[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the ninth 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 3)

Liquid indigeneity: Wine, science, and colonial politics in Israel/Palestine

By: Daniel Monterescu, Ariel Handel

Abstract: Israel/Palestine is a site of bitter struggle over definitions of indigeneity and settlerness. In 2008 the first Palestinian “indigenous wine” was released, introducing a discourse of primordial place‐based authenticity into the wine field. Today, winemakers, scientists, autochthonous grapes, and native wines reconfigure the field of gastronationalism. Palestinian and Israeli wine industries can now claim exclusive historical entitlement in a global era in which terroir, that is, the idiosyncratic place, shapes economic and cultural value. Against the dominance of “international varieties,” this indigenous turn in the wine world mobilizes genetics, enology, and ancient texts to rewrite the longue durée of the Israeli/Palestinian landscape. The appropriation of the indigenous grape illustrates the power of science, craft, and taste to reconfigure the human and nonhuman politics of settler colonialism.


American Political Science Review (Volume 113, Issue 3)

The Politics of Decolonial Interpretation: Tradition and Method in Contemporary Arab Thought

By: Yasmeen Daifallah

Abstract: What is the relationship between interpretive methods and decolonizing projects? Decolonial thinkers often invoke pre-colonial traditions in their efforts to fashion “national cultures”— modes of being, understanding, and self-expression specific to a de-colonizing collectivity’s experience. While the substantive contributions of precolonial traditions to decolonial thought have received well-deserved attention in postcolonial and comparative political theory, this paper focuses on the role that interpretive methods play in generating the emancipatory sensibilities envisioned by decolonial thinkers. It draws on the contemporary Moroccan philosopher Mohammed ‘Abed Al-Jabri’s interpretive method to show that its decolonial potential lies in its “reader-centric” approach. This approach is concerned with transforming its postcolonial reader’s relationship to precolonial traditions, and not only with establishing the truth of historical texts or making use of their insights in the present as is more common in political-theoretical modes of interpretation. It does so through a tripartite process of disconnection, reconnection, and praxis.

Anthropology & Education Quarterly (Volume 50, Issue 2)

“One” But Divided: Tribalism and Grouping among Secondary School Students in South Sudan

By: Koji Sano

Abstract: This ethnographic study reconsiders the concept of tribe and its influence on group boundary‐making practices in South Sudan. The findings revealed ways in which students manipulated their group boundaries by giving different meanings to nominal category of tribe. Further, the study unveiled that, moving in and out from those boundaries, students live in a complex social reality in a postcolonial, conflict‐affected country of South Sudan.

Comparative Political Studies (Volume 52, Issue 8)

From the Schools to the Streets: Education and Anti-Regime Resistance in the West Bank

By: Yael Zeira

Abstract: Are better educated individuals more likely to engage in anti-regime resistance and why? Scholars of democratic politics widely view education as a key factor shaping political participation. Yet, the effect of education on participation in noninstitutionalized political conflict is less well understood. Using data from an original large-scale survey of participants and nonparticipants in Palestinian resistance, this article demonstrates that education has a complex, curvilinear effect on participation: intermediate levels of education significantly increase the likelihood of participation in protest but additional years of education do not. These findings are explained through a novel, institutionalist argument, which focuses on the structure of education rather than its content. The article’s conclusions challenge existing perspectives that characterize participants in political conflict as either educated, underemployed, and disaffected or poor, uneducated, and marginalized.

Comparative Politics (Volume 51, Issue 4)

Down and Out: Founding Elections and Disillusionment with Democracy in Egypt and Tunisia

By: Sharan Grewal, Steve L. Monroe

Abstract: Which electoral losers become the most disillusioned with democracy following the first free and fair elections? Exploiting surveys before and after founding elections in post-Arab Spring Egypt and Tunisia, we find that the most disillusioned losers were those residing in areas where the losing parties were strongest. We argue that expectations matter. Losers whose parties are strong locally tend to overestimate their popularity nationally and thus become more disillusioned after the first elections. Beyond these attitudinal results, we find that these areas witnessed a greater increase in support for candidates from former autocratic regimes in subsequent elections. These findings clarify subnational variation in electoral losers’ attitudes towards democracy. They suggest that decentralization may keep otherwise disillusioned losers invested in democracy.

Comparative Studies in Society and History (Volume 61, Issue 3)

Moral Revolutions: The Politics of Piety in the Ottoman Empire Reimagined

By: Nir Shafir

Abstract: Over the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries an immense body of morality literature emerged in the Ottoman Empire as part of a widespread turn to piety. This article draws upon the anthropology of Islamic revival and secularism to reassess this literature’s importance and propose a new view of the history of political thought in the empire. It does so through a close analysis of a fundamental concept of Ottoman political life: “naṣīḥat, ” or “advice.” Historians have used “advice books” to counter the presumption that the Ottoman Empire declined after the sixteenth century, but in doing so they have overlooked the concept’s broader meaning as “morally corrective criticism.” I analyze two competing visions of naṣīḥat at the turn of the eighteenth century to reveal how the concept was deployed to politically transform the empire by reforming its subjects’ morality. One was a campaign by the chief jurist Feyżullah Efendi to educate every Muslim in the basic tenets of Islam. The other was a wildly popular “advice book” written by the poet Nābī to his son that both explicates a new moral code and declares the empire’s government and institutions illegitimate. Both transformed politics by requiring that all subjects be responsible moral, and therefore political, actors. The pietistic turn, I argue, turned domestic spaces into political battlegrounds and ultimately created new, individualistic political subjectivities. This, though, requires challenging functionalist conceptions of the relationship between religion and politics and the secularist inclination among historians to relegate morality to the private sphere.

Dead Sea Discoveries (Volume 26, Issue 2)

The Priestly Referent of 4QMMT B 64–72 and Its Implications for the Organization and Origin of the Text

By: Gareth Wearne

Abstract: Among the enduring enigmas of 4QMMT are the organizational principles which govern its halakhic section. Focusing primarily on the halakhah concerning skin disease in B 64–72, this article argues that the arrangement of MMT’s halakhot was influenced, at least in part, by similar collocations of topics in Leviticus 21–22 and possibly Ezek 44:15–31. It seems that the selection of sources is attributable to a specific focus on priestly conduct in the halakhah. By recognizing the nature and extent of this dependence it is possible to better understand MMT’s origin and the writers’ exegetical and halakhic methods.

Oral Aspects: A Performative Approach to 1QM

By: Rebekah Haigh

Abstract: As the product of a textual community imbedded in an oral culture, the War Scroll can be rewardingly approached as a composition intended for a community of hearers. Indeed, this article demonstrates that 1QM retained an orally fluid textuality and preserves a variety of textual indicators of performativity: hints of oral engagement, accumulation of imitable practices, and reliance on rhetorical techniques suited to the ear. In examining the performative potentials in the War Scroll’s prescriptive (cols. 1–9), prayer (cols. 10–14), and dramatic (cols. 15–19) material, I argue that 1QM can be understood as a spoken text, one which lends itself to performance and embodiment.

A Palaeographic and Codicological (Re)assessment of the Opisthograph 4Q433a/4Q255

By: Ayhan Aksu

Abstract: A consideration of both the palaeographic and material features of a scroll provides scholars the opportunity to investigate the scribal culture in which a particular manuscript emerged. This article examines the papyrus opisthograph from Qumran containing 4QpapHodayot-like Text B, 4Q433a, and 4QpapSerekh ha-Yaḥada, 4Q255, on either side. There has been scholarly disagreement about this opisthograph with regard to a number of questions: (1) which of the two compositions was inscribed on the recto, (2) how the two compositions should be dated, and (3) which of the two texts was written first. This article looks at both compositions by means of palaeography and codicology. From this combined approach I deduce that 4Q433a was written first, on the recto of this papyrus manuscript. 4Q255 was added later, on the verso. Both compositions can be dated to the early first century BCE. This reconstruction makes it plausible that 4Q255 was a personal copy.

Provenance vs. Authenticity: An Archaeological Perspective on the Post-2002 “Dead Sea Scrolls-Like” Fragments

By: Dennis Mizzi, Jodi Magness

Abstract: This article adds an archaeological voice to the current debate surrounding the authenticity of recently acquired “Dead Sea Scrolls-like” fragments. In our opinion, since these fragments are above all archaeological artifacts, considerations of provenance should take priority over authenticity. We begin with a survey that contextualizes this debate in relation to other types of archaeological artifacts, and consider the importance of context as well as ethical, legal, moral, and economic issues relating to the acquisition and publication of unprovenanced artifacts. We conclude that any artifact that lacks verifiable documentation of its provenance—whether or not it is authentic—should not be studied or published by scholars. Finally, we urge professional organizations and publishers to establish or strengthen policies preventing the publication of such artifacts, even after primary publication or presentation elsewhere.

Defense and Peace Economics (Volume 30, Issue 4)

Terror and Internal Migration in Israel

By: Johanna von Borstel, Tom Gobien, Duncan Roth

Abstract: This paper empirically analyses the effect of terror on internal migration between Israeli subdistricts. Using a unique data-set comprising migration flows for the period 1999–2012 and the number of rocket and non-rocket attacks, we test the hypotheses that terror reduces migration into an affected subdistrict and increases migration out of it. According to our results, the effect of terror on migration is asymmetric as we only find evidence for the first hypothesis. This result remains when we use an instrumental variables strategy that corrects for underreporting of the number of rocket attacks. The largest effects of rocket attacks are found for migration into the Southern subdistrict of Ashqelon as well as into other border regions in Northern Israel, while non-rocket attacks also have substantial effects in the more populous centres of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Economic Affairs (Volume 39, Issue 2)

The economics of the Books of Moses

By: Benedikt Koehler

Abstract: The Books of Moses contained economic precepts that made a twofold impact in the history of economic thought. First, Mosaic precepts shaped Israel’s transition from a nomadic to a sedentary economy. This transition as such had parallels in many other societies, but Israel’s case was unique in that Moses grounded economic precepts on theology. Second, Moses shaped conceptions of economics by Jews and by non‐Jews, in two ways: first, he laid a path for theologically derived economics that continued in Christianity and in Islam; second, he cast terms of reference for the right to own property that were dominant in Western economic thinking until the Enlightenment.

Government and Opposition (Volume 54, Issue 3)

Rebel Groups between Adaptation and Ideological Continuity: The Impact of Sustained Political Participation

By: Benedetta Berti

Abstract: The question of how involvement in institutional politics and governance affects rebel groups’ behaviour is pertinent when studying violent non-state actors, both during and in the aftermath of conflict. This is especially the case when participation in the political system becomes sustained over time. The interactions between the political and governance practices of a rebel group and its overall ideological orientation and state-building aspirations are not sufficiently analysed in the literature, especially in the context of hybrid armed-political organizations operating in latent, frozen or protracted conflicts. This article aims to begin to fill this gap by examining how involvement in institutional politics has shaped both Hamas’s and Hezbollah’s branding, interpretation and reliance on their own constitutive ideological manifestos, with an emphasis on both organizations’ dynamic processes aimed at reconciling political participation with their previous ideological rejection of the legitimacy of the political system and their constitutive calls to dramatically restructure the political order. Based on these detailed accounts, this article reflects on how the complex relationship between politics, electoral competition, governance and ideological principles can shape an armed group’s political identity.

International Affairs (Volume 95, Issue 4)

To fight another day: France between the fight against terrorism and future warfare 

By: Alice Pannier, Olivier Schmitt

Abstract: This article examines the ways in which recent military experiences have affected France’s approach to the use of military power, the role of allies and its vision of future warfare. In its management of strategic challenges, we identify the persistence of many traits of France’s historical habits and practices. France remains a distinct, outward looking, and militarily willing and able European power. However, the threats that France has sought to address and the operational and financial constraints it has faced in the past decade in particular, have led to significant changes in its approach to and conduct of warfare. In particular, the threat of Islamist terrorism has led to a reframing of French governments’ priorities around more narrowly-defined national interests. It has translated into a ‘pragmatic’, or ‘realist’ turn in foreign policy, and a move from ‘wars of choice’ to ‘wars of necessity’. In this context, France’s military alliances are being rethought around a core number of functional partnerships to compensate for capability gaps and military overstretch. Meanwhile, French armed forces are getting prepared to face the challenges posed by emerging technologies and the future of Great-Power competition. Overall, the multiple security challenges faced by successive French governments have confirmed, yet redefined, the contours of France’s traditional dilemma between a desire for an autonomous defense policy and the reality of a necessary reliance on allies.

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (Volume 43, Issue 4)

New Geographies of Residential Capitalism: Financialization of the Turkish Housing Market Since the Early 2000s

By: Isil Erol

Abstract: The post‐2001 financial crisis era in Turkey gave rise to twin booms in housing construction and credit markets, both of which suffered from the subsequent debt crisis. The financial transformation of the economy in conjunction with state‐led urban legislation reform had significant effects on the housing market in terms of commodification of housing, countrywide construction activities and substantial increases in household debt and construction company loans. The changing role and function of the state as a direct provider of housing can be regarded as actually existing neoliberalism providing favourable conditions for financialization, as it ushered in the commodification of housing. The Turkish government, together with the government‐backed housing agency, metropolitan municipalities and publicly owned real‐estate investment company, has been active in nationwide housing construction and urban regeneration projects. This article argues that there is a lack of synchrony between the commodification of housing and the financialization of the household sector owing to the institutional setting of the mortgage system and structural macroeconomic problems. Rather, housing commodification has been accompanied by the financialization of the corporate sector through a steep rise in the external debt burden of construction companies.

International Political Sociology (Volume 13, Issue 2)

Standing Acts: The Political Aesthetics of Defiant Resistance

By: Barry J Ryan

Abstract: We most commonly encounter the word defiance when used as an adverb to classify a peculiarly courageous or risky act of resistance. However, the use of the word defiance in this way is a departure from the historical meaning of the word. Moreover, it occludes the possibility that there exists political activity that is manifestly defiant. The article takes issue with this tendency and identifies a mode of resistance that is explicitly defiant. In order to do this, the paper draws from the phenomenological approach underpinning the standing sculptures of the British sculptor Antony Gormley. This informs an exploration of the protest enacted by the standing man of Taksim Square, who participated in a large antigovernment movement in Turkey in 2013. In acts we might distinguish as defiant, the paper demonstrates the materialist vulnerability of the protesting body, the aesthetic ontology at work, the prevalence of the standing metaphor, the role of silence, and the absence of futurity. By unearthing defiant modes of protest, the heterogeneity of resistance is affirmed, and a new domain where art encounters the political is revealed.

Governing Potential: Biopolitical Incorporation and the German “Open-Door” Refugee and Migration Policy

By: Patrick Pinkerton

Abstract: Many scholars of international political sociology have turned to biopolitics in their attempts to understand the “European migration/refugee crisis” that has unfolded in and around the Mediterranean Sea in the last several years. This article makes an intervention into this debate by suggesting a new means of understanding the biopolitics of migration and refugee management, based on a detailed consideration of the role of potentiality in biopolitical governance. After first discussing current understandings of potentiality within biopolitical literatures, and the analyses of migration and refugee governance they suggest, the article engages in a reading of Agamben’s recent work The Use of Bodies, in order to develop a new understanding of life’s potential within biopolitical logics as potential toward the “correct use” of bodies. This allows for a focus on biopolitical practices of incorporation and inclusion which goes beyond analyses of the acts of securitization or abandonment that only partially characterize reactions to the movement of people across the Mediterranean Sea. This understanding is employed to provide fresh insights into one of the defining responses to the “European migration/refugee crisis”: the “open-door” migration and refugee policy pursued by the German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel from the summer of 2015 onward.

Apprehending the “Telegenic Dead”: Considering Images of Dead Children in Global Politics 

By: Helen Berents

Abstract: Images of suffering children have long been used to illustrate the violence and horror of conflict. In recent years, it is images of dead children that have garnered attention from media audiences around the world. In response to the deaths of four children killed by the Israeli army while playing on a Gazan beach, Israeli Prime Minister Netenyahu accused Hamas of generating “telegenically dead” Palestinian children for their cause (CNN 2014). In this article, it argues with this term to consider the appearance of images of dead children in global politics. I draw on a growing literature relating to the corpse as a subject in international relations (IR), asking how children’s bodies are understood, following Butler, as “grievable lives.” It explores the notion of “iconic” images and the politics of sharing images of dead bodies and consider global power relations that allow certain children’s deaths to be visible and not others. Through this analysis, the article argues that the idea of telegenic death might be productively considered to understand how the fleshy reality of children’s deaths contribute to discussions about the representation and visibility of children in contexts of crisis and conflict.

International Studies Quarterly (Volume 63, Issue 2)

Military Defection During Localized Protests: The Case of Tataouine 

By: Sharan Grewal

Abstract: In May 2017, the Tunisian military allowed protesters to storm and shut down an oil valve in Tataouine, in contravention of a direct order from President Essebsi to defend the production site. While scholars have recently examined military defection during mass uprisings, these protests were small and localized. Why did the military disobey President Essebsi in Tataouine? Drawing upon a survey of military officers conducted six months prior to the defection, I show that the military’s composition and corporate interests, rather than its professionalism, likely prompted its defection. The majority of the military hails from impoverished regions in Tunisia’s neglected interior and identifies with the demands of protesters in these regions. The military also saw the curtailment of its material and political interests in early 2017, giving it little incentive to repress protesters on the regime’s behalf. Methodologically, this study provides some of the first survey data of military officers’ attitudes toward defection.

Iranian Studies (Volume 52, Issue 3-4)

Azerbaijan between Two Empires: A Contested Borderland in the Early Modern Period (Sixteenth‒Eighteenth Centuries)

By: Fariba Zarinebaf

Abstract: The first part of the paper examines the evolution and transformation of Safavid ideology in the context of confessional changes and the role of Turkoman tribes in the Safavid social movement in the Ottoman‒Iranian borderland. The second part examines the impact of Ottoman‒Safavid wars and religious rivalry on the society and economy of Azerbaijan from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

A Messiah Untamed: Notes on the Philology of Shah Ismāʿīl’s Dīvān

By: Ferenc Csirkés

Abstract: The article aims to refute a long-standing thesis first put forth by Vladimir Minorsky about how the various copies of the dīvān of Shah Ismāʿīl might reflect shifts and changes in the religious and political landscape of early modern Iran. Contrary to the luminary Russian Orientalist’s claims, it demonstrates and contextualizes the observation that there were several textual traditions and that most of the copies continued to reflect messianism and “extremist” notions of religiosity well into late Ṣafavid times, appealing to a broad audience which was likely made up of Sufi adepts and nomadic Qizilbash, as well as a more refined echelon of courtly connoisseurs, residing in the borderland between the Ottoman lands and Iran. At the same time, it suggests that the main theme of Shah Ismāʿīl’s messianic poetry was sainthood and that in this sense Ṣafavid messianism was not a unique aberration but comparable and connected to such similar ideologies as are known from the Timurid, Ottoman or Mughal context.

Treaty of Zohab, 1639: Foundational Myth or Foundational Document?

By: Sabri Ateş

Abstract: Beginning with their first confrontation in 1514, the Ottomans and the dynasties ruling over Iran fought over the borderlands extending from the Persian Gulf to Mount Ararat. The transformation of this indeterminate borderland into a clearly defined and increasingly monitored border took almost four centuries. It became an internationally recognized border only after seven decades (1843–1914) of intermittent work by mixed international commissions. Despite such a tangled history, a well-entrenched tradition of Middle Eastern history suggests that the Iranian–Ottoman frontier was firmly established by the Qasr-i Shirin/Zohab Treaty of 1639; and it is one of the oldest boundaries of the world. The myth of 1639 is powerfully enshrined in the historiographies and nationalisms of the countries sharing this boundary. Questioning this myth in the light of Ottoman–Iranian relations, this paper analyzes different versions of 1639 Treaty that were brought to boundary negotiations and exist in various chronicles, and suggests an alternative reading of this foundational myth.

Rethinking Idris-i Bidlisi: An Iranian Bureaucrat and Historian between the Shah and the Sultan

By: Vural Genç

Abstract: A bureaucrat and historian of Iranian origin, Idris-i Bidlisi (b. Ray/Iran 1457–d. Istanbul 1520), is undoubtedly one of the most original and important intellectual figures in the Ottoman‒Iranian borderland in the sixteenth century. He lived in a very turbulent period and established different relationships with Iranian and Ottoman dynasties at the end of the fifteenth century and at the beginning of the sixteenth century. He and his works have been the focus of long-standing historical debates in Turkey that have continued to the present day. Until now, most modern scholarly works on Bidlisi have failed to provide a proper, in-depth textual and historical analysis. As a result, such modern works have come to present a skewed, romanticized image of Bidlisi, largely detached from the nature and dynamics of the historical context in which Bidlisi lived and evolved as an intellectual and writer. This paper provides a realistic appraisal of Bidlisi and discusses the shortcomings of modern historiography on him. By looking at Bidlisi and his corpus, and more specifically at the ways in which the latter was shaped by Bidlisi’s patronage relationships, the paper aims to open up a window into Bidlisi’s evolving mindset and worldview. In other words, through an in-depth analysis of his corpus and new archival sources the paper strives to unveil the intellectual life and career of an Iranian bureaucrat and historian positioned between Ottoman‒Iranian borderland and provide a glimpse into the nature of patronage in the sixteenth century.

The Safavid-Qizilbash Ecumene and the Formation of the Qizilbash-Alevi Community in the Ottoman Empire, c. 1500–c. 1700

By: Rıza Yıldırım

Abstract: Alevis, the largest religious minority of Turkey, also living in Europe and the Balkans, are distinguished from both Sunnis and Shiʿites by their latitudinarian attitude toward Islamic Law. Conceptualizing this feature as “heterodoxy,” earlier Turkish scholarship sought the roots of Alevi religiosity in Turkish traditions which traced back to Central Asia, on the one hand, and in medieval Anatolian Sufi orders such as the Yasawi, Bektashi, Qalandari, and Wafaʾi, on the other. A new line of scholarship has critiqued the earlier conceptualization of Alevis as “heterodox” as well as the assumption of Central Asian connections. In the meantime, the new scholarship too has focused on medieval Anatolian Sufi orders, especially the Bektashi and Wafaʾi, as the fountainhead of Alevi tradition. Critically engaging with both scholarships, this paper argues that it was the Safavid-Qizilbash movement in Anatolia, Azerbaijan, and Iran rather than medieval Sufi orders, that gave birth to Alevi religiosity.

Through the Backdoor: An Overview of the English East India Company’s Rise and Fall in Safavid Iran, 1616–40

By: Daniel Razzari

Abstract: In 1616, the English East India Company expanded its trade into Safavid Iran. The chief merchants in India hoped to acquire a significant share of the Iranian silk trade. After several difficult years in India, the English traders in Surat felt pressure to establish a solid foundation in Iran where they could redirect Iranian silk through Iran’s southern ports and onto Company ships for Europe. Despite Robert Sherley’s promise of wealth and a prosperous market for English cloth, many in the English camp, predominantly Sir Thomas Roe, objected to the silk trade on grounds that it was generally a risky venture. But several leading merchants dismissed Roe’s concerns and pursued the trade without his approval. After early indications that the venture had potential for success, the English silk trade quickly began to falter and finally ceased to exist by 1640. Although its demise was once described as the Company’s failure to produce a substantial quantity of purchasing power—eastern goods, precious metals, and English commodities—this paper explores an alternative explanation that suggests the Company’s failure in Iran was not exclusively the consequence of poor economics.

Safavid Iran and the “Turkish Question” or How to Avoid a War on Multiple Fronts

By: Rudi Matthee

Abstract: This essay parts with the compartmentalized way in which scholarship tends to view Iran’s military predicament in the Safavid era by examining the perennial threat the Ottomans posed to the country largely in isolation from the recurring conflict between the Safavids and their other main adversaries, the Mughals and Uzbeks, respectively. The security dilemma facing Safavid Iran, it is argued here, was acute as well as multifaceted, and should be approached as such. All three of its direct neighbors were Sunni and two, the Ottomans and the Mughals, were capable of mobilizing far greater military resources than Iran. The main strategic concern of the Safavids was to prevent these neighbors from joining forces and engaging them in a two-front war. This study examines balancing the strategies employed by the three most consequential Safavid shahs, Esma‘il I (1501‒24), Tahmasb (1524‒76), and ‘Abbas I (1587‒1629), to avoid becoming the target of a simultaneous or combined assault by their neighbors. This analysis provides the backdrop to the rational decision the Safavids made in 1639—to end the threat of a two-front war by concluding a lasting peace accord with their most formidable enemies, the Ottomans.

DPg: Ahuramazdā and the Creation of Water, with a New Text Edition

By: Soheil Delshad

Abstract: Among the Achaemenid inscriptions, DPg has been the topic of several studies since the very beginning of cuneiform studies. The photographs prepared by the DARIOSH (Digital Achaemenid Royal Inscription Open Schema Hypertext) project at L’Orientale University of Naples shed light on some ambiguities of this specific inscription and led to the proposal of a new text edition of DPg. The purpose of this article is to follow the whole history of studies on DPg until today and then propose a new reading of the inscription and a discussion of related issues, including its unique creation formula and orthography.

Operation Countenance: The 1941 Invasion of Iran and the Clash of Propaganda Narratives

By: Mervyn Roberts

Abstract: The June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union unleashed a series of events that culminated in the Allied invasion of Iran two months later. In their propaganda, Britain and the Soviet Union publicly justified that invasion as a means of preventing Iran from falling into the German orbit. However, a review of radio broadcasts of the time shows the theme of a German menace was not widely believed in the region. Using BBC Summary of World Broadcasts transcripts from the period, this paper argues that the decision to base their propaganda on a lie also negatively affected relations in the postwar world. In that sense the decision to justify the invasion on the basis of German presence was a propaganda failure for the allies.

Islamic Law and Society (Volume 26, Issue 3)

Navigating Colonial Power: Challenging Precedents and the Limitation of Local Elites

By: Sohaira Siddiqui

Abstract: This essay contributes to a longstanding concern with the place of ethics in Islamic law, suggesting a reorientation of the debate through a consideration of the role of habituation in works of uṣūl and furūʿ. I demonstrate that the well-known emphasis on habituation in Aristotle’s ethics, and its underlying conception of character, exerted a heavy influence on writers of akhlāq works. I then examine the development of three fiqhī concepts – idmān, iqāma and iṣrār –to show how jurists embedded this conception of moral behavior in the discursive fiqh tradition, linking their disapproval of persistent sinful or morally distasteful behavior to a tangible legal effect: the forfeiture of the violator’s standing before the court. Based on this finding, I argue that jurists and moralists operated in a shared universe of normativity in which the commitment to habituation as a premier mode of ethical cultivation was held in common.

A Legal Concept in Motion: The ‘Spreader of Corruption’ (sā‘ī bi’l-fesād) from Qarakhanid to Ottoman Jurisprudence

By: Yavuz Aykan

Abstract: This essay demonstrates Ibn Taymiyya’s engagement of historiography in iftāʼ. It draws upon fatwās on pilgrimage to Ascalon, travel to shrines of al-Ḥusayn in Ascalon and Cairo, and visits to Jerusalem and Hebron. Ibn Taymiyya weaves sophisticated historical narratives into his legal reasoning against visiting tombs of prophets and Ahl al-Bayt. He exposes lacunas, contradictions and unreasonable assertions in truisms about bodies of prophets and saints and their cults. He argues against ziyāra to such sites, blaming Shīʿīs for spreading the innovation at a particularly vulnerable time for Islam. His attack on notions of the religious merits of Jerusalem and of murābaṭa hinges upon his reconstruction of the history the Dome of the Rock and of the Islamic frontier. History leads him to stress the temporality of territorial definitions and their dependence on context. His argumentation resonates in works of later writers, demonstrating the continuing relevance of his fatwās.

Historiography in the Service of the Muftī: Ibn Taymiyya on the Origins and Fallacies of Ziyārāt

By: Daniella Talmon-Heller

Abstract: This article traces the genealogies of the legal concept ‘spreader of corruption’. Although some scholars working on Ottoman law consider this concept to be part of the Ottoman ḳānūn tradition, the history of its adaptation by Ottoman jurists actually dates back to the Qarakhanid period (eleventh century CE). It acquired its legal meaning as a result of jurisprudential debates among Ḥanafī jurists in the context of political turmoil and violent factionalism among madhhabs. Later, Seljuq and Golden Horde legal-textual traditions served as conduit for Ottoman jurists to adapt the concept in order to apply it to a variety of criminal acts. This article explores how the ‘spreader of corruption’ concept was reinterpreted over the centuries and how it contributed to the enforcement of law in the Ottoman context.

Moral Habituation in the Law: Rethinking the Ethics of the Sharīʿa

By: Junaid Quadri

Abstract: In 1869, the British allowed Muslims to sit as judges on the High Court. This article explores the legal opinions of the first Muslim judge to be appointed to the High Court, Syed Mahmood. Straddling two competing worlds – that of Cambridge University and that of his native India – Justice Mahmood both legitimated and resisted colonial judicial power. In this essay I will demonstrate how British judges interpreted points of Islamic law within an English legal framework, and how these interpretations contradicted their translated texts of Islamic law, yet became the foundation of legal precedents established through the doctrine of stare decisis. Despite participating within the British colonial judiciary, Mahmood challenged these precedents, demonstrating his ability to navigate the paradoxes of colonial power to secure for himself a legitimate platform from which he could argue his juridical interventions. The efficacy of these challenges, however, ultimately was restrained by the institutions and structures of the colonial jural project.

Journal of Developing Societies (Volume 35, Issue 2)

Demystifying the Root Causes of Conflict in Old “Greater” Sudan: Ethnicity and Tribalism?

By: Daniel Chigudu

Abstract: Modern Sudan (North and South) has not enjoyed lasting peace. Sudan’s civil wars have been perceived to be primarily caused by its ethnic and tribal groups. This study uses a qualitative approach to analyze secondary data on the disputants and the causes of their conflicts. It demystifies the concepts of ethnicity and tribalism in order to examine why the conflicts appear to be unending in Sudan’s two republics. The findings reveal that the conflicts are not rooted in the identities of Sudan’s people. Their conflicts are about political autonomy, the distribution of the wealth derived from their scarce resources, issues of governance, and disputes over political boundaries.

Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development (Volume 40, Issue 2)

Does Islamic Banking Favors Price Stability? An Empirical Evidence from the GCC, Iran and Sudan

By: Tamsir Cham

Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between Islamic banking growth and inflation in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Iran and Sudan using monthly time series and unbalanced monthly panel data covering the period 2001- 2015. Several econometrics models are applied including single equation model, panel ordinary least squares (OLS) and Vector error correction model (VECM). The empirical findings revealed that Islamic banking does not increase domestic prices in all the models applied. According to the single equation OLS results, Islamic banking growth dampen domestic prices in Oman, Qatar and Iran. From VECM analysis, in the short-run, Islamic banking decrease inflation in Iran and Sudan and in the long run, Islamic banking growth dampen inflation in Bahrain and Iran. The panel regression results revealed no indication that Islamic banking growth increases inflation. Five out of seven countries considered in the study revealed that Islamic banking dampened domestic price inflation. Inflation inertia, monetary growth and exchange rate depreciation are the main factors that increase inflation in these economies. The impact of an increase in international food and oil prices on domestic prices revealed mixed results. While an increase in international food and oil prices increases domestic prices in certain countries, it dampens inflationary pressure in some other countries, which could be due to government subsidies. The empirical results call for the need for economic diversification and reduce heavily dependent on oil. It also requires the need for the monetary authorities to implement tighten monetary policy. The results offer new views and insight for further empirical work on Islamic banking and macroeconomic stability.

Information and Communication Technologies and Economic Growth: Evidence from EU and Turkey

By: Ali Sen, M. Ozan Saray

Abstract: More and more information technology is considered as an indispensable dimension of the process of economic growth.   The main aim of this paper is to explore the impact of ICT on economic growth in the European Union (EU) countries and Turkey, covering the 1997-2014 periods.  The study contributes to the empirical literature by providing some evidence obtained by a cross country panel data analysis.  The results show that ICT investment appears to be quite important for explaining economic growth in the EU countries and Turkey. ICT which we use growth rate of fixed telephone, internet and mobile telephones subscriptions as proxy variables has a positive effect on economic growth.  Through static and dynamic panel data analyses, we found that fixed telephone subscriptions and internet variables have a positive effect on economic growth, while we could not observe a statistically significant correlation with mobile telelephone.  As expected, there is a positive relationship of economic growth with physical capital growth but negative association with   population growth.  The effects of trade growth variable are controversial.

Leadership Concept and Constructs in Arabic Philosophy

By: Saeed Hameed Aldulaimi

Abstract: This article, “Leadership Concept and Constructs in Arabic Philosophy,” sheds light to the differences in preferences and domain values amongst Arab countries; they are often considered globally as one society with one culture. The Arab countries experienced different types of colonialism, economic activities, geographical variables, tribal ethnic makeup, and ecological variables. And these differences influenced the preferred leadership style of each country. The study’s findings indicated how the concept of leadership in Arabic nations can be rooted in Arabic perspective and heritage to maintain effective leadership. In addition, this study extended a scholarly understanding of the measurement and examination of various leadership viewpoints by introducing established constructs for evaluating leadership.

Journal of Economic Literature (Volume 57, Issue 2)

What We Have Learned about Terrorism since 9/11

By: Khusrav Gaibulloev, Todd Sandler

Abstract: This overview examines critically the post-9/11 empirical literature on terrorism. Major contributions by both economists and political scientists are included. We focus on five main themes: the changing nature of terrorism, the organization of terrorist groups, the effectiveness of counterterrorism policies, modern drivers or causes of terrorism, and the economic consequences of terrorism. In so doing, we investigate a host of questions that include: How do terrorist groups attract and retain members? What determines the survival of terrorist groups? Is poverty a root cause of terrorism? What counterterrorism measures work best? In the latter regard, we find that many counterterrorism policies have unintended negative consequences owing to attack transference and terrorist backlash. This suggests the need for novel policies such as service provision to counter some terrorist groups’ efforts to provide such services. Despite terrorists’ concerted efforts to damage targeted countries’ economies, the empirical literature shows that terrorism has had little or no effect on economic growth or GDP except in small terrorism-plagued countries. At the sectoral level, terrorism can adversely affect tourism and foreign direct investment, but these effects are rather transient and create transference of activities to other sectors, thus cushioning the consequences.

Journal of Palestine Studies (Volume 48, Issue 4)

Palestinian Engagement with the Black Freedom Movement prior to 1967

By: Maha Nassar

Abstract: This article examines early Palestinian engagements with multiple facets of the Black American struggle for freedom through a content analysis of influential Palestinian press outlets in Arabic prior to 1967. It argues that, since the 1930s, Palestinian intellectuals with strong anti-colonial views linked anti-Black racism in the United States to larger imperial and Cold War dynamics, and that they connected Black American mobilizations against racism to decolonization movements around the world. This article also examines Mahmoud Darwish’s early analytical writings on race as a social construct in both the U.S. and Israeli contexts. Understanding these early engagements sheds light on subsequent developments in Black-Palestinian transnational solidarity and on Palestinian Afro-Arab cultural imaginaries.

Troubling Idols: Black-Palestinian Solidarity in U.S. Afro-Christian Spaces

By: Taurean J. Webb

Abstract: This article claims that insofar as they continue to omit analyses of colonialism and racialization, retellings of the biblical Exodus and of twentieth-century Black-Jewish relations—two massively significant narratives in the U.S. Black Christian imaginary—will inevitably continue to fuel the Zionist impulse that prevents much of Afro-Christianity from intentionally engaging Palestinian justice. Furthermore, the religious trope of chosenness, along with the dominant narration of the European Jewish Holocaust moment, have provided a politico-ethical basis for a unique type of dispensation that filters the two aforementioned retellings to ultimately deselect non-Jewish Palestinians from a recognizably complex humanity. The tools of the Black radical tradition, however, coupled with a reimagining of coalitional politics, carve out a radical Black Christian sensibility that is best equipped to speak to the devastations of military occupation and racist exclusion and forge life-giving relationships within the freedom struggles against them.

“To Build a New World”: Black American Internationalism and Palestine Solidarity

By: Russell Rickford

Abstract: This essay traces the arc of Black American solidarity with Palestine, placing the phenomenon in the context of twentieth-century African American internationalism. It sketches the evolution of the political imaginary that enabled Black activists to depict African Americans and Palestinians as compatriots within global communities of dissent. For more than half a century, Black internationalists identified with Zionism, believing that the Jewish bid for a national homeland paralleled the African American freedom struggle. During the 1950s and 1960s, however, colonial aggression in the Middle East led many African American progressives to rethink the analogy. In the late 1960s and the 1970s, African American dissidents operating within the nexus of Black nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and Third Worldism constructed powerful theories of Afro-Palestinian kinship. In so doing, they reimagined or transcended bonds of color, positing anti-imperialist struggle, rather than racial affinity, as the precondition of camaraderie.

From the River to the Sea to Every Mountain Top: Solidarity as Worldmaking

By: Robin D. G. Kelley

Abstract: This essay questions a key takeaway from the Ferguson/Gaza convergence that catalyzed the current wave of Black-Palestinian transnational solidarity: the idea that “equivalence,” or a politics of analogy based on racial or national identity, or racialized or colonial experience, is the sole or primary grounds for solidarity. By revisiting three recent spectacular moments involving Black intellectuals advocating for Palestine—Michelle Alexander’s op-ed in the New York Times criticizing Israeli policies, CNN’s firing of Marc Lamont Hill, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s initial decision to deny Angela Davis its highest honor—this paper suggests that their controversial positions must be traced back to the post-1967 moment. The convergence of Black urban rebellions and the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war birthed the first significant wave of Black-Palestinian solidarity; at the same time, solidarities rooted in anti-imperialism and Left internationalism rivaled the “Black-Jewish alliance,” founded on analogy of oppression rather than shared principles of liberation. Third World insurgencies and anti-imperialist movements, not just events in the United States and Palestine, created the conditions for radically reordering political alliances: rather than adopting a politics of analogy or identity, the Black and Palestinian Left embraced a vision of “worldmaking” that was a catalyst for imagining revolution as opposed to plotting coalition.

Journal of Qur’anic Studies (Volume 21, Issue 2)

Li-qawmin yatafakkarūn (Q. 30:21): Muhammad Asad’s Qur’anic Translatorial Habitus

By: Furzana Bayri

Abstract: Recent decades have seen a focus on the translator as a socialised individual as one approach favoured in Translation Studies. Scholars have employed sociological concepts such as habitus (socio-cultural conditioning) and field (environment) as methodological tools in empirical translation research, yielding new and interesting perspectives on the process of translation. In the field of Qur’an hermeneutics, however, such methodological tools have not been applied systematically. The present article constitutes an initial attempt to address this omission, by delineating Muhammad Asad’s habitus against the backdrop of his socio-political, cultural, and intellectual background in order to explore the significance of its impact on his The Message of the Qur’an. It will contextualise Asad’s rendition of the Qur’an into English through comparative critical intertextual and paratextual analysis, thereby introducing the ‘realm of sociology of translation’, a Translation Studies perspective, into Qur’anic studies.

Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī on the Question ‘Why Worship God?’

By: Hannah C. Erlwein

Abstract: This article discusses some of the arguments al-Razī puts forward in the Tafsīr for God’s sole right to be worshipped. In doing so, special attention is paid to the position on causality that underlies them. It will be seen that al-Rāzī presents various arguments, some of which rest on an occasionalist worldview, and some of which assume secondary causality. Interestingly, his line of argument changes depending on the underlying position. The reasons as to why al-Rāzī presents arguments based on two mutually exclusive positions (one of which he himself does not subscribe to) are also addressed.

Slavery, Indenture, and Freedom: Exegesis of the ‘mukātaba Verse’ (Q. 24:33) in Early Islam

By: Ramon Harvey

Abstract: Slavery was a significant part of society within the seventh-century Arabian context of the Qur’an. In this context, Q. 24:33, which has been universally interpreted by Muslim exegetes as the basis for a contract of mukātaba (‘indenture’) that allows slaves to work to pay for their freedom, is a particularly intriguing verse. This article examines the exegesis of Q. 24:33 against the background of the first two centuries of Islam, examining the way that its ambiguous language was interpreted in the light of socio-economic change and diverse theologico-political circles of scholarship. It is argued that an initially dominant emancipatory reading of the verse as an obligation within early Medina is preserved for over a century in Mecca, finding a home in Basran Ibāḍī scholarship of the late second/eighth century. In contrast, the dominant proto-Sunnī approach (and related proto-Zaydī tradition), centred in Iraq, adopts the formerly minority opinion that the mukātaba contract is merely permissible. By examining related legal questions, it is concluded that this shift in commentary on Q. 24:33 from the first/seventh to the second/eighth centuries reflects a broader change in the conception of the slave: from a valid economic actor on a continuum of servitude, to an item of property.

The Jews Say the Hand of God is Chained: Q. 5:64 as a Response to a Midrash in a piyyut by R. Elʿazar ha-Kallir

By:Shari L. Lowin

Abstract: “In Q. 5:64, the Qur’an accuses the Jews of describing God as a deity with a chained (maghlūla) hand, a charge the Qur’an understands as indicating divine miserliness. However, a foray into Jewish teachings reveals that no such statement of God’s niggardliness can be found in the Jewish tradition. While scholars have suggested Psalms 72:11 and Lamentations 2:3 as possible sources, in both the image is of a deity withdrawing His military might, not His financial bounty. Insistence on these as the inspiration behind the Qur’an’s words ignores the substance of the Qur’an’s claim.

This article argues instead that Q. 5:64 is reacting to a midrashic motif embedded in a liturgical poem (piyyut) recited on the Ninth of Av, the day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples. Here God chains His own hand in empathy with the exiled and traumatised captives, a move also understood as guaranteeing Israel’s eventual redemption. Additionally, I argue that the Qur’anic transmutation of this image into one that concerns finances is intentional. In turning the midrashic declaration of God’s continued relationship with Israel into a blasphemous accusation of parsimoniousness, the Qur’an argues against the continued Jewish understanding of themselves as God’s favoured.”

Political Studies (Volume 67, Issue 3)

Repression, Cooptation, and Movement Fragmentation in Authoritarian Regimes: Evidence from the Youth Movement in Egypt

By: Nadine Sika

Abstract: How do authoritarian regimes fragment protest movements in the aftermath of mass protests? How do protest movements deal with these authoritarian measures in return? Based on qualitative fieldwork with 70 young people in Egypt from April until November 2015, I demonstrate that regimes which face major contentious events and transition back to authoritarian rule, utilize two main strategies for fragmenting protest movements: repression and cooptation. The main literature on protest movements contends that regimes respond to protest movements through a combination of repression and concession to offset movement gains and eliminate their motivations for further protests. More concessions are believed to be effective in democratic regimes, while more repression is effective in authoritarian regimes. However, the results of this fieldwork demonstrate the importance of repression in addition to cooptation in authoritarian regimes, which is largely ignored in the literature on protest movements. Cooptation is an instrumental tactic for the regime in two manners: first it creates internal struggles within the movements themselves, which adds to their fragmentation. Second, it facilitates a regime’s repression against protest movement actors. This creates more fragmentation in addition to deterrence to the development of new protest movements and protest activities.

The Pivotal Role of the Enemy in Inducing Hope for Peace

By: Oded Adomi Leshem

Abstract: Protracted conflicts are also termed “intractable” in part because they are perceived as irresolvable by those mired in the prolonged dispute. The conflict’s perceived irreconcilability leaves little reason for citizens to strive for peace which, in turn, might further exacerbate the conflict. The central question posed in this study is whether hopelessness regarding the possibility for peace can be alleviated among citizens embroiled in protracted conflicts. Results from an experimental study administered in Israel show that hope can be instilled, even among those most skeptical, when an outgroup member claims that peace is possible but not when an ingroup member claims the same. A follow-up study revealed that hope induced by the experimental interventions withstood a period of conflict escalation and elicited active support for peacebuilding. The study demonstrates that hope inducement is a useful tool for carving a pathway out of detrimental structures of intractability.

Polity (Volume 51, Issue 3)

Protests and the Arab Spring: An Empirical Investigation

By: Tansa George Massoud, John A. Doces, Christopher Magee

Abstract: This article discusses a variety of major explanations for the intensity of recent protests in Arab states and investigates whether there is empirical support for them. We survey various political, economic, and social factors and develop a comprehensive empirical model to estimate the structural determinants of protests in 19 Arab League states between 1990 and 2011, measured using events data. The results show that protests were stronger in countries with higher inflation, higher levels of corruption, lower levels of freedom, and more use of the internet and cell phones. Protests were also more frequent in countries with partial democracies and factional politics. We find no evidence for the common argument that the surge in protests in 2011 was linked to a bulge in the youth population. Overall, we conclude that these economic, political, and social variables help to explain which countries had stronger protest movements, but that they cannot explain the timing of those revolts. We suggest that a contagion model can help explain the quick spread of protests across the region in 2011, and we conduct a preliminary test of that possibility.

PS: Political Science & Politics (Volume 52, Issue 3)

An Alternative Account of the Populist Backlash in the United States: A Perspective from Turkey

By: Berk Esen, Şebnem Yardımcı-Geyikçi

Abstract: Scholars tend to assume that consolidated democracies are free from the global retreat of democracy due to their strong institutions and economic development. Yet, populist forces that challenge the liberal democratic model have started to increase their support even in Western countries. However, in no country has democratic backsliding taken scholars by more surprise than in the United States. This article addresses the question of how a populist figure like Donald Trump managed to win the presidential election and subsequently undermined the democratic institutions in one of the world’s oldest democracies. We contend that the upsurge of populist leaders in contemporary Western democracies resulted from the political establishment’s failure to juggle responsiveness and responsibility simultaneously. In addition to our discussion of American politics, we draw parallels with the Turkish case to demonstrate our causal argument and offer suggestions on how to reverse democratic backsliding in the United States.

Review of International Political Economy (Volume 26, Issue 4)

Economic self-interest, information, and trade policy preferences: evidence from an experiment in Tunisia

By: Amaney Jamal, Helen V. Milner

Abstract: We address a central question about the integration of developing countries into the global economy: what factors affect public support for such globalization. Do public preferences toward trade correlate with its economic consequences or sociocultural resonances? Using a nationally representative survey experiment in Tunisia, a majority Muslim, developing country, we investigate whether providing information about trade’s distributional consequences causes respondents to connect their economic self-interest to their trade policy preferences. Respondents seem to understand their economic self-interest, and information provision enhances this. Information about the likely benefits of trade causes people in the export-oriented sector to respond more positively to trade liberalization, as economic theory predicts. Information about its costs has confounding effects on those in import-competing sectors; those involved in global value chains maintain support for trade more than those outside such production chains who become protectionist. We find scant evidence that sociotropic, political, or cultural variables influence trade attitudes. Contributing to the recent debates over trade policy preferences, we show that public preferences align most strongly with their economic self-interest as derived from recent trade theories.

Security Studies (Volume 28, Issue 3)

“Hegemony” Compared: Great Britain and the United States in the Middle East

By: F. Gregory Gause III

Abstract: Great Britain was more successful at organizing the politics of the Middle East, maintaining its clients and securing its interests, during the interwar period when it could credibly be claimed to be the hegemon in the region, than did the United States during its period of regional dominance. That difference is best explained not by relative power disparities or the styles of regional management practiced by London and Washington, but by changes in the infrastructural power of the local actors and changes in the relationship between the local actors and the would-be hegemons to the institutions of international governance.

Social & Legal Studies (Volume 28, Issue 4)

Action Between the Legal and the Illegal: A-Legality as a Political–Legal Strategy

By: Carys Hughes

Abstract: This article develops a theory of ‘a-legal space’ and its utilization as a political–legal strategy. A-legal space refers to initiatives which adopt a quasi-legal or quasi-institutional form, yet with no official legal basis; a disputed legal basis; or exceeding their recognized legal basis. Examples include unauthorized referenda such as the Catalan independence referendum which took place in 2017 and, on a local level, across Catalonia in 2009–2011; peoples’ tribunals such as the World Tribunal on Iraq, where the US and UK governments were tried for war crimes; and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy where aboriginal activists protesting for land rights erected tents outside the Australian Parliament and declared it an embassy. The use of a-legal space is an under-studied and untheorized tactic employed with increasing regularity by social movement, civil society, and sometimes, state and substate actors. The article builds on the work of political theorist Marta Harnecker, who coined the term ‘a-legal space’, through situating it within the existing philosophical conception of a-legality developed by critical legal scholar Hans Lindahl (2013). The aim is to contribute to an understanding of why citizens undertake these initiatives and how they can have a political impact.

The Journal of Politics (Volume 81, Issue 3)

Israeli Demolition Orders and Palestinian Preferences for Dissent

By: Sophia Hatz

Abstract: How does state repression affect civilians’ preferences for dissent? This essay examines administrative demolition orders issued against Palestinian structures in the West Bank. As administrative demolition is a penalty for illegal building and is not provoked by Palestinian violence and radicalization, the policy’s impact can be estimated while avoiding the challenge of reverse causality. Drawing on United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Demolition Order database and Palestinian opinion polls during 2001–12, the study finds that in the long run, the policy hardens preferences: as the number of demolition orders issued increases, Palestinians are more likely to oppose peace and support violence against Israelis. By demonstrating the provocative effect of collective threat, the study sheds light on a mechanism by which repression backfires. For the policy of administrative demolition, the findings suggest that while ostensibly exogenous to conflict dynamics, the practice has consequences for the peace process.

Third World Quarterly (Volume 40, Issues 6 & 8)

The Kurds in Iran: balancing national and ethnic identity in a securitised environment

By: Shahram Akbarzadeh, Zahid Shahab Ahmed, Costas Laoutides, William Gourlay

Abstract: The Kurdish population in Iran feels disenfranchised and excluded from the political system. Based on an original survey of Iranian Kurds, it is revealed that Kurds lack trust and confidence in the central government and do not exhibit any emotional connection with Iranian identity or the Islamic Republic of Iran. Overwhelmingly, survey respondents put their Kurdish identity and affiliations as the primary point of reference. This emotional and political disconnect with Iran poses a serious challenge to the incumbent regime. It is an affront to the official rhetoric of ethnic unity and Iranian solidarity that is reinforced by Islamic principles under the Islamic Republic of Iran. This has led the incumbent regime to opt for a security response to a clearly political challenge. However, as the survey data in this research reveals, the securitisation of Iran’s response to its Kurdish population is only widening the gap, and aggravating the situation. The securitised approach to Kurdish aspirations for inclusion and acceptance is a counterproductive strategy with significant risks for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Beyond royal politics: state transformation and foreign policy in Saudi Arabia

By: Babak Mohammadzadeh

Abstract: Saudi politics is commonly portrayed as reflecting a system of centralised personal rule in which decision-making power trickles down from the tightly knit power circles within the House of Saud. In contrast, this paper draws attention to the empowerment of quasi-autonomous state organisations in Saudi Arabia as a result of state transformation and regional integration. At its most extreme, state transformation in Saudi Arabia has created institutional and regulatory enclaves with vested interests and areas of competence that cross Saudi borders. This paper illustrates the foreign policy ramifications of transformed statehood in Saudi attempts to further Gulf regional integration in the context of the Gulf Monetary Union project.


[The articles below were recently added to the Peer-Reviewed Articles Review: Spring 2019 (Part 4). They have been included here for your convenience.]

Arab Media & Society (Issue 27)

Marathon TV Watching among Emiratis in the Interactive Media Environment

By: Azza Abdel-Azim Mohamed Ahmed

Abstract: The study investigates the habits of binge TV watching—also called marathon TV watching—among a sample of Emiratis. It refers to watching consecutive episodes of a series in one setting for several hours. The research examines the expected outcomes for binge-watching and the possibilities of anticipating regret after such activity, among a sample of 229 Emiratis living in Abu Dhabi. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 Emiratis to further understand this recently-developed behavior. The results showed a positive significant correlation between expected outcomes, self-regulation deficiency, anticipating regret, and binge-watching. The findings also revealed that most respondents tend to binge-watch alone rather than with others. While gender, marital status, and education do not affect the level of binge-watching, age was an important variable in predicting binge-watching levels. It was found that the lower the age, the higher the deficiency in self-regulation of binge-watching.

Arab Millennials’ Articulation of Identity in Cyberspace: A study of three MENA YouTubers

By: Mohammad Ayish & Abeer AlNajjar

Abstract: This study investigates how three young Arab influencers negotiate their identities in cyberspace. Abdallah Al Maghlouth, Abdulrahman Mohammed, and Laila Hzaineh were selected for this study because they were listed among the top MENA influencers by the Arab Social Media Summit (2015) or by Stepfeed. The article draws on the cultural hybridity perspective to demonstrate how these influencers articulate cultural identity across three themes: human engagement, women’s empowerment, and cultural revivalism. Cultural hybridity gained prominence within a range of cultural and social theories beginning in the 1980s. Recently, it has come to be interchangeably used with Robertson’s notion of ‘glocalization’ (Robertson 2012). Hybridity is a dynamic process necessary for cultural co-existence, continuity and for reconciling global sets of values with local (dominantly Arab-Islamic) social norms. Identity is informed by aspects of belonging or not to social groups; cyberspace is a new frontier for shaping and renewing social identities in the Middle East, with the majority of the population under 25 years and great levels of internet penetration, it is important to examine emerging sense of self and groups amongst Arab youth in cyberspace.

Undoing Stereotypical Representations in Arab and Muslim Cinemas: Challenges, Interruptions, and Possibilities

By: Imed Ben Labidi

Abstract: Troubled by a history of misconceptions on Western silver screens, Arab and Muslim filmmakers have kept their cinematic productions thematically close to the reality of their postcolonial cultural and social conditions, while trying to represent their communities in complex ways. In many efforts of artistic excellence, the films they make aim to reverse the frisson of alterity upon which the conception of their disgraced images have been historically predicated; in the process, the films aspire to alter these images and representations. Rarely however does the work of these Arab and Muslim filmmakers reach a global audience. This article locates themes and creative forms in many cinematic narratives of representation, and recommends their interpretation and mediation to a global audience. The article responds to a recent “intellectual turn” in contemporary debate on Arab and Muslim films, calling for the invention of a category called “Muslim Cinema”. The article contextualizes this turn within the contours of Western institutions as sites of epistemological authority and examines its epistemological, racial, and ideological implications and underpinnings in connection to representation.

The Changing Identity of a Living Secular Icon: Al Mayadeen’s Iconization of Jamila Bouhired

By: Christine Crone

Abstract: In December 2013, the pan-Arab TV station Al Mayadeen orchestrated a big public celebration of the former female fighter Jamila Bouhired. In this article, I analyze Al Mayadeen’s celebration of Bouhired as an iconization (Khalili 2009) and investigate how the TV station uses the icon Bouhired to facilitate a particular reading of the past that supports a contemporary political agenda. I investigate how secular icons can take form, develop, and not least become an important tool in a mediatized world where political contests to a large degree are a battle over the symbolic world. By understanding the iconization of Bouhired we understand how the TV station (and the political fractions it represents) reads the past, understands the present, and envisions the future. During the celebration, the Arab uprisings of 2011 are dismissed, while Hezbollah is promoted as the heir of Bouhired’s progressive resistance legacy.

Nationalism and the Use of Pop Music: A Discourse Analysis of the Song “Boshret Kheir”

By: Mohamed Gameel & Salma El Ghetany

Abstract: The Egyptian Arabic song, “Boshret Kheir” or ‘good omen’, represents an example of the role of popular music in promoting populism, patriotism, and the ideology of Egyptian nationalism. Given the song’s popularity, this article poses the question: what transforms an ordinary pop song into a national phenomenon? The song is studied through observational discourse, using visual semiotic analysis of its video clip. The song was adopted as a patriotic anthem of sorts by a segment of society- namely those espousing the mainstream narrative in support of the military. It was produced to encourage political activism and participation but carried a deeper meaning given its affiliation with the ruling military at the time. The song was released ten days before the presidential elections, almost one year after former president Mohammed Morsi was ousted, on June 30th, 2013. Although “Boshret Kheir” was meant to encourage people to participate in the presidential elections, the discourse analysis in this study shows that the song’s lyrics symbolized the election’s legitimacy.

Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (Issue 381)

The Terra-cotta Figurines from a Lamp Workshop at Khirbat Shumeila near Beit Nattif, Israel

By: Benyamin Storchan, Achim Lichtenberger

Abstract: In 1934, excavations conducted at Beit Nattif, in the Judaean Shephelah region, uncovered a rich assemblage of waste from a terra-cotta lamp and figurine workshop. The items produced at the workshop, which are now known by the name of the site, are dated to around 300 c.e. and can be considered a hallmark of the regional material culture of the Late Roman period, a time of wideranging cultural influences. Recent excavations at Khirbat Shumeila, located in the immediate Beit Nattif region, have uncovered the remains of a Beit Nattif lamp workshop. The Khirbat Shumeila workshop can be dated to the late 4th century c.e. During the excavations, a number of typical Beit Nattif figurines and a figurine mold were uncovered, providing an opportunity to analyze the stylistic and morphological development of the figurines over 100 years. While the new workshop was focused primarily on lamp production, figurine production existed as a secondary industry, further implying the existence of multiple parallel workshops in the region.

Four Judean Bullae from the 2014 Season at Tel Lachish

By: Martin G. Klingbeil, Michael G. Hasel, Yosef Garfinkel, Néstor H. Petruk

Abstract: The article presents four decorated epigraphic bullae unearthed in the Level III destruction at Lachish during the 2014 season, focusing on the epigraphic, iconographic, and historical aspects of the seal impressions.

Uninscribed Amethyst Scarabs from the Southern Levant

By: Arlette David

Abstract: Prompted by the discovery of a schematic uninscribed amethyst scarab at Tel Abel Beth Maacah in the Upper Galilee, an overview of such scarabs found in the southern Levant is provided, with a typological analysis and a tentative dating and origin of these pieces.

Foreign Food Plants as Prestigious Gifts: The Archaeobotany of the Amarna Age Palace at Tel Beth-Shemesh, Israel

By: Ehud Weiss, Yael Mahler-Slasky, Yoel Melamed, Zvi Lederman, Shlomo Bunimovitz, Shawn Bubel, Dale Manor

Abstract: In contrast with the relatively rich documentation from the el-Amarna archive related to the main city-states of the southern Levant in the Amarna Age (Late Bronze Age IIA; 14th century b.c.e.), archaeological data from these sites is still wanting. This unfortunate situation highlights the importance of the ca. 60,000-item plant collection from the recently exposed Late Bronze Age IIA palace at Tel Beth-Shemesh. Room L1505 in the palace—apparently a pantry due to its contents of foodstuffs and vessels for food preparation and consumption—contained eight deposits of carbonized crop plants. Deposits of almost pure grains and very low numbers of weed seeds were found, indicating that these stored food plants were ready to be used in food preparation. Of special interest is the presence of a sizeable amount of two rare pulses in Levantine archaeobotany—fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) and Cyprus vetch (Lathyrus ochrus)—only found in two other Bronze Age royal contexts: Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt and the Late Minoan II Unexplored Mansion in Knossos. Thus, in addition to attesting to the agricultural practices and culinary preferences of a Canaanite ruling court during the Amarna Age, this botanical assemblage also hints at prestigious royal gift exchanges of exotic food plants.

Tel Yaqush—An Early Bronze Age Village in the Central Jordan Valley, Israel

By: Yael Rotem, Mark Iserlis, Felix Höflmayer, Yorke M. Rowan

Abstract: This article highlights the results of five excavation seasons at Tel Yaqush, Israel, conducted between the 1989 and 2000 on behalf of The Oriental Institute at The University of Chicago. Tel Yaqush was a medium-sized village, inhabited during the entire Early Bronze Age period, from the mid-4th to the mid-3rd millennia b.c.e. The excavations exposed a dense settlement begun in the Early Bronze Age (EB) I, which ended in a severe conflagration. Apparently rebuilt at the beginning of EB II, the village remained a small site and technically non-urban throughout the period. Destroyed at the end of EB II, it was renewed in EB III, coinciding with the arrival of people bearing the Khirbet Kerak Ware ceramic tradition. This preliminary report includes new observations following recent studies of Tel Yaqush finds, including a new sequence of 14C dates from EB I to III (published in detail elsewhere). The excavation results summarized here reveal the unique role Tel Yaqush played during the shift to urbanism, and its contribution to our understanding of Early Bronze Age village society in the central Jordan Valley.

The Terra-cotta Figurines from a Lamp Workshop at Khirbat Shumeila near Beit Nattif, Israel

By: Benyamin Storchan, Achim Lichtenberger

Abstract: In 1934, excavations conducted at Beit Nattif, in the Judaean Shephelah region, uncovered a rich assemblage of waste from a terra-cotta lamp and figurine workshop. The items produced at the workshop, which are now known by the name of the site, are dated to around 300 c.e. and can be considered a hallmark of the regional material culture of the Late Roman period, a time of wideranging cultural influences. Recent excavations at Khirbat Shumeila, located in the immediate Beit Nattif region, have uncovered the remains of a Beit Nattif lamp workshop. The Khirbat Shumeila workshop can be dated to the late 4th century c.e. During the excavations, a number of typical Beit Nattif figurines and a figurine mold were uncovered, providing an opportunity to analyze the stylistic and morphological development of the figurines over 100 years. While the new workshop was focused primarily on lamp production, figurine production existed as a secondary industry, further implying the existence of multiple parallel workshops in the region.

Canaanite Reḥob: Tel Reḥov in the Late Bronze Age

By: Amihai Mazar, Uri Davidovich, with an Appendix by Arlette David

Abstract: Tel Reḥov, identified with Reḥob, was one of the largest Canaanite cities in the southern Levant during the Late Bronze Age (15th–13th centuries b.c.e.). Unlike many other Canaanite settlements, the city was founded in the 15th century after a hiatus beginning in Early Bronze Age III. In this article, four major Late Bronze Age occupation strata are described. Notable is a monumental structure dated to the 14th century b.c.e. with unusual architectural features that could be either the residence of a high-ranking family or an administrative building. During the 13th century b.c.e., this building was replaced by a new structure containing a metalsmith’s workshop, inspired by Egyptian 19th Dynasty techniques, while later building phases belong to the final stages of the Late Bronze Age. No destruction layers were found, and the Late Bronze Age city was rebuilt and continued to thrive throughout the Iron Age I. Five Late Bronze Age plaque figurines, some of particular interest, are also described. An appendix discusses a rare funerary scarab of an Egyptian high official found in the 14th-century b.c.e. edifice.

An Eighth-Century b.c.e. Gate Shrine at Tel Lachish, Israel

By: Saar Ganor, Igor Kreimerman

Abstract: Excavations conducted on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority at Tel Lachish exposed the southern half of the six-chambered gate in Level III. In the eastern chamber, a gate shrine was uncovered. The shrine was split in two: a larger northern room and a smaller southern room. The southern room, which served as the holy of holies, had a niche in its southern wall in front of which a double altar was placed. Dozens of bowls and oil lamps were revealed inside the shrine. At some point, evidently prior to the destruction of Level III by Sennacherib in 701 b.c.e., the shrine was desecrated and sealed. This act was evident in the breakage of the altar’s horns and the placement of a latrine in the holy of holies. The available data suggests that the desecration of the shrine should be associated with Hezekiah’s cultic reform (2 Kgs 18:4).

Journal of Palestine Studies (Volume 48, Issue 3)

Fracturing Communities: Aid Distribution in a Palestinian Refugee Camp

By: Perla Issa

Abstract: This article examines the practices of humanitarian aid distribution from the perspective of aid recipients rather than providers through an immersion in the daily home life of Palestinian residents of Nahr al-Barid refugee camp (north Lebanon) in 2011. It argues that in the name of distributing aid fairly, humanitarian aid providers put in place a pervasive system of surveillance to monitor, evaluate, and compare residents’ misery levels by relying on locally recruited aid workers. This regime of visibility was designed to be one directional; NGOs never disclosed how much aid they had available, nor when or how it would be distributed. The inclusion of local aid workers in this opaque framework turned a process that relied on community and neighborhood ties into an impersonal machine that fostered doubt and suspicion and ultimately hindered the community’s ability to engage in collective political action.

From Haifa to Ramallah (and Back): New/Old Palestinian Literary Topography

By: Amal Eqeiq

Abstract: This article explores border crossing and the Palestinian city as a literary metropolis—two major themes in the works of emerging Palestinian novelists in Israel. It looks at the “re-Palestinization” of urban space by writers who belong to a post-Oslo generation of Palestinian intellectuals that left villages and small towns in Israel to go and study, work, and live in the city. What distinguishes the literature of this generation is its negotiation of border crossing in a fragmented geography and its engagement with the city as a space of paradoxical encounter between a national imaginary and a settler-colonial reality. Based on a critical reading of their works, the article argues that Adania Shibli and Ibtisam Azem challenge colonial border discourse, exposing the ongoing Zionist erasure of the Palestinian city and creating a new topography for Palestinian literature. The article also traces the role of these writers in the “twinning” of Haifa and Ramallah starting in the late 1990s, and it examines how this literary and cultural “sisterhood” informs spatial resistance.

Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture (Volume 24, Issue 1&2)

The Two-State Solution Remains the Only Pathway to a Mutually Agreed Resolution of the Conflict

By: Jake Walles

Abstract: Not available

The Future of the Two-State Solution and the Alternatives — A View from Gaza

By: Husam Dajni

Abstract: Not available

There Is No Other Solution

By: Shaul Arieli

Abstract: Not available

Is There a Plausible Alternative to The Two-State Solution?

By: Tony Klug

Abstract: Not available

Facing the Deep Crisis: How Will the Palestinian Authority Meet the Challenges of the New Reality?

By: Samir HuleiIeh

Abstract: Not available

One State, Two Nations

By: Gideon Levy

Abstract: Not available

What Can the International Community Do to Stop Creeping Annexation and Revive the Two-State Paradigm

By: Ziad AbuZayyad

Abstract: Not available

International Law, Settlements and the Two-State Solution

By: James Friedberg

Abstract: Not available

Role of Public Opinion in the Resilience/Resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

By: Khalil Shikaki, Dahlia Scheindlin

Abstract: Not available

Acknowledging the (Violent) Elephant in the Room

By: Menachem Klein

Abstract: Not available

Is the Two-State Solution Feasible?

By: Bernard Sabella

Abstract: Not available

What after the Deal of the Century?

By: Efraim Inbar

Abstract: Not available

A Trilateral Confederation

By: Hanna Siniora

Abstract: Not available

Is the Two-State Solution Still Applicable?

By: Alon Liel

Abstract: Not available

Annexation and the End of the Two-State Solution

By: Michael Lynk

Abstract: Not available

Partnership, Not Separation, Is the Answer

By: Meron Rapoport

Abstract: Not available

A Paradigm Shift from Two-State to One-State Solution

By: Manuel Hassassian

Abstract: Not available

The History of the Two-State Solution

By: Galia Golan

Abstract: Not available

How Can the Two-State Solution Be Rescued?

By: Cary Nelson

Abstract: Not available

The Ethics of Partition

By: Assaf Sharon

Abstract: Not available

Confederation: An Idea Whose Time Has Come? 

By: Paul Scham

Abstract: Not available

Political Studies (Volume 67, Issue 2)

The Politics of Decolonisation and Bi-Nationalism in Israel/Palestine

By: Bashir Bashir, Rachel Busbridge

Abstract: Recent years have seen a revitalisation of decolonisation as a framework of analysis in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. This article maps changes in the meanings attached to decolonisation in the Israeli Israeli–Palestinian context, paying particular attention to the one-state paradigm. One-state proposals highlight bi-national realities in historic Palestine in order to lay out a decolonising vision grounded in equal civic rights. Many one-state advocates, however, are suspicious of a prescriptive bi-national paradigm that would afford the two national groups equal collective rights, primarily because its recognition of Jewish national self-determination is seen as entrenching, rather than decolonising, colonial relations of power. We argue that a prescriptive bi-nationalism in fact offers rich resources for a decolonising project in Israel/Palestine that seeks to establish a polity based on the principles of justice and equality – come to terms with historical injustice and imagine alternative pasts, presents and futures based on Arab–Jewish relationships.

PS: Political Science & Politics (Volume 52, Issue 2)

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey: A Decline in Legislative Capacity

By: Omer Faruk Gençkaya

Abstract: Not available

Review of Middle East Economics and Finance (Volume 15, Issue 1)

The Nexus between Government Expenditure and Economic Growth: Evidence of the Wagner’s Law in Kuwait

By: Ali Ebaid, Zakaria Bahari

Abstract: This study is the first attempt to examine the validity of the Wagner’s law hypothesis by employing time-series data over the period from 1970 to 2015 in Kuwait. In this paper, the causal relationship between government expenditure and economic growth is tested by conducting the Granger non-causality test developed by (Toda, H. Y., and T. Yamamoto. 1995. “Statistical Inference in Vector Autoregressions with Possibly Integrated Processes.” Journal of Econometrics 66 (1): 225–250.) and (Dolado, J. J., and H. Lütkepohl. 1996. “Making Wald Tests Work for Cointegrated VAR Systems.” Econometric Reviews 15 (4): 369–386.). The empirical results support the unidirectional causality running from government spending to economic growth. This occurs only when real government expenditure per capita is a proxy for state activity and real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is a measure of economic growth. This implies that Wagner’s law does not apply for Kuwait’s economy, and the Keynesian proposition of government spending as a policy instrument that encourages and leads economic growth is supported by the data used.

Housing Prices and Money Demand: Empirical Evidence in Selected MENA Countries

By: Nadia Mbazia, Mouldi Djelassi

Abstract: This paper examines the links between housing and money empirically in a money demand framework for a panel of five Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries using quarterly data from 2007Q3 to 2014Q4 with the inclusion of house prices as a variable representing the developments in housing markets. We applied the Pool Mean Group Estimation technique to estimate the long-run and short-run dynamic relationships in money demand model. Empirical results provide the evidence that higher house prices lead to a rise in M2 demand in long-run and short-run estimations. This finding may explain the importance influence of the house price developments on monetary policy in MENA countries. The results confirm that the cross-country heterogeneity of money holdings is also connected with structural features of the housing market.

Service Trade Liberalization in Oman: International Commitments and Trade Performance

By: Houcine Boughanmi, Said Al-Riyami

Abstract: The service sector constitutes an important and a growing sector of the global economy as well as in the Arab region. In Oman, the service sector accounts for the highest share in the sectoral composition of the GDP and constitutes a crucial component of the overall policy of economic diversification. The objective of this paper is to investigate the extent of service trade liberalization in Oman as reflected in its international trade commitments, and analyze its trade performance using an adapted version of the gravity model within the context of the wider Arab region. The analysis shows that Oman has the third most extensive GATS commitments in the Arab region, which have been consolidated and improved upon under USA–Oman FTA. Results from the gravity analysis indicate that WTO membership has a significant effect in enhancing service exports, while the variable US-FTA has a correct sign but a non-significant effect. Trade potential calculation shows that comparatively Oman has a quite significant export potential among the Arab countries indicating that it could potentially increase its exports more than what is actually traded. A trade liberalization scenario, in which countries reduce their trade restrictiveness index to the most liberal country in the region indicates that the GCC countries like Kuwait, Qatar and Oman would benefit the most from service liberalization with an increase in export values of, respectively, 89 %, 87 % and 75 % compared d to the base year.