our understanding of the monuments depicted in the published plates of Arabian Antiquities, and serves to position Murphy’s pioneering efforts in the context of architectural scholarship, chromolithography, and the book trade in the early nineteenth century.
Review of International Political Economy (Volume 25, Issue 5)
Different paths to regional hegemony: national identity contestation and foreign economic strategy in Russia and Turkey
By: Seçkin Köstem
Abstract: IPE scholars have extensively studied regionalisms in various parts of the globe. However, little has been done to explore the role that countries with regional leadership aspirations have played in fostering regional integration. Why do regional powers pursue different forms of leadership to exert economic influence over their neighbors and achieve regional hegemony? Through a comparison of Russia and Turkey, I argue that elite national identity conceptions construct national economic interests and shape foreign economic policies of these regional powers. In both countries, ruling elites have embraced national identity conceptions that were in stark contrast to the national identity conceptions of their predecessors. Russia under Putin has pursued a coercive hegemonic form of leadership in Eurasia contrary to the Yeltsin era. Conversely, Turkey under Erdogan has pursued liberal regional economic leadership in the Middle East as opposed to the coercive and isolationist policies of Westernist elites. In both cases, the consolidation of political power and international developments have strengthened the prevalent national identity conceptions at home, and reinforced regional economic leadership strategies. As it highlights the domestic ideational sources of the pursuit of regional hegemony, this study has implications for the study of regional powers, regionalism and economic nationalism.
Third World Quarterly (Volume 39, Issues 9 & 10)
Turkey’s global governance strategies at the UN compared to the BRICS (2008–2014): clarifying the motivation–contribution nexus
By: Emel Parlar Dal, Ali Murat Kurşun
Abstract: This study attempts to analyse Turkey’s contribution to the United Nations (UN) system in comparison with those of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) countries between 2008 and 2014 on three levels: personnel, financial, ideational. Employing an integrated methodology of a global governance contribution index (GGCI) and statistical analysis of complementary raw data, this study empirically reveals the degree to which Turkey was able to transfer its capabilities into an effective contribution to the UN system on the three levels. Drawing on the findings of its quantitative analysis, this paper further qualitatively assesses the reasons behind the gap between Turkey’s global governance motivations and its contribution to the UN system. In doing so, this study, first, deals with the main motivational drivers of its activism in global governance in the 2000s. After unpacking its integrated methodology, the second part of this study quantitatively compares Turkey’s contribution to the UN system to that of the BRICS. The third part of this study delves into the main trends and deficiencies in Turkey’s contribution to the UN system. Finally, this study concludes that Turkey, despite its high motivations for activism in global governance, has not performed well in transferring its capacities into contributions to the UN system, particularly on financial and personnel levels.
The AKP after 15 years: emergence of Erdoganism in Turkey
By: Ihsan Yilmaz, Galib Bashirov
Abstract: In recent years, several observers of Turkey have recognised a novel development in Turkish politics: the rise of Erdoganism. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s personality and style have come to embody the Turkish nation, the state and its economic, social and political institutions. But what is Erdoganism? What are its main attributes? Is it a mere ideology or the name of the emerging political regime in Turkey? While commentators have provided several observations of Erdoganism, it has not been duly examined on its own in the academic literature. This paper’s main premise is that in Turkey, a new political regime has emerged in recent years which can best be defined as Erdoganism. Erdoganism has four main dimensions: electoral authoritarianism as the electoral system, neopatrimonialism as the economic system, populism as the political strategy and Islamism as the political ideology. We first explain why we think Erdoganism is a better concept to define the emerging political regime in Turkey. We briefly discuss Sultanism, Khomeinism and Kemalism in order to produce a set of references for our discussion of Erdoganism. We then provide a thorough analysis, explaining the ways in which Erdoganism manifests itself through electoral authoritarianism, neopatrimonialism, populism and Islamism.
‘To be or not to be’ (like the West): modernisation in Russia and Iran
By: Ghoncheh Tazmini
Abstract: Having passed through a labyrinth of social contradictions, both Russia and Iran have reached a point on their historical timelines where they have transcended the logic of development of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today, Russian and Iranian modernisation reflects the interaction of universal norms and practices and specific cultural traditions. As an epistemological category, modernity can no longer be enchained in the grip of a totalising narrative. Modernity has given rise to civilisational patterns that share some core characteristics, but which unfold differently. The Russian and Iranian historical experiences reveal the need to take a much broader view of the modernisation process by placing it in the context of cultural adaptation of civilisational particularities to the challenge of modernity. The era of fixed, Euro-centric and non-reflexive modernity has reached its end, and we have, in practical terms, the emergence of ‘multiple modernities’.
Global international relations and the Arab Spring: the Maghreb’s challenge to the EU
By: J. N. C. Hill
Abstract: This article contributes to the Global International Relations project by critically evaluating the roles ascribed to Europe and the EU by Levitsky and Way in their model for explaining regime transitions. Focusing primarily on their international dimensions of linkage and leverage, it assesses both the normative geopolitical underpinnings and explanatory power of their thesis, drawing on the North African cases of Tunisia and Mauritania at the start of the Arab Spring to illustrate and substantiate its observations and arguments. It concludes that the EU’s failure to discipline either country’s competitive authoritarian regime raises important questions about the validity of the privileged role in which they cast Europe.
Washington Quarterly (Volume 41, Issue 3)
Who Wants What from Iran Now? The Post-Nuclear Deal U.S. Policy Debate
By: Kian Tajbakhsh
Abstract: Not available
When Preventive War Threats Work for Nuclear Nonproliferation
By: Matthew Fuhrmann
Abstract: Not available
[The articles below were recently added to the Peer-Reviewed Articles Review: Summer 2018 (Part 3). They have been included here for your convenience.]
Journal of Palestine Studies (Volume 47, Issue 4)
“Super-Israel”: The Politics of Palestinian Labor in a Settler Supermarket
By: Jeremy A. Siegman
Abstract: A careful examination of Palestinian service work in Israeli settlements and of everyday settler-Palestinian contact demonstrates how these encounters play a key role in normalizing the presence and dominance of settlers in the occupied West Bank. Based on ethnographic fieldwork at a settlement supermarket, this article shows that Palestinians are called upon to perform customer service in a setting where they are not only subjugated but are also coerced to help create the ultranationalist climate of their occupiers’ holidays. In addition to being compelled to normalize Israeli dominance, Palestinian workers are also the object of a seemingly contradictory orientation, one that favors not having Palestinians around at all. The article thus weighs in on the broader contemporary significance of Palestinian labor for the settler-colonial logics of Zionism.
Owning the Homeland: Property, Markets, and Land Defense in the West Bank
By: Paul Kohlbry
Abstract: This article examines the formation of land defense in relation to changing legal and economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories. It argues that as a result of settler capital and law, Palestinian land defense should be understood as emerging through, rather than apart from, private property. Specifically, it explores how private property and market forces shaped agrarian land defense (1970s–1980s) and real estate land defense (post-2007). In the 1970s and the 1980s, land defense sought to protect agriculture against market forces that drew Palestinians off the land and into wage labor in Israel. Beginning in the 1990s, the exclusion of Palestinians from Israeli wage labor and new forms of West Bank governance created the conditions for real estate land defense to appear. Taking the real estate project TABO as a case study, this article details its political logic, unexpected market effects, and social and economic limits.
An Immoral Dilemma: The Trap of Zionist Propaganda
By: Moshé Machover
Abstract: Political Zionism is based on the fallacy that there exists a single nation encompassing all the world’s Jews. How can Zionism claim that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, since the only attribute shared by all Jews is Judaism, a religion and not an attribute of nationhood in any modern sense of the word? Jews can belong to various nations—a Jew may be French, American, Indian, Argentinian, and so forth—but being Jewish excludes other religious affiliations. Thus, this essay argues, the Zionist claim that all the world’s Jews constitute a single distinct national entity is an ideological myth, invented as a misconceived way of dealing with the persecution and discrimination suffered by European Jews, in particular. Indeed, from its earliest iterations and up to the present day, Zionism—a colonizing project—has been fueled by an inverted form of anti-Semitism: if, as it claims, Israel acts on behalf of all Jews everywhere, then all Jews must be collectively held responsible for the actions of that state—clearly an anti-Semitic position.
Middle Eastern Literatures (Volume 21, Issue 1)
Embodying the beloved: embodiment, (homo)eroticism, and the straightening of desire in the hagiographic tradition of Fakhr al-Dīn ʿIrāqī
By: Matthew Thomas Miller
Abstract: Modern treatments of Sufi love theory have had a pronounced tendency to disembody and “straighten” Sufi eroticism in various ways. Focusing primarily on a series of anecdotes from the hagiography of the thirteenth-century Persian poet and profligate Sufi lover, Fakhr al-Dīn ʿIrāqī, the author argues that the centrality of bodies and embodied textual performances of Sufi love theory in Sufi hagiographic works not only militates against efforts to reduce this form of desire to a disembodied or philosophical love of “beautiful forms,” but it also helps us to re-embody a particular type of beloved: a same-sex beloved who often gets obscured and metaphorized out of corporeal existence in much modern scholarship. Medieval Sufi eroticism, the author concludes, should not be viewed as a rejection of the body and sexuality, but rather an effort to harness the considerable affective potency inherent in these phenomena for spiritual ends.
Rethinking the Eurocentric gaze in narratives of urban modernity: the Shaykh, the Flâneur, and the orientalist in Takhlīṣ al-Ibrīz and ʿAlam al-Dīn
By: Mona El-Sherif
Abstract: This paper situates two early nahḍāh texts, Takhlīṣ al- Ibrīz fī talkhīṣ Bārīz and ʿAlam al-Dīn in the canonical imaginary of urban modernity. The paper argues that Takhlīṣ and ʿAlam al-Dīn capture the impact of technology and urban culture on literary writing in the nineteenth-century. By analyzing the authorial position of the figure of the Muslim shaykh in the nineteenth -century metropolis the paper traces the rise of a global Arabic literary imaginary. I argue that Takhlīṣ and ʿAlam al-Dīn posit the literary text as an essential site of legibility in an urban culture where circulation, mobility, and visual cognition played significant roles in shaping authorial positions. I examine how those two early nahḍah texts impose a reevaluation of the current canonical knowledge of the practice of flânerie—commonly associated with the bourgeois male figure of the flâneur. The paper analyzes the history of shaykh Ṭahṭāwī’s encounter with the culture of flânerie tracing its influence on ‘Alī Mubārak’s ʿAlam al-Dīn. By situating those early narratives in the canon of urban literature, this paper sheds light on the intersection between literary narratives, circulation, visual culture, and the conditions of unequal literary exchanges in modern urban culture.
Whose war is it anyway? Multilingual games as political encoding in Rawi Hage’s De Niro’s Game
By: Syrine Hout
Abstract: This article examines Rawi Hage’s De Niro’s Game (2006) by focusing on its sociolinguistics, its author-driven translating, transliterating, and glossing of Arabic words/terms, and the interplay between dialogical and textual code-switching. It demonstrates how these strategies amount to multilingual games that provide an indirect yet critical semantic dimension accessible only to the insider reader who has not only a grasp of English, but also knowledge of the Arabic language and of Lebanese culture and history. This dimension, I argue, is revealed through a deep multilingualism, which some critics contend no longer has currency in prize-winning twenty-first-century fiction by diasporic authors, most of whom use code-switching as window dressing for an Anglo-American audience. This novel’s Arabic usages help deliver an additional critique of right-wing Phalange political ideology, Christian sectarianism, and how they are linked to racism, classism, and views on Israeli military action. More generally, I argue that these multilingual practices allow this novel to subtly challenge both nationalist and postcolonial approaches by adopting a unique angle from which to critique warmongering, xenophobia, and sectarianism, both within and across national, linguistic, and cultural boundaries.
Is perfect “Passing” possible? nationalism and gender in the Writings of Sayed Kashua
By: Dana Olmert
Abstract: The essay addresses a central aspect in the writings of the Israeli-Palestinian writer, scriptwriter and journalist, Sayed Kashua: the passion of his main characters, all Israeli-Arabs, to assimilate into Jewish culture and pass as Jews. It argues that narratives of “passing”, even when dealing with the crossing of racial, national or social lines, are necessarily tied to gender models. Literature and history are full of stories of “passing”, and all of them, including Kashua’s, depict a craving to pass that shows an affinity to forceful binary heteronormative ideals of manhood and womanhood. The essay offers an analysis of the narrative of “passing” in Kashua’s third novel, Second Person Singular (2010). It points to the successful “passing” of the protagonist, Amir, and examines the psycho-political implications of this success by comparing it with other protagonists in Kashua’s earlier writing, who all failed to pass as Jewish-Israelis.
Third World Quarterly (Volume 39, Issue 8)
From resistance to military institutionalisation: the case of the peshmerga versus the Islamic State
By: Marianna Charountaki
Abstract: This study explores differing strategies and tactics employed by the peshmerga forces against the Islamic State (IS). This experience highlights a number of issues which are relevant to contemporary security debates. Firstly, the struggle highlights important aspects of the development of the peshmerga and their strategies as an organised non-state military force (defending as it does the Kurdistan Region in Iraq). Secondly, the peshmerga–IS conflict is an important case study of small wars. The strategy and tactics used here are therefore useful empirical references about the effectiveness of military force in counter-insurgency. Finally, the war against IS united the peshmerga forces, possibly for the first time, and effected a radical change in the Kurdish use of military tactics, including the shift from defensive to offensive strategies. The article examines the methods employed by the peshmerga forces against IS, explains why the cases of Makhmour and Shingal stand out as tipping points, and discusses the evolution of Kurdish defence capacity.
Regulating religious authority for political gains: al-Sisi’s manipulation of al-Azhar in Egypt
By: Masooda Bano, Hanane Benadi
Abstract: The shedding of blood is a serious matter in Islamic law; disregard for human life negates the very essence of just rule. By standing by General al-Sisi as he suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood, the popular legitimacy of al-Azhar – the oldest seat of Islamic learning – was called into question. This article shows how the al-Sisi government skilfully deployed the two other state-controlled religious establishments, the Ministry of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) and Dar-ul-Ifta, to boost al-Azhar’s popular legitimacy in this context. Existing scholarship highlights the importance of competition within the Egyptian religious sphere to explain how the Egyptian state co-opts the al-Azhari official establishment. This article instead shows how the state, equally skilfully, uses state institutions to boost al-Azhar’s popular legitimacy – albeit to ensure that it remains useful for the purposes of political legitimisation. Political authority and religious authority in Egypt thus remain closely entangled.