[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the twelfth 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-four parts, depending on the number of articles included.]


Arab Law Quarterly (Volume 34, Issue 2)

Gross Fraud in the UAE Civil Code: From Its Roots in Islamic Jurisprudence to Contemporary Proposals for Reform

By: Iyad Mohammad Jadalhaq

Abstract: The regulations concerning gross fraud instituted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) legislature in the UAE Civil Code are derived from provisions put forward by the Ḥanafī school of law. A general rule was put forward, and exceptions thereto were set. A certain remedy for gross fraud was instituted, namely, giving the defrauded party the right to terminate the contract. This article determines the comprehensiveness and adequacy of the legal texts dealing with the impact of gross fraud on contracts in the UAE Civil Code, the methods by which balance could be achieved between the interests of the contracting parties, and the means of protecting the defrauded contractor. Furthermore, shortcomings and defects in the existing legal texts that require amendment and reform are highlighted. This study concludes that the legislative treatment of the impact of gross fraud on contracts is insufficient, and advances possible recommendations.

New Dispute Resolution Approach and Models for Islamic Finance

By: Ai Kawamura

Abstract: This article aims to clarify two pioneering models for Islamic financial dispute resolution, which have been developed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and in Malaysia. The models have emerged from different political economic backgrounds and legal histories. In addition, this article discusses issues regarding alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems for Islamic finance in the UAE and in Malaysia and will also feature diversification of the Islamic financial market through the dispute resolution system.

Compensability of Moral Damage in Islamic Contract Law: A Comparative Analysis of the Palestinian, Jordanian and Qatari Civil Codes

By: Mahmoud M. Dodeen

Abstract: This study explores Islamic law’s position towards the compensation of natural and juridical persons for moral damage within the scope of contractual liability in view of divergent and unclear legal and judicial opinions in Arab countries. One line of argument makes a distinction in the approach to tort and contractual liability. As a result, courts have been influenced by these opinions. In contrast, other jurists have not taken great pains to reach a different discretion in search of the truth. To enrich this study, to ensure a sound interpretation of the true situation, and in an attempt to draw a closer link between the positions of Islamic law and Latin law, the study provides a comparison between the civil codes of three Arab countries: Palestine, Jordan and Qatar.

Fair and Equitable Treatment in Saudi Bilateral Investment Treaties

By: Sarah Alshahrani

Abstract: Fair and equitable treatment (FET) is one of the general principles included in bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and it is as important as the expropriation clause. Recent investment tribunal practice has shown that FET is one of the most frequently invoked provisions. All Saudi BITs include an old version of the FET clause. However, the vagueness and ambiguity of FET can hold the country liable when it enacts measures in the public interest, and, therefore, a thorough analysis of the best formulation of FET is necessary in order to achieve predictability and certainty for both the investor and the host state, in addition to the need to widen the police power of host states.

Arab Studies Quarterly (Volume 42, Issue 1-2)

US Media Darlings: Arab and Muslim Women Activists, Exceptionalism and the “Rescue Narrative”

By: Ahlam Muhtaseb

Abstract: Using critical textual analysis based on the postcolonial school of thought, this essay analyzed a ten-minute segment, called “Women of the Revolution,” on the ABC news program This Week, anchored at that time by Christiane Amanpour, for its portrayals of Arab and Muslim women. The analysis showed that Arab and Muslim women were portrayed positively only when they fit a “media-darling” trope of Western-educated Arab or Muslim women, or those who looked and acted similar to Western women, especially if they ascribed to a Western view of feminism. Those women also were seen as the exception to the “repressive” culture that characterizes the Arab and Muslim worlds, according to the Orientalist stereotype. The implications of this analysis indicate that, in spite of the visibility and progress of many Arab and Muslim women in their countries and indigenous cultures, they are still framed within old recycled molds in US mainstream media, even if these seem positive at face value.

Pax Americana and the Dissolution of Arab States: The Humanitarian Consequences (1990–2019)

By: Tareq Y. Ismael, Jacqueline S. Ismael

Abstract: This article provides an assessment of three decades of US hegemony over the Arab-majority states of the Middle East’s Gulf region. Since its direct military intervention in the 1990 war over Kuwait, the US increasingly engaged itself as an architect forging the region through deployment of its neoliberal economic and financial coercion, Janus-faced support for authoritarian regimes while promoting democracy, human rights and individual freedom rhetorically, as well as repeated direct military interventions into Arab states in an effort to bring about regime change. At the base of diplomatic and public justification for the 1990–91 intervention—or the Gulf War as it became known to Americans—was the assertion that the war was defensive in nature, protecting the territorial integrity of Kuwait as well as the enshrining the norms of non-intervention and the sanctity of borders. Over the following years, however, US military forces came to be active in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya with an expanded coterie of bases littered across the states of the Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman). While the US and its allies had been engaged in the region’s politics throughout the Cold War, from 1990 through 2019, the US escalated its role to preside over regional politics through a hub-and-spoke latticework of relations between itself and regional states. From the perspective of nearly three decades since 1990, an appraisal of this coercive relationship, focusing on the humanitarian impacts it has wrought upon the region’s peoples, suggests it has failed according to these criteria. Many of the region’s peoples have experienced a marked decline in their economic well-being, personal safety and health, while the state apparatuses established following the retreat of European imperialism now lie in ruin in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. The populations of these states now face a precarious future, without the protection of state institutions, against a range of predatory actors. Moreover, these actions have contributed toward the decline of US global influence, thereby encouraging further change in an environment where popular sovereignty and inputs into governance by regional peoples has been frustrated through the exercise of US power.

Killing “Hajis” in “Indian Country”: Neoliberal Crisis, the Iraq War and the Affective Wages of Anti-Muslim Racism

By: Yousef K. Baker

Abstract: Starting in the 1970s neoliberalism began to undermine and chisel away at liberalism, taking aim at the social wage. By the twenty-first century this had resulted in a structural crisis of overaccumulation and a political crisis of legitimacy as social dislocation and precarity became prevalent. The war in Iraq created through war and reconstruction new spaces for accumulation. The invasion and occupation were premised on and worked to maintain anti-Muslim racism in order to scaffold legitimacy for a neoliberal state that is hollowed out of its previous liberal promises. No longer offering a social wage, this becomes the affective wages of neoliberalism, premised on the reification of ontological difference between a civilized, humane and rational West, and a fundamentally illiberal Muslim other. At the same time that liberalism is eroded by neoliberalism, the latter draws from and reinforces the liberal logic of deflection manifest in frontier logics.

The War of Words: Language as an Instrument of Palestinian National Struggle

By: Loubna Qutami, Omar Zahzah

Abstract: This critical set of reflections addresses how the increasing visibility of the Palestinian struggle and the growing attention to Palestine in the (US) academy coincides with altered and depleted meanings for terms and concepts once central to a Palestinian liberation framework. The authors challenge the de-familiarization of the Palestinian political lexicon by ruminating on past, present and potential future meanings for words whose currency, they argue, has assumed a deceptively simple valuation. What are the unforeseen political consequences of visibility, of “incorporation,” and how might these be resisted within the arena of meaning and through the process of reviving language as an instrument of national liberation struggle? Revisiting old definitions of terms and contributing thoughts to the value of words such as Zionism, peace process and negotiations, statehood and violence, the authors contest the boundaries of disciplinary research in service of Palestinian liberation.

Turkey and its Immediate Arab Neighbors in the Twenty-First Century

By: Ibrahim G. Aoudé

Abstract: This article analyzes regional events in the twenty-first century and identifies Turkey’s relations with Arab countries, pointing out the serious deterioration that has occurred in those relations with its bordering Arab neighbors as well as Egypt and Lebanon. The article argues that Turkey’s “imperatives of state,” as in the case of any other state actor, determine the foreign policy trajectory and consequently its regional and international relations. Turkey has chosen to ally itself with pro-Western regional states, namely Israel and Qatar, but not others, such as Egypt. Creating rivalry and animosity with bordering states is neither conducive to Turkey’s long-term relations with those states nor to its ultimate political stability. Its NATO membership exacerbates animosity that would ultimately work against Turkey’s regional influence. Consequently, Turkey’s imperatives of state ironically stand in the way of achieving its regional ambitions.

Comparative Politics (Volume 52, Issue 3)

Religion and Institutional Quality: Long-Term Effects of the Financial Systems in Protestantism and Islam

By: Rasmus Broms, Bo Rothstein

Abstract: Religion is one of the most commonly cited explanations for cross-country variation in institutional quality. In particular, Protestantism, and the cultural values that follow from its doctrine, has been identified as particularly beneficial. Nevertheless, micro-level studies provide little evidence for religion producing norms and values conducive to good institutions. We propose an alternate explanation for the observed macro-level variation: historical systems for local religious financing, contrasting the medieval parish system in Northwestern Europe, where members collectively paid for and administrated religious services as public goods, with the Ottoman Empire, where such goods were normally provided through endowments from private individuals and tax collection was comparatively privatized. We argue that a legacy of collective financing and accountability in the former region created a virtuous cycle of high state capacity and low corruption, reverberating to this day as good institutions.

Electoral Activism in Iran: A Mechanism for Political Change

By: Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Vahid Abedini

Abstract: Scholars of electoral authoritarianism contend that elections make autocratic regimes more durable, while scholarship on democratization states that authoritarian elections can lead to electoral revolutions and regime change. In this article, we argue that these two lenses occlude smaller instances of activism during election periods and the influence that this activism has on bringing about gradual political change. To build our argument, we draw on two presidential elections held in Iran in 2009 and 2013. We show how grassroots activists use elections to abort gains made by hardliners, push centrist and moderate candidates toward more reformist and democratic stances, promote issues that would otherwise be considered beyond the pale of formal regime politics, and encourage solidarity and opposition coalition building.

Comparative Studies in Society and History (Volume 62, Issue 2)

Terroir and Territory on the Colonial Frontier: Making New-Old World Wine in the Holy Land

By: Daniel Monterescu, Ariel Handel

Abstract: Etymologically related, the concepts of terroir and territoriality display divergent cultural histories. While one designates the palatable characteristics of place as a branded story of geographic distinction, the other imbues the soil with political meaning. This paper traces the production of eno-locality in a contested space on both sides of the Green Line in Israel/Palestine. The case of the Yatir award-winning winery shows how terroir and territory are blended in the political economy and cultural politics of colonial place-making. Located on a multiscalar frontier—climatic, geopolitical, and viticultural—Yatir Winery positions itself simultaneously within the Mediterranean transnational landscape and in a biblical site of historical authenticity. Enacting strategic regimes of signification to target the increasing demand for high-end wines on both the global and local markets, it makes a claim for place, while appropriating Palestinian land and redefining ancient Jewish heritage. The result articulates a settler colonial landscape whose symbolic and material transformations are reflected in the Israeli search for rooted identity. Analytically, we explore the power of border and frontier wines to reconfigure the differences between New World and Old World paradigms. We conclude by outlining a comparative framework of the charged relations between terroir and territory that articulates the nexus between border typologies and the colonial politics of wine.

Legal Liminalities: Conflicting Jurisdictional Claims in the Transition from British Mandate Palestine to the State of Israel

By: Rephael G. Stern

Abstract: This article explores the legal and temporal dimensions of the transition from British Mandate Palestine to the State of Israel on 15 May 1948. I examine the paradoxical character of Israeli jurisdictional claims during this period and argue that it reveals the Israeli state’s uncertainty as to whether the Mandate had truly passed into the past. On one hand, Israel recognized the validity of the Mandate administration’s jurisdiction until 15 May; I employ the Israeli trial of the British citizen Frederick William Sylvester to demonstrate how Israel even predicated its own jurisdictional claims on their being continuous with those of its predecessor. In this case, the Mandate administration was cast as having entered the realm of the past. Conversely, the Israeli state contested Mandate laws and legal decisions made prior to 15 May to assert its own jurisdictional claims. In the process, Israeli officials belied their efforts to bury their predecessors in the past and implicitly questioned whether the past was in fact behind them. By simultaneously relying upon and disavowing past British legal decisions, the Israeli state staked a claim on being a “completely different political creature” from its British predecessor while retaining its colonial legal structures as the “ultimate standards of reference.” Israel’s complex attitude toward its Mandate past directs our attention to how it was created against the backdrop of the receding British Empire and underscores the importance of studying Israel alongside other post-imperial states that emerged from the First World War and the mid-century decolonizing world.

Democratization (Volume 27, Issue 2)

How an Islamist party managed to legitimate its authoritarianization in the eyes of the secularist opposition: the case of Turkey

By: Ihsan Yilmaz, Mehmet Efe Caman, Galib Bashirov

Abstract: Since at least 2011, Turkey has undergone a dual process of democratic backsliding amid the emergence of a new, authoritarian regime under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. An interesting component of this process of authoritarian turn has been the lack of serious opposition on the part of the opposition parties CHP and IYIP parties to the growing political repression, curtailment of civil liberties and growing consolidation of power in the hands of Erdoğan. In this article, we deal with a major puzzle that emerged in Turkey’s politics: how did the AKP regime legitimize its authoritarian transformation of the political system in Turkey in the eyes of CHP and IYIP, despite these parties’ political opposition to the AKP regime and its Islamist agenda? In answering this question, we make use of a causal theory that predicted the intensified use of legitimation claims on the part of the incumbent regimes during authoritarian restructuring. Combining the works of several scholars, we utilize the concept of “missions,” along with ideational narratives, performance objectives and six claims of legitimation to explain how the AKP managed to legitimize its authoritarian grip and regime change even in the eyes of the main opposition parties.

Country size and the survival of authoritarian monarchies: developing a new argument

By: Marlene Jugl

Abstract: This article combines the literature on authoritarian regime survival with that on small states to propose a new explanation for the survival and breakdown of authoritarian monarchies. To develop the conjecture that monarchy tends to survive in small countries into a theoretically and empirically sound argument, I follow the process of iterative induction. I first inspect all authoritarian monarchies between 1946 and 2018 and find that countries with monarchic survival have a significantly smaller population size than countries where monarchy broke down. Second, I develop a theoretical explanation for this relation: the feeling of vulnerability, the social proximity, and institutional centralization, which are all typically ascribed to small countries, facilitate the stability of monarchic regimes. I conceptualize this stability with Gerschewski’s model of three pillars of authoritarian stability, co-optation, repression and legitimation; and I argue that smallness enhances each of these three via several channels. Third, to illustrate the plausibility of this explanation I compare two most likely historical cases of monarchies with diverging outcomes: Jordan and Egypt. Fourth, I inspect deviant cases, particularly Bhutan, Maldives and Tonga, to refine and finalize the argument. The main finding is that smallness prevented the violent breakdown of monarchic regimes since 1946.

Development and Change (Volume 51, Issue 2)

Politics of Social Policy in a Late Industrializing Country: The Case of Turkey

By: Ayşe Buğra

Abstract: This article approaches social policy as an integral component of a capitalist society and, by drawing on the notion of the double movement introduced by Karl Polanyi, argues that social policy intervention both limits and contributes to market expansion. While this argument could be generally applied to recent social policy changes in the current context of economic globalization, these changes were shaped against different histories of social policy development in early and late industrializing countries. This article examines the increasing importance of social policy in late industrializing countries by focusing on the case of Turkey. It is argued that social policy transformation in Turkey has involved the expansion of social security coverage along with the privatization and marketization of health and pension systems. A new system of labour market regulation has contributed to the commodification of labour while the ‘state‐supported familialism’, which forms an important aspect of current trends in the area of social care, has served to integrate women in the prevailing flexible employment relations by simultaneously sustaining their position in the gender division of roles within traditional family relations. The populist strategy of polarization pursued by the ruling government is discussed to show how opposition to these trends toward privatization, marketization and labour commodification has been isolated.

Development and Change (Volume 51, Issue 3)

On the ‘Arab Inequality Puzzle’: The Case of Egypt

By: Gilbert Achcar

Abstract: This article surveys and discusses prominent protagonists of the debate on socio‐economic inequality in the Arab region, with a special focus on the World Bank and Egypt. According to official data, the region holds remarkably low Gini coefficients in a context of declining inequality. This contradicts the popular perception of high social inequality as a major cause of regional protests since the Arab Spring; hence the reference to a ‘puzzle’ in mainstream literature. The debate about the reality of social inequality in the region has developed since 2011 — particularly in regard to Egypt, where income and consumption data are periodically collected by means of household surveys. Inequality measures based on this method alone, while income taxation data are inaccessible, are highly questionable and conflict with various observations and calculations based on other indicators such as national accounts, executive income or house prices. Yet, the World Bank upholds official inequality findings in portraying the Arab upheaval as the revolt of a ‘middle class’ that aspires to greater business freedom, in consonance with the neoliberal worldview.

European Journal of International Relations (Volume 26, Issue 1)

The uses and abuses of victimhood nationalism in international politics

By: Adam B. Lerner

Abstract: Contemporary populist movements have inspired political pundits in various contexts to opine on the resurgence of victimhood culture, in which groups demonstrate heightened sensitivity to slights and attempt to evoke sympathy from third parties to their conflicts. Although reference to victimhood’s politics oftentimes surfaces examples of egregious microaggressions, when victimhood claims are scaled up to the realm of nationalisms, oftentimes so too are their consequences. Current literature on victimhood in international politics, though, lacks a unifying theorisation suitable for the comparative analysis of victimhood nationalisms as important identities in the international arena. This gap prevents scholarship from investigating how the severity of perceived or real suffering relates to the formation of victimhood, as well as how victimhood nationalisms legitimize the projection of grievances onto third parties, potentially sowing new conflicts. This article theorises victimhood nationalism as a powerful identity narrative with two key constitutive elements. First, drawing on the narrative identity approach, it outlines how victimhood nationalisms are constructed via narrations of perceived or real collective trauma. Second, it argues that victimhood nationalist narratives, unlike other narratives of collective trauma, break down the idealized victim–perpetrator relationship and project grievances onto otherwise uninvolved international actors, including other nation-states. The article concludes by offering comparative case studies of Slobodan Milošević’s and David Ben-Gurion’s respective invocations of victimhood nationalism to illustrate the empirical applicability of this theorization, as well as victimhood nationalism’s importance in international politics across time and space.

Causal mechanisms in civil war mediation: Evidence from Syria

By: Magnus Lundgren

Abstract: Studies of conflict management by international organizations have demonstrated correlations between institutional characteristics and outcomes, but questions remain as to whether these correlations have causal properties. To examine how institutional characteristics condition the nature of international organization interventions, I examine mediation and ceasefire monitoring by the Arab League and the United Nations during the first phase of the Syrian civil war (2011–2012). Using micro-evidence sourced from unique interview material, day-to-day fatality statistics, and international organization documentation, I detail causal pathways from organizational characteristics, via intervention strategies, to intervention outcomes. I find that both international organizations relied on comparable intervention strategies. While mediating, they counseled on the costs of conflict, provided coordination points, and managed the bargaining context so as to sideline spoilers and generate leverage. While monitoring, they verified violent events, engaged in reassurance patrols, and brokered local truces. The execution of these strategies was conditioned on organizational capabilities and member state preferences in ways that help explain both variation in short-term conflict abatement and the long-term failure of both international organizations. In contrast to the Arab League, the United Nations intervention, supported by more expansive resources and expertise, temporarily shifted conflict parties away from a violent equilibrium. Both organizations ultimately failed as disunity among international organization member state principals cut interventions short and reduced the credibility of international organization mediators.

Beyond coups: terrorism and military involvement in politics

By: Chiara Ruffa, Mauricio Rivera, Vincenzo Bove

Abstract: A wealth of research in comparative politics and international relations examines how the military intervenes in politics via coups. We shift attention to broader forms of military involvement in politics beyond coups and claim that terrorist violence and the threat of terror attacks provide a window of opportunity for military intervention, without taking full control of state institutions. We highlight two mechanisms through which terrorism influences military involvement in politics: (1) government authorities demand military expertise to fight terrorism and strengthen national security and “pull” the armed forces into politics, and (2) state armed actors exploit their informational advantage over civilian authorities to “push” their way into politics and policy-making. A panel data analysis shows that domestic terror attacks and perceived threats from domestic and transnational terrorist organizations increase military involvement in politics. We illustrate the theoretical mechanisms with the cases of France (1995–1998 and 2015–2016) and Algeria (1989–1992).

European Journal of Political Research (Volume 59, Issue 2)

European ruling parties’ electoral strategies and overseas enfranchisement policies

By: Anca Turcu, R. Urbatsch

Abstract: Emigrants’ ideologies and partisan attitudes may diverge from other voters’: overseas voters are ideologically self‐selected, receive distinctive information about campaigns and have experiences abroad that are likely to shape their political views. Parties, anticipating these emigrant attitudes, can manipulate overseas voting availability to give the vote primarily to their own supporters. Alternatively, parties may expect newly enfranchised voters to provide electoral support in gratitude for the right to vote. To distinguish these separate processes, this project undertakes a case study of Turkey to trace a ruling party’s strategic expectations as it makes overseas‐enfranchisement decisions. To see how generalisable these results are, the study further extends to a statistical analysis of differences in vote choice between voters at home and abroad across all 23 European countries that report overseas votes separately, using an original dataset encompassing 121 elections. Both the case study and the statistical analysis suggest that emigrant‐enfranchising parties tend to garner overseas voters’ support in a lasting way. This suggests that overseas enfranchisement most often appears to involve incumbent parties (correctly) expecting long‐term ideological compatibility with their overseas nationals, not simply exchanging the franchise for short‐term, transactional support.

International Affairs (Volume 96, Issue 2)

Religious violence, gender and post-secular counterterrorism

By: Katherine E. Brown

Abstract: This article argues that despite the framing of religion in the discipline and practice of International Relations (IR) as a force for good, or a cause of evil in the world, IR fails to treat religion on its own terms (as sui generis). With a few exceptions, the discipline has pigeonholed religion as a variable of IR, one that can be discussed as one might GDP, HIV, or numbers of nuclear missiles: measurable, with causality and essential properties. IR has also tended to treat religion as equivalent to features of global politics that it already recognizes—as an institution or community or ideology, for example—but in doing so, it misses intrinsic (and arguably unique) elements of religion. Drawing on feminist insights about how gender works in IR, namely that gender is a construct, performative and structural, this article argues a similar case for religion. A reframing of religion is applied to the case of Daesh (so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS) to show how our understanding of the organization changes when we view religion differently. The implications for counterterrorism policies if religion is viewed as more than a variable are explored in light of recent territorial and military losses for Daesh. The article therefore proposes a post-secular counterterrorism approach.

Unpacking the role of religion in political transnationalism: the case of the Shi’a Iraqi diaspora since 2003

By: Oula Kadhum

Abstract: This article explores the role of religion in political transnationalism using the case of the Shi’a Iraqi diaspora since 2003. The article focuses on three areas that capture important trends in Shi’a transnationalism and their implications for transnational Shi’a identity politics. These include Shi’a diasporic politics, transnational Shi’a civic activism, and the cultural production of Iraqi Shi’a identity through pilgrimages, rituals and new practices. It is argued that understanding Shi’a Islam and identity formation requires adopting a transnational lens. The evolution of Shi’a Islam is not only a result of the dictates of the Shi’a clerical centres, and how they influence Shi’a populations abroad, but also the transnational interrelationships and links to holy shrine cities, Shi’i national and international politics, humanitarianism and commemorations and rituals. The article demonstrates that Shi’a political transnationalism is unexceptional in that it echoes much of the literature on diasporic politics and development where diaspora involve themselves from afar in the politics and societies of their countries of origin. At the same time, it shows the exceptionalism of Shi’a diasporic movements, in that their motivations and mobilizations are contributing to the reification of sectarian geographical and social borders, creating a transnationalism that is defined by largely Shi’a networks, spaces, actors and causes. The case of Shi’a political transnationalism towards Iraq shows that this is increasing the distance between Shi’is and Iraq’s other communities, simultaneously fragmenting Iraq’s national unity while deepening Shi’a identity and politics both nationally and supra-nationally.

International Affairs (Volume 96, Issue 3)

It’s a man’s world: carnal spectatorship and dissonant masculinities in Islamic State videos

By: Manni Crone

Abstract: Islamic State videos have often been associated with savage violence and beheadings. An in-depth scrutiny however reveals another striking feature: that female bodies are absent, blurred or mute. Examining a few Islamic State videos in depth, the article suggests that the invisibility of women in tandem with the ostentatious visibility of male bodies enable gendered and embodied spectators to indulge in homoerotic as well as heterosexual imaginaries. In contrast to studies on visual security and online radicalization which assert that images affect an audience, this article focuses on the interaction between video and audience and argues that spectators are not only rational and emotional but embodied and gendered as well. Islamic State videos do not only attract western foreign fighters through religious–ideological rhetoric or emotional impact but also through gendered forms of pleasure and desire that enable carnal imagination and identification. The article probes the analytical purchase of carnal aesthetics and spectatorship.

Politics, policy-making and the presence of images of suffering children

By: Helen Berents

Abstract: In 2017 Trump expressed pity for the ‘beautiful babies’ killed in a gas attack on Khan Shaykhun in Syria before launching airstrikes against President Assad’s regime. Images of suffering children in world politics are often used as a synecdoche for a broader conflict or disaster. Injured, suffering, or dead; the ways in which images of children circulate in global public discourse must be critically examined to uncover the assumptions that operate in these environments. This article explores reactions to images of children by representatives and leaders of states to trace the interconnected affective and political dimensions of these images. In contrast to attending to the expected empathetic responses prompted by images of children, this article particularly focuses on when such images prompt bellicose foreign policy decision-making. In doing this, the article forwards a way of thinking about images as contentious affective objects in international relations. The ways in which images of children’s bodies and suffering are strategically deployed by politicians deserves closer scrutiny to uncover the visual politics of childhood inherent in these moments of international politics and policy-making.

Soundscapes of war: the audio-visual performance of war by Shi’a militias in Iraq and Syria

By: Helle Malmvig

Abstract: This article sets out to bring sound and music to the field of visual studies in International Relations. It argues that IR largely has approached the visual field as if it was without sound; neglecting how audial landscapes frame and direct our interpretation of moving imagery. Sound and music contribute to making imagery intelligible to us, we ‘hear the pictures’ often without noticing. The audial can for instance articulate a visual absence, or blast visual signs, bring out certain emotional stages or subjects’ inner life. Audial frames steer us in distinct directions, they can mute the cries of the wounded in war, or amplify the sounds of joy of soldiers shooting in the air. To bring the audial and the visual analytically and empirically together, the article therefore proposes four key analytical themes: 1) the audial–visual frame, 2) point of view/point of audition, 3) modes of audio-visual synchronization and 4) aesthetics moods. These are applied to a study of ‘war music videos’ in Iraq and Syria made and circulated by Shi’a militias currently fighting there. Such war music videos, it is suggested, are not just artefacts of popular culture, but have become integral parts of how warfare is practiced today, and one that is shared by soldiers in the US and Europe. War music videos are performing war, just as they shape how war is known by spectators and participants alike.

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (Volume 44, Issue 2)

An Improvised Dispositif : Invisible Urban Planning in the Refugee Camp

By: Lucas Oesch

Abstract: How does a refugee camp urbanize? Up to now, camps have been considered as either urban assemblages made by dwellers’ improvised tactics or spaces governed by disjointed urban planning policies. I demonstrate that there is another side to the urbanism of the refugee camp. A form of coherent institutional urban planning exists as well. It takes the shape of an improvised dispositif (apparatus). One of its main effects is to render the very process of urban planning invisible. I investigate this type of urbanism on the basis of fieldwork conducted in the Al‐Hussein Palestinian refugee camp in Amman, Jordan. I argue that this improvised dispositif of urban planning—of which state and non‐state institutions are part—is the result of a balancing act that ensures the temporary character of the camp, while allowing the implementation of a form of urban development that leads toward a material homogenization between the camp and the surrounding urban space. It does this by rendering its own processes invisible and being officially referred to as ‘improvement’. By emphasizing the key features of heterogeneity, invention and provisionality, I explain that the notion of a dispositif , coined by Foucault (1980), allows us to examine how institutions improvise away from more conventional urban planning. My analysis also complements Jeffrey’s examination (2013) of institutional improvisation in the production of space, by showing that improvisation can be a form of strategic elaboration.

International Relations (Volume 34, Issue 1)

When states and individuals meet: The UN Ombudsperson as a ‘contact point’ between international and world society

By: Francesco Giumelli, Filippo Costa Buranelli

Abstract: Interaction between individuals and states is considered a distinctive character of domestic politics, while international politics is the ‘realm of states’. However, it is becoming more common to encounter loci where both states and individuals interact at the international level, such as in the cases of the Special Tribunals for Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Former Yugoslavia as well as the International Criminal Court (ICC). Within the International Relations (IR) theory panorama, one would expect the English School of International Relations (ES) to have the theoretical and analytical tools to conceptualize synergies between states and individuals, but this is not evident. This article asks, how does the interaction between individuals and states take place in the ES? We argue that this interaction takes place via ‘contact points’, defined as those international bodies that bring together states and non-state actors, be they individuals or groups, interacting on equal grounds in terms of rights and responsibilities towards each other. The notion of ‘contact point’ is developed inductively by focusing on the Office of the Ombudsperson to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee. This research has theoretical implications. We aim to refine, sharpen and advance both the ES’s theoretical and analytical architecture. The contribution we seek to make is one that will better equip ES scholars to conceptualize and analyse those secondary institutions that allow states and individuals to enjoy rights and duties equally. By so doing, we will make possible for the ES to provide a more fine-grained account for these synergies than other IR theories. The notion of ‘contact point’ does set a new agenda for the ES, since interactions between individuals and states are likely to become a constitutive essence of world politics.

International Studies (Volume 57, Issue 2)

The Ascent of Saudi Arabia to a Regional Hegemon: The Role of Institutional Power in the League of Arab States

By: Maximilian Felsch

Abstract: After the Arab upheavals that began in 2011, Saudi Arabia became the most dominant power in the Arab world. While most of its Arab rivals experienced political and economic crises and disintegration, the Gulf monarchy began an unprecedented active and even interventionist foreign policy and increased its regional influence tremendously. Remarkably, most of this activism was not exercised unilaterally but within regional institutional frameworks, mainly of the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This article investigates how Saudi Arabia gained institutional power within the LAS. The analysis is based on the LAS decisions at the Summit level before and after the Arab uprisings with regard to Saudi Arabia’s main foreign policy interests. The purpose of the article is to examine the essence of Saudi Arabia’s regional power. It also looks at the unforeseen revitalization of the LAS and allows predictions of the future of Arab regionalism in a changing Arab world.

Protest and Regime Change: Different Experiences of the Arab Uprisings and the 2009 Iranian Presidential Election Protests

By: Kamran Rabiei

Abstract: Political developments, such as the ‘Arab Spring’, have led the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) towards instability, unrest and severe sectarian confrontations. Nearly 2 years before the ‘Arab Spring’, ‘the Iranian Green Movement’ swept over the country and led to the expectations that Iran would undergo a fundamental political change. The article addresses an important question as to why the 2009 Iranian unrest known as the ‘Green Movement’ did not lead to regime change, while on the other hand, the ‘Arab Spring’ ultimately led to the change of political systems in Tunisia and Egypt. Further, some significant factors are highlighted anticipating the degree of stability and instability for the future of political regimes in the MENA region.

Journal of Contemporary History (Volume 55, Issue 2)

The Massigli Affair and its Context: Turkish Foreign Policy after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

By: Onur Isci

Abstract: This article examines Turkey’s wartime diplomacy between the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and Hitler’s unleashing of Operation Barbarossa. Rather than a survey of Turkish foreign policy as a whole, it takes a critical episode from July 1940 as a case study that – when put in context – reveals how fear of Nazi power and even greater fear of the Soviet Union created in Turkey a complex view of a desired outcome from the Second World War. Juxtaposing archival materials in Turkish, Russian, German, and English, I draw heavily on the hitherto untapped holdings of the Turkish Diplomatic Archives (TDA). Overall, this article demonstrates both the breadth and limits of Nazi Germany’s sweeping efforts to orchestrate anti-Soviet propaganda in Turkey; efforts that helped end interwar Soviet-Turkish cooperation. Against previously established notions in historiography that depict Soviet-Turkish relations as naturally hostile and inherently destabilizing, this article documents how the Nazi–Soviet Pact played a key role in their worsening bilateral affairs between 1939 and 1941. The argument, then, is in keeping with newer literature on the Second World War that has begun to compensate for earlier accounts that overlooked neutral powers.

Journal of Democracy (Volume 31, Issue 2)

The Pushback Against Populism: Running on “Radical Love” in Turkey

By: F. Michael Wuthrich, Melvyn Ingleby

Abstract: Drawing from the 2019 mayoral elections in Turkey, this paper highlights a path that opposition parties might take to defuse polarized environments and avoid playing into the political traps set by populists in power. The particular type of moral and amplified polarization that accompanies populism’s essential “thin” ideology builds a barrier between a populist’s supporters and the opposition. Yet the CHP opposition in Turkey has recently won notable victories with its new campaign approach of “radical love,” which counteracts populism’s polarizing logic and has exposed Erdoğan’s weakness.

The Squeeze On African Media Freedom

By: Jeff Conroy-Krutz

Abstract: Nearly thirty years after governments loosened control over broadcasters and publishers, Africa’s media face increasing threats. New laws are resulting in the imprisonment of journalists and closure of media houses, while internet shutdowns and “social-media taxes” are increasingly common strategies to limit the mobilizing and informational potentials of digital technologies. These challenges are occurring in the midst of eroding public support for free media, as the latest Afrobarometer data show increased backing for government restrictions across the continent. Africans’ confidence in their media seems to be declining, potentially due to concerns over bias, hate speech, and disinformation.

Tunisia’s Endless Transition?

By: Daniel Brumberg, Maryam Ben Salem

Abstract: The year 2020 is proving to be another trying one for Tunisia’s barely decade-old democracy. Following parliamentary and presidential elections in September and October 2019—the fourth and fifth national votes held since dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fell in 2011—new president Kaïs Saïed and the unicameral 217-member national assembly face the task of consolidating democratic institutions despite economic crisis, rampant corruption, growing social and identity tensions, and widespread political estrangement. The Jasmine Revolution that began with Ben Ali’s flight into exile was able to succeed initially thanks to a deal or “pact” among his disparate opponents and lingering elements of his power structure. But it is proving very hard to move beyond that first, hard-won agreement and the consensus-based power-sharing system that it produced.

Algeria: When Elections Hurt Democracy

By: Frédéric Volpi

Abstract: The massive mobilization known as the Hirak (movement) which gathered millions of protesters in weekly demonstrations against the Algerian regime throughout 2019, underscores the strengths and weaknesses of both leaderless protests and electoral authoritarianism. Leaderless grassroots movements are effective in disrupting the pseudodemocratic tools that authoritarian elites use to remain in power, but they are less efficient at proposing institutional alternatives. The deeply flawed Algerian elections of December 2019 illustrated how a military-backed regime could ensure continuity in the ruling elite, at a cost to its legitimacy. The Hirak highlights the democratic evolution of societies in the Arab Muslim world and the slow but not yet decisive weakening of electoral authoritarianism.

Journal of Development Studies (Volume 56, Issue 4)

Protection of Capitalism as a Regime of Rationality: A Historical Institutionalist Rereading of Modern Turkey’s Industrial Relations

By: Didem Özkiziltan

Abstract: Turkey’s current collective labour legislation places heavy restrictions on trade union, strike, and collective bargaining rights. Regarding which, conventional wisdom cites the country’s ongoing neoliberal transformation since the early 1980s. This article explains the post-1980 institutional transformation by placing the institutional history of Turkey’s industrial relations under the optic of historical institutionalism by laying special emphasis on the dominant interests steering industrial relations and the legal and practical causal mechanisms put at work in materialisation of these interests. It is concluded that curtailment of work-related collective rights and freedoms for the protection of capitalist development has displayed a remarkable historical continuity as a regime of rationality in Turkey. Such restriction created long-term institutional path-dependencies in the policies governing Turkey’s industrial relations, thereby exerting a significant impact on industrial relations policy and practices in the post-1980 period.

Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development (Volume 41, Issue 1)

Asymmetric Effects of Exchange Rate Changes on Exports: A Sectoral Nonlinear Cointegration Analysis for Turkey

By: Cevat Bilgin

Abstract: This paper examines the effects of the real exchange rate changes on the selected sectoral exports of Turkey’s manufacturing industry in the context of nonlinear auto-regressive distributed lag model (NARDL). NARDL method includes short-run and long-run coefficient estimates and embraces the asymmetric effects. The previous studies generally used the linear models on the aggregated data and they offered ambiguous results. The latest studies have preferred to use the method of NARDL on the bilateral trade balance data. Instead of using bilateral data, this paper considers the data of sectoral exports, specifically the exports of the selected Turkey’s manufacturing sectors. The estimated NARDL models supply the empirical information about the asymmetric effects of the real exchange rate on the sectoral exports. Results from the model for each sector provide the evidence indicating that the depreciation and appreciation of the domestic currency have asymmetric significant effects on the sectoral exports.

Higher Education performance of Muslim Countries: Islamic Economics as an Illustrative Case

By: Zubair Hasan

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is (i) to state the objectives of higher education commensurate with Islamic requirements; (ii) to examine the current state of higher education performance in Muslim majority countries with a view to indentifying the main issues it faces using Islamic economics as illustration and (iii) to present in outline a program for improvement. The constraints of time and resources do not permit us to present an all covering discussion on the subject. Instead of dealing with specifics, we shall focus on directional and attitudinal issues of substance. We are aware of the limitations of the exercise but find it rewarding.

The Role of Islamic Finance in Fostering Circular Business Investments: the Case of OIC Countries

By: Abdul-Jalil Ibrahim, Nasim S. Shirazi

Abstract: The linear economic approach described as the “take, make, dispose of” model where the bulk of the material used to make products is ultimately thrown away is recognized as a contributor to the natural resource constraints faced by humanity. Responding to this problem requires an economic paradigm of “reduce, reuse and recycle” conceptualised as Circular Economy(CE). The paper explores ways Islamic finance can support circular businesses within OIC countries to achieve economic growth that is not at the expense of the environment. The study concludes that Islamic finance can use compassionate contracts, equity-like, and risk-sharing financing modes to support circular businesses motivated by the holistic objective of Maqasid.


Journal of Politics (Volume 82, Issue 2)

What Explains Taxation by Resource-Rich Rebels? Evidence from the Islamic State in Syria

By: Mara Redlich Revkin

Abstract: Greed-based theories of civil war predict that rebel groups will only engage in taxation and other state-building activities in areas where they lack exploitable resources. However, this prediction is contradicted by the Islamic State’s pattern of taxation across time and space. A new data set mapping seven types of revenue-extracting policies imposed by the Islamic State, a jihadist rebel group, in the 19 Syrian districts that it governed between 2013 and 2017 indicates that these policies were just as prevalent in resource-rich as in resource-poor districts. I propose a new theory that better explains this pattern—a rebel group’s pattern of taxation is codetermined by (1) ideology and (2) the costs of warfare—and establish the plausibility of this theory through a case study of al-Mayadin, the most oil-rich district governed by the Islamic State and therefore an ideal site in which to investigate the puzzle of taxation by resource-rich rebels.

Mediterranean Politics (Volume 25, Issue 2)

Theorizing state-diaspora relations in the Middle East: Authoritarian emigration states in comparative perspective

By: Gerasimos Tsourapas

Abstract: Recent scholarly interest in the politics of migration and diaspora across the Global South has yet to address how authoritarian states attempt to reach out to populations abroad. In an effort to shift the discussion on state-diaspora relations beyond liberal democratic contexts and single-case studies, this article comparatively examines how authoritarian emigration states in the Middle East – Libya, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan – behave towards their own citizens living beyond state borders. It identifies how each state develops multi-tier diaspora engagement policies aimed at three separate stages of citizens’ mobility: first, policies of exit regulate aspects related to emigration from the country of origin; second, overseas policies target citizens beyond the territorial boundaries of the nation state; finally, return policies set processes of readmission into the country of origin. In doing so, the article identifies similarities across disparate Middle East states’ engagement with emigration and diaspora policymaking. At the same time, the article paints a more complex picture of non-democracies’ strategies towards cross-border mobility that problematizes existing conceptualizations of authoritarian practices and state-diaspora relations.

Explaining the micro dynamics of the populist cleavage in the ‘new Turkey’

By: Ayşe Betül Çelik, Evren Balta

Abstract: Over the last decade, the literature on populism has flourished as it has sought to account for the causes, definitions, and consequences of the significant support and prolonged political success of populist leaders and parties. However, the political and emotional reception of populist performance is still an under-researched subject and research on populism mostly remains at the macro level focusing on the policies and discourses of the populist leaders/parties. In this article, by focusing on Turkey, we shift our emphasis to how populism is received, reproduced, and reflected in the political framework of the diverse electorate and how the impact of certain events, leaders, and crises is magnified by their emotional content. Based on 71 in-depth interviews conducted in Istanbul, Turkey, this article argues that populism creates diverging emotional maps that overlap with political polarization among the populist-leaning constituents and detractors of populism. Taking Turkey’s 15 July failed coup attempt as a ‘crisis’, we study how crisis situations strengthen populist leaders.

NGO laws after the colour revolutions and the Arab spring: Nondemocratic regime strategies in Eastern Europe and the Middle East

By: Leah Gilbert, Payam Mohseni

Abstract: How significant were popular mobilizations like the colour revolutions and the Arab Spring in raising legal regulatory barriers for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Eastern Europe and the Middle East? How do different types of nondemocratic regimes approach NGO laws and state-society relations? This paper investigates and provides a comparative analysis of the NGO regulatory environment of nondemocratic regimes in Eastern Europe and the Middle East from 1995 to 2013, based on an original dataset measuring the severity of laws for the registration and operation of civic groups. We examine whether the uprisings instigated the passage of legal initiatives designed to curb NGO activism in each region, and assess whether patterns emerge based on differences in nondemocratic regime types. We determined that while NGO regulations have largely increased in Eastern Europe, they have actually declined in the Middle East on average. Moreover, greater NGO regulations exist in authoritarian and closed regimes that approach civil society by erecting clear legal blockades to civic activism. In contrast, hybrid regimes employ more-intricate legal strategies in order to raise the costs of entering and working in the NGO sector without necessarily overtly stifling civic activism.

Models of party institutionalization and problems of democratic consolidation

By: Arda C. Kumbaracıbaşı

Abstract: The theory of party institutionalization (PI) developed in classical party literature has been a crucial tool for analyzing political parties. This paper aims to introduce how alternative models have emerged in developing democracies, suggesting the main dimensions of PI (‘autonomy’ and ‘systemness’) are not always positively correlated like initially suggested. One of these coined the ‘trade-off’ model, represents a dilemma of leadership where one dimension needs to be traded off to enhance the other. This may occur in parties that have radically motivated activists. Strategic difficulties that it brings, affect ‘professionalization’ of parties and their survivability. The last model (the ‘non-democratic’ model) is an extreme version of the tade-off model and it occurs when ‘autonomy’ is maximized and ‘systemness’ is minimized – a phenomenon that occurs easier under dominant party systems. Last section of this paper focuses on a case study (Turkey) to illustrate these models using primary and secondary sources; theoretical works on parties, the Turkish party system, and empirical data relating to the Turkish case.

In deep waters: The legal, humanitarian and political implications of closing Italian ports to migrant rescuers

By: Eugenio Cusumano, Kristof Gombeer

Abstract: The closure of ports to migrant rescue NGOs marked a turning point in Italy’s approach to seaborne migrations across the Mediterranean. This profile article examines the legal, humanitarian and political implications of this decision. Although closing ports is not necessarily unlawful under maritime, human rights and European law, this policy entails severe humanitarian externalities and may hardly help Italy’s call for structured, long-term solidarity in addressing the challenge of large-scale maritime migrations.

Authoritarian resilience and democratic representation in Morocco: Royal interference and political parties’ leaderships since the 2016 elections

By: Thierry Desrues

Abstract: After the ‘Arab Spring’ and the second electoral victory of the Islamist party of Justice and Development in 2016, Moroccan King Mohammed VI had to find new ways to reduce the uncertainty of transparent elections and, as a result, his loss of control over the winner of the House of Representatives elections and the choice of the Head of Government. This profile will analyse a few of the paradoxical implications of the 2011 constitutional reform and the royal narrative for democratic transition, and how these have impacted the political practice of the relevant actors. More precisely, the profile will attempt to clarify the various accommodations by both the King and the political parties, to contextualize the reform and better understand the persistence of authoritarian features despite the democratic hybridization of the Moroccan political system.

Middle East Law and Governance (Volume 12, Issue 1)

Fragmentation, Disintegration, and Resurgence: Assessing the Islamist Field in Yemen

By: Stacey Philbrick Yadav

Abstract: The well-developed literature on Islamist politics has tended to focus on partisan and welfare institutions within the context of existing states. Civil war raises important questions about whether and how the relevance of such institutions changes when the state itself fragments. This article seeks to understand Islamism in Yemen as a kind of post-organizational political field. At a theoretical scale, Yemen’s civil war and the transformation of the country’s Islamist politics offers lessons about the fixity of categorical distinctions within and across forms of Islamist activity. This article works to map dynamics of fragmentation within pre-war Islamist organizations, the disintegration of authority among Islamist leaders in the context of war, and the effect of each of these processes on the resurgence and partial transformation of particular Islamist claims. The field, as an analytic approach less firmly tied to the state itself, allows for a consideration of Islamist politics as articulated locally but shaped as well by transnational engagement with ideas and institutions.

Between Exclusivism and Inclusivism: The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood’s Divided Reponses to the “Arab Spring”

By: Joas Wagemakers

Abstract: This article focuses on how and why some Jordanian Muslim Brothers have engaged in relatively exclusive, Islamist ways of confronting the regime during the “Arab Spring,” while others adopted a more inclusive, national strategy in the same period. As such, this article not only contributes to our knowledge of divisions within the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, but also shows how this can impact Islamist-regime relations in the Arab world. It argues that the organization as a whole initially wanted to exploit the uprisings in the region through a relatively exclusive, Islamist approach to the regime, but that others within the organization disagreed with this method as the “Arab Spring” proved mostly unsuccessful. Aware of the dangers of provoking the state from a position of increased isolation, these members advocated a more inclusive attitude toward the regime and others. While both groups were ultimately unsuccessful, the latter at least survived as a legal entity, while the Muslim Brotherhood lost its official presence in the kingdom because the regime was able to exploit the existing divisions within the organization.

Exclusion and Violence After the Egyptian Coup

By: Steven Brooke, Elizabeth R. Nugent

Abstract: Scholars of Islamism have long grappled with the relationship between political participation and ideological change, theorizing that political exclusion and state repression increase the likelihood of Islamist groups using violence. The trajectory of post-2011 Egypt offers a chance to systematically evaluate these theories using subnational data. Pairing district-level electoral returns from pre-coup presidential elections with post-coup levels of anti-state and sectarian violence, we find that districts where Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated candidate Mohammed Morsi performed well in 2012 witnessed more anti-state and sectarian (anti-Christian) violence following the 2013 military coup. The same relationship holds for the performance of liberal Islamist Abdel Moneim Abu El-Fotouh, which is consistent with arguments that political exclusion alone may also drive violence.

After the Massacre: Women’s Islamist Activism in Post-Coup Egypt

By: Sarah AlMasry, Neil Ketchley

Abstract: This paper draws on event data and interviews to examine the effects of repression on the gendered dynamics of Islamist mobilization in Egypt following the 2013 military coup. Our analysis shows that women’s anti-coup groups were more likely to mobilize following the killing of up to 1,000 anti-coup protestors at Rabaa al-Adawiyya in August 2013. Women’s protests were also more likely in the home districts of those killed at Rabaa. Informant testimony indicates that the Rabaa massacre figured as a transformative event that female activists drew on to motivate their involvement in street protests. Taken together, our findings suggest that very harsh repression can enable women’s participation in Islamist street politics – but this activism can come at a considerable personal cost for participants. Women who joined anti-coup protests were subjected to calibrated sexual violence by Egyptian security forces as well as other social penalties.

Shifting Reputations for “Moderation”: Evidence from Qatar, Jordan, and Morocco

By: Annelle R. Sheline

Abstract: The article examines the monarchies of Qatar, Jordan, and Morocco to demonstrate how specific policies and ideologies do not necessarily correspond with the label of “moderate,” which instead primarily reflects a reputational strategy. Prior to 2011, Qatar had cultivated an image as a relatively “liberal” Gulf monarchy, but although few policy changes occurred, after 2011 the emirate was seen as sponsoring terrorism. The government of Morocco developed a reputation for promoting “moderate Islam,” yet religious intolerance persists, while the Jordanian regime has focused less on cultivating a moderate image than previously. Government efforts to develop a specific reputation reflect strategic maneuvering for both international religious soft power as well as consolidation of domestic control. Combining nine months of ethnographic fieldwork involving interviews with government officials, religious bureaucrats, and embassy personnel, the paper offers insights into how the strategic use of reputation has shifted in the post-2011 context.

New Left Review (Volume 122)

Sanctions and Sickness

By: Vira Ameli

Abstract: Not available

Progress in Development Studies (Volume 20, Issue 2)

Wealth inequality and inter-governorate migration: Evidence from Egypt

By: Mohamed Arouri, Nguyen Viet Cuong

Abstract: Migration is one of the key livelihood strategies for households, especially those in low-income and middle-income regions. In this study, we investigate whether the economic level and inequality of wealth can affect inter-governorate migration in Egypt. Using gravity models and data from Population and Housing Censuses of Egypt, we are able to measure the push as well as pull effects of economic and wealth inequality levels on internal migration flows. Although there are a large number of studies on the effect of economic levels on migration, there is little if anything known about the effect of wealth inequality between the origin and destination areas on migration. We measure wealth levels using the household asset index. We find that people tend to move to governorates with high wealth levels as well as high wealth inequality. There is a positive association between wealth inequality and economic growth in Egypt. Governorates with high wealth inequality tend to experience high economic growth and therefore attract more migrants. This study’s findings also suggest that unlike non-work migration, the low wealth level in origin governorates is a push factor for work migration.

Review of Radical Politics (Volume 52, Issue 1)

Targeting Women’s Employment: Do Employment Subsidies Work? Evidence from Turkey

By: Yasemin Dildar

Abstract: This paper examines the effect of the 2008 employment package on the gender employment gap in Turkey. The package introduced subsidies for the employment of women in all 81 provinces. However, positive discrimination was only effective in the provinces that did not benefit from social security contribution cuts under a previous subsidy scheme. Using a difference-in-differences analysis, I find that those provinces saw a 5.1 percent higher increase in the female share of employment in comparison with provinces where positive discrimination was not in force. Moreover, the effectiveness of the package is not lower in more conservative provinces, where conservatism is measured by the percentage of early marriages, gender inequality, and gender empowerment indices. The study concludes that the 2008 employment package was successful in closing the gender gap, even in more conservative provinces. By showing that a demand-side intervention can overcome the cultural constraints, it offers valuable insights to policy-makers interested in pursuing policies related to disadvantaged groups, particularly women.

Social and Legal Studies (Volume 29, Issue 2)

Perversion and Perpetration in Female Genital Mutilation Law: The Unmaking of Women as Bearers of Law

By: Maree Pardy, Juliet Rogers, Nan Seuffert

Abstract: Female genital cutting (FGC) or, more controversially, female genital mutilation, has motivated the implementation of legislation in many English-speaking countries, the product of emotive images and arguments that obscure the realities of the practices of FGC and the complexity of the role of the practitioner. In Australia, state and territory legislation was followed, in 2015, with a conviction in New South Wales highlighting the problem with laws that speak to fantasies of ‘mutilation’. This article analyses the positioning of Islamic women as victims of their culture, represented as performing their roles as vehicles for demonic possession, unable to authorize agency or law. Through a perverse framing of ‘mutilation’, and in the case through the interpretation of the term ‘mutilation’, practices of FGC as law performed by women are obscured, avoiding the challenge of a real multiculturalism that recognises lawful practices of migrant cultures in democratic countries.

World Politics (Volume 72, Issue 2)

The Psychology of Repression and Polarization

By: Elizabeth R. Nugent

Abstract: How does political polarization occur under repressive conditions? Drawing on psychological theories of social identity, the author posits that the nature of repression drives polarization. Repression alters group identities, changing the perceived distance between groups and ultimately shaping the level of affective and preference polarization between them through differentiation processes. The author tests the proposed causal relationship using mixed-method data and analysis.The results of a laboratory experiment reveal that exposure to a targeted repression prime results in greater in-group identification and polarization between groups, whereas exposure to a widespread prime results in decreased levels of these same measurements. The effect of the primes appears to be mediated through group identification. Case-study evidence of polarization between political opposition groups that were differently repressed in Egypt and Tunisia reinforces these results. The findings have implications for understanding how polarization, as conditioned by repression, may alter the likelihood of the cooperative behavior among opposition actors necessary for the success of democratic politics.