[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the fifteenth 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.]
Arab Studies Quarterly (Volume 43, Issue 1)
Multilingualism, Trauma, and Liminality in The Bullet Collection: Contact Zones, Checkpoints, and Liminal Points
By: Syrine Hout
Abstract: Informed by theories of code-switching, memory, and trauma, my reading of Lebanese American Patricia Sarrafian Ward’s diasporic novel The Bullet Collection (2003) centers on its multilingual usages to demonstrate how language play makes visible states of liminality or in-betweenness: between Lebanon and the US, the past and the present, the present and the future, childhood and adulthood, and trauma and recovery. I argue that this liminality, laid bare by a creative interpretation of the (mis)- and (dis)uses of multilingualism, is a concept that ties trauma, nostalgia, and homeness together and is fleshed out in three psychodynamic spaces: social contact zones, checkpoints, and liminal points. I zero in on code-switched materials, both overt and covert, to reveal how they are deeply, if often inconspicuously, connected to expressing traumas and (re)negotiating identities. By adopting this approach, I contribute, first, to the field of literary linguistics, relatively under-explored in connection with Arab American and Anglophone Arab fiction, and, second, chart a new pathway towards decolonizing trauma studies by examining its relationships with multilingualism, war, and nostalgia.
By: Ali Serdouk
Abstract: Since Sirocco, a 1951 film, the United States’ cinema, Hollywood, has produced many terrorism films that have portrayed Arabs and Muslims unjustly as “terrorists.” After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hollywood’s projection of prejudice and negative stereotypes of the Arabs and Muslims have been fostered. The post-9/11 period was an era in which the White House, the Pentagon, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contributed directly and indirectly to the production of several terrorism films. In Zero Dark Thirty, gifts were offered to some CIA agents in order to obtain classified information and various accesses. In Iron Man, funding and resources were provided, a green light was given, and strict regulations were imposed by the Pentagon to portray the military in a positive light. In Syriana, a CIA agent had a friendly relationship with the film screenwriter, and much of the film events were inspired by the agent’s personal experiences. The post-9/11 films have been used to spread stereotyped demeaning images of the Arabs and Muslims and perpetuated a constant distortion of Muslim communities. They have therefore severely targeted Muslims and depicted them as murderers and criminals, who express the feeling of hatred towards Western civilization.
By: Sami Moubayed
Abstract: Not available
“The Fourth Language for all Females”: Women’s Subversive Bodies in Assia Djebar’s Fantasia, an Algerian Calcavade
By: Abdel Karim Daragmeh, Bilal Hamamra
Abstract: This article aims to illustrate the dialogic significance of the trance dance, a discursive scene of women’s bodily expressions, in the Algerian feminist postcolonial novelist and film director, Assia Djebar’s Fantasia (1985). While Djebar’s literary oeuvre has been subject to enormous critical readings, this essay focuses on Djebar’s representation of the female body as a medium of subversive expression in the ritualistic trance dance. Following the critical lines of psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and postmodern and postcolonial feminism, we contend that the trance scene is an uncanny, subjective space of women’s collective voices that undermine patriarchal authority. Women’s movement into the domestic sphere of the Harem is a retreat into the semiotic, imaginary order and an escape from the symbolic order that deprives women from their bodies and their expressions. Thus, we propose that the trance privileges the matriarch’s body/signs over the phallocentric system of Arab, benign patriarchy, her unconscious over social consciousness, irrationality over rationality, the ritual over the real, and ultimately the feminine over the masculine. The dissident practice of periodic dancing gives a space for dancers to claim dramatic authority and agency over their bodies, that is, to empower themselves socially and psychologically despite the patriarchal constraints lurking over them.
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (Volume 47, Issue 5)
By: Angela Joya
Abstract: Since the revolution of 2011, the Egyptian military has emerged as agent of capital accumulation, engaging with international financial institutions and global investors, and simultaneously reorganizing the various fractions of the ruling class inside Egypt. While the military had established a significant degree of influence in the economy prior to the revolution, it has become increasingly active in the political realm raising alarms about the democratic possibilities in Egypt. While these concerns have been highlighted in the literature, there is still a lack of research that examines how the military has evolved into a dominant economic and political actor in the context of the current global economy. Using class analysis, I reinterpret the military’s role as an emerging dominant fraction of the ruling class under the contemporary phase of neoliberal development. As such, its ascension to power does not signify a threat to economic liberalization, but is rather an attempt to secure the conditions of its further expansion.
By: Bosco Govantes
Abstract: This article focuses on the evolution of the European Union–Morocco relationship during the first years of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The aim is to show that Morocco has succeeded in developing a privileged relationship with the EU, taking advantage of the particular institutional characteristics of this period, especially under ENP. Considering the European Union (EU) frequently stresses the importance of democracy and human rights’ progress for justifying the quality of the relationship, the research focuses on these topics. Contrarily to what EU suggests, this research found no evidence of progress in these fields. The research equally points out that the EU evaluations of these elements were lenient towards the objective facts that do not show enough progress to support this type of relationship.
By: Cagla Luleci-Sula
Abstract: Starting from the Islamic Revolution, Iran’s regime had increasingly been presented as the external source of Islamic fundamentalist movements in Turkey, leading to the establishment of a security-driven atmosphere in bilateral relations. However, Turkish-Iranian relations witnessed a positive change in the 2000s. The impact of the security discourse of Turkish elites regarding Iran’s Islamic regime declined and a rapprochement process began. This research suggests that such shift in Turkey’s foreign policy agenda became possible with the desecuritization of Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey’s domestic politics. The article proposes a securitization framework to analyse the link between domestic politics and foreign policy. Accordingly, it asks ‘How did the desecuritization of Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey’s domestic politics influence its foreign policy towards Iran?’ It analyses Turkey’s Iran policy comparatively in the 1990s and 2000s by utilizing speeches of Turkey’s political elites, public opinion in Turkey, changing the domestic political structure and alterations in foreign policy practices of Turkey towards Iran.
By: Manata Hashemi
Abstract: Constituting a growing portion of Iran’s labour force, the working poor shoulder the burden of Iran’s recent economic predicaments. However, little work has examined how working poor men and women employed in stigmatized service jobs cope with the status degradation associated with their work. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 12 service workers, this article examines how working in socially tarnished jobs contributes to these individuals’ moral understandings of themselves and others. By equating personal worth with hard work and responsibility, service workers draw distinctions among themselves, those who do not work, and the ‘ungenerous’ elite. These conceptual boundaries create and legitimate microsystems of ethical worth among them that facilitates workers’ claims to dignity, while simultaneously reproducing cycles of inequality. Hard work becomes a form of symbolic capital that the working poor use to legitimate their entry into middle-class society. As such, this study differs from earlier research by demonstrating that a life lived in economic precarity does not always result in attraction to alternative subcultures, but rather conformism to mainstream ideals and norms in an effort to maintain dignity.
Transnationalism and exceptional transition processes. The role of the Libyan diaspora from Qadhafi’s Jamahiriyya to post-revolutionary civil war and state collapse
By: Peter Seeberg
Abstract: The article analyses to what extent the Libyan diaspora was able to influence political processes in Libya under Muammar Qadhafi during the revolution in 2011 and after the fall of the regime. It is shown that the Libyan diaspora played a limited role when the Jamahiriyya, a repressive system of congresses and committees invented by Qadhafi, controlled the Libyan state. The regime drove most of the opposition out of the country, and from abroad a weak Libyan diaspora attempted to influence the development in Libya. The revolution in 2011 resulted in a different reality, where it was possible for the Libyan diaspora to return and play a significant role in the political transformation. However, the situation never stabilized, and a deteriorating security situation led to the creation of a renewed diaspora, which lost influence in Libya. UN-initiated attempts at reconstructing a Libyan polity created a process from which the Libyan diaspora seemed to be alienated. Taking its analytical starting point in the notion of political transnationalism, the article argues that the exceptional character of the Jamahiriyya contributed to marginalizing the diaspora during the Qadhafi regime and in the course of the Libyan transformation after the revolution.
By: Anne Stenerson
Abstract: The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and its subsequent split with al-Qaida in 2014, revealed there is still much we do not know about jihadism. Existing typologies of Islamism describe jihadism as a unitary phenomenon, characterized by a preference for violence over other methods for political change. This article presents a more fine-grained typology of jihadism that captures the core divisionary issues within the jihadist current. It argues that jihadist groups can be classified along two scales: the ‘takfirism’ scale defines how the group relates to society, and it runs from integration at one end, to separation on the other. The ‘pan-Islamism’ scale defines what the group fights for, and it runs from ethnic homeland on one end to umma on the other. The main argument is that jihadist groups ensure their survival by shifting their position along the scales—either by becoming less takfiri or more pan-Islamist. The article thus challenges the general notion that ‘terrorism always ends’. Only certain types of jihadists will end, while others—such as al-Qaida and Islamic State—may survive indefinitely.
Framing electoral impropriety: the strategic use of allegations of wrong-doing in election campaigns
By: Emre Toros, Sarah Birch
Abstract: Concerns about electoral integrity have increasingly become the focus of political science analysis in recent years, but there has been very little systematic research on the strategic use of allegations of electoral wrong-doing for political advantage. Drawing on the literatures on legitimacy and electoral integrity, this paper develops a theoretical perspective on the strategic use of allegations of electoral impropriety for electoral ends, which, when such allegations are unjustified, constitutes a previously under-explored form of ‘meta-manipulation’. An original dataset, based on press reports from Turkey at the time of the 2014 local and June 2015 parliamentary elections, is used to test these hypotheses. The analysis shows that the governing party predominantly accused opposition parties of violent practices. The opposition parties, on the other hand, used allegations of electoral fraud and other forms of misconduct coupled with violence accusations against the governing party.
The identity controversy of religious minorities in Iraq: the crystallization of the Yazidi identity after 2003
By: Majid Hassan Ali
Abstract: This study examines the development of the Yazidi identity in Iraq after 2003, and the subsequent escalation of the controversial Yazidi identity after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) invasion of Sinjar in 2014, an invasion that has caused great division among the Yazidi community. Furthermore, the study identifies the political trends that continue to influence the Yazidi’s ethnic, religious and ethno-nationalist identity as a whole. The debate at the core of the controversy is rooted in Kurdish and Arab political parties’ agendas. Meanwhile, the emergence and crystallization of the Yazidi identity can also be observed in spheres quite removed from majority politics. Internal political developments and the Yazidi movement outside of Iraq, have also contributed to this development. Irrespective of such influencing factors, it seems that the development of the Yazidi identity into a distinct ethno-religion (which is still a matter of dispute) is imminent in the medium- to long-term future. The arguments of this study are mostly based on social media platforms and interviews with Yazidi politicians and activists.
By: Haggai Ram
Abstract: By drawing on crime fiction, press commentaries and archival records, this article explores Jewish public discourse about hashish in Mandatory Palestine and the first two decades of the State of Israel. Fearing over-assimilation into the Levant, Jews in interwar Palestine shunned the drug, considering it a form of ‘backwardness’ linked to the realities of living among Arabs in the Middle East. Colonial knowledge about hashish (as well as Orientalist fantasies) validated these fears, appearing to confirm that hashish was an Oriental substance that animated the pathologies inhering in Arab mentalities. This knowledge survived the transition to the Israeli state by responding to new realities: the expulsion and flight of the Arab population and the country’s repopulation by Jews from the Muslim world (Mizrahim). Some of these Jews had used hashish in their countries of origin and brought the habit with them to Israel. Others began to smoke hashish in Israel due to their socio-ethnic marginalization. Although hashish smoking in Israel in the 1950s and much of the 1960s remained limited to a few thousand members of the Mizrahi underclass, it rekindled middle-class fears of Levantinization-cum-Arabicization of the Jewish state. It also assisted in further marginalizing Mizrahim in Israeli society.
By: Mariam Abdul-Dayyem, Efrat Ben-Ze’ev
Abstract: This study examines the meanings young Palestinians attribute to the shahīd as an icon. Our analysis is based on anthropological fieldwork carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank (from now on WB-OPT) between 2007 and 2008, with a follow-up in 2017. We begin our article by considering the shahīd against the backdrop of previous Palestinian icons, such as the sāmid and the child of the stone. We then show how the shahīd symbolizes contrasting connotations: It is both a religious and a secular icon, one standing for a hero as well as a victim and one understood to denote an active agent as well as a powerless person whose death was accidental. It is an icon of diverging interpretations and internal tensions. This implosion of meanings, alongside local, Middle Eastern and global influences within the WB-OPT, may have impacted what seems like a decline in the icon’s role.
Contemporary Arab Affairs (Volume 13, Issue 4)
By: Shadi Saleh
Abstract: Refugee camp spaces are widely analyzed against their host territories. They are constantly associated with isolation and time–space suspension. However, empirical studies show that camps are not simply islands unto themselves. They can have varying levels of interactions with their surroundings. This paper is concerned with contextualizing the Palestinian refugee camps in the Gaza Strip by examining four inseparable dimensions: spatial, socioeconomic, political and time. It unfolds the historical and contemporary interplay between camp and non-camp areas and shows the similarities and distinctions between them. The findings are based on the analysis and fieldwork of Jabalya refugee camp, the largest in the Gaza Strip. Ethnographic research tools are used in addition to text and historical aerial photo analysis. The paper concludes that in a context such as the Gaza Strip in which the majority of the population are refugees, there is a great deal of connectivity between camps and non-camp areas. The camps are far from being described as enclaves, bare lives, or state of exception. The distinctions between them and their surroundings are very subtle. To a large extent, the camps in the Gaza Strip represent a special case of connectivity to a level that has normalized the territory to become a large enclaved refugee space.
By: Jude Kadri
Abstract: This article addresses the geopolitics of Bab-al-Mandeb in the war on Yemen, which began in 2015 and continues to this day, in the context of a global pandemic. It makes the hypothesis that securing Bab-al-Mandeb is fundamental for US imperialism. For reasons to do with its global hegemony, the United States cannot permit another force, specifically the Houthis of Yemen, to exercise control over Bab-al-Mandeb. Although many reasons could account for the senseless war, the security of Bab-al-Mandeb—a strategic chokepoint of trade and oil flows—over-determinedly (as in an Althusserian concept) explains the war’s continuity.
By: Benoit Challand, Joshua Rogers
Abstract: This paper provides an historical exploration of local governance in Yemen across the past sixty years. It highlights the presence of a strong tradition of local self-rule, self-help, and participation “from below” as well as the presence of a rival, official, political culture upheld by central elites that celebrates centralization and the strong state. Shifts in the predominance of one or the other tendency have coincided with shifts in the political economy of the Yemeni state(s). When it favored the local, central rulers were compelled to give space to local initiatives and Yemen experienced moments of political participation and local development.
By: Shirzad Azad
Abstract: In spite of the fact that the linchpin of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) politico-strategic objectives rests on keeping close connections to a small number of countries in the West and the Middle East, the Emiratis have in recent years strived to forge a somewhat multifaceted relationship with Asia. This is aiming primarily to secure the UAE’s own increasingly growing economic and financial interests in a resurgent East. The UAE seeks to make the most of its current regional standing and advantageous position by serving as a bridgehead of sorts to boost the sprouting presence of the rising Asian powers in the Middle East. The Asians are equally capitalizing on the Emirati looking East in order to vouchsafe their sedimented interests in the region and beyond.
By: Yee Kuang-Heng
Abstract: Relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Japan since the 1970s have revolved around oil diplomacy. As the UAE diversifies its economy and embraces sustainability, this paper explores how the bilateral relationship has undergone a sustainability turn. It does so by assessing the logic of sustainability and the mutual interests for both parties. It is argued that the sustainability turn reflects what the UAE needs in terms of renewable technologies and skills, coupled with what Japan can provide in return for favorable oil concessions and new markets. Cases of the Japanese government mobilizing various resources and actors to address the UAE’s sustainability needs are examined to gauge how sustainability has been embedded into the bilateral relationship. The sustainability turn provides not just a fresh analytical lens but also it generates insights into policy and a new assemblage of practices and stakeholders that have emerged as part of this increasingly multilayered relationship.
By: Ahmad M. Abozaid
Abstract: Since the outbreak of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, the regional system in the Middle East, as well as in the sub-regional system of the Arabian Gulf, has been in flux. Under these new circumstances, the order of the status quo has started to unravel, and a new order is being imposed, accompanied by new regional dynamics and security arrangements. Given their smallness, possession of significant resources, and geostrategic location, most of the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were always vulnerable, because of either the disparity of their capabilities compared with stronger, larger, and aggressive neighbors or the demographic deficiency and general regional imbalance of power. Traditionally, and to preserve their security and stability, these states seek protection from external powers. This article investigates how small, rich states, such as the GCC countries interact, through the lens of structural realism.
Mediterranean Politics (Volume 26, Issue 1)
Allow me this one time to speak as a Shi’i: The sectarian taboo, music videos and the securitization of sectarian identity politics in Hezbollah’s legitimation of its military involvement in Syria
By: Helle Malmvig
Abstract: The rise of sectarianism in the Middle East has predominantly been explained by realist or soft constructivist approaches. This article offers an alternative poststructuralist reading, analysing sectarianism as a specific, yet ambiguous ethno-religious discourse in which the ‘sectarian taboo’ continues to restrain aggressive forms of sectarian enunciations. Drawing on rare first-hand material and interviews, it is shown how sectarian referents both are securitized, deferred and invoked in Hezbollah’s political discourse legitimizing its warfare in Syria. However, it also suggests that we need to look beyond official discourses, and into the world of popular culture, where religious mythology and music diffuse the boundary between the real and the simulated. In the end, sectarianism may reveal a common post-modern condition of longing for authenticity and solid ground.
By: Rob Geist Pinfold, Joel Peters
Abstract: Recently, Israel has resuscitated its ‘periphery doctrine’: the attempted circumvention of Arab hostility, by cultivating relations with other nearby actors. Despite the expanding literature on the periphery doctrine, no study has delineated Israel’s contemporary relations with the Caucasus and Central Asia. This deficit is conspicuous, because earlier works noted Israel’s employment of the periphery doctrine to create durable relations, across both regions. This assessment contrasts with non-regional literature, which stresses the periphery doctrine’s limited utility. This essay therefore provides an updated assessment of Israel’s regional ties. We argue that Israel has, in fact, failed to create long-term partnerships in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Thus, these cases illuminate the periphery doctrine’s deficiencies.
By: Zoé Carle
Abstract: Revolutions are moments of epiphany of the people: they manifest themselves ‘physically’ in the street, in demonstrations, stand-ins, sit-ins, but above all symbolically, to demand a transfer of sovereignty. The manifestation of this symbolic ‘authority’ is also a phenomenon of discourse, of which revolutionary slogans are the main tool. This paper aims to show how slogans can be perceived as an ambiguous form of speech, imitating the language of authority but drawing on emotion to achieve what can be defined as a coup in the language, picturing a consensual vision of the people as a united body. Through quotation and reuse, authority is sometimes built and sometimes undone in the circulation of slogans. This paper aims to show how the fantasized category of ‘the people’ reveals itself as a legitimate but fragile voice, since the effectiveness of revolutionary slogans cannot exceed a very limited moment of consensus and cannot give a stable definition of ‘the people’.
By: Chiara Diana
Abstract: The 25 January 2011 revolution in Egypt was the stage upon which both the people and new political subjectivities made their appearance, under the slogan ‘we, the people’. Regardless of social class, gender, or age, the Egyptian people were affected by the revolutionary events as they experienced a revolution of the self. Using the theoretical framework of childhood studies and adapting a macro-structural approach, this paper explores how the process of memorialization of children killed during the protests and clashes of 2011–2012 ascribes them the status of martyrs of the revolution, like adults. In so doing, the paper intends to demonstrate that the recognized child martyrdom proves that children represent a new political subjectivity group which has emerged in the Egyptian revolutionary context.
Representing the people in the street or in the ballot box? The revolutionary coalition campaign during the 2011 Egyptian elections
By: Clément Steuer
Abstract: The results of the 2011–12 Egyptian elections highlight the gap that exists between the ‘emotional’ and the ‘rational’ conceptions of the people and its representation. If the revolutionary moment had allowed some organizations to temporarily gain legitimacy to speak in the name of the people, these organizations have been ill-equipped to compete within the existing structure of the social cleavages. This article examines the electoral system, the lack of resources at the disposal of the revolutionaries, the polarization of the political field around the religious issue, and the difficulties involved in conciliating between the electoral campaign and street activism.
By: Güneş Murat Tezcür, Helin Yıldız
Abstract: The PYD has emerged as the predominant Kurdish political party in Syria soon after the outbreak of the civil war. Why and how did the PYD, established only in 2003, eclipse other Kurdish groups? This article addresses this historical puzzle and argues that conventional arguments that explain the rise of the PYD primarily as a function of its coercive practices with the complicity of the Assad regime are incomplete. Deriving insights from studies focusing on transnational dynamics of civil wars, this article argues that PYD’s transborder linkages that provided the organization with crucial advantages over its co-ethnic rival organizations were central to its success. The empirical research involves several original empirical data sources including (a) biographical information of more than a thousand Syrians who joined the PKK since the late 1970s, and (b) biographical information of 785 individuals from Turkey who fought with the PYD since 2013.
Middle East Critique (Volume 30, Issue 1)
By: Michele Filippini
Abstract: Since 2000, Gramscian concepts have been undergoing an unprecedented process of dissemination, and this process has occurred along two specific axes: The geographic axis and the disciplinary axis. This process, which is also a hybridization resulting in political innovation, often has been interpreted in terms of fidelity/infidelity to Gramsci’s ideas, and as a result has been interpreted as somewhat of a degenerative process. In contrast, my analysis focuses on the transit of Gramscian theory, that is, on what ideas transit, on how they transit, and why they transit rather than starting with a presupposed ‘original’ theory or the arrival points of ‘corrupted’ or ‘translated’ theory. By looking beyond an essentialist notion of his theory, this inquiry into Gramscian concepts ends up discussing the problems of contemporary history and politics rather than simply the revival of interest in a Sardinian Marxist.
Beginnings, Continuities and Revivals: An Inventory of the New Arab Left and an Ongoing Arab Left Tradition
By: Michaelle Browers
Abstract: This article examines some of the first translations of Gramsci into Arabic by young, New Left figures associated with a short-lived group called “Socialist Lebanon.” Thinking à la Edward Said about the undertaking of translations of ideas from one context to another and one language to another as a potentially productive act of beginning, I argue that these first translations, undertaken as part of a revolutionary praxis of young, militant intellectuals, not only reveal some of the limitations and possibilities in the development of a Gramscian analysis of Lebanese politics. Rather, their efforts were central to the formation of a New Arab Left and the strands of those beginnings not only are detected in the later work of several of these activist-translators, even after they had moved beyond militant politics, but also remain visible in later revolutionary praxis in the region. By foregrounding the way in which each subsequent “Gramsci boom” (in the 1990s and after 2010) exists in relationship to an ongoing revolutionary praxis that reads and translates the Arab Left anew, I also seek to provide evidence of what Michele Filippini refers to in this issue as an “Arab provincialization” of Gramscian thought and what I prefer to highlight as a continuous tradition of Arab Left revolutionary praxis.
By: Hicham Safieddine
Abstract: This article explores how the Arab Marxist, Mahdi Amel (1936–1987), conceptualized hegemony in a colonial and sectarian context. I explore Amel’s articulation of ideology as class struggle in relation to Gramsci and other leftist intellectuals of his generation. My aim is to expand our understanding of how hegemony is transformed when it travels into anti-colonial, Arab Marxist thought in general and its Lebanese communist variant in particular. The first part of the article looks at Amel’s articulation of Arab bourgeois hegemony under colonialism and its manifestation in political rather than civil society. The second part details Amel’s theorization of sectarian bourgeois hegemony in Lebanon. In Amel’s thought, the relationship between class, sect and state, which I explore, gave rise to a chronic and sectarian hegemonic crisis that has haunted the Lebanese bourgeoisie from the time of independence until the present.
By: Gilbert Achcar
Abstract: Starting from a critique of the core thesis in Nazih Ayubi’s Over-stating the Arab State (1995) that Arab states are “feeble” because they lack “hegemony” in the Gramscian sense, this article postulates that rule based on coercion alone is not sustainable beyond exceptional periods. It shows how Arab regimes have been deploying the whole range of hegemonic tools, including buying consent (corruption) and artificially inflating it (fraud). Whereas Ayubi expressed the view that “feebleness” was both a reason and a further cause behind the Arab regimes’ inability to implement the neoliberal restructuring of their economies, this article maintains that it is an erosion in the hegemonic aptitude of regional governments due to the socioeconomic consequences of their implementation of neoliberal recipes that set the scene for the revolutionary shockwave of the Arab Spring. The article also shows how Arab regimes have reacted to the shockwave by an intensified resort to their traditional tools combined with the Hobbesian covenant on the backdrop of regional civil wars. Yet, as recent upheavals in Sudan and Algeria show, there also are limits to this legitimation stratagem.
By: Alessandra Marchi
Abstract: The increasing interest in Antonio Gramsci’s thought constitutes an important source of inspiration in the study of the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the post-2011 Arab uprisings period. The popularity of the Italian Marxist thinker is to be found in the original applications and uses of Gramscian categories, which have given rise to a growing secondary literature, especially outside Italy and Europe, beyond Gramsci’s immediate background and beyond the context of his own historical and political analysis. The revolutionary moment of 2011, the crisis of hegemony, and thus the crisis of ‘the State as a whole’ (stato integrale), is present in different ways in Arab countries, where many groups within civil society live, work, compete and protest tirelessly. This article draws attention to the less explored Gramscian concept of the “molecular” and argues for the importance of reading molecular, even fragmented, ways to resist the manufacturing of consent and the dominant hegemony during revolutionary moments, such as the pre- and post-2011 periods. The concept of the ‘molecular’ (molecolare) is fundamental to shedding light on the potentially transformative implications of everyday contentious actions and helps us to scrutinise what kind of hegemony is possible in Arab-Mediterranean countries today. Furthermore, Gramsci enables us to confront multiple, singular experiences of ‘others’ – which already are shaping contemporary history in different world regions while being intertwined with global history. This article shows how the theoretical, methodological and political potential of Gramscian interpretations is vital to – and can be enriched and renewed by – a promising, ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue.
By: John Chalcraft
Abstract: This article sets out a Gramscian perspective on revolutionary weakness in the MENA. It aims not at a top-down analysis of how activists were crushed, but at a bottom-up analysis evaluating activist activity. Drawing on a reading of Gramsci, fieldwork in Egypt, and recent research on MENA protest, it adopts a Gramscian concept of transformative activity and applies it to the MENA since 2011. It argues that the basic elements of transformative activity in Gramsci include subaltern social groups, conceptions of the world, collective will, organisation, strategy/tactics, and historical bloc. It argues that transformative activity involves the organic articulation of these distinct moments in a complex, differentiated unity. On the basis of this view, the article shows how sense can be made of revolutionary weakness in the MENA since 2011 through a critical analysis of problems in the organic articulation of revolutionary mobilisation.
Middle East Law and Governance (Volume 12, Issue 3)
By: Bozena Welborne
Abstract: This paper considers examples of women successfully running as independents at the national level in the Middle East, investigating how existing electoral systems impacted their ability to contest political office. Women in the region face a host of challenges when it comes to launching political campaigns outside of sociocultural norms. Most extant literature on political participation focuses on parties as the primary vector for female participation in the Global North and South. However, women in the Middle East often cannot rely on this mechanism due to the absence of political parties or existing parties’ unwillingness to back women for cultural reasons. Yet, the region hosts many female independents holding office at the national level. Through the cases of Jordan, Egypt, and Oman, I unpack this phenomenon using an institutional argument and assess what the emergence of such candidates bodes for the future of women in the Middle East.
The Impact of American Involvement on National Liberation: Polarization and Repression in Palestine and Iraqi Kurdistan
By: Dana El Kurd
Abstract: What is the effect of international involvement on national liberation movements? In the last few decades, movements transforming into states have increasingly operated in a globalized context and have had to contend with international pressures. However, the effects of international involvement on the internal dynamics of these movements should be more centrally considered. This paper thus examines the role of international involvement in the Kurdish national liberation movement in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Palestinian national liberation movement within the Palestinian territories. Specifically, I look at the role of the United States as the most powerful actor in the Middle East region. This paper argues that international involvement leads to authoritarian conditions within these state-building projects as well as paralyzes the efficacy and coherence of these movements. Specifically, international involvement creates polarization among political elites and a divergence between elite and public preferences, which creates authoritarian conditions.
Living Revolution, Financial Collapse and Pandemic in Beirut: Notes on Temporality, Spatiality, and “Double Liminality”
By: Rima Majed
Abstract: This article reflects on the experience of living an exceptional year of revolution, financial collapse, pandemic (and later, explosion) in Lebanon since October 2019. Based on auto-ethnography, the article grapples with the experience of “double liminality” by juxtaposing the revolutionary moment of publicness, enthusiasm and clarity; to the pandemic moment of isolation, rumination and anxiety.
By: Maya El Helou
Abstract: Through the anthropological labor of making sense of everyday life, I question if normative time suffices in capturing revolutionary temporalities.
By: Ibrahim Halawi, Bassel F. Salloukh
Abstract: This field note reflects on a persistent Gramscian dilemma that has haunted non- and anti-sectarian postwar protests in Lebanon on the road to 17 October 2019: how can genuine political transformation be brought about absent its meaningful, context-sensitive, and creative organizational forms and preconditions? We situate the 17 October protests in a long line of anti-sectarian protests that have overlooked the necessity of political organization in the pursuit of political change. In so doing, however, they have missed yet another strategic opportunity to sabotage the range of clientelist, institutional, and discursive practices reproducing sectarian modes of mobilization and identification in postwar Lebanon. We then magnify this omission by presenting the experience of Mouwatinoun wa Mouwatinat Fi Dawla (Citizens in a State): a political party that explicitly departs from the civil society handbook by politicizing opposition to the sectarian system.
By: Noah Saloman
Abstract: Written in the context of Sudan and Lebanon’s 2018–19 revolutions, this article examines the discourse of two religious movements that are intricately entangled with the state as they negotiate popular demands to rethink that state, weighing competing claims to revolutionary salience along the way. It argues that revolution, even when it is working to reimagine states construed on confessional lines, has a particularly religious character. This is both because it demands that we rethink religion, given its unavoidable imbrication in the workings of the modern state, and because phenomenologically it too advocates ethical and ontological transformation that has the power to transcend and outlive political reform.
By: Carmen Geha, Fida Kanaan, Najat Aoun Saliba
Abstract: This essay was written in the wake of the Beirut port explosion on August 4th, 2020. We explore the extent to which activists, academics, and practitioners can find a way to break the cycle of corruption caused by decades of sectarian power-sharing. Through our own story and experience of breaking our own cycle of hopelessness and transcending disciplinary boundaries, we document and analyze how we can create an evidence-based, community-led, and locally-driven roadmap for Beirut’s recovery. The essay focuses on our experience creating and building Khaddit Beirut (the shake-up) amidst multiple crises and in doing so opening up the university to the grievances of a devasted community. In doing so we review existing literature about what we already know about Lebanon’s political system and explain why breaking the cycle is as much an existential project as it is a political struggle.
Middle East Policy (Volume 27, Issue 4)
By: Or Arthur Honig, Joshua T. Arsenault
Abstract: Since the end of World War II, several local actors have tried to gain regional dominance in the Middle East. These attempts have met with varying levels of success. This study seeks to explain this variation. We will not address the equally important question of when and why specific states decide to make bids for regional dominance. We maintain that while realism is a useful theoretical lens for explaining this variation, it is necessary to adjust some realist assumptions slightly to make realism work well in the Middle Eastern context. This is so because realism was developed based on modern European and American experiences. Specifically, our adjustments of realism’s assumptions produced the following three preconditions that must be met for a local actor’s bid to succeed. First, one must pursue those types of power which are the most potent at a specific time given the Middle Eastern environment. Second, while traditional realists recommend forging large coalitions by reducing threat perception and making bargains through traditional diplomacy or Realpolitik, we argue that domination through subversion or intimidation is more effective. Third, one must not only avoid counterproductive intervention by the great powers, but also have them actively on one’s side.
By: Jonathan Rynhold
Abstract: Since 2015, there has been a sharp turnaround in US Democrats’ sympathies for Israel and the Palestinians. The percentage of Democrats with a preference for Israel is more or less tied with those preferring the Palestinians, wiping out Israel’s historic advantage. Long‐term processes of liberalization and secularization have generated a more difficult environment for Israel and a more favorable one for the Palestinians, but they alone do not account for the shift. Rather, the fusing of these trends with changes in Israel triggered the change. The formation of a narrow right‐wing government in 2015 played a significant role. However, the primary cause of the collapse in sympathy for Israel was the way in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Republican‐first strategy to block the Iran nuclear deal turned Israel into a highly salient motif of partisanship at a time of unparalleled hostility between the two major US parties. While the fall in sympathy for Israel spans both wings of the Democratic Party, the sharp increase in sympathy for the Palestinians has occurred primarily among liberal Democrats. It is intertwined with the growing political salience of Black Lives Matter, which helps to generate a narrative associating racial discrimination in America with the plight of the Palestinians.
By: Udi Blanga
Abstract: After a decade of civil war, hundreds of thousands of casualties and immense destruction is now clear that Bashar al‐Assad won the war in Syria. Assad’s victory in the war is the result of a variety of reasons, one of them is the military and economic assistance he received from Russia, his close ally. The present article follows the Russian involvement in Syria and examines what are Russia’s interests in Syria? Has the Kremlin taken a uniform and consistent diplomatic position towards Syria and the Middle East, both in the Soviet era and after the fall of the USSR, or has its policy changed over the years? Why did Moscow see fit to intervene in the internal Syrian conflict in 2015, considering that until then the United States seemed to have been dominant in the Middle East? Finally, did Russia take this action out of global motives that go beyond the regional context? In this context, the main argument of this article is that the Syrian civil war gave Moscow a one‐time opportunity to penetrate the Middle East more deeply and further its ambitions in the region. Moscow identified an outstanding opportunity to restore its status as a superpower and promote its regional and global objectives, at the expense of the United States.
By: Chuchu Zhang, Yahia H. Zoubir
Abstract: A recurrent question is whether Islamist parties surreptitiously capitalize on political change to weaken or establish their own authoritarianism. In this article, we contend that the answer to this question depends largely on how ruling elites in authoritarian systems structure and manage the Islamist marketplace, thus affecting the position of Islam in politics and society. In our comparative analysis of Tunisia and Algeria, we distinguish between a state‐dominated Islamist marketplace and a managed, open, pluralist Islamist marketplace. We postulate that Islamist parties in monopolized Islamist marketplaces are more likely to gain ground when they challenge authoritarianism. Thus, the marginalization/repression of Islamist political parties cannot, nor should it, seek to eliminate Islamist sentiments, while the opening of an Islamist pluralist marketplace is less likely to produce a hegemonic Islamist political party. The analysis of the trajectories of the Islamist movements informs on the management of Islamism and provides lessons for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and, conceivably, Islamic States elsewhere. Therefore, both policy makers and academics should renounce “de‐Islamizing” an Islamic society and focus instead on judicious approaches to managing Islamism in Muslim‐dominated societies and integrating Islamist parties into a democratic polity.
By: M. Hakan Yavuz, Vasif Huseynov
Abstract: The Karabakh region and surrounding territories—occupied by Armenia for the last 26 years—represented a classic “frozen” ethno‐territorial conflict in the post‐Soviet world. The conflict erupted in September 2020, and Azerbaijan managed to liberate the occupied territories. This article examines the causes and consequences of the recent Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. After summarizing the historical origins of the conflict, the article offers an analysis of four main causes that renewed hostilities. The 44‐day war resulted in a military victory for Azerbaijan and catastrophic defeat for Armenia. The outcome not only shook up the Armenian political establishment, but also revealed a contentious dimension in the alignment between Turkey and Russia. The article concludes by analyzing the motives of Turkey’s extensive involvement in the conflict and the Russian‐imposed truce deal, both of which are likely once again to freeze the dynamics that hold the central parties hostage to Russia.
By: Francisco Salvador Barroso Cortés, Joseph A. Kéchichian
Abstract: For nearly a century, the absence of ethical norms within Lebanese political circles encouraged the practice of corruption that transformed the praxis into an unparalleled art form, one that generated clout‐wielding elites. Sophisticated public power mechanisms created for the benefit of the country’s eighteen religious denominations, transformed them into partners‐in‐corruption, secured greater quotas of power, and exclusive hold on all public resources. What this translated into was a “neo‐patrimonial” dynamic, which the October 2019 revolutionaries challenged, with calls to reconsider the political management of the country as well as the existing system of government. The 2020 impact of the Coronavirus (COVID‐19) disease aggravated conditions, as Beirut displayed amateurish attention to serious health challenges, which added insults to ongoing economic injuries. This paper evaluates what political elites actually did, even at the height of enduring crises, focusing on the banking sector to highlight the rise of a new mafiocracy. It closes with an assessment of future challenges that Beirut will confront.
By: Jeremy Salt
Abstract: The author analyzes the final judgment of the UN tribunal convened to inquire into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Only one of the four men originally charged was found guilty, wholly on the basis of alleged cell‐phone communications. Although Israel was known to have comprehensively penetrated the Lebanese telecommunications sector, the tribunal made no attempt to prove conclusively that the cell‐phone calls allegedly made by the accused were actually made by them and not fabricated by a third party. This significant omission undermines the authenticity of the evidence. The tribunal also failed to consider the possible involvement of two governments that have a long history of subversion and violence in Lebanon, the United States and Israel, both totally hostile to Hezbollah and the Syrian government. All of these elements combined raise serious questions about the course of the tribunal’s findings from the beginning.
By: Yossi Mann, Roie Yellinek
Abstract: China introduced a new oil benchmark in March 2018, part of a bid to establish its position as an economic superpower. This article analyzes the impact of this new index on the Middle East, a key region where much of the oil on which the index is based originates, by focusing on market transparency, market determination, government involvement, physical accessibility, and the internal Chinese dialogue. The article then discusses the political, financial, and economic view from the Middle Eastern perspective. It finds that China still has a long way to go before it can turn the new oil benchmark into an international standard. In addition, the Shanghai Stock Exchange was launched just before the escalation of the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China. While this fight could hurt the traditional indices and elevate China’s new oil benchmark, the coronavirus, which has spread worldwide from China, is another factor that may affect the quality and impact of this new index.
By: Mahmood Monshipouri, Javad Heiran‐Nia
Abstract: This paper seeks to unpack China’s grand energy policy in the Middle East. It examines the proposed Iran‐China deal, to which China’s great game in Iran presents new challenges. Beijing sees Iran as a key potential asset in Western Asia. Regional experts argue that, given Iran’s extensive natural resources and human capital, as well as a relatively untapped market, the country is seen by the Chinese ruling class as a potentially valuable ally. Uncertainty, pessimism, and a deeply rooted culture of resistance against foreign influence and intervention help explain why skepticism about this deal is so pervasive in Iran. A closer look at Iran’s history also illustrates that the country’s interests would likely be more effectively served if it diversified its economic and political relations with both the West and the East, thus allowing the government to balance its relationship with those countries while retaining a degree of political independence.
Middle East Quarterly (Volume 28, Issue 1)
By: Eric James Bordenkircher
Abstract: Not available
By: Daniel Pipes
Abstract: Not available
By: Ahmed H. Alrefai
Abstract: Not available
By: Ron Schleifer, Yehudah Brochin
Abstract: Not available
Middle East Report (Issue 297)
By: Ghassan Abu Sittah, Omar Dewachi, Nabil Al-Tikriti
Abstract: Not available
By: Mac Skelton
Abstract: Not available
By: Nihal Kayali
Abstract: Not available
By: Jennifer Derr
Abstract: Not available
By: Osama Tanous
Abstract: Not available
By: Noura Chalati
Abstract: Not available
By: Aula Abbara
Abstract: Not available
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture (Volume 25, Issue 3-4)
By: Bärbel Kofler
Abstract: Women were massively underrepresented in past peace negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian Governments; future initiatives on the part of Israeli and Palestinian civil society should work to increase the participation of women.
By: Frances Raday, Khuloud Dajani, Lucy Nusseibeh, Galit Hasan-Rokem
Abstract: The full realization of gender equality is imperative because women can shift the paradigm from military to human security and from victimhood to inclusive humanity and transform the unequal power dynamics of Israel-Palestine relations.
By: Naomi Chazan
Abstract: The campaign for the substantive implementation of 1325 in Israel and Palestine, after many years of joint, parallel, and separate action and multiple detours and setbacks, is finally beginning to mature — albeit against an even more challenging reality.
By: Lucy Nusseibeh
Abstract: To make the most of the potential of 1325, we need to ensure that enough women with a good understanding of gender and from a wide range of backgrounds are at the table and to challenge traditional gender norms, address traditional patriarchal mindsets, and shift traditional structural power imbalances.
By: Shiri Levinas
Abstract: Increasing women’s representation in peace movements requires an intersectional approach to addressing collective identities, issues of diversity and privilege, women’s sense of irrelevance, and the threat of violence.
By: Nivine Sandouka
Abstract: Women in East Jerusalem suffer equally from the political oppression of occupation and from gender norms that restrict their access to a proper education and employment, a situation that has deteriorated since the signing of the Oslo Accords and the shift of Palestinian political activity to Ramallah.
By: Galia Golan
Abstract: The unproven argument that women should be included in decision-making regarding war, peace, and security because they bring something unique to the table — the presumption that they are more peace-loving — risks confining women only to matters of “soft security.”
By: Cora Weiss
Abstract: We have a long way to go before we are sitting, not as one woman but as women, at the tables where decisions about war and peace are made.
By: Nadia Naser-Najjab
Abstract: The resolution’s call on states to “protect women and girls from gender-based violence” is not applied in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, where the Israeli state is directly responsible for this violence
By: Baria Yussef Ahmar
Abstract: Including women in peacemaking processes adds a broader range of perspectives and enhances the ability of peacemakers to address the concerns of a wider range of stakeholders, which, in turn, leads to more sustainable peace.
By: Sarai B. Aharoni
Abstract: The full inclusion of women and other minority groups in future attempts to resolve regional conflicts requires tackling the structural and cultural forces that have prevented it, namely, the reemergence of conservative values and right-wing politics and the “switching” of “security” for “faith.”
By: Alaa Murrar
Abstract: No practical decisions and steps have been taken to achieve actual change on the ground to ensure the rights of Palestinian women, who suffer from violence stemming from the Israeli occupation and repressive measures, political paralysis, an outdated legal system, poverty and unemployment, and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
By: Mavic Cabrera-Balleza
Abstract: To address persistent gaps in implementation and accountability, we need to change policy and the decision-making culture and shift from hard, state-centric, militarized approaches to security to prevention-based, community-driven, human security approaches.
By: Nadia Harhash
Abstract: Although the Palestinian women’s movement that emerged during the Mandate was linked to, and made important contributions to, the national agenda, since the 1990s women have become subordinate to men in the Palestinian political sphere and their rights have become dependent on international laws.
By: Frances Raday
Abstract: Israel’s failure to adopt a National Action Plan to implement Resolution 1325 demonstrates a policy of indifference to the need to act to achieve equality for women, which is particularly egregious in the context of the ongoing armed conflict.
By: Nida Kamhawi-Bitar
Abstract: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women can be used together to expand, strengthen, and operationalize gender equality in the context of conflict, peacebuilding, and post-conflict reconstruction.
By: Paula Banerjee
Abstract: While women have long been involved in peacemaking efforts, Resolution 1325 has been ineffective because it neither recognized women’s civil society groups already active in the field nor was enforced
By: Anat Thon-Ashkenazy
Abstract: The Civil Society Action Plan redefined “security” to include many voices among women’s organizations and show that any change in the concept of women’s representation and protection requires a broad concept of security.
By: Huda Abuarquob
Abstract: For women to be able to play leading roles in peacebuilding in Palestine and around the world, some radical, comprehensive, and sustainable changes in the educational system are needed first.
By: Srruthi Lekha Raaja Elango
Abstract: The implementation of international human rights protections such as UNSCR 1325 and 2250 and the Responsibility to Protect doctrine is more than an obligation if we are to attain justice, peace, security, and democracy in the region; it is the future.
By: Heidi Meinzolt
Abstract: Since the adoption of Resolution 1325, women are no longer seen primarily as victims of war and conflict but rather as agents of change, yet are still not regarded as equal partners in decision-making processes.
By: Sister Jayanti
Abstract: Whether in politics, economics, or the environment, it is obvious that coercive “hard power” is no longer working, whereas the principles of “soft power” — using empathy and understanding to encourage cooperation and peace — can create lasting change.
By: Karin Nordmeyer
Abstract: Twenty years after Resolution 1325, there is insufficient political will to implement the provisions, so civil society must once again play an essential role in bringing this agenda to life.
By: Izzeldin Abuelaish
Abstract: There can be no peace without women and without respect for human rights; working toward gender equality is vital if we are to achieve a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
By: Salma Arraf-Baker
Abstract: Not available
By: Rita Mendes-Flohr
Abstract: Not available
By: Tamar Hess
Abstract: Not available
By: Hillel Schenker
Abstract: We should ask of the incoming U.S. Administration to declare clear support for the two-state solution, to rebuild its relationship with the Palestinians, and back multilateral peace initiatives
By: Susie Becher
Abstract: Renewing aid, including funding for UNRWA and USAID operations in Palestine; reopening the PLO Mission in Washington; and reopening the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem as a direct channel to Ramallah would constitute important first steps, but the Biden administration must do more to get the two sides back to the negotiating table.
By: Abigail Rose McCall
Abstract: In a talk he gave in November, Sir Vincent Fean, former British consul general in Jerusalem, highlighted the dangers and opportunities the new U.S. Administration will face in the region and called on the international community to more forcefully push for policy that is “action-oriented and … consequence-oriented on illegality.”
The Middle East Journal (Volume 74, Issue 4)
By: J.E. Peterson
Abstract: The term “tribe” has acquired a negative and often archaic connotation in much of the world. In the Arabian Peninsula, however, tribes are not relics of the past but a vital component of society exercising varying impacts on state policy. The concepts of “tribe in the state” and “tribe versus the state” are useful in explaining the range of relationships between tribes and states. Regional variations around the peninsula play a key role in determining the applicability of one concept over the other.
By: Mehran Kamrava
Abstract: This article examines the three major cities of the Persian Gulf region—Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. At the regional level, all three cities have become transportation hubs, and Doha and Abu Dhabi have become educational and cultural centers. At the global level, however, only Dubai has succeeded in becoming a key node in international networks of finance, commerce, services, telecommunications, logistics, and transportation. The others’ aspirations to become global cities are undermined by continued reliance on oil and gas revenues. On balance, while these cities are comparatively successful regional hubs, their long-term position as global cities is far from certain.
The BRI Is What Small States Make of It: Evaluating Kuwait’s Engagement with China’s Belt and Road Initiative
By: Imad Mansour
Abstract: Kuwait’s expanding engagement with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) sheds light on its strategies to meet its socioeconomic needs and navigate the Gulf’s adversarial politics. The BRI presents a good case study of how the Kuwaiti leadership evaluates the benefits of and dilemmas created by asymmetric structural relationships. This article thus explores how governmental agency in strategically managing massive financial assets complicates our understanding of the vulnerability of so-called small states.
By: Zoltan Barany
Abstract: The relationship between most of the Gulf monarchies and Israel has improved in recent years. This article argues that four fundamental reasons account for the shift in Gulf leaders’ attitudes: growing alignment of geopolitical interests against Iran, failings of American Middle East policy, recognition of the potential economic benefits of détente, and attitudinal shifts about the Palestinian cause. While this trend is present nearly throughout the Gulf, individual states’ evolving nexuses to Israel underscore the divergences in their foreign policies.
By: Shaimaa Magued
Abstract: This article examines scholarship from the Arab world on Turkish foreign policy since the early 1980s to show shifts in Arab perceptions of Turkey. Prior to 2002, Arab scholars were focused on the competition between Turkey’s secular and religious elites, with largely negative views of the country’s policies in the Middle East. With the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Arab scholars began to look more positively toward Turkey, as it sought to play a new role in the Middle East. With the Arab uprisings from 2011 onward, the Arab literature on Turkey began to vary, reflecting the developments in Turkey’s relationships with scholars’ respective countries.