[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the eleventh 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.]


Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics (Volume 39)

Redefining Theater: Yusuf Idris’s *al-Farāfīr* and the Work of Cultural Decolonization

By: Emily Sibley

Abstract: Not available

A View from the Moon: Allegories of Representation in Tawfīq al-Ḥakīm and H. G. Wells

By: Merve Tabur

Abstract: Not available

Saddīkī’s Textual Recoveries: Arab Theater as Biofacticity

By: Youssef Yacoubi

Abstract: Not available

Approaching Sa‘dallāh Wannūs’s Drama: The Manifestos for a New Arab Theater

By: Asaad Alsaleh

Abstract: Not available

British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan 
(Issue 25)

Esarhaddon in Egypt: An Assyrian-Egyptian battle scene on glazed tiles from Nimrud

By: Manuela Lehmann, Nigel Tallis ,Duygu Camurcuoglu, Lucía Pereira-Pardo

Abstract: Not available

Critical Studies on Terrorism
 (Volume 13, Issue 1)

The security-prejudice nexus: “Islamist” terrorism and the structural logics of Islamophobia in the UK

By: Mark Gilks

Abstract: A growing body of evidence documents that Islamophobia is a significant social issue in the UK. This evidence also reveals an empirical link to “Islamist” terrorism, revealing a nexus between security and the social emergence of prejudice. Drawing on critical approaches to security and applying them to the case of the UK in 2017, this article explores this nexus conceptually and empirically. To do so, it examines the discourses of various governance institutions (including the media, the political elite, and security professionals) as they respond to “Islamist” terrorist events. It argues that these governance institutions individually and collectively – and often unwittingly – stigmatised and securitised “Muslim” identity. The structural emergence (i.e., the institutionalisation) of Islamophobia in the UK, this article contends, can largely be understood through these processes. This article therefore offers an illustration of some of the logics of how prejudice is embedded in societal structures, which has normative implications for how these processes might be successfully contested.

(Volume 26, Issue 8 and Volume 27, Issue 1)

Rethinking the repression-dissent nexus: assessing Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s response to repression since the coup of 2013

By: Khalil al-Anani

Abstract: This article examines the repression-dissent nexus in Islamist social movements. Several studies have overwhelmingly focused on the effects of repression on protest volume, level, and tactics. However, understanding the responses of individual members to regime repression and how they relate to the movement’s collective response is rarely discussed. By analysing the response of the Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to regime repression since the coup of 2013, this article explains the effects of repression on opposition movements. It argues that to understand the impact of repression on these movements, we need to differentiate between the collective and individual responses to repression. These two levels of analysis are crucial to better understand the repression-dissent nexus. Also, the article contends that collective and individual responses to repression cannot be explained by focusing solely on the structural and institutional factors (i.e. organization, ideology, leadership, etc.). Members’ personal experiences, memory, emotions, and trauma play a key role in shaping their response to repression. The article thus accounts for both the formal and informal effects of repression on Islamists.

Who are the targets of familial electoral coercion? Evidence from Turkey

By: Emre Toros, Sarah Birch

Abstract: The unfettered expression of electoral choice is an important democratic right; however, in many contexts voters are pressured by others to cast their votes in certain ways. Electoral coercion is a topic that has received increased attention from researchers in recent years as part of the wave of research on electoral violence, yet there is little consensus in the literature as to who the targets of coercion are most likely to be. This article uses a list experiment embedded in a survey fielded following the Turkish general election of 2018 to identify the targets of coercive electoral practices within families and among close friends. The analysis reveals familial electoral coercion to be strongly conditioned by partisanship and disadvantaged demographic characteristics, but finds no evidence that women are more likely than men to be coerced.

Not the only game in towns: explaining changes in municipal councils in post-revolutionary Tunisia

By: Janine A. Clark, Emanuela Dalmasso, Ellen Lust

Abstract: This study sheds light on the relationship between local and national elites during political transitions. Examining local councils in post-revolutionary Tunisia (2011–2013), it examines why and when the composition of councils changed in the absence of local elections. The study yields two important lessons. First, changes in councils resulted from a power struggle between national and local elites. Councils were more likely to remain in place when local parties and unions helped council members resist pressures from above. The interplay of local and national actors, and not the council’s competencies, explains when changes took place. Second, all councils became politicized in the process. Far from being caretaker councils impartially addressing local needs, the councils were institutions playing important roles in the struggles between local and national political elites. Councils were arenas in which political power, and notions of legitimate representation, were contested in the absence of elections. The argument is supported by quantitative analyses of original data and four comparative case studies based on qualitative fieldwork. The findings highlight the importance of local councils in transition processes and provide a basis for further work exploring local-national engagement in democratization.

The evolution of authoritarian rule in Algeria: linkage versus organizational power

By: J. N. C. Hill

Abstract: This article draws on the Algerian regimes of Chadli Benjedid and Abdelaziz Bouteflika to critically evaluate Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way’s dimension of linkage. The paper shows that, despite the intensification of the country’s ties to the European Union (EU) from one regime to the other, the willingness and ability of Brussels to put democratizing pressure on Algiers decreased rather than increased. This development challenges Levitsky and Way’s thesis and the importance they place on linkage in relation to their other dimensions of leverage and organizational power. The article concludes that: strengthening linkage does not always result in greater EU or Western democratizing pressure; the balance of importance Levitsky and Way strike between their dimensions is open to question; and, the EU has grown less willing to press for political change in Algeria.

Populism and democratic crisis in semi-presidential countries

By: Jung-Hsiang Tsai

Abstract: This article demonstrates how different political opportunity structures in semi-presidential countries either enable or inhibit the overreach of populist presidents. In Turkey, for example, political leverage has been used to hamstring the opposition and transform a democratic regime into an authoritarian one. In Bulgaria, democracy also faded under a populist prime minister. Ukraine’s democracy had a checkered history, with frequent changes of power culminating in presidential breakdown. The Czech Republic introduced popular elections for the president to strengthen legitimacy, but that exposed the regime to conflict between the president and the prime minister.

How democratization benefits brokers: a comparison of Mexico City and Khartoum

By: Ingeborg Denissen

Abstract: How does urban brokerage differ in patronage democracies and electoral authoritarian regimes? This article answers this question by providing in-depth comparison of Mexico City and Khartoum, two cities in which electoral competitiveness differs starkly. In both cities, brokers play fundamentally similar functions connecting residents and the state, and mobilizing similar abilities to deliver services for the urban poor. But there is one fundamental difference: brokered relationships between the state and poor people are competitive in Mexico City, whereas in Khartoum they are not. Due to the democratic opening that has unfolded in Mexico since the early 2000s, there are now multiple avenues through which brokers can access state resources. These multiple avenues, and the political competition over the resources they provide, produces multipolar brokerage: brokers can choose between different political patrons and play them off against each other. In electoral authoritarian Khartoum, by contrast, brokerage patterns are unipolar: all avenues lead to a single power source – the ruling party. In comparing urban politics in the two settings, the article concludes that democratization has strengthened brokers in Mexico City, providing them with greater bargaining power and the ability to threaten to take their clienteles to rival patrons.

Clientelism and dominant incumbent parties: party competition in an urban Turkish neighbourhood

By: Kerem Yıldırım

Abstract: Incumbent parties are often able to control state resources in ways that allow them to garner support in a clientelistic fashion. When regulatory institutions cannot restrain the incumbent’s discretionary control over these resources, monopolistic control can give these parties a major political advantage. Focusing on clientelistic strategies employed by Turkey’s ruling AK Party in comparison to opposition parties, this paper discusses mechanisms through which the incumbent party garners advantages through clientelism. While doing so, it presents evidence from an original fieldwork conducted in an Istanbul neighbourhood.

Iran and the Caucasus
 (Volume 24, Issue 1)

Relocating the Prophet’s Image: Narrative Motifs and Local Appropriation of the Zarathustra Legend in Pre- and Early Islamic Iran (Part I – East Iran)

By: Gianfilippo Terribili

Abstract: From the very beginning of Iranian disciplinary studies, the material concerning Zarathustra’s biography has been analysed in depth, firstly to identify the homeland of the Prophet and then to discuss the historical reality of this authoritative figure. Despite the divergences of opinion, emphasis has always been placed on the reconstruction of the figure of Zarathustra and much less on the socio-cultural context in which the image of the Prophet was cultivated. The present paper represents the first part of a larger work that aims to reverse this perspective and emphasise those data, which link up narrative variations and extensions with local identities. In fact, variations in geographical setting reveal processes of acculturation through which social groups reinvented the influential image of the Prophet within a familiar horizon. In this respect, the Sasanian period proved pivotal in the formation of both Zoroastrian and Iranian communal identities, while this first work will analyses aspects connected to East Iran and the Khorāsān tradition.

Between Zoroastrian Mytho-History and Islamic Hagiography: Trajectories of Literary Exchange

By: Matthias Weinreich

Abstract: The paper presents a comparative analysis of the Pahlavi “Story of Jōišt ī Friyān”, comparing it with three other tales, which span several hundred years and belong to several cultural traditions. By isolating structural and content-related features from the narrative core of these tales and setting them into relation with each other, the present author attempts to answer the following questions. Are there meaningful parallels between these four tales, which would suggest literary borrowing? And, if there are, would it be possible to identify one of them as the primary source of the others? The study is intended to contribute to our understanding of the process of literary exchange between Zoroastrians and Muslims in early Mediaeval Iran.

The Rekom Shrine in North Ossetia-Alania and its Annual Ceremony

By: Richard Foltz

Abstract: The Rekom Shrine located in the Tsey Valley of North Ossetia-Alania is one of the most important sites in the Ossetian popular religion, which in modern times is often referred to as the Uatsdin. The shrine is dedicated to Uastyrdzhi, an Ossetian cultic figure associated with the Christian St. George. Rekom is the site of a major festival held in mid-June, called Rekomy Bærægbon (Рекомы бæрæгбон), where certain aspects of the ritual may date back to Scythian times. These and similar ceremonies throughout North and South Ossetia are best understood as expressions of national identity and community solidarity.

The Abdominal Sides as Containers: Some Indo-Aryan and Iranian Denominations

By: Ela Filippone

Abstract: On the meaning of Ved. (dual) kukṣí, a denomination for pair body parts frequently equated to bodies of water in Vedic texts, different assumptions have been made by scholars. In particular, Stephanie Jamison suggested interpreting it as “the two cheeks”, Henk Bodewitz as “the two sides of the body”. The present paper supports Bodewitz’ claim that Ved. kukṣí- was used to refer to any of the sides of the abdomen. In fact, abdominal sides may be categorised as containers of liquids. This is also proved by the denominations for the abdominal side (as distinct from the thoracic side) recorded in some Iranian languages, which may be considered as part of the legacy of the ancient theory of humours and the microcosm-macrocosm theory.

The Story of a Lost Book: Two Recent Studies on the Khwadāynāmag

By: Sebastian Bitsch

Abstract: The Arabic historiographical tradition is considered to be one of the most important textual sources for the reconstruction of Sāsānian history. Historians such as al-Ṭabarī, al- Masʿūdī or al-Thaʿālibī explicitly claimed to have used older material of Persian origin. The basis of their accounts seem to have been translations, excerpts and adaptations of translations, which commonly are traced back to the Middle-Persian “Book of Kings”, the Khwadāynāmag. While it may be assumed a scientific consensus that there were in the late Sāsānian period books dealing with Iran’s history, the opaque character of this historical tradition has repeatedly given rise to scientific controversy over the question of whether there was one or several books bearing the title Khwadāynāmag, when the content was first written down, whether the tradition could be regarded as sound or not, which earlier sources finally became a part of the Khwadāynamag, etc. In the following, two inspiring recent contributions to the research on the Khwadāynāmag will be presented.

Journal of Arabic Literature
 (Volume 51, Issue 1)

Voice and Power: Ḥafṣah bint al-Ḥājj and the Poetics of Women in Al-Andalus

By: Majd Al-Mallah

Abstract: This paper examines the poetry of the Andalusī woman poet Ḥafṣah bint al-Ḥājj (d. 589/1191) in the context of a rich body of anecdotes surrounding that poetry as preserved in Nafḥ al-ṭīb, which al-Maqqarī (d. 1041/1632) wrote to preserve the cultural memory of al-Andalus. Known as the preeminent woman poet of Granada in the twelfth century, she lived most of her life under Almohad rule and had a connection to their court. Although literature surrounding Ḥafṣah is generally limited compared to major male poets, this paper will show that a close analysis of al-Maqqarī’s section on Ḥafṣah reveals the poet’s voice and agency. This paper argues that al-Maqqarī’s framing of Ḥafṣah in his landmark work elevates rather than marginalizes the poet and her status as a cultural figure in al-Andalus.

Politics of Paratextuality: The Glossary between Translation and the Translational

By: Dima Ayoub

Abstract: This article considers the role of the glossary and related paratextual forms, such as introductions and notes, against the backdrop of an expanding corpus of translated Arabic fiction and fiction written in English by Arab authors, arguing that these paratextual elements have become mainstays of the translation industry. Through an analysis of the glossary in particular, this article considers how paratexts disrupt the impasse between translatability and untranslatability. It further examines the glossary beyond its functionality, even utility as a taxonomomical force, and argues that paratexts are a technology wielded by a complex mediating network that produces literary effects and further, a technology that functions in process alongside translation.

Egyptian Movement Poetry

By: Elliott Colla

Abstract: Poetry has long had a central place in the repertoires of modern Egyptian protest movements, but just as social science accounts of these movements downplay the role of expressive arts (such as poetry), literary studies of colloquial Egyptian poetry have downplayed the performative dynamic of this poetry, as well as its role within social movements. This essay develops the concept of “movement poetry” within the Egyptian social movements, with a special focus on the protest cycle of 1968-1977. In so doing, it discusses the work of Abdel Rahman el-Abnoudi (ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Abnūdī), Ahmed Fouad Negm (Aḥmad Fuʾād Nijm), Samīr ʿAbd al-Bāqī, and others, and considers the conventions and repertoires that extend to Egyptian activists in the present.

“Zahra’s Uncle, or Where Are Men in Women’s War Stories?”

By: Michelle Hartman

Abstract: Scholarship in modern Arabic literary studies has treated the literature of the Lebanese Civil War, particularly novels written by women, in some depth. One of the most important texts used in both scholarship and teaching about this war is Ḥanān al-Shaykh’s Ḥikāyat Zahrah, translated as The Story of Zahra. This article focuses specifically on the one chapter in the novel narrated from the point of view of the protagonist’s uncle in order to explore how the English translation dramatically changes a number of elements in the original text. It uses insights from translation studies to show how significant changes to the novel in translation produce a text that serves particular ideological functions in English, consistent with a horizon of expectations that constructs Arab women as oppressed and passive victims of war. The article analyzes specific translation choices—most notably the extensive editing out of words, sentences, and passages—to demonstrate how the character of Zahrah’s uncle is changed in English and depicted as an unsavory and abusive man with little background, context, or history that would help the reader to better understand the character’s actions and motivations. It also shows how cutting out elements of the uncle’s story serves to depoliticize the text in English, divesting it of its local political context and changing its meaning and function as a novel about the Lebanese Civil War. The article is grounded in postcolonial, feminist translation studies, especially those dealing with Arabic fiction, to argue that the English-language novel The Story of Zahra functions within an ideological field that recycles stereotypes and tropes about Arab women. It will propose that the translation changes here depict Arab men against Arab women, rather than in relation to them, and subordinate the analysis of politics and communal relations to a more individual and individualized story of one exceptional woman.

Nāzik al-Malāʾikah and Edgar Allan Poe: Their Poetry and Related Poetics

By: Boutheina Khaldi

Abstract: This study argues that Nāzik al-Malāʾikah’s poetics—as indicated in her “Introduction” to her collection Shaẓāyā wa-ramād and her book Qaḍāyā al-shiʿr al-muʿāṣir—is in conversation with the famous American poet, critic, and short story writer Edgar Allan Poe’s poetics. This affinity has not been properly noted by critics, as their discussions have been limited to issues of form, content, or borrowings from Poe’s poems. This article argues that al-Malāʾikah’s elaborations on Poe are more profound than hitherto assumed since they articulate a different kind of formal poetics altogether. The chief characteristics of this poetics can be identified as sound/rhythm, concision, refrain (or repetition, with variation). While these innovative instances are foundational in her literary criticism, her poetry also conveys other venues of indebtedness and conversation.

Situating Rifāʿah al-Ṭahṭāwī within an Islamicate Context

By: Atoor Lawandow

Abstract: In this article, I read Rifāʿah al-Ṭahṭāwī (1801-1873) in an Islamicate, Ottoman context by comparing him to eighteenth and nineteenth-century authors who engaged Ibn Khaldūn’s ideas as transmitted by his Ottoman interpreters. Reading al-Ṭahṭāwī in light of Ibn Khaldūn’s political theories from the Muqaddimah, reveals that al-Ṭahṭāwī’s work constitutes a continuation of eighteenth-century intellectual history, as it shares the same conception of state, geography, and civilizational history found in Ottoman, Mughal, and Mamluk texts. Thus, taking into consideration his Ottoman context is important for helping us understand the intellectual development of Nahḍah authors, like al-Ṭahṭāwī.

Journal of Contemporary History
 (Volume 55, Issue 1)

Glorious Brothers, Unsuitable Lovers: Moroccan Veterans, Spanish Women, and the Mechanisms of Francoist Paternalism

By: Stephanie Wright

Abstract: Out of the 78,504 Moroccans who fought in the Francoist army during the Spanish Civil War, an estimated 55,468 sustained injuries over the course of the conflict. Within the deeply hierarchical and militaristic regime of Francisco Franco, a privileged symbolic space was reserved for troops from the Spanish Protectorate who had sacrificed their bodily integrity in the ‘Crusade’. Such veterans were presented by the regime as the ‘glorious mutilated’, and a special body was established to manage their disability pension claims. Yet this privileged position did not imply parity with veterans’ Spanish counterparts, especially when it came to romantic relationships with Spanish women. This article will explore how the Francoist regime’s paternalism towards its Moroccan veterans helped to entrench racial hierarchies in Francoist Spain while respecting military ones. Through an examination of the everyday bureaucratic interactions between representatives of the Francoist state and Moroccan men, paternalism emerges as an overlooked and undertheorized – yet highly significant – discourse in modern European politics and society. Far from being a by-product of colonial politics, paternalism in many ways defined the Francoist regime’s governing ethos more broadly, and helped to ensure its long-term survival both in the Protectorate and in Spain.

Race, Migration, and Fears of Communism in 1948 Morocco

By: Margaret Andersen

Abstract: This article explores a controversy that struck the French family association in the Moroccan town of Oujda in 1948. In 1941, the French administration introduced a wide array of family benefits designed to support French families and encourage French population growth in the protectorate. Initial attempts at maintaining the racially-exclusive character of this policy did not last long. Due to legal reforms introduced in France, Algerians who migrated to Morocco could claim these family benefits and hold leadership positions in family associations due to their status as French citizens. This situation became particularly contentious in the border town of Oujda where, it was alleged, a local communist managed to take over the local family association by recruiting Algerians from across the border with promises of family benefits and securing their support in return. When French officials disbanded the organization, the disgraced president contested this decision, turned the scandal into a fight for Algerian rights and denunciation of French imperialism, and then disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The scandal involving the AFF in Oujda is revealing of ongoing concerns about shifting demographics, clandestine movement across the Algerian border, demands for rights, and concerns about communism in the years prior to decolonization.

Studying an Occupied Society: Social Research, Modernization Theory and the Early Israeli Occupation, 1967–8

By: Omri Shafer Raviv

Abstract: In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip from Jordan and Egypt, and established a long-lasting military regime over their Palestinian population. In this article, recently declassified sources and published reports were used to demonstrate how the Israeli government initiated and funded academic research on Palestinian society to gain reliable, useful knowledge to inform its policies. The Israeli leadership was most specifically concerned with pacification of the occupied population, the Arab/Jewish demographic balance, and the status of the 1948 Palestinian refugees. By early 1968, the research team had produced a series of policy-oriented reports on Palestinian society, covering such subjects as employment, education, nationalism, migration, and general values. The team used surveys, questionnaires, and observations, with modernization theory providing the theoretical framework for analyzing their empirical findings and formulating policy recommendations. As the Israeli team had studied a population under military occupation, their recommendations differed from those reached by their US peers who studied traditional populations in the context of the Cold War. Israeli civil and military officials had great interest in this new knowledge, rendering social research an ongoing practice for the Israeli occupation regime in the years to come.

Journal of Democracy
 (Volume 31, Issue 1)

Breaking Out of the Democratic Slump

By: Larry Diamond

Abstract: Not available

Iranians Turn Away from the Islamic Republic

By: Ladan Boroumand

Abstract: Not available

Fear and Learning in the Arab Uprisings

By: Michele Dunne

Abstract: Not available

Middle East Policy
 (Volume 26, Issue 4)

The United States, Israel and Palestine: An Assessment

By: James Zogby, Lara Friedman, Shibley Telhami, Jake Walles

Abstract: Not available

Interview: Shir Hever The German‐Israeli “Special Relationship”

By: Shir Hever

Abstract: Not available

Israel and South Sudan: A Convergence of Interests

By: Michael B. Bishku

Abstract: Not available

The EU and the Mideast Order: Ideology vs. Power Balancing

By: Peter Seeberg

Abstract: Not available

Maritime Security in the Persian Gulf

By: Gawdat Bahgat

Abstract: Not available

Azerbaijan and Iran: A Shift in Geopolitical Gravity

By: Dmitry Shlapentokh

Abstract: Not available

Russia’s Imprint in Iraqi Kurdistan: Rosneft’s Ascendancy

By: Tomáš Kaválek, Filip Sommer

Abstract: Not available

The Taliban Regime in Afghanistan: En Route to International Recognition?

By: Selim Öztürk

Abstract: Not available

An Inglorious Revolution: The Syrian Opposition’s Compromises

By: Ibrahim Zabad

Abstract: Not available

A Solution in Libya: Elections, Mediation and a Victor’s Peace

By: Irene Costantini

Abstract: Not available

Middle Eastern Literatures
 (Volume 22, Issue 1)

Muḥammad Khuḍayyir from Saddam Hussein to the gardens of the south: writing the self in postcolonial Basra

By: Fabio Caiani, Catherine Cobham

Abstract: In 2001 Saddam Hussein called on Iraqis to write novels inspired by the First Gulf War. Muḥammad Khuḍayyir (b. 1942) responded to the presidential invitation by writing Kurrāsat Kānūn (2001, the Winter Sketchbook), a text that is neither a conventional novel, nor a celebration of Saddam’s war. Khuḍayyir calls this new type of text an “assembling text.” Kurrāsat Kānūn and the author’s next “assembling text” represent an innovative mode of writing which is an alternative to both mainstream conventional fiction and the recent experimentations of Arab writers. A reading of both texts that places Khuḍayyir within the contexts of various literary fields shows how his works express a vision of world literature from the perspective of a contemporary Arab writer who escapes both the threatening reality of post-independence regimes and the Eurocentric tendencies of postcolonial theory.

Diasporic slippages: accent and dialect in translation

By: Dima Ayoub

Abstract: This paper takes up the question of linguistic multiplicity in Arabic to include accents and dialects as mechanisms that disrupt a cohesive logic of language in the postcolonial landscape. Through the lens of difference in dialect and accent, Hanan al-Shaykh’s Innaha Landan ya Azizi (2001) shows that the diasporic experience of Arab immigrants in the British metropole is both fragmented and dystopic. I argue that rather than glorifying Arabic as a language of unification, al-Shaykh exposes the hierarchical underpinnings of Arabics’ accents and dialects which operate as markers of class, national, and political affiliation. This paper comparatively reads and examines al-Shaykh’s novel Innaha Landan ya Azizi (2001) alongside its translation by Catherine Cobham Only in London (2001) in order to explore the ways accent and dialect function as tools for policing and managing alterity in the context of postcolonial migration in the novel.

Pagan or Muslim? “Structures of feeling” and religious ambiguity in al-Khansāʾ

By: M. Hammond

Abstract: The seventh-century poet al-Khansāʾ is perhaps the most renowned elegist in the Arabic poetic tradition. As a woman at the heart of the canon, she stands as a feminist icon. But her poetry and life story have yielded divergent interpretations: many have characterized her verse as “wholly pagan,” whilst others have pointed to anecdotes about her later life in order to paint a picture of the ideal Muslim woman, selflessly sacrificing her sons for the cause of Islam. Here, in this essay, I tease out these contradictory strands of her literary and cultural identities and consider religious themes and imagery in her poetry, asking whether or not her verses reflect an emergent Islamic ethos. Drawing on Raymond Williams’ notion of “structures of feeling,” I demonstrate that her verses are informed by competing ideologies of fatalism and monotheism. These overlapping, seemingly contradictory discourses create space for multiple readings.

Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies
 (Volume 49)

Pottery from al-Zubārah, Qatar: reference collection and ware typolo

By: Agnieszka Magdalena Bystron

Abstract: Not available

Production and provenance of Gulf wares unearthed in the Old Doha Rescue Excavations Project

By: José C. Carvajal López, Marcella Giobbe, Elizabeth Adeyemo, Myrto Georgakopoulou, Robert Carter, Ferhan Sakal, Alice Bianchi , Faisal Al-Na’īmī

Abstract: Not available

Sultanate of Oman (seasons 2016–2018): insights on cultural interaction and long-distance trade

By: Maurizio Cattani, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Dennys Frenez, Randall W. Law, Sophie Méry

Abstract: Not available

The Late Iron Age of central Oman (c.300 BC–AD 300) — new insights from Salūt

By: Michele Degli Esposti, Enrica Tagliamonte, Marzia Sasso, Philip Ramorino

Abstract: Not available

New project on Islamic ceramics from al-Balīd:  chronology, technology, tradition, and provenance

By: Agnese Fusaro

Abstract: Not available

Triliths, the stone monuments of southern Arabia: preliminary results and a path towards interpretation

By: Roman Garba

Abstract: Not available

The Palaeolithic of the northern Red Sea — new investigations in Tabuk and Al-Jawf provinces, Saudi Arabia

By: Robyn H. Inglis, Anthony Sinclair, Abdullah Alsharekh, Christopher Scott, Dhaifullah Al Otaibi

Abstract: Not available

Modern South Arabian material from the diaries of Eduard Glaser

By: Anton Kungl

Abstract: Not available

‘The numerous islands of Ichthyophagi’: Neolithic fisheries of Delma Island, Abu Dhabi Emirate (UAE)

By: Kevin Lidour, Mark Jonathan Beech

Abstract: Not available

Neolithic settlement pattern and environment evolution along the coast of the northern UAE: the case of Umm al-Quwain UAQ36 vs. UAQ2 and Akab shell-middens

By: Sophie Méry, Michele Degli Esposti, David Aoustin, Federico Borgi, Claire Gallou, Chantal Leroyer, Kevin Lidour, Susanne Lindauer, Gareth W. Preston, Adrian G. Parker

Abstract: Not available

A Friday Mosque founded in the late first century A.H. at al-Yamāmah: origins and evolution of Islamic religious architecture in Najd

By: Jérémie Schiettecatte, Christian Darles & Pierre Siméon

Abstract: Not available

The Hafit period at Al-Khashbah, Sultanate of Oman: results of four years of excavations and material studies

By: Conrad Schmidt & Stephanie Döpper

Abstract: Not available

Anthropomorphic figurines from Area 2A of Sārūq al-Ḥadīd, Dubai, UAE

By: Tatiana Valente, Fernando Contreras, Ahmed Mahmud, Yaaqoub Yousif Ali Al Ali & Mansour Boraik Radwan Karim

Abstract: Not available

The origins of the traditional approach towards the jinn of poetic inspiration in tribal Arab culture

By: Maxim Yosefi

Abstract: Not available

Security Studies
 (Volume 28, Issue 5 and Volume 29, Issue 1)

A Crude Bargain: Great Powers, Oil States, and Petro-Alignment

By: Inwook Kim

Abstract: Petro-alignment, a quid pro quo arrangement whereby great powers offer security in exchange for oil states’ friendly oil policies, is a widely used and yet undertheorized energy security strategy. One consequential aspect of this exchange is that great powers choose different levels of security commitment to keep oil producers friendly. With what criteria do great powers rank oil states? How do we conceptualize different types of petro-alignments? What exactly do great powers and oil producers exchange under each petro-alignment type? I posit that a mix of market power and geostrategic location determines the strategic value and vulnerability of individual client oil states, which then generates four corresponding types of petro-alignment—security guarantee, strategic alignment, strategic favor, and neglect. Two carefully selected case comparisons—Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in 1970–91, and Azerbaijan and Ecuador in 1990–2013—show how great powers created, utilized, and maintained petro-alignments under the unique logic of oil markets and across varying geopolitical settings. The findings have important implications on great powers’ grand strategies, strategic behaviors of oil states, and the role of oil in international security.

Not Whether, But When? Governments’ Use of Militias in War

By: Caitlin Ambrozik

Abstract: Although government use of militias during civil conflict can ultimately undermine state authority, governments still use militias for battlefield assistance. This paper examines the selectivity of government decisions to use militias by disaggregating civil conflict to the level of battle phases. Civil-conflict battles typically consist of four phases: preparation, clear, hold, and build. I argue that governments decide to use militias based on the strength of government security forces, operational advantages of militias, and the type of battle phase. Governments will limit the use of militias during key battle phases that are likely to receive increased media attention unless a victory secured by government security forces is unlikely or militias hold an operational advantage. A comparative analysis of the offensive operations in Tikrit and Ramadi during Iraq’s war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) lends initial support to this theory.

Revisiting the Madman Theory: Evaluating the Impact of Different Forms of Perceived Madness in Coercive Bargaining

By: Roseanne W. McManus

Abstract: This article reconsiders the theoretical logic behind the “Madman Theory”—the argument that it can be beneficial in coercive bargaining to be viewed as mad, or insane. I theorize about how we can best define perceived madness in a way that is relevant for analyzing coercive bargaining. I identify four types of perceived madness, broken down along two dimensions. The first dimension is whether a leader is perceived to (a) make rational calculations, but based on extreme preferences, or (b) actually deviate from rational consequence-based decision making. The second dimension is whether a leader’s madness is perceived to be (a) situational or (b) dispositional. I argue that situational extreme preferences constitute the type of perceived madness that is most helpful in coercive bargaining. I illustrate my argument using case studies of Adolf Hitler, Nikita Khrushchev, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi.

“In the Wider View”: The Geostrategic Determinants of Counterinsurgency Strategy and Adaptation, Evidence from the Arab and Jewish Rebellions in the Palestine Mandate

By: Joshua R. Goodman

Abstract: Expeditionary counterinsurgents often have trouble adapting to meet insurgent challenges, resulting in the adoption and retention of ineffective strategies. Whereas explanations often focus on military preferences and cultures, this paper argues civilian policymakers ultimately select counterinsurgency strategy from the recommendations of their advisors, and these strategies will reflect policymakers’ preferences. The goals and instruments of a counterinsurgency campaign are significantly shaped and constrained by policymakers’ foreign policy objectives and the geostrategic pressures they perceive. Strategy changes when geostrategic shifts render existing strategies liabilities for new foreign policy objectives; otherwise, existing strategies, consistent with existing goals, are likely to persist. A most similar comparison of British responses to two insurgencies in the Palestine Mandate, the Arab Rebellion (1936–39), demonstrating successful strategic adaptation, and the Jewish Rebellion (1945–47), demonstrating the failure to change ineffective strategy, reveal the role played by geostrategic pressures stemming from the onset and aftermath of World War II.

Studies in Conflict &Terrorism
 (Volume 43, Issue 2)

Boko Haram’s Conquest for the Caliphate: How Al Qaeda Helped Islamic State Acquire Territory

By: Jacob Zenn

Abstract: This article explains how Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)–trained Nigerian militants split from Boko Haram and formed a new group called Ansaru in 2011 after consulting with AQIM. Ansaru leaders, however, reintegrated with Boko Haram and transferred their specialized skills in kidnappings, suicide bombings, and media to Boko Haram and contributed to the group’s conquest of territory in 2013. Al Qaeda did not benefit from these conquests because Ansaru leaders switched loyalties and helped arrange Boko Haram’s pledge to Islamic State in 2015. This article exploits primary source documents from AQIM, Islamic State, and Boko Haram and contributes to the literature on splits and mergers and knowledge transfer between terrorist groups and Al Qaeda–Islamic State competition.

Terrorism and Political Violence 
(Volume 31, Issue 6 and Volume 32, Issue 1)

A Fifth Wave of Terrorism? The Emergence of Terrorist Semi-States

By: Or Honig, Ido Yahel

Abstract: Drawing on Rapoport’s four waves thesis, this study asks whether the emergence of terrorist semi-states (TSS) in the 21st-century MENA region and Pakistan mean that we are seeing the beginning of a new (fifth) wave. We define a TSS as a rebel group that a) has control over portions of a weak state’s territory, maintaining governance there; b) but still launches terrorist attacks against third-party states. To be considered a fifth wave, the new terrorism phenomenon at hand must both fit Rapoport’s criteria of a wave (be global, have the same driving force) and also be significantly different from the prior wave. Clearly, the TSSs are different from the religious terror groups of the fourth wave in key respects: they prioritize territorial control, they engage in a much wider array of governance activities (not just social services), most of their victims have been members of the same religion—namely, Muslims (which suggests that they are driven more by the pursuit of power than by Jihad); and finally, their behavior (though not their statements) shows they have a local rather than a universal agenda. The main counter-argument is that TSSs are all Islamic and have so far not been exported globally.

Inferno Terror: Forest Fires as the New Form of Terrorism

By: Col. János Besenyő

Abstract: Between the 18th and 26th of November 2016, 220 different locations went up in flames in the Israeli forest. Israeli firefighters were powerless to contain the fires, so army and police units had to contribute. Thousands of civilian volunteers also joined the fight against the fire. The Israeli firemen were unable to curb the continuously blazing fires, which is why the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, asked and received international support. The operation lasted for eight days, more than 1,700 fires were eliminated, but the conflagration caused considerable damage. Due to the extremely dry and windy periods, many blamed the weather conditions for the damage, but it soon became clear that in several cases, the cause was arson. Although arson as a method of extremism has been continuously practiced in many incidents worldwide, it is still beyond the scope of research on terrorism. This essay aims to prove that we have to raise awareness of the issue, highlighting both relevant incidents and the extremist group’s propaganda incentive towards the enhanced use of arson. We raise the question whether on the basis of the incidents in Israel, arson could become a frequently used method of European terrorist units or individuals. And if yes, how the national counter-terrorist and law-enforcement agencies may adapt to the challenge of hardly controllable arson in order to minimize the chance of similarly executed attacks in the future.

The Internet and Its Potentials for Networking and Identity Seeking: A Study on ISIS

By: Khalil Sardarnia, Rasoul Safizadeh

Abstract: With the accelerating process of globalization and the development of its technological dimension, more and more opportunities and channels are available to the terrorist groups in the world to mobilize resources and advocates. “Islamic State of Iraq and Sham” (ISIS), as the most modern terrorist-excommunicative group (Takfiry), has been able to utilize the Internet and social networks highly adeptly. While ignoring the function of long-term structural and essential factors underlying the formation of ISIS, and also combining the networked society theory and triple forms of identities proposed by Manuel Castells with theoretical discussions on identity making, networking, and mobilization of media, the current article seeks to analyze the role of cyberspace and social networks as accelerating and opportunistic agents in mobilizing resources and disseminating ISIS. Using an explanatory analytical research method, the current article mainly intends to find a reply to the question: What has been the role of online social networks in connection with ISIS as an excommunicative and terrorist group? According to the research hypothesis, due to ISIS’s subtle, prevocational-emotional and targeted utilization of online social networks, the networks have played the role of an accelerator and opportunity maker in some areas including network building, guidance of public opinion, identity making, and the promotion of project identity of this terrorist group. The general conclusion obtained from the article is that ISIS, as the most terrifying and the most modern group equipped with cyber media, has been able to attract many forces out of fanatical religious groups, unemployed people, criminals, etc., worldwide. Additionally, with the recruitment of fanatics, ISIS has been able to accomplish identity making and network building. As a result, regional security and even security in Western countries is also highly endangered.

Palestinian Social Media and Lone-Wolf Attacks: Subculture, Legitimization, and Epidemic

By: Harel Chorev

Abstract: This article examines the impact of social media on the wave of Palestinian lone-wolf attacks against Israelis from October 2015 through September 2016. My principal argument is that social media played an important role in shaping the identity, perceptions, and behavioral patterns of dozens of assailants, and was key in creating the dynamic that ultimately characterized both the spreading of the idea of lone-wolf attacks and its execution. Social media reflected reality on the ground while simultaneously nourishing, amplifying, and escalating the situation by providing a platform for the emergence of new sources of authority, including an online subculture with distinct codes and pseudo-ritual patterns to support assailants. Social media also contributed substantially to shaping the contagious character of the attacks, and their capacity to persist without direct organizational guidance, following a typical epidemiological dynamic of spread, containment, and preservation.

The Al Qaeda–Islamic State Rivalry: Competition Yes, but No Competitive Escalation

By: Tore Refslund Hamming

Abstract: On June 29, 2014, the Islamic State emerged and declared the establishment of its caliphate. The declaration was a direct challenge to other Sunni Jihadi groups including Al Qaeda and an attempt to become the leading Jihadi group around. The rivalry that evolved within Sunni Jihadism, and particularly between Al Qaeda and its renegade affiliate the Islamic State, entailed a hitherto unseen competitive environment within the Jihadi field. Interestingly, the increased competition did not lead to a dynamic of competitive escalation and mutual radicalization of behaviour. Theory tells us to expect competitive escalation, or outbidding, in such contexts, but despite the initial success of the Islamic State’s brutality and offensive conquest in Syria and Iraq, Al Qaeda did not “play along” and instead pursued a different path. The reason for this absence of competitive escalation, this paper argues, is to be found in a pre-conflict methodological re-orientation within Al Qaeda and in the pacifying role played by influential Al Qaeda-affiliated ideologues.

Islamist Terrorism as Parochial Altruism

By: Zoey Reeve

Abstract: An evolutionary approach is used to explain how certain universal cognitive mechanisms (parochial altruism) underlie engagement and involvement in Islamist terrorism. Parochial altruism is the tendency to perceive and behave in ways that favour ingroups and disfavour outgroups in light of particular intergroup cues, whilst incurring some kind of personal cost to effect that bias. The parochial altruism mechanism influences how ingroups and outgroups are perceived (i.e., as threatened or threatening) and responded to. Experience of certain situations and/or dispositions (i.e., priming contexts of disease, and harm to the ingroup) make parochial altruistic responses more likely. It is argued that Islamist terrorist grievances can be considered as perceptions of evolutionarily relevant threats, whilst terrorism itself is an example of parochial altruistic behaviour. It is further proposed that features associated with engagement in terrorism (including exposure to ideology, propaganda, socialisation, etc.) enhance and guide parochial altruism, that is, perceptions of intergroup threat, and violent responses to it.

A Community of True Believers: Learning as Process among “The Emigrants”

By: Michael Kenney

Abstract: This paper applies the concept of “communities of practice” to al-Muhajiroun (“the Emigrants”), an outlawed activist network that seeks to create an Islamic caliphate in Britain and the West through activism and proselytizing. Responding to recent studies on terrorism learning and adaptation, the author argues that focusing exclusively on the outputs of learning is unsatisfactory. Instead scholars should analyze learning as a process and unpack the causal mechanisms behind it. To support his within-case analysis, the author draws on extensive field work, including interviews and ethnographic observation. Newcomers to al-Muhajiroun learn the community’s norms and practices through repeated interactions with more experienced activists. These interactions take place in study circles and through companionship. Activists also learn by doing, preaching the Emigrants’ Salafi-Islamist ideology at da’wah stalls and protesting against the West’s “war on Islam” at demonstrations. The more they do, the better they become at performing the network’s high-risk activism, and the more deeply committed they become to its community of practice. However, far from allowing activists to adapt seamlessly to all challenges, the Emigrants’ insular and dogmatic community of practice creates its own problems, hindering its ability to innovate, expand, and thrive in an increasingly hostile environment.

PKK Violence against Civilians: Beyond the Individual, Understanding Collective Targeting

By: Juan Masullo, Francis O’Connor

Abstract: This article examines the logic of civilian targeting in the Turkish-Kurdish civil war. It analyzes two instances of PKK violence: against pro-state Village Guards’ families in the 1980s and school-teachers in the 1990s. Against original data, we evaluate the extent to which the dominant conceptual tools available in civil war literature help us make sense of these instances and argue that there is a need to go beyond the established selective/indiscriminate distinction if we want to capture the logic of PKK’s targeting. Consequently, we build on and specify further recent conceptual developments in the field and show that both cases are better understood as instances of collective targeting. We further show, however, that the collective nature of each differs in relevant ways: while the killing of the families of Village Guards constitutes an instance of collective targeting in the sense of “extended group association,” in the case of school teachers there are indications of a secondary spatially differentiated selection criteria accompanying the collective logic. Our analysis emphasizes the field’s need for stronger conceptual foundations underpinning our theories of violence against civilians, as well as the limitations of understandings rooted in an “ontological individualism” when applied without careful consideration to non-Western societies.

From Resilience to Fragmentation: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Jihadist Group Modularity

By: Adib Bencherif

Abstract: During the last decade, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) managed to survive despite suffering four major fragmentations. Through the case study of AQIM, the goal of this paper is to contribute theoretically and empirically to the literature on terrorism by explaining the fragmentation of resilient jihadist groups. Two causes of fragmentation are identified: the “preference divergence,” in reference to the works of Shapiro, and the structural organization of power. Furthermore, two notions are presented to refine the theoretical tools of the literature on terrorism: a) the meta-strategy of survival, and b) centralized and deconcentrated power. To explore the group’s history and demonstrate the modularity of AQIM, a triangulation of primary sources, such as internal documents and key interviews, along with the monitoring of the regional press, is utilized. The author concludes this paper by suggesting new avenues for studying the evolution of jihadist groups.

What Makes Islamist Movements Different? A Study of Liberia’s NPFL and Nigeria’s Boko Haram in West Africa

By: Muhammad Dan Suleiman

Abstract: West Africa witnessed many violent rebel movements in the post-cold war era, some of which led to protracted conflicts in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone. In the post-9/11 era, Muslim extremist movements have emerged. While the scholarship on the past “conventional” rebel movements mostly understood them in their local socio-political contexts, Muslim extremist groups have been dominantly interpreted in the context of the global “war on terrorism.” This is mainly due to the latter’s unique use of a unique form of violence (terror), its religious narrative, and its external links to other groups in other countries. This article interrogates this different understanding of conventional and religious types of anti-state rebellion in West Africa through a comparative study of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (1989–1997), and the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. After a synthesisation of four key questions, the article concludes that Muslim extremist groups in West Africa are not any different from past rebel movements. Muslim extremist groups, just like past movements, are much more rational in the local West African contexts than it is dominantly acknowledged in peace and security scholarship and practice.

State-Society Relations in Civil Conflicts

By: Arzu Kibris, Özgür Kibris

Abstract: Civil conflicts are conceptualized as asymmetric, population-centric military struggles. The argument is that insurgencies, even though they are no match in military power to their state adversaries in many cases, resort to armed struggle nonetheless as a tool to impair state capacity, the quality of governance, and the ability of the state to honor the “social contract” in order to eventually destroy state authority and render the state irrelevant for the society. Note that this argument implies that state-society relations do react to the military course of the conflict. In this article, we provide empirical evidence for this implication. Introducing a new panel dataset on the long-running civil conflict in Turkey, we first conduct a micro-level analysis and demonstrate the significant impact rebel presence has upon state-society relations across localities and time. We then analyze the results of semi-structured interviews we had conducted with a group of experts from the conflict regions to decipher the possible mechanisms behind the association we observe in the data. The interviews support our motivating theoretical argument.

Political Fragmentation and Alliances among Armed Non-state Actors in North and Western Africa (1997–2014)

By: Olivier Walther, Christian Leuprecht, David B. Skillicorn

Abstract: Drawing on a collection of open source data, the article uses network analysis to represent alliances and conflicts among 179 organizations involved in violence in North and Western Africa between 1997 and 2014. Owing to the fundamentally relational nature of internecine violence, this article investigates the way the structural positions of conflicting parties affect their ability to resort to political violence. To this end, we combine two spectral embedding techniques that have previously been considered separately: one for directed graphs that takes into account the direction of relationships between belligerents, and one for signed graphs that takes into consideration whether relationships between groups are positive or negative. We hypothesize that groups with similar allies and foes have similar patterns of aggression. In a region where alliances are fluid and actors often change sides, the propensity to use political violence corresponds to a group’s position in the social network.

Third World Quarterly
 (Volume 40, Issue 12 and Volume 41, Issues 1 & 2)

Economic transformation through political change? Evidence from Turkey

By: Taner Akan

Abstract: Turkey recently initiated a political change by replacing its parliamentary model with the presidential governmental system (PGS) to achieve, inter alia, a structural transformation from an efficiency-driven to an innovation-driven model of growth. To investigate the PGS’s potential for mediating such a change, this paper uses four key concepts of institutionalist analysis: systemic governance, credible commitment, institutional fragmentation and institutional traps. In doing so, the paper concludes that the PGS’s potential to unleash a structural transformation towards an innovation-driven and high growth depends on the prospect of its mediating an imperative commitment in political and economic governance. This prospect proves to be weak due to both the PGS’s institutional pillars and the path-dependent dynamics of the country’s trap in efficiency-driven growth that have become embedded under a parliamentary model.

The development of Kurdistan’s de facto statehood: Kurdistan’s September 2017 referendum for independence

By: Kamaran Palani, Jaafar Khidir, Mark Dechesne, Edwin Bakker

Abstract: This research aims to analyse the drivers which informed the decision and timing of Kurdistan’s independence referendum on 25 September 2017. Here we argue that any proper examination of these drivers must begin by investigating the relationship between the fight to counter the Islamic State begun in 2014, the disputes arising as a result of Kurdistan’s presidential election issue in 2015 and the internal political rivalry exacerbated by the question of whether to hold a referendum. The findings of this article highlight the centrality of de facto entities’ internal governance in their struggle towards statehood. The fight against IS served as a primary driver in influencing the timing and the approach of the September 2017 referendum. While the 2015 political deadlock resulting in the illegal extension of Barzani’s presidency was not a determining factor leading to the referendum, nonetheless it quickened the process and influenced the timing.

Gender, North–South relations: reviewing the Global Gag Rule and the defunding of UNFPA under President Trump

By: Stacy Banwell

Abstract: In 2017, American President Donald Trump reinstated the ‘global gag rule’(GGR). This order bans new funding to nongovernmental organisations that provide abortion as a method of family planning, lobby to make abortion laws less restrictive, or provide information, referrals or counselling on abortions. In the same year the Trump administration defunded The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The latter is reviewed against the backdrop of the conflict in Syria. These policies draw upon, and reproduce, normative representations of women as vulnerable, weak, passive and maternal. Focusing on women’s access to abortion following wartime rape, the meanings and implications of these policies are reviewed. Transnational and postcolonial feminist perspectives are used to unpack the core themes of this piece: gender, reproductive health care and foreign economic policy. Three main arguments are made: (1) US foreign policy on abortion under the Trump administration draws implicitly on conservative ideas about gender, sexuality and maternity; (2) denying female survivors of rape access to abortion – which is discriminatory and violates key international instruments – is a form of structural violence that amounts to torture; and (3) the GGR and the defunding of UNFPA reproduce structural inequalities between the Global North and the Global South.

The global significance of national inequality decline

By: Rebecca Simson, Mike Savage

Abstract: Since the 1980s, inequality has been rising in Europe, North America and parts of Asia. How does our understanding of global inequality dynamics change if coverage is extended to the rest of the developing world? To rebalance the perspective on global inequality trends, this paper surveys data and literature on recent inequality trends in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It finds that in these regions there are more countries with falling than rising inequality over the past 20 years, as measured by Ginis of income or consumption inequality. At the global level, therefore, there are signs of inequality convergence, as inequality has been falling in countries with high inequality in the 1990s (particularly Latin America), and rising in historically low-inequality countries. We discuss the political and economic drivers of inequality decline in countries with a steady fall in the Gini. This suggests some common trends across the globe, including the role of democratisation, the rise of new social movements, and the expansion of education and social safety nets and favourable commodity prices, in reducing income disparities. This paper calls for more country-level comparisons of inequality trends, to highlight the multiplicity of paths in this latest phase of globalisation.

Crony capitalism in the Palestinian Authority: a deal among friends

By: Tariq Dana

Abstract: This article interrogates the multifaceted political–economic networks entrenched within the multiple structures of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA). The main argument of this article is that crony capitalism is a defining feature of the PA’s relations with a handful of capitalists and business groups. The demonstration of this argument is exhibited through the large-scale public and private monopolistic practices in strategic sectors of the Palestinian economy, which function within the framework of Israel’s settler-colonial reality and the persistent patterns of international aid to the occupied West Bank. While acknowledging the existence of cronyism as a feature of the capitalist system in its diverse typologies, crony capitalism may be more pronounced in situations characterised by political uncertainty, whereby political–business collusion strategizes the expansion of neo-patrimonial networks and rent-seeking opportunities as a meta-mechanism for social control and political stabilisation. In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, crony capitalism was developed as part of the political allegiances and economic alliances that underpin the structures created by the Oslo process, which are fostered by Israeli policies and the international donor community to maintain the cohesiveness of the PA regime.

Can non-democracies support international democracy? Turkey as a case study

By: Senem Aydın-Düzgit

Abstract: In recent years, there has been a rise of interest in the concept of autocracy promotion, with scholars questioning whether the efforts by authoritarian governments to influence political transitions beyond their borders are necessarily pro-authoritarian. An extension of this question is whether some authoritarian governments may at times find it in their interest to support democracy abroad. This article aims to answer this question by focusing on the case of Turkey. It argues that, despite its rapidly deteriorating democracy since the late 2000s, Turkey has undertaken democracy support policies with the explicit goal of democratic transition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region during the Arab Spring and, while not bearing the intention of democratic transition, has employed democracy support instruments in the form of state-building in sub-Saharan Africa since 2005 to the present day. Based on original fieldwork, the article finds that non-democracies can turn out as democracy supporters, if and when opportunities for strategic gains from democratisation abroad arise. The article further suggests that even in those cases where strategic interests do not necessitate regime change, a non-democracy may still deploy democracy support instruments to pursue its narrow interests, without adhering to an agenda for democratic transition.

Internationalisation, global capitalism and the integration of Iran

By: Engin Sune

Abstract: There is a common tendency to observe a process of homogenisation when the current international structure is analysed. However, the globalisation process embraces heterogeneities and contradictions stemming from the integration of different states into a single global structure. This article explores the role and motivations of domestic social classes in creating variations in the form of integration of their states into the global whole. It takes one of the odd cases at the centre of inquiry and particularly concentrates on the emergence of alternative forms to the neoliberal globalisation in the process of Iran’s integration into the global capitalism. The accumulation strategies adopted by the dominant class factions in Iran are investigated in order to reveal their dialectical relationship with the international capitalist structure. Their role in the international political economy of Iran demonstrates how social agents through their strategic activities create variations in the forms of integration into the global capitalism. The article compares the Iranian case to the varieties of integration of lately capitalised but not peripherised BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) states. This aims to reveal that whilst these countries have truly integrated into the global capitalist system, the internationalisation of their states contradicts the accumulation strategies of their dominant classes.