[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.]
American Journal of Political Science (Volume 64, Issue 1)
By: Richard A. Nielsen
Abstract: I appreciate comments on earlier versions from Amaney Jamal, Tarek Masoud, Marc Lynch, Mirjam Künkler, Ana Weeks, Marsin Alshamary, Rebecca Nielsen, Bruce Rutherford, Zehra Arat, Henri Lauzière, Aaron Rock‐Singer, Ari Schriber, and Malika Zhegal, and participants at the NYU Center for Data Science, the University of Connecticut, the Northeast Middle East Politics Working Group, the 2016 AALIMS conference, the 2016 MESA conference, and the Salafiyya Workshop held at Harvard in March 2016. Marsin Alshamary provided expert research assistance for the Twitter analysis. This publication was made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, supporting me as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author.
American Political Science Review (Volume 114, Issue 1)
By: Jennifer Pan, Alexandra A. Siegel
Abstract: Saudi Arabia has imprisoned and tortured activists, religious leaders, and journalists for voicing dissent online. This reflects a growing worldwide trend in the use of physical repression to censor online speech. In this paper, we systematically examine the consequences of imprisoning well-known Saudis for online dissent by analyzing over 300 million tweets as well as detailed Google search data from 2010 to 2017 using automated text analysis and crowd-sourced human evaluation of content. We find that repression deterred imprisoned Saudis from continuing to dissent online. However, it did not suppress dissent overall. Twitter followers of the imprisoned Saudis engaged in more online dissent, including criticizing the ruling family and calling for regime change. Repression drew public attention to arrested Saudis and their causes, and other prominent figures in Saudi Arabia were not deterred by the repression of their peers and continued to dissent online.
Anatolian Studies (Volume 69)
Reassessing western and central Anatolian Early Bronze Age sealing practices: a case from Boz Höyük (Afyon)
By: Michele Massa, Yusuf Tuna
Abstract: This paper presents a detailed investigation of an Early Bronze Age clay sealing from Boz Höyük, a settlement mound located along the Büyük Menderes valley (inland western Anatolia). The artefact, clearly local in manufacture, was employed as a stopper to seal a bottle/flask and impressed with two different stamp seals. These elements are compared to all other published contemporary sealings in western and central Anatolia, in order to understand the degree of complexity of sealing practices in the region. In turn, evidence of Early Bronze Age Anatolian sealing practices is discussed in relation to the available evidence regarding the degree of social complexity in local communities. It is suggested that, during the Early Bronze Age, sealings were employed for product branding rather than control over storage and redistribution of commodities, and only at the beginning of the second millennium BC did the region witness the introduction of complex administrative practices.
By: N.P. Milner
Abstract: This article presents three unpublished inscriptions (nos 1–3) illustrating the public cults of Leto and of Apollo at Oinoanda. It discusses the non-participation of the Apolline priests in the city’s Demostheneia festival for Apollo and the reigning emperor, while tracing a relationship between public cults of Apollo and the imperial cult. Finally, it proposes to reinterpret a published inscription (no. 4) as being about Poseidon, rather than Apollo.
By: Sharon R. Steadman, Gregory McMahon, Benjamin S. Arbuckle, Madelynn von Baeyer, Alexia Smith, Burcu Yıldırım, Laurel D. Hackley, Stephanie Selover, Stefano Spagni
Abstract: Scholars have recently investigated the efficacy of applying globalisation models to ancient cultures such as the fourth-millennium BC Mesopotamian Uruk system. Embedded within globalisation models is the ‘complex connectivity‘ that brings disparate regions together into a singular world. In the fourth millennium BC, the site of Çadır Höyük on the north-central Anatolian plateau experienced dramatic changes in its material culture and architectural assemblages, which in turn reflect new socio-economic, sociopolitical and ritual patterns at this rural agro-pastoral settlement. This study examines the complex connectivities of the ancient Uruk system, encompassing settlements in more consistent contact with the Uruk system such as Arslantepe in southeastern Anatolia, and how these may have fostered exchange networks that reached far beyond the Uruk ‘global world‘ and onto the Anatolian plateau.
The dualistic nature of a Red Lustrous Wheelmade bowl from Boğazköy with a depiction of a victorious armed warrior
By: Ekin Kozal
Abstract: A bowl with an incised heroic combat scene was found at the Hittite capital of Boğazköy and dates to the end of the 15th/beginning of the 14th century BC. This article reconsiders this previously published bowl, its production history and the message it conveys. The warrior is usually identified as Mycenaean, and in previous studies the bowl has been considered only for its incised decoration without evaluation of the bowl itself, its context and associated finds. This article argues that the bowl had a physical journey from Rough Cilicia to Hattusa and a non-physical journey from being a simple everyday object to a unique artwork through the secondary carving of an image, which reflects dualistic aspects.
By: Nikolaos Karydis
Abstract: The Church of St Mary is one of the most significant monuments of Ephesos, but also one of the most enigmatic. Its repeated modifications prior to its destruction created an amalgam of different phases that have proven difficult to decipher within the present remains. Written records and inscriptions suggest that this church was the venue of the riotous Ecumenical Council of AD 431, but the identification of the phase of the building that corresponds to this event is controversial. And, although the remains make it clear that at some point the church was transformed into a domed basilica, the latter’s form and date have not been established with certainty. The present article tries to fill these lacunae through a new survey of the remains of the church and a re-examination of the evidence from the archaeological excavations of the 20th century. This new investigation of wall structures and design patterns within the remains leads to new interpretations of the evidence, and sheds further light on the history of the Church of St Mary from its late antique origins to the Dark Ages.
By: Gonca Dardeniz, İ. Tunç Sipahi, Tayfun Yıldırım
Abstract: This paper presents archaeological and analytical data on metal artefacts from Hüseyindede (Çorum, Turkey), dated to the Old Hittite period (ca 16th century BC). Hüseyindede, which is set in a rural landscape, demonstrates continuity in alloying traditions from the Early Bronze Age III (ca 26th/25th–22nd/21st century BC) and the Assyrian Trading Colonies period (20th–18th century BC) to the emergence of the Hittites. In addition to known alloying practices of the period, the site presents, for the first time, evidence of the existence of copper-nickel alloys, namely cupronickels, which so far have been documented only at the Late Bronze Age capital of the Hittites, Boğazköy/Hattuša. The Hüseyindede cupronickel objects now pinpoint the presence of this technology to regions spreading out from the Halys basin from the Old Kingdom Hittite period.
By: Denis Guilbeau, Nurcan Kayacan, Çiler Altınbilek-Algül, Burçin Erdoğu, Özlem Çevik
Abstract: This article focuses on the Initial Neolithic (ca 6850–6500 cal. BC) lithic assemblages of Ulucak and Uğurlu in the Aegean region of Turkey. Ulucak and Uğurlu are among the earliest Aegean Neolithic sites, and their lithic industries were managed with specific traditions and skills, quite different from what we know of the industry for other regions such as central Anatolia, Cyprus and the Levant, and even some other areas of the Aegean. This article presents the results of the study of the chipped-stone assemblages of Ulucak and Uğurlu, and aims to demonstrate how they contribute to wider theories about the Neolithisation of the Aegean.
By: Hale Güney
Abstract: This article presents the discovery of two fragmentary inscriptions which demonstrate the existence of an unknown naos of Zeus Sarnendenos in the northern part of the Choria Considiana, an extensive imperial estate in northeastern Phrygia. It also presents a votive offering to Zeus Sarnendenos and five new votive inscriptions to Zeus Akreinenos found in the village of Kozlu near İkizafer (ancient Akreina?), which was apparently part of another estate, belonging to the Roman senatorial family of the Plancii, situated to the east of the Choria Considiana. These inscriptions were found during the course of an epigraphic survey carried out in 2015 in Mihalıççık, a region located 90km to the northeast of Eskişehir in modern Turkey. The article consists of three main parts. It begins with an introduction to the historical and geographical backgrounds of the survey area; this is followed by a catalogue of inscriptions and, finally, an analysis of the sanctuary of Zeus Sarnendenos and the new votive offerings to Zeus Akreinenos, with reference to other evidence for the cult of Zeus in Phrygia and neighbouring regions. The inscriptions discovered in this area provide new information about the location and dispersal of the cult of Zeus in northeastern Phrygia.
By: Elspeth R.M. Dusinberre
Abstract: Gordion, ancient capital of Phrygia, was a large and thriving city of secondary importance during the period of the Achaemenid Persian Empire (ca 550–333 BC). Recent work makes possible a reconsideration of the site: evaluating its architecture, finds and use of landscape within and after the socio-economic and administrative context of the Achaemenid imperial system enables the following new overview. During the Achaemenid period, Gordion’s populace participated in the broad cultural exchanges enabled by the imperial system and may have emphasised animal husbandry. When Alexander’s conquest led to the collapse of the Achaemenid administrative infrastructure, the impact on Gordion’s economy and cultural circumstance was profound. Its population plummeted, the architectural and spatial organisation of the site changed dramatically and new directions and means of trade and cultural interaction developed. Gordion’s archaeological remains reflect and emphasise the tremendous historical and political changes attending the end of the Empire and the beginning of the Hellenistic period.
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Volume 83, Issue 1)
By: Leonid Kogan
Abstract: The article investigates the broken pural in the Modern South Arabian language Soqotri (island of Soqotra, Gulf of Aden, Yemen). It is based on extensive field research and rich collections of lexical evidence. Primarily synchronic in its approach, the article pays attention to historical problems of Modern South Arabian and Semitic phonology and morphology whenever appropriate.
By: Fokelien Kootstra
Abstract: This article will discuss the dating formula in the Dadanitic inscriptions. So far, some of these have been interpreted to refer not only to the reign of the local king (mlk lḥyn), but also to another political official called rʾy. The article will discuss the merit of this interpretation based on both the questionable etymology of the term rʾy and the problematic interpretation of the terms following this word as personal names. Instead, a new interpretation of this formula as a reference to a local calendar will be explored in light of the occurrence of a similar word rʾy in Safaitic dating formula, and comparison to other ancient methods of time reckoning in the region.
The solitude of the Orphan: Ǧābir b. Ḥayyān and the Shiite heterodox milieu of the third/ninth–fourth/tenth centuries
By: Leonardo Capezzone
Abstract: The community of Shiite alchemists gathered under the pen name of Ǧābir b. Ḥayyān produced an important corpus first studied by Paul Kraus, who dated it between the third/ninth and fourth/tenth centuries. The religious, doctrinal and political issues of the corpus – especially in the last two collections – show that the Ǧābireans were a real sectarian trend unknown to heresiographers. Kraus, along with some scholars after him, understood the Ǧābirean community to be an expression of Ismaili thought. This paper aims to reconsider: a) the religious and political affiliation of Ǧābir’s alchemical community in the light of textual comparisons that show a close connection between the Ǧābireans and the esoteric tenets characterizing the Shiite ġuluww as mirrored in the heresiographic sources of the late third/ninth and early fourth/tenth centuries, and in the Ġulāt literary sources; and b) the last collection of the Ǧābirean corpus as a polemical outcome specific to the Shiite milieu between the lesser and the greater Occultation of the twelfth Imam.
By: Phillip W. Stokes
Abstract: Multiple varieties of Arabic attest a definite noun + adjective syntagm in which only the adjective is marked morphologically with the article, e.g., Lebanese bēt iz-zġīr “the small house”. The feminine ending *-ah is everywhere realized -(v)t, e.g., Baghdadi sint il-māḍye “last year”. Most have assumed that it was originally appositional, and re-analysed as a construct, prompted perhaps by the loss of case (Hopkins 1984; Pat-El 2017). A few scholars (Reckendorf 1921; Retsö 2009) have argued that this syntagm was originally construct. In this article I draw on relevant Arabic data, including parallels with dialectal tanwīn, as well as comparative Semitic evidence, to argue that this syntagm is, diachronically and synchronically, one of apposition and not annexation. I propose that the feminine -at here represents a retention of proto-Arabic *-at, which was protected by the close relationship between a noun and following attribute. I conclude with a discussion of historical and comparative implications.
Religion, politics and an apocryphal admonition: the German East African “Mecca letter” of 1908 in historical-critical analysis
By: Jörg Haustein
Abstract: This article analyses a Muslim missive, which was circulated in German East Africa in 1908. Erroneously dubbed the “Mecca letter”, it called believers to repentance and sparked a religious revival, which alarmed the German administration. Their primarily political interpretation of the letter was retained in subsequent scholarship, which has overlooked two important textual resources for a better understanding of the missive: the presence of similar letters elsewhere and the fourteen copies still available in the Tanzanian National Archive. Presenting the first text-critical edition of the letter, together with a historical introduction of the extant specimens and a textual comparison to similar missives elsewhere, the article argues that the East African “Mecca letter” of 1908 was nothing more than a local circulation of a global chain letter. As such, its rapid transmission was not connected to a single political agency, but was likely prompted by a large variety of motivations.
Comparative Politics (Volume 52, Issue 2)
By: Sarah J. Hummel
Abstract: Sideways concessions to protest are policy reforms that decrease grievance among potential protesters, without being directly linked to the stated demands of the protest. By avoiding both the backlash effect of repression and the inspirational effect of direct concessions, they are theoretically powerful tools for quelling unrest. This article evaluates the effectiveness of sideways concessions at reducing individual mobilization potential using a survey experiment conducted in Kyrgyzstan in October 2015. The evidence shows sideways concessions are effective among respondents who were dissatisfied with the government and not optimistic about the future of the country. The article also demonstrates the plausibility of these results in other settings, drawing on observational data from the 2014 Gezi Park protests in Turkey and the 2013 Euromaidan protests in Ukraine.
Comparative Studies in Society and History (Volume 62, Issue 1)
By: Samuel Sami Everett
Abstract: This article is an investigation of ethno-commercial exchanges and interactions between Jews and Muslims of North African heritage that takes account of their cross-cultural antecedents and continuities. The ethnographic focus is a telecommunications company called M-Switch located in the Parisian neighborhood of le Sentier, the trajectory of which is part of a broader cultural and economic shift observable in the neighborhood from industry to new technologies. This particular company is a privileged site for witnessing how people work with and across religious differences between Maghrebi Jews and Muslims in France. The ethnography looks at how contemporary, non-nostalgic reconceptualizations of the past are utilized to negotiate an ethnically plural and potentially convivial present. Relationships within the company have a Maghrebi center made up of shared cultural memories, economic interdependency, and changing gender and class relations. More specifically, relationships between Jews and Muslims at M-Switch are often defined by a desire to re-appropriate and adapt a Maghrebi world. This project is complicated by French and geopolitical representations of ethno-religious conflict.
Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict (Volume 13, Issue 1)
Considering the military-media nexus from the perspective of competing groups: the case of ISIS and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
By: Carol Winkler, Kareem El-Damanhoury, Aaron Dicker, Yennhi Luu, Wojciech Kaczkowski, Nagham El-Karhili
Abstract: To address if and how militant, non-state actors in the online environment react to on-the-ground military pressures facing their competitors, this study explores AQAP’s visual media campaign during the 2016–2017 military operations to retake Mosul and Raqqa from ISIS control. Using chi-square analyses and content analysis, we analyzed 4027 images from Inspire, Jihad Recollections, and al-Masra to reveal how the onset of the ISIS battles corresponded to changes in AQAP’s strategic use of visual content, presentational form, and language-based audience targeting. Significant changes in visual content related to the display of institutional power structures rather than identity markers. Shifts in presentational elements involved image positioning (foreground/background) and viewer distance (intimate/personal vs. social public). Language-based targeting strategies between English and Arabic publications, however, demonstrated the most substantial change from before to during the battles. The study concludes that a complete understanding of the military-media nexus of militant, non-state groups requires consideration of military pressure on competing groups.
By: Kyle T. Kattelman
Abstract: Do states contributing military forces to the Global War on Terror leave their citizens vulnerable to retaliatory terrorist attacks? Despite the vast amount of coverage dedicated to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, few studies have empirically tested whether this is the case. Taking a country-specific approach, this research investigates the military success of the Global War on Terror on a very specific objective − reducing the frequency of terrorist attacks from Al-Qaeda and its affiliates against the citizens of coalition states − to determine if military participation makes a state a target for retaliatory attacks via a backlash effect. Examining terrorist attack data against 53 contributing nations from 1998–2011, this study constructs a general framework for terrorist vulnerability from transnational attacks at the state level and tests whether military contributions to the GWOT, specifically boots on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, result in a greater frequency of terrorist attacks from Al-Qaeda and Al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations. The results show evidence of a backlash effect from Al-Qaeda core and affiliates, casting doubt on the effectiveness of military interventions to reduce transnational terrorism.
Electoral Studies (Volume 63)
Negative campaigns, interpersonal trust, and prosocial behavior: The mediating effect of democratic experience
By: Nicholas Haas, Mazen Hassan, Rebecca Morton
Abstract: Previous studies of negative election campaigns have not addressed the possible effects of campaign environments on interpersonal trust and prosocial behavior between voters. We provide the first evidence of these effects through an incentivized lab experiment conducted among student subjects in Egypt in 2014 and in the United States in between 2016 and 2018. This comparison allows us to tease out the mediating effect of subjects’ prior experience with competitive elections. In our Egypt experiment, trust in other voters significantly decreased (by 15%) when voters were primed with a negative personality campaign as compared to a neutral baseline. Interpersonal trust also decreased in negative policy campaigns (by 8%). Among US subjects however, such effects do not materialize. Our explanation of these divergent outcomes is that the priming effect of negative election campaigns on interpersonal trust takes place when the experience of competitive elections is still quite new.
European Journal of International Relations (Volume 25, Issue 4)
By: Sarah G. Phillips
Abstract: Why did America’s counter-terrorism strategy in Yemen fail to contain al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula in the years prior to the Yemeni government’s collapse in 2015? Moreover, why did the US administration think that its strategy was successful? This article draws from field research in Yemen and a diverse array of other Yemeni sources to argue that the answer lies in the fact that there are two broad, but ultimately irreconcilable, ontologies of what al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula ‘really is’: one legible, organisationally rational and thus governable; and one not entirely so. I argue that by targeting tangible elements of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (such as its leaders, sources of revenue and bases) in partnership with the Yemeni state security apparatus, the strategy strengthened the group’s less coherent aspects. As a result, Western counter-terrorism practices target a stripped-down, synoptic version of the group while missing, even empowering, the shadowy appendage of state or hegemonic power that animates popular Yemeni discourses. This article is concerned with what al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula looks like when we prioritise Yemeni observations about how it emerged and is reproduced. I argue that seeing al-Qa’ida as at least partly illegible removes counter-terrorism’s obvious targets, making it more suited to quelling anxieties than actually preventing terrorism.
European Journal of Political Research (Volume 59, Issue 1)
Is civic nationalism necessarily inclusive? Conceptions of nationhood and anti‐Muslim attitudes in Europe
By: Kristina Bakkær Simonsen, Bart Bonikowski
Abstract: Despite the centrality of national identity in the exclusionary discourse of the European radical right, scholars have not investigated how popular definitions of nationhood are connected to dispositions toward Muslims. Moreover, survey‐based studies tend to conflate anti‐Muslim attitudes with general anti‐immigrant sentiments. This article contributes to research on nationalism and out‐group attitudes by demonstrating that varieties of national self‐understanding are predictive of anti‐Muslim attitudes, above and beyond dispositions toward immigrants. Using latent class analysis and regression models of survey data from 41 European countries, it demonstrates that conceptions of nationhood are heterogeneous within countries and that their relationship with anti‐Muslim attitudes is contextually variable. Consistent with expectations, in most countries, anti‐Muslim attitudes are positively associated with ascriptive – and negatively associated with elective (including civic) – conceptions of nationhood. Northwestern Europe, however, is an exception to this pattern: in this region, civic nationalism is linked to greater antipathy toward Muslims. It is suggested that in this region, elective criteria of belonging have become fused with exclusionary notions of national culture that portray Muslims as incompatible with European liberal values, effectively legitimating anti‐Muslim sentiments in mainstream political culture. This may heighten the appeal of anti‐Muslim sentiments not only on the radical right, but also among mainstream segments of the Northwestern European public, with important implications for social exclusion and political behaviour.
By: Erik Gahner Larsen, David Cutts, Matthew J. Goodwin
Abstract: Over recent years, Europe has experienced a series of Islamic terrorist attacks. In this article, conflicting theoretical expectations are derived on whether such attacks increase populist Euroscepticism in the form of anti‐immigration, anti‐refugee and anti‐European Union sentiment. Empirically, plausible exogenous variation in the exposure to the 2016 Berlin attack is exploited in two nationally representative surveys covering multiple European countries. No evidence is found for a populist response to the terrorist attack in any of the surveyed countries. On the contrary, people in Germany became more positive towards the EU in the wake of the Berlin attack. Moreover, little evidence is found that ideology shaped the response to the attack. The findings suggest that terrorist attacks are not met by an immediate public populist response.
Global Media Journal (Volume 17, Issue 33)
By: Thouraya Snoussi
By: Heba Elshahed, Sally Tayie
Abstract: Throughout the past years, the emergence of the Egyptian Blogosphere has been a definitive phenomenon. The Egyptian Blogosphere went through fluctuations and evolutionary phases, resulting in it becoming a powerful platform for cyber space political activism and citizen journalism, in attempts to compensate for the mainstream media’s inadequacy. This paper explores previous studies conducted on this topic. It is supported by a study that gives an insight on the extent at which Egyptian youth/citizens regard blogs as credible and reliable sources of their news, and more generally, as a source of news that can replace mainstream media. By conducting 101 online surveys with a random sample, this study investigates four hypotheses: Before January 25 revolution: H1: Politically active/interested internet users rely on blogs as a source of news After January 25 revolution: H2: Politically active/interested internet users rely on blogs as a source of news H3: Politically active/interested internet users perceive blogs as a credible source of news/updates H4: Politically active/interested internet users regard blogs as more truthful and inclusive than mainstream media because it is a form of citizen journalism Findings reveal hypothesis 1 is unsupported, hypotheses 2 and 3 are partly supported, and hypothesis 4 is strongly supported.
Revelation, Language and Communication: An Introduction to Ontology of the Communicative Vision of the Japanese Philosopher Teshohiko Izutsu
By: Mohammed Babiker Alawad
Abstract: The research on “the Ontological of communicative vision of the Japanese philosopher Teshohiko Izutsu” sought to review the contours of the communicative vision of Izutsu by re-reading his thesis and extracting the communicative connotations that express that vision. By analyzing his definition of the Qur’anic vision of the world and exploring the epistemological context in which he appeared and the distinctive methodological characteristics of his dealings with the Qur’an, the research came in four sections starting from methodological determinants, followed by Izutsu vision features. Characteristics of his methodology in dealing with the sacred revelation and its definition of the levels of communicative relationship: Revelation as a communicative work IV: Criticism of the thesis, The conclusion of the research is that what distinguishes Isuzu’s thesis is that it is based on the integration between the existential, communicative, devotional and moral dimension, and that it can form a general theoretical framework capable of interacting with the data of communicative thought in its current form, which is characterized by its tendency towards macro visions and integrative perspectives.
International Interactions (Volume 45, Issue 6)
By: Ammar Shamaileh
Abstract: Could the Arab Spring have led to a rise in support for authoritarian governments in some states? Discussions of revolutionary diffusion during the Arab Spring focused on whether expressions of discontent spread to different states. Such discussions, however, neglect the potential for there to be a decrease in expressions of discontent in the wake of spreading revolutionary sentiment in certain contexts. The spread of revolutionary fervor in states with similar characteristics decreases perceptions that individuals will free ride in a revolution, and, thus, increases the perception that a revolution can succeed. This perceived increase in the probability of a revolution succeeding, however, can decrease expressions of discontent with the regime where the threat of an unfavorable alternative replacing the status quo is high. The empirical analysis of data collected before and after the Arab Spring provides evidence that the Arab Spring decreased criticism of the regime in some authoritarian contexts.
International Political Science Review (Volume 41, Issue 1)
Revisiting the semi-consociational model: Democratic failure in prewar Lebanon and post-invasion Iraq
By: Eduardo Wassim Aboultaif
Abstract: This article revisits the concept of semi-consociational democracy and distinguishes it from full consociationalism. Semi-consociationalism features just two of the characteristics of full consociationalism, proportionality and segmental autonomy, and exists without strong grand coalitions and veto powers. The case studies of prewar Lebanon and post-invasion Iraq demonstrate this new category of power sharing, which relies on three conditions: concentration of executive powers in the presidential office (prewar Lebanon) or premiership (post-invasion Iraq), communal hegemony in the system, and communal control over the armed forces. Full consociationalism then is mistakenly blamed for democratic failure in these two case studies.
International Political Sociology (Volume 13, Issue 4)
By: James Eastwood
Abstract: Soldiers are rarely imagined as having disabilities, other than when they are injured in war. Yet in recent years the Israeli military has devoted considerable resources to programs promoting the inclusion of soldiers with intellectual disabilities. This paper critically examines two such programs, arguing that they should prompt a reexamination of assumptions in both critical military studies and critical disability studies. These two fields are rarely placed in dialogue, especially in international relations. Yet this paper argues that they have productive insights to offer each other and suggests that the Israeli case raises important questions when their analytical frames are combined. First, the paper argues that this example complicates the category of soldier fitness in critical military studies and reveals that militarist distinctions between ability and disability can be destabilized in ways suggested elsewhere by critical disability studies. Second, however, the paper cautions that the emancipatory potential of alternative “crip” subjectivities explored in critical disability studies remains circumscribed by geopolitical processes (including neoliberalism, settler colonialism, and militarism), which international relations is well placed to analyze. These arguments are advanced by showing how these inclusionary programs for soldiers with disabilities are implicated in the debilitating violence of Israel’s settler colonial project.
International Politics (Volume 56, Issue 6 and Volume 57, Issue 1)
By: Roland Dannreuther
Abstract: Over recent years, there has been a significant resurgence of Russian power and influence in the Middle East, which has been evident in the diplomatic and military intervention into Syria. This article identifies the principal factors behind Russia’s return to the region. First, there are domestic political influences with the coincidence of the uprisings in the Middle East, the so-called ‘Arab Spring,’ with large-scale domestic opposition protests within Russia during the elections in 2011–2012. Second, there is the role of ideas, most notably the growing anti-Westernism in Putin’s third presidential term, along with Russia’s own struggle against Islamist terrorism. These ideational factors contributed to Russia’s resolve to support the Assad government against both Western intervention and its domestic Islamist opposition. Third, Russia has benefited from a pragmatic and flexible approach in its engagement with the region. Moscow seeks to ensure that it is a critical actor for all the various states and political movements in the Middle East.
By: Rory Miller, Harry Verhoeven
Abstract: Geography and the anarchic state system incentivise the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar to collaborate in managing the threat posed by being neighbours of two (aspiring) regional hegemons, Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, both small states have responded very differently to the causes and consequences of instability in the Gulf region and developed very different foreign policies to deal with their structural IR problem. Just how divergent their external relations now are is clearly seen in the UAE’s lead role in the diplomatic boycott and economic embargo launched against Qatar in June 2017—including the de facto dissolution of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Framing our examination in the theoretical literature on small states, we explain the ultimately colliding foreign policy trajectories of the UAE and Qatar in terms of diverging ideational and strategic considerations in the cause of what we term ‘overcoming smallness’.
By: Tuong Vu, Patrick Van Orden
Abstract: Scholars have studied revolutions mostly as domestic events while neglecting their transnational character. From the French to the Chinese Revolution, revolutionary ideologies and networks have never been confined to national boundaries. As transnational events, revolutions can create ruptures in global politics and challenge world order. Some young revolutionary states have perished. Others such as Iran have endured, but tensions persist. Given the importance of the topic, the literature is surprisingly limited. We propose a theoretical framework that explains the evolution of the relationship between anti-Western revolutionary states and the global order and apply it to the case of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Our framework explains why some revolutionary states are accommodated or tolerated, whereas others are opposed, isolated, and destroyed. Using the Islamic State to illustrate our framework, we explain the main reason for the demise of the Islamic State (ISIS): its own radicalism.
International Studies Perspectives (Volume 21, Issue 1)
By: Naomi Head
Abstract: A “pedagogy of discomfort” (Boler 1999) recognizes the degree to which epistemology, emotions, and ethics are closely entwined both within and beyond our classrooms shaping who, what, where, why, and when we can see. It recognizes not only the intellectual and cognitive focus of education but also its embodied and affective dimensions. A pedagogy of discomfort which engages with the historically, politically, and ideologically contested and the emotionally invested subject of Israel/Palestine offers one way to engage in the teaching and learning of conflict analysis, and to support the development of active and critical student-citizens. This article suggests that experiential learning can support the development of pedagogical discomfort and explores this in the context of the Olive Tree Initiative, a narrative-based and experiential learning program for undergraduate politics and international relations students that focuses on Israel/Palestine. Drawing on student testimony, this article explores the ways in which the program plays a role in challenging dominant social, political, and emotional beliefs in order to create possibilities for individual and social transformation. It also reflects on some of the challenges and limitations posed by this approach, and engages with questions of emotions, vulnerability, and ambiguity in and beyond the classroom.
International Studies Quarterly (Volume 63, Issue 4)
By: Daniel F Wajner
Abstract: How can we explain the dynamics of nonconventional struggles such as the Gaza flotilla case of May 2010? Most international relations scholars analyze international disputes using a “chess logic,” according to which the actors seek to outmaneuver their opponents on the battleground. However, an increasing number of clashes are guided by a “performance logic”: although the players interact with one another, their real targets are audiences. The present study aims to bridge this gap, proposing a phenomenological framework for analyzing this particular kind of performative contest over legitimation and delegitimation in contemporary conflicts. It expands upon the idea that current anarchical global politics increasingly lead contending actors to engage in “pure” legitimation struggles—“battles for legitimacy”—seeking to persuade international audiences that they deserve political support. After providing guidelines for the identification of these phenomena, this article presents a model for the methodical examination of their interactive dynamics based on three legitimation functions (appropriateness, consensus, empathy). This model is applied to the flotilla case by mapping the protagonists’ framing contests across “legitimation (battle)fields.” The findings of this study, which emphasize the strong interplay between normative, political, and emotional mechanisms for empowering (de)legitimation strategies, can contribute to expanding the research program concerning international legitimacy.
By: Ches Thurber
Abstract: This article examines the impact of social ties on a challenger’s ability to initiate a civil resistance campaign. Recent waves of nonviolent uprisings, from the color revolutions of Eastern Europe to the Arab Spring, have sparked renewed scholarly interest in civil resistance as a strategy in conflict. However, most research has focused on the effectiveness and outcomes of civil resistance, with less attention paid to when, why, and how challengers to regime power come to embrace a strategy of nonviolent action in the first place. Drawing upon a longitudinal analysis of challenger organizations and coalitions in Nepal, this article illustrates how social ties inform challengers’ assessments of the viability of civil resistance and consequently shape their strategic behavior. The findings complicate state-centric approaches to contentious politics by showing how diverse actors within the same state face different sets of political opportunities and constraints. They also highlight the indeterminate effects of ideology, as variation in challengers’ social ties drive Gandhians to take up arms and Maoists to lay them down.
International Studies Review (Volume 21, Issue 4)
By: Amnon Aran, Leonie Fleischmann
Abstract: The eruption of the 2010 Arab uprisings has generated a great deal of academic scholarship. However, the foreign policy of Israel, a key power in the Middle East, amid the Arab uprisings, has received limited attention. Furthermore, as we demonstrate, the conventional wisdom purported by the current debate, which is that Israel adopted a “defensive, non-idealist” realist foreign policy posture (Magen 2015, 114) in the wake of the Arab uprisings, is wrong. Rather, utilizing an innovative approach linking foreign policy analysis (FPA) and the literature on framing, we demonstrate that Israel adopted a foreign policy stance of entrenchment. This posture is predicated on peace for peace not territory, reinforcing Israel’s military capabilities, and granting limited autonomy to the Palestinians under Israeli occupation. Thus, the article demonstrates how framing can usefully be operationalized to uncover how binary discourse does not merely reflect foreign policy but is, in fact, constitutive of it. We demonstrate that diagnostic and prognostic frames helped to create a direct connection between the images held by a leader, his/her worldview, ideas, perceptions and misperceptions, and foreign policy actions. These frames constituted action-oriented sets of beliefs and meaning that inspired and legitimated certain foreign policy options and instruments while restricting others.
Racializing Religion: Constructing Colonial Identities in the Syrian Provinces in the Nineteenth Century
By: Andrew Delatolla, Joanne Yao
Abstract: In recent decades, international events and incisive critical voices have catapulted the concepts of race and religion to the foreground of International Relations research. In particular, scholars have sought to recover the racialized and imperial beginnings of IR as an academic discipline in the early-20th century. This article contributes to this growing body of work by analyzing both race and religion as conceptual tools of scientific imperial administration—tools that in the 19th century classified and divided the global periphery along a continuum of civilizational and developmental difference. The article then applies this framework to the case of French, and more broadly, European, relations with populations in the Ottoman Empire, particularly within the Syrian Provinces. As described throughout this article and the case study, the Europeans used the language of race to contribute to religious hierarchies in the Syrian provinces in the mid- and late-19th century, having a lasting effect on discussions of religion in IR and international politics.
Journal of Cuneiform Studies (Volume 71)
By: Nashat Alkhafaji
Abstract: This article provides a preliminary edition of an unprovenienced Old Akkadian tablet located in the Iraq Museum that must have originated in Umma or its environs. This account of equids is unique in that it is the first “mu-iti” type that carries a year name; this is also the first known such year name from the reign of Manishtusu, the third ruler of the Sargonic dynasty of the late third millennium BCE.
By: Palmiro Notizia
Abstract: Aside from the institutional households, a good number of “private” estates are known from Ur III sources. These private households were usually named after their owners (members of the royal entourage, the military or the local elite, merchants, cultic officials etc.), and controlled extensive resources, but were only rarely mentioned in the administrative documents from the provincial archives. One of the best-documented private estate is the one that belonged to a certain Ur-DUN. His estate was located in the Ĝirsu/Lagaš province and played an important role in the raising of slaughter animals and wool production. The aim of the present paper is to describe the economic activities of the Ur-DUN household according to the available sources and to highlight how this private household interacted with the provincial economy and the crown/military sector.
By: Maurizio Viano
Abstract: The recovery of a few royal inscriptions at Tūlūl al-Baqarat (Iraq) by the archaeological mission of the University of Torino has made it possible to propose the identification of the site with ancient Keš. The present contribution reexamines the location of Irisaĝrig in light of its well-known textual connections with and physical proximity to Keš.
By: Eric L. Cripps
Abstract: The production of a barley surplus by the Ur III economy was vital for the operation of its commodity money system. The standardizing bi-monetary equivalence of a gur measure of barley and a shekel of silver stabilized commodity prices for the thirty-five years before the reign of Ibbi-Suen. In Ibbi-Suen’s early years, the collapse of the barley supply induced an excessive devaluation of the barley to silver ratio leading to a near hyperinflation in the prices of staple commodities and bovids required for cult and other purposes. This article analyzes the inflation in prices of animals and staples correlated with the precipitous fall in the barley to silver price ratio. Data is primarily from the Ur texts dated to the seventh year of Ibbi-Suen’s reign concerned with the purchase and delivery to state institutions of animals. Importantly, an analysis of these events demonstrated the central function of a barley surplus in the Ur III monetary system.
By: Mohsen Zeynivand
Abstract: The archeology of the Deh Luran plain was documented by the work of Frank Hole and his associates in 1960s and 1970s. While these investigations were mostly dedicated to the study of the village periods, the presence of early state formations on the plain was also documented by their surface surveys. Tepe Farukhabad was an exception, but because it was only a small settlement in the third and second millennia BCE, the excavations there did not yield fruitful results for this period. Based on their systematic surface study of Tepe Musiyan, Wright and Neely argued that during the third and second millennia BCE, this settlement played a central role in this strategic plain due to its location on the route from Susa to Der (Badra in Iraq). Recently, our team again surveyed the Deh Luran Plain. Our visit to Musiyan provided us with a cylinder seal discovered by one of the locals. The inscription reveals the owner as a person with an Amorite name who may have been present in Musiyan sometime during the early centuries of the second millennium BCE, contemporary with the end of the Šimaški period, which in Mesopotamia extends from late in the Third Dynasty of Ur until the early Old Babylonian period.
By: Tallay Ornan
Abstract: A reexamination of the relief on the Hammurabi’s “Law Code” stele reveals that the type of beard worn by Hammurabi and Šamaš does not conform to the Old Babylonian beard type. Moreover, the linear workmanship of the lower part of the king’s beard suggests that the relief was never finished. Considering the troubled history of the stele—made and erected in Babylonia in the late fifties of the eighteenth century BCE and carried away to Susa in the mid twelfth century—it is proposed that the resculpting of the Stele was undertaken by Šutruk-Naḫḫunte or his son Kutir-Naḫḫunte upon the Elamite capture of the monument with the goal of making it their own. An attempt to clarify the circumstances and motivation of this reworking is offered in the article.
By: Elyze Zomer
Abstract: This paper offers a new edition of the Middle Babylonian bilingual fragment VS 17, 43 (VAT 1514) together with the duplicate lines found on the obverse of the Kassite period exercise tablet CBS 7884. The text is of historical-literary content and depicts an otherwise unknown uprising at Karkar. A first edition of the text is offered together with a brief introduction regarding its problematic historical setting.
Fate Strikes Back: New Evidence for the Identification of the Hittite Fate Deities and Its Implications for Hieroglyphic Writing in Anatolia
By: Willemijn Waal
Abstract: In 2014, I proposed that the GUL-šeš deities may have to be identified with the Kuwa(n)šeš deities, a suggestion that has met with severe criticisms. Since now new evidence has come to light that confirms the equation of these deities, it seems opportune to re-address this debate, which also has important consequences for the use of hieroglyphic writing in Anatolia. In this article, I will present the new evidence, counter the critiques that have been given, and address the wider implications.
War in Anatolia in the Post-Hittite Period: The Anatolian Hieroglyphic Inscription of Topada Revised
By: Lorenzo d’Alfonso
Abstract: This article presents a new transcription and translation of the TOPADA inscription. According to the new interpretation, the inscription narrates the events of a four-year-long war between a western coalition led by an unnamed Phrygian king and a coalition of post-Hittite rulers from south-central Anatolia, led by Great King Wasusarma. The careful study of paleography, scribal practice, script development, and literary aspects yields a dating of the inscription to the late tenth or early ninth century BCE. In view of the growing archaeological evidence for the central Anatolian Dark Ages, the new interpretation of the inscription has far-reaching implications for the overarching historical picture of the early first millennium BCE in Western Asia. It also provides the earliest attestation for the kingdom of Phrygia, and the sole occurrence of the toponym Phrygia and derivatives outside of the western Greco-Roman sources.
By: Shana Zaia
Abstract: The Yale Babylonian Collection contains a partial cylinder, NBC 2511, that preserves a hitherto unknown example of Esarhaddon’s Uruk B inscription. While this exemplar does not deviate in translation from those already published in RINAP 4, there are some orthographic variations. This article presents an edition of NBC 2511 with some comments regarding its differences from the published exemplars and its parallels with other Esarhaddon Uruk cylinders.
By: Tero Alstola, Shana Zaia, Aleksi Sahala, Heidi Jauhiainen, Saana Svärd, Krister Lindén
Abstract: Large digital datasets of cuneiform sources lend themselves to computational analysis that can complement and improve upon traditional philological work. The present article applies social network analysis to an electronic corpus of 1,532 texts to study the god Aššur and his position in divine networks in the Neo-Assyrian period. Our results show that the performance of social network analysis can be improved by using a small window size and calculating tie strengths with pointwise mutual information. This allows us to study the co-occurrences of gods in semantic contexts. From a network perspective, Aššur is not a very central god in our corpus despite his importance in Assyrian royal theology, but he rather joins the existing networks of gods without altering them.
By: Reinhard Pirngruber
Abstract: This article presents editions of two maššartu lists from the Eanna-temple in Uruk now housed in the Yale Babylonian Collection and in the Princeton Theological Seminary. Not only are NCBT 660 and PTS 2232 among the very few completely preserved examples of such lists, they also belong to the earliest known specimens of their genre, dating to the third (602/1 BCE) and first (604/3 BCE) year of Nebuchadnezzar II. These texts are valuable additions to the rather sparse dossier containing information on the Eanna cult during the formative phase of the Neo-Babylonian Empire; moreover, they are related to a text that concerns Nabonidus’s cultic reforms in the Eanna.
Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development (Volume 40, Issue 4)
Causality between Government Expenditure and Economic Growth in Sudan: Testing Wagner’s Law and Keynesian Hypothesis
By: Ahmed Abdu Allah Ibrahim, Mohamed Sharif Bashir
Abstract: This paper investigated the possible existence of short-term and long-term relationships between government expenditure and economic growth for Sudan by testing the validity of Wagner’s law and Keynes’s hypothesis for the period 1977-2016. Based on the econometric method and aggregate annual time-series data set used, we concluded that there is no evidence to support either Wagner’s law or Keynes’s hypothesis. Therefore, the growth of public expenditure in Sudan is not directly dependent on or determined by economic growth, as Wagner’s law states. However, it is possible to examine disaggregated data to investigate public expenditure growth in Sudan in terms of Wagner’s law.
Journal of Institutional Economics (Volume 15, Issue 6)
By: Niclas Berggren, Martin Ljunge, Therese Nilsson
Abstract: Tolerance – respecting individual choice and differences among people – is a prominent feature of modern European culture. That immigrants embrace this kind of liberal value is arguably important for integration, a central policy goal. We provide a rigorous study of what factors in the ancestral countries of second-generation immigrants – including formal and informal institutions – predict their level of tolerance towards gay people. Using the epidemiological method allows us to rule out reverse causality. Out of the 46 factors examined, one emerges as very robust: a Muslim ancestral background. Tolerance towards gay people is lower the larger the share of Muslims in the country from which the parents emigrated. An instrumental-variable analysis shows that the main mechanism is not through the individual being a Muslim, but through the individual being highly religious. Two additional attitudes among people in the ancestral country (valuing children being tolerant and respectful, and valuing children taking responsibility), as well as impartial institutions in the ancestral country, predict higher individual tolerance. Our findings thus point to an important role for both formal- and informal-institutional background factors in shaping tolerance.
Journal of Islamic Studies (Volume 31, Issue 1)
Dreams of Destiny and Omens of Greatness: Exceptionalism in Ottoman Political and Historical Thought
By: Ethan L Menchinger
Abstract: This article uses dreams, portents, and prognostications as an entry point into what some scholars have recently called ‘Ottoman exceptionalism’. Drawing on sources in Turkish and Arabic, it traces beliefs about the Ottoman dynasty and empire’s superiority, divine favour, and special role in history from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. I begin with the ‘seeds’ of the topic in the empire’s early years and myths of origin, including a number of dream stories, before moving to full-scale political exceptionalism. Looking closer, I then identify an eschatological strand in the lead-up to the Islamic millennium that centred on the dynasty’s role in the end time. The millennium’s uneventful passing led to the dissolution of this strand but not of ideas about exceptionalism itself, which in later forms turned inward, depicting the empire as ‘eternal’ and projecting its rule to an undetermined future period.
Journal of Qur’anic Studies (Volume 22, Issue 1)
By: Lewis Glinert
Abstract: This study explores conceptions of language and rhetoric in ancient and medieval Jewish life and writings which relate to Hebrew, other languages, and language per se, reflecting both ‘religious’ notions and ethnic and national praxis and identity. The main focus in those times was on the language of scripture, but Jews also pondered the purpose of language as a natural, even trivial phenomenon, as a Jewish vernacular, and as an aesthetic or transcendental conduit. Salient themes are Eden, Babel, the evolution of Hebrew and its script, textual hermeneutics, rationalistic and mystical beliefs and praxis, and the comparative merits of Hebrew and rival languages. Alongside Biblical and Rabbinic perspectives, we consider the linguistic values and attitudes of the broader Jewish masses and of sectarians. Surprisingly perhaps, given the centrality to Jewishness of linguistic and rhetorical ideology, much of this was only implicitly expounded.
Journal of the American Oriental Society (Volume 140, Issue 1)
By: Elaine van Dalen
Abstract: This article analyzes the pediatric material in the Arabic commentaries (written tenth–fifteenth centuries) on the Hippocratic Aphorisms by exploring the traces of its late-antique origins and highlighting the influences of contemporary Islamic sources. This study demonstrates, first, how the commentaries assimilate Galenic pediatric theory through intricate elaborations and innovations; and second, that the commentators on the Aphorisms exhibit a strict theoretical interest in the causes and nature of childood diseases as opposed to their remedies. Consequently, it shows that therapeutic pediatric material was restricted to other nonexegetical genres, such as the encyclopedias of Ibn Sīnā and Ibn Rabban al-Ṭabarī. The commentary material is thus a unique example of medieval Islamic theoria or theoretical medicine, which transmitted and transformed Galenic and early medieval theoretical explanations of childhood illnesses through the centuries.
By: Kevin Blankinship
Abstract: Traditionally studied as a window onto Arab-Muslim social reality, the medieval Arabic underworld slang found in Kitāb al-Bukhalāʾ (The book of misers) by al-Jāḥiẓ (d. 869 CE) and indeed al-Bukhalāʾ as a whole serve a number of functions and meanings at once, not just historical documentation. Such multiplicity has implications for translation, which should strive to convey the work’s sociolinguistic and textual heterogeneity. With this ideal in mind, this article compares two English versions of the Arabic slang: R. B. Serjeant’s The Book of Misers and Jim Colville’s Avarice and the Avaricious. Serjeant uses transliteration, explicitation, and footnotes to create a “thick translation” that exposes the rich sociolinguistic and textual range. In somewhat of a contrast, Colville employs English colloquialisms and Scots canting slang to produce what might arguably be called “dynamic equivalence,” which stages a natural English reading experience. The comparison raises further questions about the relationship between a translation’s effects and the translator’s intent, as well as between translation and a second process to which it is sometimes compared, namely, reading.
By: Zackary Wainer
Abstract: Assyriologists who have studied Mesopotamian commentary formation have drawn upon ideas from scholars of religion in treating the creation of a static canon at the end of the second millennium BCE as a necessary precondition for the emergence of cuneiform commentaries. The present contribution argues against the idea that Mesopotamian commentaries emerged in response to a closed canon by marshaling evidence from Mesopotamian divinatory compositions, including the celestial-divinatory series Enūma Anu Enlil and its associated aḫû, or “extraneous” tradition, as well as the extispical treatise Bārûtu. These compositions illustrate that commentaries could be written about texts that were still fluid and malleable in ancient Mesopotamia. Moreover, a brief look at the phenomenon of inner biblical exegesis in the Hebrew Bible supports the idea that texts need not be unchanging to be the subject of interpretation, whether in ancient Mesopotamia or elsewhere. In response to these conclusions, I outline an alternate theory for Mesopotamian commentary formation that eschews the importance of a closed canon and stresses instead ideas of scholarly bilingualism, divination, authority, and textual decorum in ancient Iraq.
Mamluk Studies Review (Volume 22)
The Iconography of a Military Elite: Military Figures on an Early Thirteenth-Century Candlestick (Part III)
By: David Nicolle
Abstract: The final part of a three-part study. See “The Iconography of a Military Elite: Military Figures on an Early Thirteenth-Century Candlestick (Part I),” Mamlūk Studies Review 18 (2014–15): 57–90 (http://dx.doi.org/10.6082/M1RX9977), for photographs 1–15c and figures 1–9. See “The Iconography of a Military Elite: Military Figures on an Early Thirteenth-Century Candlestick (Part II),” Mamlūk Studies Review 19 (2016): 193–299 (http://dx.doi.org/10.6082/M16971RQ), for photographs 16–58 and figures 10–185.
By: Andrea Vanni Desideri
Abstract: The castle of al-Shawbak is located in Jordan. New research in the area, under the University of Florence’s archaeological mission “‘Medieval’ Petra: Archaeology of the Crusader-Ayyubid Settlement in Transjordan” shows that the Crusader installation was preceded by a Late Roman-Byzantine fortified settlement. After its fall into Muslim hands in 1189 the regional political importance of the castle was strengthened under the Ayyubids, who added monumental and productive buildings. In the 1990s the Department of Antiquities of Jordan undertook a clearance campaign in the area of the major monumental buildings in the northeastern part of the castle. During this work a quantity of stone elements was unearthed. Among epigraphic fragments, decorative architectural elements, millstones, and many spherical stone projectiles of various diameters, a particular element carved into a limestone block was recognized. Around 2000-2002 the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources completed a new clearance campaign for consolidation works in the southern part of the castle and a second element of the same kind came to light. If we consider the two specimens from al-Shawbak, although the archaeological context has been lost and a preliminary search for published archaeological comparisons did not succeed, their apparent similarity with drawings of counterweight artillery guided our research attempting to specify the type of engine to which the artifacts belonged, and to propose a reconstruction of the coupling system and of their chronology, starting from a concise review of Arab military treatises and related iconography. The hurling engines to which the elements most probably belonged are indicated by the Arabic terms ʿarrādah and manjanīq.
By: Koby Yosef
Abstract: Students of the Mamluk Sultanate generally do not refer to the phenomenon of mamluks (i.e., slaves, and more specifically military slaves) of Jewish origin. David Ayalon noted that “there is hardly any trace of a Mamlūk of Jewish origin in the Mamlūk sultanate.” Moreover, it is thought that Jews were not considered suitable for warfare. This article surveys mamluks of Jewish origin that can be identified in Mamluk sources. Gaps in information about their geographical origin, which is usually lacking in Mamluk sources, will be filled with information given by European travelers or that can be deduced from the names given to them as slaves.
By: Pierre Moukarzel
Abstract: There is a gap in the knowledge of the history of Beirut from 1291 to 1516, during the Mamluk period. The intent of this paper is to fill an important gap in the history of Beirut under the Mamluks: it is an attempt to restore and shed light on a part of the religious history of the city which included a holy and venerated place from the eighth century on. Beirut at that time was an important port and was known for the miraculous icon of Jesus Christ that was mentioned in chronicles and pilgrims’ accounts from the twelfth to sixteenth centuries, depicting a miracle that took place in Beirut in the eighth century. Though the Church of the Savior was for much of its existence exceedingly small and obscure, we can learn more about belief and practice, as well as Christian-Muslim relations, from its history than from a study of a major cathedral or monastery. That is, the modest and typical of a rich religious past can be more revealing than the grand and exceptional. Neglected and forgotten during many centuries, the Church of the Savior in Beirut under the Mamluks was a key place of contact between Europeans and locals, both Christians and Muslims. This article aims to answer the following question: though Beirut had been known in Europe in the Middle Ages for the miraculous icon of Jesus Christ, why did it only become a destination for European pilgrims and regain its importance and role in relations between East and West during the Mamluk period?
An Arabic Marriage Contract and Subsequent Divorce from Mamluk Jerusalem: The Ḥaram al-Sharīf No. 302
By: Muhammad N. Abdul-Rahman
Abstract: Ḥaram al-Sharīf document no. 302 contains an Arabic marriage contract and subsequent divorce agreement. What makes this document especially significant is that it records a marriage between a Muslim groom and a Christian bride and then records their divorce. (It was not the first time this couple had married and divorced each other.) Marriage and divorce documents between Muslims and Christians seem to be rare. Therefore, these two contracts are very important to developing our knowledge of the nature of the relationship between Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem during the Mamluk era, on the one hand, and society’s attitude toward such relationships on the other.
Muqarnas (Volume 36)
The Illuminations of Mukhlis ibn ʿAbdallah al-Hindi: Identifying Manuscripts from Late Medieval Konya
By: Cailah Jackson
Abstract: The arts of the book of late medieval Rum (Anatolia) constitute a rich resource for Islamic art historians that remains relatively unknown in the wider scholarship. This complex period saw the disintegration of Seljuk rule and the partial absorption of the region into the Ilkhanid realm. Konya (present-day central Turkey), the former Seljuk capital, was hardly isolated from its better-known neighbors and was evidently an active center for the patronage of the arts of the book. This article contributes to ongoing discussions concerning late medieval Islamic manuscripts by discussing illuminations that were produced by Mukhlis ibn ʿAbdallah al-Hindi in thirteenth-century Konya. One of the two named illuminators active in the city, Mukhlis extensively decorated two manuscripts, both in 677h (1278): a small Qurʾan and a monumental copy of Jalal al-Din Rumi’s Mas̱navī. Both are the initial focus of the article. Following an analysis of these manuscripts, the article presents additional material as possible products of Mukhlis’s hand or of Konya generally, demonstrating both the relative visual distinctiveness of Konya illumination and the need to potentially re-examine works previously attributed to Egypt or Persia.
“Compassionate Companion, Familiar Friend”: The Turin Safīna (Biblioteca Reale Ms. Or. 101) and Its Significance
By: Denise-Marie Teece
Abstract: This article examines some of the more significant aspects of Turin Safīna manuscript Biblioteca Reale Ms. Or. 101. One of these is its unique and important six-page preface, which refers to the manuscript as a safīna (ship or vessel) and explains in poetic language why some Persian manuscripts are referred to using this term. In addition to this significant preface, which is translated and analyzed in the first half of the article, the manuscript also exhibits delicate illuminations and calligraphy work that may be connected to a network of artist-families active in western Persia (primarily in the region of Shiraz) around the time of its completion. The second half of this article revisits the careers of some of these artists, and discusses the broader artistic context for the creation of the Turin safīna manuscript. Special attention will be given to the careers of the illuminator known as Ruzbehanal-Modhahheb, and his calligrapher father Naʿim al-Din al-Kateb.
By: Nikolaos Vryzidis
Abstract: In the collection of Vatopediou Monastery (Mount Athos) there is a Late Byzantine vestment called by the monks the “Arabic stole” (arabikon ōmophorion). This quite unique vestment probably owes its name to two bands of embroidered Arabic inscriptions on the lower part of each end. It is one of the very few known Byzantine religious objects to feature legible Arabic inscriptions, a visible symbol of Islamic otherness juxtaposed with the standard Christian iconography. Apart from bringing into the spotlight a medieval vestment that has been overlooked by scholars, this article traces possible sources of artistic transfer through a discussion of texts and extant objects. Finally, it aims at expanding our understanding of the reception of Islamic art in Late Byzantium, a time of both political decline and cultural renewal.
The Blue-and-White Tiles of the Muradiye in Edirne: Architectural Decoration between Tabriz, Damascus, and Cairo
By: Patricia Blessing
Abstract: In the second quarter of the fifteenth century, a new phenomenon appears in Ottoman architecture: tiles with blue-and-white decoration, associated with tile-makers from Tabriz. These tiles appear most prominently in the Muradiye in Edirne, completed in 839/1435-36. They mark the beginning of an aesthetic shift, away from black-line (or cuerda seca) tiles inspired by Timurid and Aqquyunlu models, toward the blue-and-white tiles and vessels of the so-called Baba Naqqaş style of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The mihrāb of the Muradiye features both kinds of tiles, thus illustrating this shift at its early stages. Within the parameters of an international Timurid style, the artistic production of this period (tile-work in particular) has been considered an offshoot of Timurid court patronage in eastern Iran and Central Asia. In the larger context of the fifteenth-century Islamic world, however, related tiles and vessels were also produced in Damascus and Cairo. This article examines the tiles of the Muradiye Mosque within the framework of artistic centers, the movements of motifs, objects, and makers, and their impact on architecture in the fifteenth-century Ottoman empire.
Intersections Between the Architect’s Cubit, the Science of Surveying, and Social Practices in CaʿFer Efendi’s Seventeenth-Century Book on Ottoman Architecture
By: Gül Kale
Abstract: In 1614 Caʿfer Efendi devoted four chapters of his book on architecture to the science of surveying. Caʿfer’s text is the only extant comprehensive book written by a scholar on the relation between architecture and various forms of knowledge. His sections on surveying have attracted little scholarly attention since they were often viewed as ad hoc chapters in a biography of the chief architect Mehmed Agha. An investigation into the intersection between architecture, as represented by the architect’s cubit, the science of surveying, and jurisprudence sheds significant light on how scholars assessed the legitimacy of early modern Ottoman architecture. In this article, I examine the relationship between architectural practices, mathematical knowledge, and social practices by focusing on Caʿfer Efendi’s elaborations on the architect’s cubit, units of measure, and mensuration of areas. These links need to be understood through the cultural and scientific context in which architects and scholars collaborated. I also explore Caʿfer Efendi’s identity, which gave him the tools to discuss such intrinsic connections. When read along with court decrees, and in conjunction with the use of mathematical sciences for civic affairs, this investigation reveals how Ottoman architecture was embedded in the scientific discourses, social practices, and ethical concerns of the early seventeenth century.
By: Samet Budak
Abstract: This article traces the history of an Ottoman legal custom related to the construction of sultanic (imperial) mosques. According to conventional narratives, the victory over non-Muslims was the essential requisite for constructing a sultanic mosque. Only after having emerged victorious should a sultan use the funds resulting from holy war to build his own mosque. This article argues that this custom emerged only after the late sixteenth century in tandem with rising complaints about the Ottoman decline and with the ḳānūn-consciousness of the Ottoman elite, although historical accounts present it as if it existed from the beginning of Ottoman rule. It rapidly gained importance, so much so that the Sultan Ahmed Mosque was dubbed “the unbeliever’s mosque” by contemporary ulema. After having examined details of the custom’s canonization, the article deals with how it left its imprint in construction activities (struggles and workarounds), historical sources, literature, and cultural memory, up to the nineteenth century.
By: Bill Hickman
Abstract: The Eşrefoğlu Mosque in Iznik was destroyed during the Turkish War of Independence, not long after Cornelius Gurlitt published a black and white photograph of its facade taken by G. Berggren. The photograph constitutes the only remaining visual evidence of a building whose initial construction likely dates to the lifetime of the shaykh whose memory it preserved. The flamboyant facade shown in the photograph reveals a unique mass of calligraphy, including inscriptions, published many years ago but revisited here. These inscriptions add to our understanding of the mosque’s history. My own telling of the phases of the building’s construction involves a reexamination of the identity of the mosque’s Ottoman dynastic patrons, principally Gülbahar Hatun, mother of Sultan Bayezid II. The inscriptions also raise questions about the shaykh’s spiritual legacy. Finally, the mosque’s spatial relationship to a nearby dervish lodge and to türbes associated with the shaykh and his family, buildings that also no longer survive, can be newly addressed.
The Heart Case of Abbot Roger de Norton from St. Albans Abbey: An Islamic Object in a Medieval English Context
By: Barry Knight
Abstract: The lid of a small wooden box, believed to have contained the heart of Abbot Roger de Norton (d. 1291), was discovered in 1872, during the restoration of St. Albans Abbey. The lid has an Arabic inscription that has not previously been translated. It is now suggested that the inscription reads al-ʿizz al-dāʾim wa ’l-iqbāl lahu, or “Everlasting glory and good fortune for him.”
By: Francesca Leoni, Dana Norris, Kelly Domoney, Moujan Matin, Andrew Shortland
Abstract: In 2014 the Ashmolean Museum conserved and examined one of the largest and most handsome ceramic vessels in its renowned Islamic art collection. An accomplished example of early thirteenth-century Persian lusterware from the bequest of Sir Alan Barlow, the salver had an unusually deformed profile and uneven wear that pointed at a number of past interventions. Some of these had already been uncovered in 2008 when the object was prepared for reinstallation in the revamped Ashmolean. However, it was only when analyzed by a team of inhouse specialists and scientists from Cranfield University and the Research Laboratory for Archaeology at the University of Oxford, that the extraordinary nature of its “restoration” could be assessed. This article presents the results of this collaborative effort and contributes important evidence to the thorny issue of the faking and forging of Islamic ceramics in the early twentiethc century, when collecting Islamic decorative arts was at its peak.
Near Eastern Archaeology (Volume 82, Issue 4)
By: Solange Ashby
Abstract: During the Roman period, the temples of Philae became a favorite place of pilgrimage for people throughout the Greco-Roman world. Pilgrims came to pray before Isis and her brother-husband Osiris who was buried on the adjacent island of Biga, also known by its Greek name Abaton. Many of these pilgrims left reminders of their pious visits in the form of prayer inscriptions, called proskynemata, which were engraved on the stone walls of the temple complex at Philae. Philae’s numerous temples are located on an island near the first cataract of the Nile, the traditional border between Egypt and Nubia. The Main Temple of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis, is oriented toward the south whence come the island’s most consistent visitors: the Nubians. Recovered building blocks and a bark shrine dedicated to Amun indicate that the Kushite king Taharqa was active at Philae during his twenty-six-year reign (690–664 BCE). The last inscriptions of Blemmye priests who traveled to Philae from elsewhere in Nubia were inscribed in 456 CE. Thus, Nubians were active in temple ritual at Philae and the other Egyptian temples of Lower Nubia for a period of more than one thousand years.
By: Benjamin Durand
Abstract: Since 2008, the sector of the Temple of Ptah at Karnak has been subject to an epigraphic, architectural, and archaeological survey (fig. 1). It offers a tremendous opportunity for a diachronic study of the history of occupation in the domain of Amun (Thiers and Zignani 2013). Remains found by Guillaume Charloux in 2015 allow for a closer look at the first occupation of the sector dating back to the Middle Kingdom (Charloux 2017). Likewise, surface structures abandoned at the end of the fourth or middle of the fifth century CE (David 2013, 2017) provide a unique opportunity to gather information about this less-studied period of the area. While in-depth excavation has allowed for a limited peek at the earlier occupation, the surface remains have been cleared and documented in a much more extensive way despite being subjected to long-term human and climatic interference. As a result, all Byzantine remains were excavated as part of the multidisciplinary program conducted in the sector of the Temple of Ptah. The broad extent of the excavation allows for a comprehensive picture, meaning not only a better understanding of the spatial organization of the structures, but also of their function (at least for some of them). Furthermore, the examination of the objects discovered has allowed for the study of the local community and its culture.
By: Gil Gambash, Guy Bar-Oz, Efraim Lev, Uri Jeremias
Abstract: In the ancient world, the presence of exotic fish in locations distant from the sea would have signified their importance as luxury foods for social elites. Of special interest in this respect is the Red Sea parrotfish (scarus Sp.), which, while consumed regularly around the Red Sea basin, would have been considered an exotic fish when found at great distances from its point of origin. Recent archaeological excavations in the Negev Desert of the southern Levant have yielded surprising and unprecedented quantities of parrotfish remains, found in the landfills of Byzantine sites located some 200 km from the Red Sea (Tepper et al. 2018; Bar-Oz et al. 2019). These sites (Elusa, Soubeita, Oboda, and Nessana), which date from the fourth through seventh centuries CE, are located along the main system of ancient trade routes that connected the Arabian Peninsula and the Red Sea with the Mediterranean region and Europe (fig. 1). The remains recovered from these sites testify to the historical importance of this fish in Byzantine society and economy, as well as to the development of sophisticated trade networks, which facilitated the supply of Red Sea fish to distant inland locations.
By: Fereidoun Biglari, Sonia Shidrange
Abstract: The last two decades have seen a significant development in the field of rescue archaeology in Iran due to the increasing legal protection of archaeological sites in areas that are threatened by rapid urban and rural development. The construction of numerous dams, used for irrigation, hydropower, and other purposes in different parts of the country forced the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research (ICAR) to take action and organize rescue projects. Except for a few projects in the Khuzestan and Fars regions (Wright 1979; Tsuneki and Zeidi 2008), these rescue projects have been focused mainly on excavation of mound sites, which is not surprising given that they are the most common site type in the alluvial plains of Iran. As a result, archaeological salvage projects have predominantly contributed information on late prehistoric and historic periods. The construction of Darian Dam on the Sirwan River in the Central Western Zagros, where archaeological deposits are better preserved in cave and rockshelter contexts, have allowed us to explore such sheltered sites in the framework of a dam salvage project.
By: Peter M. Fischer
Abstract: The ancient city of Hala Sultan Tekke, which flourished in the Late Bronze Age, that is, from approximately 1650 to 1150 BCE, is situated on the southeastern coast of Cyprus west-southwest of the Larnaca Salt Lake near Larnaca Airport (fig. 1). Today’s salt lake, which is isolated from the open sea, was a protected bay of the Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age and thus provided convenient anchorage—the basis for trade and the wealth of the city. The city is named after the nearby famous mosque, which has its roots in the seventh century CE. The mosque was built in the area where, according to a local tradition, Umm Haram, a relative or nurse of the prophet Mohammed, died.
By: John Gaudet
Abstract: Many factors have been cited to explain how and why Egypt developed so quickly in ancient times. The Nile water, the annual inundation with its life-nourishing sediment, the warm climate, and a system of natural barriers to invasion all helped. Other hydraulic civilizations had some or all of these resources, but a unique resource stood out in Egypt. As it happened, that nation was the only one among early hydraulic civilizations in which the giant aquatic sedge papyrus (figs. 1–2) grew and prospered.
New Global Studies (Volume 13, Issue 3)
By: Jenny Stümer
Abstract: Thirty years after the fall the Berlin wall, political walls in Europe, Israel and the United States safeguard divisions that are based on the defensive projection and protection of besieged “whiteness.” These new barriers take the shape of impassable fences, brick walls, barbed wire barricades, and precarious crossings, negotiating physical and imaginary boundaries. Reworking colonial power structures, contemporary walls are tethered to imperial fantasies that produce whiteness as the insidious marker of religious, economic and racial hierarchies. Notably, these walls sustain an intricate dynamic between visibility and invisibility, ensuring the proliferation of the borderless civilized West (so long as the other remains excluded and hidden from view). At the same time, political walls circumscribe the affective and expansive force-field of whiteness, revealing its enduring efficacy. In this article I look at the recent fortification of fortress Europe, Israel’s escalating security fence and Donald Trump’s promised wall in the US in order to discuss the ways in which the material and ideological walls reappearing around the world are animated by myriad defenses of toxic vulnerability and white affect.
New Left Review (Issue 121)
By: Zep Kalb, Masoumeh Hashemi
Abstract: Not available
Political Studies (Volume 68, Issue 1)
By: Shabnam J Holliday
Abstract: This article contends that the international is integral to populism. Thus, it calls for populism scholarship to embrace the interconnectivity between the domestic/internal and international/external. By borrowing from Global Historical Sociology, Global International Relations and Ernesto Laclau’s notion of populist discourse, the article puts forward a new conceptual framework for the study of populism that bridges the gap between Comparative Politics and International Relations. It shows how populist discourse simultaneously constructs several aspects of the social world: the actor who is articulating it and its relationship with its own population, that actor’s relationship with others in the international system, and global order. To illustrate its case, it examines populist discourses of Islamic Republic of Iran elites. Their discourses articulate the need to maintain the Islamic Republic’s legitimacy and populist credentials inside and outside Iran, delegitimise Israel, and construct global order. These discourses are grounded in a historical trajectory: the 1979 Revolution.”
The Developing Economies (Volume 47, Issue 4)
By: M. Sami Nabi, M. Osman Suliman
Abstract: Does the institutional environment affect the causal relationship between banking development and economic growth? In the theoretical section of this paper, we develop an endogenous growth model where the institutional environment is captured through two indicators: judicial system efficiency and easiness of informal trade. We show that an improvement in the institutional environment has two effects. First, it intensifies the causality direction from banking to economic growth through a reduction in defaulting loans. Second, it reduces the interest rate spread. In the empirical section of the paper, we find bidirectional causality when analyzing 22 Middle Eastern and North African countries over the period 1984–2004. The first causality, which runs from banking development to economic growth, is more intense in countries with more developed institutional environment. The second causality runs from economic growth to banking and indicates that a more developed economy has a more developed banking system.
The European Journal of Development Research (Volume 31, Issue 5)
Configurational Analysis of Access to Basic Infrastructure Services: Evidence from Turkish Provinces
By: Rhys Andrews, Malcolm J. Beynon
Abstract: In many developing countries, access to basic infrastructure services, such as sewerage and waste disposal, varies considerably across different areas. In this study, fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis identifies configurations of economic and political conditions (population density, population size, income and political participation) associated with good and poor access to sewerage and waste disposal in Turkish provinces. The findings suggest that there is a core configuration of conditions associated with good access to both types of infrastructure service—high income and high political participation. A single core configuration is associated with poor access to both types of service—low population density, small population size and low political participation. Other configurations are observed relating specifically to good and poor access to sewerage and waste disposal services, respectively. We theorise the different pathways that we identify, emphasising that economic measures to support development may offer the best prospect of improving infrastructure access.
The Effect of Education on Health Behaviors and Obesity in Turkey: Instrumental Variable Estimates from a Developing Country
By: Aysıt Tansel, Deniz Karaoğlan
Abstract: This study investigates the causal effect of education on health behaviors and obesity in Turkey, which is a middle-income developing country. Health Surveys of the Turkish Statistical Institute for the years 2008, 2010 and 2012 are used. The health behaviors considered are smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, and exercise, and one health outcome, namely, obesity. We examine the causal effect of education on these health behaviors and on obesity. An instrumental variable approach is used in order to address the endogeneity of education to health behaviors. Educational expansion of the early 1960s is used as the source of exogenous variation in the years of schooling. Our main findings are as follows. Education does not significantly affect the probability of smoking or exercise. As the education level increases, the probability of alcohol consumption and the probability of fruit and vegetable consumption also increase. Nevertheless, some of the initial results change when we perform robustness checks. In order to check the robustness of our results, we narrow the time period around the policy years, since the impact of political and socio-economic developments may change the preferences of the individuals and hence invalidate our results. The evidence from the samples used for robustness checks suggests that there is a negative significant relationship between the probability of smoking and the years of schooling. Therefore, we can state that education can be a relevant policy instrument to fight smoking in Turkey. However, it is not a sufficient policy instrument to combat obesity, unlike in developed countries. This study provides a baseline for further research on the various aspects of health behaviors in Turkey.
[The articles below were recently added to the Peer-Reviewed Articles Review: Fall 2019 (Part 4). They have been included here for your convenience.]
Arab Media & Society (Issue 28)
By: Farag El Kamel
Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to seek an answer to an important research question: Why did some communication campaigns on health and population issues in Egypt succeed, while others failed to make the desired impact on behavior and subsequent outcomes, such as reduced mortality or lower population growth over the last 40 years? Over the duration of these four decades, media campaigns have been launched in Egypt to tackle various health and population issues, but only some of these campaigns were grounded in communication theory and followed systematic methodologies. An analysis of evaluation studies and longitudinal data demonstrates that communication campaigns that were based on the Knowledge and Social Change Model (Elkamel 1981) have had a very positive impact on knowledge and behaviors, and helped save millions of lives, particularly those of women and children (Databank 2020; SRC 2012; El- Zanaty 2005; Moreland 2006). Other campaigns that were not based on the model were not as successful because they did not use appropriate media channels, missed the real target audience, and conveyed messages that were too general and did not address their need for knowledge (Parlato 1988; Eldin 2008). This paper reviews both types of campaigns: those that used the Knowledge and Social Change Model, and those that did not, documenting their respective impact, and presenting an analysis of the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of different mass media and interpersonal communication initiatives. The article also provides key recommendations for future behavioral-change communication campaigns for health and population.
A Critical Analysis of the Dialectic Science-Religion Relationship in Popular Science Show Discourse
By: Eslam Abdelraouf
Abstract: In light of the advancing digital environment and the interest in boosting scientific content published on digital platforms, this paper seeks to define and critically analyze the discourse of popular science shows (henceforth, “PSS”). Considering the fact that religion serves as a major foundational component in the Arab social and cultural context, the research focuses on the dialectic issues between science and religion with a view to determining indicators of influential and ideological hegemonic practices by PSS content creators toward viewers. Analysis is applied against the lines of Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) theory. Accordingly, this paper analyzes the three discourse dimensions adopted by the program Addaheeh (The Nerd) PSS episodes that addressed scientific issues with religious-scientific dialectics. Addaheeh is selected for being the YouTube PSS with the highest viewership and strongest influence (BBC 2019). The findings affirm that Addaheeh uses a language and discourse strategies that exercise epistemic authority on viewers; impose ideologies as manifested by several inferences, lines of reasoning and tendencies adopted by the content creator; and inculcate viewers with ideological line of Addaheeh. As per the findings, Addaheeh proceeds with a biased approach, adopting a given perspective toward religiously controversial and scientifically unsettled issues.
More than Meets the Eye: A Multimodal Approach to Science-Popularizing Discourse and Representation of the ‘Other’ in a Selection of National Geographic Feature Articles
By: Nashwa Alyamany
Abstract: National Geographic Magazine (NGM) is an American cultural icon renowned for the dissemination of geographic knowledge, the exhilaration of cultural explorations, the popularization of science discourse, and the cultivation of visual imaginaries. Among popular science magazines, its distinctive force in the popular imagination squarely lies in the manipulation and division of labor among individualized and sensationalized textual and visual signifiers. While NGM is said to reproduce familiar iconic visual systems, representations of the ‘Other’ seem to constitute a unique configuration through which latent geopolitical ideologies impinge on the feature article multimodal ensemble. Extending past scholarship on National Geographic Othered representations, science-popularizing discourse, and multimodality, while mobilizing multiple tools drawn from several theories, this research proposes a genre-based multimodal framework to the analysis of feature articles as dialectically connected to the collective, the historical, and the generic dimensions of the cultural practices therein. As a point of departure, the paper examines two feature articles retrieved from the online version of NGM, particularly from the Reach for the Stars content hub the magazine created for UAE space endeavors in partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), home to the UAE’s National Space Programme. Specifically, the study scrutinizes the representations of Arab space scientists (the Other) in manners that tie closely to the geopolitical culture of the US (the Self). Findings showcase that despite the magazine’s metaphor a window on the world, the multimodal ensembles of science-popularizing discourse in NGM emerge as complex cultural processes fashioned in response to the ever-changing US geopolitical ideologies.
Applying the Four Models of Science Journalism to the Publics’ Interaction with Coronavirus News in Egypt
By: Lobna Khairy
Abstract: Since the outbreak of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, the news has been covering its rapid developments by the minute, while feeding the eager publics the information they seek regarding its origin, health-threats, symptoms, preventative measures, and global impact. It is thus of pressing importance, to track the Egyptian publics’ interactions with Coronavirus news and to test the four science journalism models by applying them to the publics’ consumption of, and reaction to, Coronavirus news. Coronavirus is a global health concern, and although the research sample tests the local Egyptian publics’ interactions with Coronavirus news, the findings of this research can be of global relevance and interest. The study’s results are derived from a survey circulated electronically over the course of two weeks, yielding 437 responses. The findings conclude that the publics’ interacted the most with the Contextual Model, which ultimately relies on providing audience-relevant information. The second most popular model was the Public Participation Model, which serves as an interactive model intended to engage publics. Following those two models, is the Science Literacy model, which builds on translating complex scientific information to aid in educating the audience; the least popular model amongst publics was the Lay Expertise Model, which offers publics, as well as scientists, diverse sources for news.
By: Heba El Shahed
Abstract: Science is the social foundation that encompasses all facets of life, from educating individuals, to allowing them to make informed decisions in their daily lives. Science is ultimately our way of learning about life; thus, the field of science education must acknowledge the significance of, and pressing need for scientific literacy in creating conscious, well-informed citizens in today’s world. The debate on the credibility of science content and information offered by media experts is especially pertinent to science communication. New media is the new sphere that allocates knowledge and its processing to various audiences. New media technologies have revolutionized the realm of interactivity, allowing for knowledge-sharing platforms to be among the novel digital forms of communications. This exploratory study discusses the fluctuating familiarity with the term “scientific literacy”, that extends beyond the use of skills. The purpose of this study is to examine the Egyptian public’s utilization and consumption of new media tools, with a focus on scientific information and popular science topics. Moreover, this study aims to examine the Egyptian public’s perception of the concept of “scientific literacy”, and delves deeper by investigating the different levels of science literacy that make an individual “scientifically-literate.” This study used an online questionnaire to assess motivation factors for new media preeminence in science communication in comparison to traditional media. The study also provided examination of success factors for the advancement of scientific literacy in Egypt, as well as factors prohibiting that advancement of scientific literacy.
International Affairs (Volume 95, Issue 6)
By: Elizabeth Pearson
Abstract: It is more than 20 years since Marysia Zalewski and feminist scholars posed ‘the man question’ in International Relations, repositioning the gaze from female subjectivities to a problematization of the subjecthood of man. The field of masculinity studies has developed this initial question to a deep interrogation of the relationship between maleness and violence. Yet public and policy discourse often reduce the complexity of masculinities within extremism to issues of crisis and toxicity. Governments have prioritized the prevention of extremism, particularly violent Islamism, and in so doing have produced as ‘risk’ particular racialized and marginalized men. This article asks, what are the effects of the toxic masculinity discourse in understanding the British radical right? It argues that current understandings of extremism neglect the central aim of Zalewski’s ‘man’ question to destabilize the field and deconstruct patriarchy. They instead position Islamophobia—which is institutionalized in state discourse—as the responsibility of particular ‘extreme’ and ‘toxic’ groups. In particular, the article outlines two ways in which ‘toxic masculinity’ is an inadequate concept to describe activism in the anti-Islam(ist) movement the English Defence League (EDL). First, the term ‘toxic masculinity’ occludes the continuities of EDL masculinities with wider patriarchal norms; second, it neglects the role of women as significant actors in the movement. Using an ethnographic and empathetic approach to this case-study, the article explores how Zalewski’s theoretical position offers a route to analysis of the ways in which masculinities and patriarchy entwine in producing power and violence; and to a discussion of masculinities that need not equate manhood with threat.
By: Zakia Shiraz, Richard J. Aldrich
Abstract: The study of secrecy and spies remain subjects dominated by Anglo-American experiences. In recent years there has been some effort to refocus the lens of research upon ‘intelligence elsewhere’, including the global South. This is partly because of intense interest in the Arab Spring and ‘managed democracy’, placing a wider range of secret services under the spotlight. However, the approach to research is still dominated by concepts and methods derived from studying the English-speaking states of the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance and their European outriders. This article calls for a re-examination of research strategies for Intelligence Studies and for those theorizing surveillance, suggesting that both fields have much to learn from area studies and development studies, especially in the realm of research practice and ethics. If the growing number of academics specializing in intelligence genuinely wish to move forward and examine the global South they will need to rethink their tool-kit and learn from other disciplines. We suggest there is a rich tradition to draw upon.
By: Michèle Bos, Jan Melissen
Abstract: Most research on social media as a tool for public diplomacy focuses on its use by recognized international actors to advance their national interest and reputation, deliver foreign policy objectives or promote their global interests. This article highlights the need for paying more attention to non-state diplomacy in conflict situations outside the western world. We examine how rebel groups use new media to enhance their communications, and what the motivations behind this are. Our public diplomacy perspective helps convey the scope of rebel communications with external actors and provides insights for policy-makers seeking to ascertain the nature, intentions and capacities of myriad rebel groups. Our focus is on the Sahel region, where numerous such groups vying for international attention and support make use of multiple social media channels. We analyse two groups in Mali: the MNLA, a Tuareg secessionist group; and Ansar Dine, a Salafist insurgency with ties to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Our qualitative analysis of Ansar Dine and MNLA communications on several digital platforms helps identify these African rebel groups’ international and local framing activities. Rebel groups use public diplomacy nimbly and pragmatically. The digital age has fundamentally changed which stakeholders such groups can reach, and we suggest that social media increase the power they are able to carve out for themselves on the international stage.
The Middle East Journal (Volume 73, Issue 3)
By: Guy Ziv
Abstract: This article argues that the widespread notion that Israel lacks a Palestinian negotiating partner has endured in Israeli society despite the security community’s unease with this narrative. Many of Israel’s former generals and spymasters, some of whom were interviewed for this article, have argued that the “no partner” mantra runs counter to Israeli interests and that there are steps the government of Benjamin Netanyahu has avoided taking that would keep prospects for a two-state solution alive.
By: Raffaella A. Del Sarto
Abstract: This article addresses the crucial question of why European policies in the Israeli-Palestinian arena have remained contradictory and partly counterproductive. It suggests that European policies are stuck in the (no longer pertinent) logic of the Oslo process to achieve a two-state solution. The reasons for this stasis include the peculiarities of the European Union’s decision-making process, lack of consensus within the international community on any alternative framework, and Europe’s prioritization of stability in its “neighborhood.”
Crisis, State Legitimacy, and Political Participation in a Non-Democracy: How Qatar Withstood the 2017 Blockade
By: Justin Gengler, Buthaina Al-Khelaifi
Abstract: This article uses rare, nationally representative survey data collected before and after the blockade of Qatar that began in June 2017 to assess its impact on citizens’ orientations toward the Gulf Cooperation Council, relations with key foreign countries, and domestic politics. The study illuminates a critical element missing from existing explanations of Qatar’s unforeseen resilience in the face of the blockade, namely the role of ordinary Qataris, who mobilized in defense of the political status quo.
By: Harout Akdedian
Abstract: Based on research conducted between 2011 and 2014 on how Syrians experience, interpret, and redefine ethnic and religious-based differences, this article explores the dynamics that have made sectarianism such a salient feature of the Syrian conflict. Two distinct forms of sectarianism are simultaneously at work: a preexisting ethno-religious communitarianism and a more recent, dehumanizing sectarian outlook that emerged during the conflict. While the two are correlated, they are outcomes of different processes and conditions. As a byproduct of the Syrian conflict, sectarianism can thus neither be deemed the outcome of a process superseding the conflict nor the expression of preexisting conditions.
By: Mohammed Turki A. Al-Sudairi
Abstract: Saudi Arabia’s historic communist movement is considerably overlooked in the literature on secular dissent in the kingdom. This article attempts to address this gap by offering a historical account of the movement’s early formation, dispersion, radicalization and, ultimately, transformation into the Communist Party of Saudi Arabia. This metamorphosis from a diffuse and ideologically eclectic organization into a more orthodox, Soviet-style, and structurally coherent party, paradoxically, marked the Saudi movement’s political twilight as it assumed an organizational and intellectual straitjacket that contributed to its demise.