[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the eighth in a series of “Peer-Reviewed Article Reviews” in which we present a collection of journals and their articles concerned with the Middle East and Arab world. This series will be published seasonally. Each issue will comprise one-to-three parts, depending on the number of articles included.]
American Ethnologist (Volume 46, Issue 2)
Impossible occultists: Practice and participation in an Islamic tradition
By: Alireza Doostdar
Abstract: Since the turn of the 21st century, many middle‐class Iranians have turned to the Islamic tradition of occult sciences to find solutions to difficult life problems. Despite the intensity of their engagements, these Iranians often consider occult practice impossible. Their struggles elucidate differences between practicing a tradition and participating in it: In practice, one’s purposes (healing a friend, cursing an enemy, winning a love interest, acquiring wealth) are aligned with internal goods like esoteric insight and realizing connections between the microcosm and macrocosm of God’s universe. In participation, purposes and internal goods exist in tension and remain unreconciled. Participation may thus appear as a negation of practice, but it can also emerge as a possibility for learning or creating something new.
British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan (Issue 24)
The evolving environment of the Nile Delta from 6000 BP to the present
By: Judith M. Bunbury, Ben Pennington, Laurence Pryer
Abstract: In this article we explore how the Delta was inundated by sea-level rise at the end of the last Ice Age to produce a geographically rich habitat for humans.1 When the sea level stopped rising the coast of the Delta began to move (prograde) seawards and the distributary network that had been strongly branching began to focus into a limited number of branches that radiated from the Memphis area. The changes in the distributary network led to increased importance for the Memphis area and the possibility that a single town could control traffic on each of the branches within the Delta. The development of the Delta also produced a migration of its head, first southwards and then to the north, which may have been one of the factors that influenced the changing locations of the Egyptian pyramid fields and subsequent developments. It is in this context that Naukratis was founded, during Dynasty 26 (c. 685–525 BC, Herodotus History, 2.178–79, Dewald 1998), at a strategic point within the Nile Delta (Fig. 1). The Canopic branch upon which Naukratis was founded is now silted up (Pennington and Thomas 2016), as are others of the former branches of the Nile (Stanley and Warne 1993). We explore the changing landscapes of Egypt and, in particular, the Nile over the past 6,000 years to provide a context for the site.
Greek landings and Hellenic appropriations in ‘the island’ (the Egyptian Delta)
By: Jean-Yves Carrez-Maratray
Abstract: This article proposes a re-examination of historical traditions, mainly ‘non-Herodotean’, that concern the first Greek landings in Egypt. If the Herodotean narrative is focused on the military arrival of ‘Ionians and Carians’ during the first years of Psamtek I, i.e. in 664–650 BC, some heroic traditions concerning such place names as ‘the Watchtower of Perseus’ or ‘Thonis’ suggest pre-Saitic Dorian abortive landings via the Libyan coastline. These early tentative landings were repelled by the drastic control of the shore established in the early years of the Saite dynasty, as Hecataeus of Abdera (cited by Diodorus I, 66, 8 Bekker 1888–1890) tells us. Finally, Strabo’s statement about ‘the Wall of the Milesians’ confirms what the archaeological evidence already suggested: that the opening of inland Egypt to Ionian trade, and the creation of the emporion of Naukratis, occurred in the last years of Psamtek’s reign, i.e. between 625 and 610 BC.
Naukratis: Egyptian offerings in context
By: Aurélia Masson-Berghoff
Abstract: This paper focuses especially on contexts in which Egyptian votive and/or ritual objects were consecrated or deposited. Two particularly rich contexts are considered here, the ‘cache of bronzes’ discovered by Flinders Petrie in 1885, and deposits excavated in the vicinity of the Great Temenos by Francis Llewellyn Griffith in 1885 and David Hogarth in 1903. All yielded Late Period material. Despite the many challenges that the recontextualisation of the finds presents, these contexts offer a unique insight into Egyptian religious practices and beliefs at Naukratis. A few Egyptian votives discovered within Greek sanctuaries will be briefly mentioned (for Egyptian figurines discovered in Greek sanctuaries see Thomas forthcoming).
Absent, invisible or revealed ‘relics’? X-radiography and CT scanning of Egyptian bronze votive boxes from Naukratis and elsewhere
By: Aurélia Masson-Berghoff, Daniel O’Flynn
Abstract: This contribution provides the results of an investigation carried out on a group of sealed rectangular bronze boxes, commonly referred to as relic-boxes or reliquaries (reliquaires), but also as mummy-cases (Mumienkästchen), animal coffins or votive coffins. These designations are more or less appropriate, though ‘relic-boxes’ and ‘reliquaries’, with their heavy Christian connotations, sound incongruous in an ancient Egyptian setting (on the problematic terminology of these objects: Thum 2012, 68–75). All of them, however, allude to the faunal remains that these boxes were supposed to contain. These objects gained massive popularity as part of a new form of animal worship that rose to significance in Egypt during the 1st millennium BC. Millions of animals were mummified and buried in religious complexes during the Late and Ptolemaic periods, for example at Saqqara, Bubastis, Abydos and Tuna el-Gebel (e.g. Ikram 2005a; Kessler and Abd el Halim Nur el-Din 2005; Kessler 2008). The objects under examination are just one example of the material expression of this animal cult.
Dead Sea Discoveries (Volume 26, Issue 1)
4Q147: An Amulet?
By: Ariel Feldman, Faina Feldman
Abstract: Among the tefillin and mezuzot edited by Józef T. Milik in DJD 6 is 4Q147 (4QPhylactère T). Milik was unable to decipher this scroll, and it remains unpublished. This study offers a preliminary edition of 4Q147. Like many tefillin from the Judean Desert, it was written in a tiny semi-cursive script and folded. However, while tefillin contain passages from Exodus and Deuteronomy, 4Q147 features a non-scriptural text. Elaborating on God’s generous provisions and evoking angelic names, this minuscule scroll might be an amulet.
Ezekiel’s Promised Spirit as Adam’s Revelatory Spirit in the Hodayot
By: Rony Kozman
Abstract: “And I know by the spirit that you placed in me” is a recurring formula in 1QHodayota (5:35–36; 20:14–15; 21:34). This essay demonstrates this formula’s compositional genesis with respect to the union of its constituent parts: the epistemic formula (“I know that”); and the divine-inputting formula (“that you placed in me”). Ezekiel’s promised spirit (Ezek 36:16–37:14) motivated this union, and 1QHa reaccentuates Ezekiel’s spirit as a revelatory spirit. This essay also shows the significance of the formula’s distribution in psalms of the Maskil, and its placement in contexts that conjoin Ezekiel’s promised spirit (Ezek 36:16–37:14) with adam’s creation (Genesis 1–3). The Maskil is liturgically enacted as an ignorant adamic “I” (Gen 2:7a) who is now a divinely inspirited adam (Ezek 36:16–37:14; Gen 2:7b), possessing the revelatory spirit that gives him the esoteric knowledge of God’s universe-ordering wisdom. The Maskil mediates his knowledge of the mystery to his community.
Pesher on the True Israel, Commentary on Canticles? Józef Milik’s Designations for Unidentified Qumran Cave 4 Manuscripts on Museum Plates 303 and 304
By: Eibert Tigchelaar
Abstract: This article identifies the Qumran Cave 4 manuscripts which Józef Milik labelled, more than fifty years ago, 4Q239 Pesher on the True Israel, 4Q240 Commentary on Canticles?, 4Q241 Fragments citing Lamentations, and 4Q349 Sale of Property. In addition two other manuscripts are identified: one tiny fragment preserves part of a copy of the Prayer of Manasseh (known from 4Q381), and an unidentified manuscript appears to be a communal confession.
Legislating the Lips: Revisiting Vows and Oaths in the Temple Scroll and the Damascus Document
By: Paul Cizek
Abstract: The Temple Scroll (11QTa 53:11–54:5) and Damascus Document (CD 16:6–12) each appropriate legislation concerning vows and oaths from Deut 23:22–24 and Num 30:3–17. Lawrence H. Schiffman, who has offered the only at-length comparison of these appropriations, characterizes these halakhot as incongruent and links this conclusion with his position that the Temple Scroll is Sadducean and the Damascus Document comes from a later Sadducean splinter group. However, my analysis leads to a different conclusion. I demonstrate that the authors of the Temple Scroll and Damascus Document evidence distinct aims in their appropriations of shared base texts, but not necessarily incongruence nor intentional divergence.
Iran and the Caucasus (Volume 23, Issue 2)
Prophets of the East: The Ilkhanid Historian Rashīd al-Dīn on the Buddha, Laozi and Confucius and the Question of his Chinese Sources (Part 2)
By: Francesco Calzolaio, Francesca Fiaschetti
Abstract: The Ilkhanid vizier and historian Rashīd al-Dīn’s section on China (the History of China) in his world history, the Jāmiʿal-tawārīkh, is the first Persian history of the Chinese world. Among other information on China, this text includes accounts of the lives and deeds of the founders of its three major religious and philosophical schools: Buddha, Laozi and Confucius. As a continuation to the first part of the paper, devoted to Rashīd al-Dīn’s account on the Buddha, here we focus on the excerpts on Laozi and Confucius, which probably constitute the first discussions of these two figures in the Islamicate world. Reading these excerpts against the background of Chinese sources, striking similarities can be found between Rashīd al-Dīn’s accounts and the narratives of Buddhist ‘universal histories’ of the early Yuan period, belonging to the historiographical production of the Chan school.
The Number of the ’Ahl aḏ-Ḏimma in the Vilayet of Armīnīya of the Arab Caliphate
By: Arsen K. Shahinyan
Abstract: The article is an attempt to restore the approximate number of the people classified by the Shariʽa law as ’ahl aḏ-ḏimma, i.e. gentiles (mostly Christians), who were under the protection of the Arab (Islamic) Caliphate in the vilayet of Armīnīya and in its three administrative units—Armīnīya I, Armīnīya II (Arrān), and Armīnīya III (Djurzan/Ǧurzān).
Circassia: Remembering the Past Empowers the Future
By: Charlotte Hille, Renée Gendron
Abstract: This article recounts the story of how the Circassians have been able to raise awareness of their deportation in the 1860s during the Caucasian Wars. After a brief methodology the authors provide an overview of the Circassian history. The second section analyses the period when the Circassian population came under Russian rule after the 1860s. The third part focuses on three broad approaches or strategies used by several Circassian groups to increase the awareness of the Circassian subjugation in the 1860s. The last two sections discuss some of the changes that have occurred as a direct result of the work undertaken by Circassian organisations. The authours argue that the Circassians have created lieux de mémoire, especially since the beginning of the 1990s, what does not always overlap with the dominant Russian perception of history in the North Caucasus. The analysis demonstrates how the Circassians have (re)discovered their story and the impact of this new information on their actions.
Iranian Studies (Volume 52, Issue 1)-2
The Pahlavi National Library Project: Education and Modernization in Late Pahlavi Iran
By: Robert Steele
Abstract: This paper examines the Pahlavi National Library, the planning for which began in 1972 and expired in 1978 on the eve of the Islamic Revolution. The Pahlavi National Library was to rank in size and eminence with the great libraries of the world, yet this extraordinary project has hitherto received little to no scholarly attention. Using documents primarily from the archives of the shah’s cultural counsellor at the imperial court, Shojāʿeddin Shafā, this paper looks in detail at a number of initiatives spearheaded by Shafā from the early 1960s, which essentially laid the groundwork for the Pahlavi National Library, in order to understand how the shah’s regime used culture and scholarship to further its political goals. The paper proceeds to investigate the Pahlavi National Library, analyzing it in the context of the shah’s domestic and foreign policy objectives.
Ayatollah Khomeini: From Islamic Government to Sovereign State
By: Rasoul Namazi
Abstract: This paper argues that the mature form of the political doctrine of the Ayatollah Khomeini (1902–89), Iranian Shiite religious authority and architect of the Islamic Republic of Iran, grew out of an encounter with the modern understanding of the state and the concept of sovereignty. Khomeini’s political doctrine, called the Absolute Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, although based on a religious foundation, should be studied as a break with the traditional understanding of political power in Shiism. It will be argued that such a political doctrine can play the same role as the Christian rhetoric of the early modern political thinkers played, pave the way for modernization of Shiite political thought, and prepare the ground for a modern temporal conception of politics.
Talking to Workers: From Khomeini to Ahmadinejad, how the Islamic Republic’s Discourse on Labor Changed through May Day Speeches (1979‒2009)
By: M. Stella Morgana
Abstract: This paper explores the transformations of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s dominant narratives on labor between 1979 and 2009. By analyzing official May Day speeches of this period, it navigates multiple constructions of workers’ roles, which were systematically propagated by the IRI’s Supreme Leader and president over time. The analysis relies on the following primary sources: from the 1979 May Day sermon, pronounced by Ruhollah Khomeini, to the 2009 speech given by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, together with messages sent by Ali Khamenei, Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami. Showing how workers’ role—understood as a collective and distinct group—was gradually minimized, this paper argues that a bottom-up cleaning up process slowly purified May Day. In fact, the IRI progressively neglected workers as (revolutionary) social actors and interlocutors, as it stopped talking to masses and started speaking to middle classes.
Aspirations and Job Success of Highly Qualified Second Generation Iranians in Germany
By: Lars Müller & René Kooij
Abstract: This study pioneers the quantitative research of second generation Iranian graduates in Germany. Second generation immigrants in Germany, immigrants raised in Germany with at least one parent born abroad, are relevant as they are a crucial part of German society. Second generation immigrants in general as well as Iranians in particular are assumed to have high extrinsic aspirations. But a dataset big enough to study the employment situation of second generation Iranian graduates in Germany did not exist. Therefore, the article uses the KOAB dataset from 2011 to 2015, which contains data from 53,429 full-time employed higher education graduates in Germany (among those are 161 second generation Iranians). Their extrinsic job aspirations and career success (income, job satisfaction) are analyzed. Multivariate analyses reveal the higher extrinsic job aspirations of second generation Iranian graduates compared to many other migrant groups and Germans but similar to second generation Turkish graduates. Nevertheless, the extrinsic job aspiration is relevant, though only one factor among others to predict career success.
Islamic Law and Society (Volume 26, Issue 1-2)
Khulʿ Divorce in the Netherlands: Dutch Muslim Women Seeking Religious Divorce
By: Esther Van Eijk
Abstract: In this article, the author examines the ways in which a number of Dutch Muslim women try to obtain an Islamic divorce. The road to a divorce, often long and winding, does not always lead to a satisfactory conclusion. I explore the question of why it can be difficult for Muslim women to obtain a religious divorce. Drawing on recent empirical research into the phenomenon of ‘marital captivity’ – a situation in which someone is unable to terminate a (religious) marriage, I examine the case of a Dutch Muslim woman who, at the instigation of a civil court, managed to negotiate a khulʿ agreement with her ‘ex’-husband, who released her from the marital bond. This exceptional example of a khulʿ practice in the Netherlands attests to the versatility of this under-researched form of Islamic divorce and how it is used in a Muslim minority context in Europe.
Extra-Judicial Khulʿ Divorce in India’s Muslim Personal Law
By: Sylvia Vatuk
Abstract: This essay examines khulʿ divorce as it is interpreted, understood, and practiced in India by Sunni Hanafi Muslims. My research was part of a broadly focused investigation of the impact of India’s Muslim Personal Law upon women’s well-being, begun in 1998 and on-going. I draw upon ethnographic and archival data collected between 1998 and 2001, as well as a recent review of the relevant case law. Widespread stereotypes represent Indian Muslim women as powerless to free themselves from unhappy marriages. However, they do have several legal options. One is to offer the husband a consideration for granting an extra-judicial divorce by khulʿ. This has distinct advantages over filing for divorce in a court of law. But its downside is that the husband must agree to release his wife from the marriage. Many refuse, others drive hard bargains or create other difficulties for the wife that are discussed in the essay.
Divorce Reform in Egypt and Morocco: Men and Women Navigating Rights and Duties
By: Nadia Sonneveld
Abstract: This essay focuses on recent divorce reforms in Egypt (2000) and Morocco (2004), with equal attention to the positions of men and women who end their marriages. Whereas in Egypt, non-consensual, no-fault divorce reform (khul‘) is open only to women, in Morocco, another form of non-consensual, no-fault divorce, shiqāq, is open to both women and men, with men using it almost as frequently as women. Based on legal analysis and anthropological fieldwork, I consider first how men and women navigate rights and duties in divorce and then examine the differences between the two countries in the way men and women try to obtain divorce. I conclude that when both men and women are given opportunities for non-consensual, no fault divorce, highly gender-specific divorce regimes, such as the ṭalāq and taṭlīq, quickly lose their popularity.
Sharia and the Making of the Modern Egyptian: Islamic Law and Custom in the Courts of Ottoman Cairo, written by Reem A. Meshal, 2014
By: Abdurrahman Atçıl
Abstract: Not available
Sharī‘a Scripts: A Historical Anthropology, written by Brinkley Messick, 2018
By: Boğaç Ergene
Abstract: Not available
Journal of Peace Research (Volume 56, Issues 2 & 3)
Obstruction and intimidation of peacekeepers: How armed actors undermine civilian protection efforts
By: Allard Duursma
Abstract: While recent research focuses on why conflict parties attack peacekeepers, little attention has been given to other types of resistance against peacekeeping missions, such as intimidation and obstruction. It is argued in this article that one reason why peacekeepers are obstructed and intimidated is that armed actors that target civilians want to maintain the operational space to carry out attacks against civilians and want to prevent peacekeepers from monitoring human rights violations. A spatially and temporally disaggregated analysis on resistance against peacekeepers in Darfur between January 2008 and April 2009 indeed suggests that the intimidation and obstruction of peacekeepers is more likely to take place in areas with higher levels of violence against civilians. The findings hold when taking into account the non-random occurrence of violence against civilians through matching the data. Finally, anecdotal evidence from other sites of armed conflict than Darfur suggests that resistance against peacekeepers in these cases is also likely to be related to the targeting of civilians. This suggest that in order to be effective in protecting civilians, peace missions should not only be robust as highlighted in previous research, but peace missions should also develop an effective strategy to deal with armed groups that try to prevent peacekeepers from fulfilling their mandate.
Fratricide in rebel movements: A network analysis of Syrian militant infighting
By: Emily Kalah Gade, Mohammed M Hafez
Abstract: Violent conflict among rebels is a common feature of civil wars and insurgencies. Yet, not all rebel groups are equally prone to such infighting. While previous research has focused on the systemic causes of violent conflict within rebel movements, this article explores the factors that affect the risk of conflict between pairs of rebel groups. We generate hypotheses concerning how differences in power, ideology, and state sponsors between rebel groups impact their propensity to clash and test them using data from the Syrian civil war. The data, drawn from hundreds of infighting claims made by rebel groups on social media, are used to construct a network of conflictual ties among 30 rebel groups. The relationship between the observed network structure and the independent variables is evaluated using network analysis metrics and methods including assortativity, community structure, simulation, and latent space modeling. We find strong evidence that ideologically distant groups have a higher propensity for infighting than ideologically proximate ones. We also find support for power asymmetry, meaning that pairs of groups of disparate size are at greater risk of infighting than pairs of equal strength. No support was found for the proposition that sharing state sponsors mitigates rebels’ propensity for infighting. Our results provide an important corrective to prevailing theory, which discounts the role of ideology in militant factional dynamics within fragmented conflicts.
Intergroup commonality, political ideology, and tolerance of enemy collateral casualties in intergroup conflicts
By: Noa Schori-Eyal, Eran Halperin, Tamar Saguy
Abstract: Despite their pernicious effect on intergroup conflict, collateral casualties are seen as inevitable and justified by many members of the groups involved, particularly those who endorse a right-wing ideology. Drawing on social psychological literature, we examined whether a perception of commonality between in-group and out-group can be beneficial for reducing tolerance to collateral causalities. We hypothesized that viewing the out-group as sharing commonalities with the in-group can reduce processes of out-group delegitimization, which are common among right-wingers in intractable conflicts, and may therefore serve to explain reduction in tolerance to collateral casualties. Three correlational studies were conducted among Jewish-Israelis in the context of the conflict with the Palestinians to test this. In Study 1, right-wing political ideology was associated with stronger support for enemy collateral casualties, and the effect was moderated by perceived intergroup commonality. While leftists were overall non-supportive of collateral casualties, rightists who perceived high intergroup commonality were less tolerant of collateral casualties than those low on intergroup commonality. In Study 2, conducted during violent escalation, we replicated these results while controlling for anger, fear, and hatred. In Study 3, we found that the effect was mediated by delegitimization of the out-group. These results extend the range of beneficial impact of intergroup commonality, and imply that it may be used as a tool to promote conflict resolution.
Mediterranean Politics (Volume 24, Issue 1)
Neo-settler colonialism and the re-formation of territory: Privatization and nationalization in Israel
By: Haim Yacobi, Erez Tzfadia
Abstract: In this article we critically analyse the production of Israeli territory vis a vis the ongoing transformation of land and planning policies from ones based on pure nationalism to those purporting neo-liberal logic. Unlike the existing literature − including the most recent critical body of knowledge on planning, resource management and public policy in Israel − we contend that this transformation must be understood within the framework of settler colonialism. Our main argument is that the growing dominance of neo-liberal policies, expressed in the form of new public management, privatization of space, planning and territorial management, is bound up with Israel’s settler-colonial politics. Based on our detailed study of the dynamics of the privatization of space in Israel, we conceptualize the interplay between centralistic-national territorial management and new public management, free market-driven, privatization-prone, liberal planning and land policies as neo-settler colonialism. This concept focuses on the symbiotic relationships between these two vectors, with the latter providing a new mechanism of colonial control.
Turkey’s economic rapprochement towards Syria and the territorial conflict over Hatay
By: Shaimaa Magued
Abstract: This article addresses the Justice and Development Party’s economic rapprochement towards Syria since 2002. While, the literature tackling the Turkish economic foreign policy has mainly focused on the reasons behind the rise of Turkey’s trade, this study argues that Turkey’s economic policy contributed to the alleviation of the Hatay issue, a historical territorial conflict that marked bilateral relations for long decades.
The boundaries of acceptability: France’s positioning and rhetorical strategies during the Arab uprisings
By: Philippe Beauregard, Arsène Brice Bado, Jonathan Paquin
Abstract: Why did French leaders adopt vastly different positions during the Arab uprisings? Building on recent studies that emphasize the importance of rhetoric to understand states’ behaviour, this article argues that France’s inconsistent positioning results from decision-makers trying to remain within political boundaries that are acceptable both to their domestic audiences and to foreign partners. Through a chronological content analysis of France’s top decision-makers’ responses to the crises in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain, the article provides evidence that acceptability-enhancing rhetorical strategies contribute to explaining foreign policy positioning.
Women, information ecology, and political protest in the Middle East
By: Nadya Hajj, Patrick J. McEwan, Rebecca Turkington
Abstract: Does internet usage increase the likelihood of political protest, and is the effect larger among women than men? Using data from three waves of the Arab Barometer Survey, historical research and interviews with women activists, this paper contributes to the growing body of literature on information ecology and contentious politics in the Middle East. We hypothesized that the internet increases public protest for all individuals but differentially enhances women’s involvement in public protest in the Middle East. We find that there are substantial gender gaps in internet usage and political protest, and that internet usage increases political protest of adults, on average, regardless of gender. However, internet usage does not differentially increase public protest among women (including during the Arab Spring). Our paper problematizes the notion that the internet is a low-cost and safe space for women’s political activism.
Conditionality, migration control and bilateral disputes: The view from the Greek–Turkish borders in the Aegean
By: Maria Gregou
Abstract: The article provides a conceptual framework for understanding the return of third country nationals from Greece and the European Union, as well as their readmission by Turkey, a critical issue of migration policy at the European external borders. Return and readmission could be conceptualized as integral to the EU conditionality, a key tool at the disposal of the European Union to encourage and ensure compliance with its norms. In this respect, incentives are offered to countries of origin or transit as reward for the enforcement of expulsion decisions and the regulation of migration issues. Return and readmission could also be understood in respect to cooperation between two sovereign states, wherein expected costs and benefits are constantly (re)evaluated on the basis of their recurrent bilateral interactions. Thus, migration issues between Greece and Turkey should be grasped as indivisible to relations between a member state and a prospective one; in this sense, they could be interpreted in relation to Turkey’s progress towards the adoption of the acquis communautaire, in the light however of the politically volatile border between the two countries.
Middle East Law and Governance (Volume 11, Issue 1)
Cartelization, Neoliberalism, and the Foreclosure of the Jasmine Revolution: Democracy’s Troubles in Tunisia
By: Colin Powers
Abstract: While frequently hailed as the sole success story of the Arab Uprisings, the consolidation of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution has in fact proven deeply problematic. This paper will argue that the frailty of Tunisia’s democratic present is a direct function of liberal democratization, specifically implicating this practice of democratization in the hollowing and cartelization of the political system. In insulating policymaking within a host of nocturnal councils, I will argue that liberal democratization has purposefully obstructed the translation of popular preferences into policy outcomes, thereby preventing the Tunisian people from realizing the social democracy they so clearly desire.
Lying, Denying, or Justifying? Rethinking Authoritarian Repression Strategies in Light of Ben Ali’s Tunisia
By: Mirjam Edel
Abstract: “This article argues that authoritarian decision-makers attempt to evade negative consequences from international audiences by applying cushioning strategies in the form of obfuscation, rhetorical justification and/or procedural justification. In that way, they adapt their repressive tactics and manipulate the visibility and perception of their repressive behavior. Ben Ali’s main strategy was to obfuscate, i.e. to deny and cover repression. However, as international audiences are far from applying the same yardstick to all human rights violations, ruling elites often repress targets differently depending on whether audiences have links and sympathy. Again, this becomes apparent in the Tunisian case study, from which hypotheses are generated for future research.”
Resilience through Learning and Adaptation: Lebanon’s Power-Sharing System and the Syrian Refugee Crisis
By: Carmen Geha
Abstract: This article conceptualizes the Lebanese sectarian power-sharing system as a resilient system. Utilizing the case of the Lebanese government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis, the article unpacks this notion of resilience through two mechanisms of learning and adaptation. The article contributes to the literature on power-sharing by focusing on policy-making during political deadlock and crisis. Anchored in empirical evidence, this article explains how the Lebanese government exhibited learning and adaptation by facilitating the efforts of donors, municipalities and ngos to respond to the evolving refugee crisis. In doing so, the deadlock that prevailed during that time-frame did not translate into policy inaction. While not considering that the Lebanese response was a rights-based approach to addressing the crisis, the article contends that mechanisms of learning and adaptation help reveal some form of response to this crisis. Understanding this response can help in future theorizing about the continuity of power-sharing systems.
Near Eastern Archaeology (Volume 82, Issue 1)
The Rise of Ancient Israel in the Iron I–IIA: The Need for a Closer Look
By: Omer Sergi, Yuval Gadot
Abstract: Not available
New Fragments of “Nectanebo the Falcon” from the Temple of Behbeit el-Hagar
By: Mahmoud A. Emam, Ehab Abd el-Zaher
Abstract: Two new fragments (no. 456 and Hor.Behbeit.4) presenting the lower part of two unfinished Horus statues in the form of a falcon embracing the king between his claws were discovered recently during irrigation works in the western side of the temple of Behbeit el-Hagar in 2009. The authors present a full description of the two newly discovered fragments and propose their dating to the reign of King Nectanebo II (360–342 B.C.E.) by comparing them with two other statue bases of the falcon Horus dated to the same king that are apparently from Behbeit el-Hagar. The strong relations between King Nectanebo II and the god Horus in Behbeit are in evidence.
Earliest Israel in Highland Company
By: Lauren Monroe, Daniel E. Fleming
Abstract: Not available
“All These Are the Twelve Tribes of Israel”: The Origins of Israel’s Kinship Identity
By: Kristin Weingart
Abstract: Not available
The Iron I Settlement Wave in the Samaria Highlands and Its Connection with the Urban Centers
By: Yuval Gadot
Abstract: Not available
The Formation of Israelite Identity in the Central Canaanite Highlands in the Iron Age I–IIA
By: Omer Sergi
Abstract: Not available
Food, Pork Consumption, and Identity in Ancient Israel
By: Lidar Sapir-Hen
Abstract: Not available
Political Science Quarterly (Volume 134, Issue 1)
The Enduring Constraints on Iran’s Power after the Nuclear Deal
By: Thomas Juneau
Abstract: Thomas Juneau assesses the 2016 nuclear deal with Iran. He argues that critics of this deal incorrectly argued that it enhanced Iran’s position in the Middle East. He concludes that even under the deal Iran’s ability to gain power and to exert regional influence remained constrained.
Constitutional Foundations of Military Coups
By: Abdullah Aydogan
Abstract: Abdullah Aydogan argues that military coups are less likely to occur in countries with parliamentary systems. In these countries, he claims, military elites seeking to remove chief executives often select other strategies, such as threatening legislators.
Security Studies (Volume 28, Issue 2)
Vicarious Retribution in US Public Support for War Against Iraq
By: Peter Liberman, Linda Skitka
Abstract: US public anger and desire to avenge the September 11, 2001 terror attacks were redirected toward Iraq partly because of its identity as an Arab and Muslim state. Online panel survey data reveal that citizens who were relatively angry about the terror attacks were more belligerent toward Iraq, an effect that was strongest among those who perceived Arabs and Muslims in monolithic terms. The angry desire to avenge 9/11 was more persistent for those who saw Arabs and Muslims in that light, and its effect on war support was partially mediated by worsened feelings about Arabs and Muslims in general. These findings help explain why public belligerence toward Iraq shot up right after 9/11, before President George W. Bush began alleging that Iraq was pursuing weapons of mass destruction and had ties to al Qaeda.
Why did the United States Invade Iraq in 2003?
By: Ahsan I. Butt
Abstract: Why did the United States invade Iraq in 2003? Most scholars cite the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), a neoconservative desire to spread democracy, or the placating of domestic interest groups as the Bush administration’s objectives, but I suggest these arguments are flawed. Instead, I proffer the “performative war” thesis resting on the concepts of status, reputation, and hierarchy to explain the Iraq war. Hegemons desire generalized deterrence, such that others do not challenge their territory, preferences, or rule. However, the challenging of a hegemon’s authority—as occurred on 9/11—generates a need to assert hegemony and demonstrate strength to a global audience. Only fighting a war can demonstrate such strength; no peaceful bargain, even a lopsided one, can achieve the same effect. Consistent with this framework, the United States fought Iraq mainly for its demonstration effect—defeating the recalcitrant Saddam would lead other states to fear the United States and submit to its authority and global order.
Noncitizen Soldiers: Explaining Foreign Recruitment by Modern State Militaries
By: Kolby Hanson, Erik Lin-Greenberg
Abstract: More than a century after citizen armies became an international norm, nearly two dozen states actively recruit foreigners into their militaries. Why do these states skirt the strong citizen-soldier norm and continue to welcome foreigners? To explain this practice, we first identify two puzzles associated with foreign recruitment. The first is practical: foreign recruits pose loyalty, logistical, and organizational challenges that domestic soldiers do not. The second is normative: noncitizen soldiers lie in a normative gray zone, permitted under the letter of international law but in tension with the spirit of international norms against mercenary armies. Next, we survey foreign military recruitment programs around the world and sort them into three broad types of programs, each with its own primary motivation: importing expertise, importing labor, and bolstering international bonds. We explain these categories and explore three exemplary cases in depth: Australia, Bahrain, and Israel. Our findings suggest that foreign recruitment can affect a state’s military operations by allowing militaries to rapidly develop advanced capabilities, by reducing the political risk associated with the use of force, and by expanding a state’s influence among former colonial and diaspora populations.
Proof of the Bomb: The Influence of Previous Failure on Intelligence Judgments of Nuclear Programs
By: Cullen G. Nutt
Abstract: When intelligence agencies assess whether a state is pursuing nuclear weapons, how much evidence is enough? I argue that intelligence agencies adopt different standards for rendering definitive judgments in such situations. This, in turn, pushes them toward different kinds of mistakes. Urgent judges reach definitive conclusions about the existence of secret nuclear weapons programs more quickly and with less evidence than their peers. They risk seeing ambitious nuclear schemes where none exist. Skeptical judges wait longer and accumulate more proof before reaching definitive conclusions. They risk erring in the direction of underestimation. Where existing work focuses on intelligence accuracy, I show that variation in judgment is a distinct and important dimension of performance. What, then, drives judgment? I test an explanation based on the dynamic influence of previous intelligence failure. I observe that the judgment of intelligence agencies in two states, the United States and Israel, was differentially affected by failure as they tracked potential nuclear proliferation by Libya and Syria. These controlled comparisons constitute a novel approach to the study of nuclear intelligence performance. I find significant support for my explanation. Fearing repeat failure, intelligence agencies alter their efforts and standards of proof in an area critical to statecraft.
The United States, the Israeli Nuclear Program, and Nonproliferation, 1961–69
By: Galen Jackson
Abstract: As was evident from the intense reaction to Donald Trump’s comments during the 2016 presidential campaign about nuclear proliferation, many analysts believe that the United States has consistently given the goal of nonproliferation a top priority since the beginning of the nuclear age. That conviction, in turn, plays a major role in policy debates among experts in this area. In this article, I show that nonproliferation does not necessarily take precedence over other important US geopolitical interests through a close examination of American policy toward the Israeli nuclear program during the 1960s. Although nonproliferation goals certainly came into play, US officials repeatedly gave priority to other key objectives and, to a real extent, even believed that Israel’s nuclearization could hold certain strategic advantages. This finding, of course, has important theoretical implications for the basic question of whether international politics still works essentially as it did in the pre-nuclear era, as well as for policy debates over nuclear proliferation.