[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.]

American Anthropologist (Volume 122, Issue 4)

Making Space for Embodied Voices, Diverse Bodies, and Multiple Genders in Nonconformist Friday Prayers: A Queer Feminist Ethnography of Progressive Muslims’ Performative Intercorporeality in North American Congregations

By: Katrina Daly Thompson

Abstract: In contemporary North American Muslim congregations involved in the “progressive Muslim movement,” prayer practices rework tradition in recognizably Muslim ways while nevertheless differing markedly from those of most mosques. Ethnographic description and participant narratives shed light on the process through which intercorporeality impacts interpretation of Islamic gender norms, outlining the connections among epicene prayer space, bodily proximity, multivocality, and multicorporeality in creating support for feminist and queer religious interpretations and solidarity with marginalized others. Interreligious critiques of such nonconformist approaches have tended to treat nonconformist Muslims as inappropriately concerned with individual liberties or as individual activists seeking media attention. Attention to alterity in context, however, demonstrates that alternative understandings develop not from individual beliefs, practices, or desires but rather through somatic practice within a community of like‐minded co‐religionists learning new habits through intercorporeality.

American Economic Review (Volume 111, Issue 4)

The Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Supply News: Evidence from OPEC Announcements

By: Diego R. Känzig

Abstract: This paper studies how changes in oil supply expectations affect the oil price and the macroeconomy. Using a novel identification design, exploiting institutional features of OPEC and high-frequency data, I identify an oil supply news shock. These shocks have statistically and economically significant effects. Negative news leads to an immediate increase in oil prices, a gradual fall in oil production, and an increase in inventories. This has consequences for the US economy: activity falls, prices and inflation expectations rise, and the dollar depreciates, providing evidence for a strong channel operating through supply expectations.

American Journal of Political Science (Volume 64, Issue 4)

Winning Hearts and Minds in Civil Wars: Governance, Leadership Change, and Support for Violent Groups in Iraq

By: Christoph Mikulaschek, Saurabh Pant, Beza Tesfaye

Abstract: The “hearts and minds” model of combating rebellions holds that civilians are less likely to support violent opposition groups if the government provides public services and security. Building on this model, we argue that a political event that raises popular expectations of future public service and security provision increases support for the government and decreases sympathy for violent opposition groups. To test this argument, we leverage a unique research design opportunity that stems from the unforeseen announcement of the resignation of Iraq’s divisive prime minister in August 2014 while an original survey was being administered across the country. We show that the leadership transition led Iraq’s displeased Sunni Arab minority to shift support from the violent opposition to the government. In line with our argument, this realignment was due to rising optimism among Sunni Arabs that the new government would provide services and public goods—specifically security, electricity, and jobs.

If They Endorse It, I Can’t Trust It: How Outgroup Leader Endorsements Undercut Public Support for Civil War Peace Settlements

By: Nicholas Haas, Prabin B. Khadka

Abstract: Civil wars are a greater source of violence than any other type of conflict, yet little is known about one of the key determinants of civil war peace settlement success: civilian support. We evaluate how a core component of nearly all peace settlements, leader endorsements, affects public support. We predict that individuals in conflict settings will view settlements endorsed by outgroup leaders as less trustworthy and that they will become less supportive. We conduct an endorsement experiment with nearly 1,000 respondents in South Sudan in 2016, taking advantage of a brief cessation in a devastating civil war. Public support for a tentative settlement drops precipitously when it is endorsed by an outgroup leader but does not increase when it is endorsed by an ingroup leader. We find suggestive evidence that effects are strongest for individuals with the greatest reason to fear outgroup leaders: those whose communities were targeted most violently by that outgroup.

British Journal of Political Science (Volume 51, Issue 1)

‘Why Do You Ask?’ The Nature and Impacts of Attitudes towards Public Opinion Surveys in the Arab World

By: Justin J. Gengler, Mark Tessler, Russell Lucas, Jonathan Forney

Abstract: For the first time in an Arab country, this article examines attitudes toward public opinion surveys and their effects on survey-taking behavior. The study uses original survey data from Qatar, the diverse population of which permits comparisons across cultural–geographical groupings within a single, non-democratic polity. The authors find that Qatari and expatriate Arabs hold positive views of surveys, both in absolute terms and relative to individuals from non-Arab countries. Factor analysis reveals that the underlying dimensions of survey attitudes in Qatar mostly mirror those identified in Western settings, but a new dimension is discovered that captures the perceived intentions of surveys. Two embedded experiments assess the impact of survey attitudes. The results show that generalized attitudes toward surveys affect respondents’ willingness to participate both alone and in combination with surveys’ objective attributes. The study also finds that negative views about survey reliability and intentions increase motivated under-reporting among Arab respondents, whereas non-Arabs are sensitive only to perceived cognitive and time costs. These findings have direct implications for consumers and producers of Arab survey data.

British Journal of Political Science (Volume 51, Issues 1 & 2)

Attitudes Toward Migrants in a Highly Impacted Economy: Evidence From the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan

By: Ala’ Alrababa’h, Andrea Dillon, Scott Williamson, Jens Hainmueller, Dominik Hangartner, Jeremy Weinstein

Abstract: With international migration at a record high, a burgeoning literature has explored the drivers of public attitudes toward migrants. However, most studies to date have focused on developed countries, which have relatively fewer migrants and more capacity to absorb them. We address this sample bias by conducting a survey of public attitudes toward Syrians in Jordan, a developing country with one of the largest shares of refugees. Our analysis indicates that neither personal- nor community-level exposure to the economic impact of the refugee crisis is associated with antimigrant sentiments among natives. Furthermore, an embedded conjoint experiment validated with qualitative evidence demonstrates the relative importance of humanitarian and cultural concerns over economic ones. Taken together, our findings weaken the case for egocentric and sociotropic economic concerns as critical drivers of antimigrant attitudes and demonstrate how humanitarian motives can sustain support for refugees when host and migrant cultures are similar.

Partisanship and Autocratization: Polarization, Power Asymmetry, and Partisan Social Identities in Turkey

By: Melis G. Laebens, Aykut Öztürk

Abstract: Although theories of partisanship were developed for the democratic context, partisanship can be important in electoral autocracies as well. We use survey data to analyze partisanship in an electoral autocracy, Turkey, and find that partisanship is pervasive, strong, and consequential. Using the Partisan Identity Scale to measure partisanship, we show that, like in democracies, partisanship strength is associated with political attitudes and action. Unlike in democracies, however, the ruling party’s superior ability to mobilize supporters through clientelistic linkages makes the association between partisanship and political action weaker for ruling party partisans. We find that partisan identities are tightly connected to the perception that other parties may threaten one’s well-being, and that such fears are widespread on both sides of the political divide. We interpret our findings in light of the autocratization process Turkey went through. Our contribution highlights the potential of integrating regime dynamics in studies of partisanship.

Comparative Politics (Volume 53, Issue 2)

Refinancing the Rentier State: Welfare, Inequality, and Citizen Preferences toward Fiscal Reform in the Gulf Oil Monarchies

By: Justin J. Gengler, Bethany Shockley, Michael C. Ewers

Abstract: Against the backdrop of fiscal reform efforts in Middle East oil producers, this article proposes a general framework for understanding how citizens relate to welfare benefits in the rentier state and then tests some observable implications using original survey data from the quintessential rentier state of Qatar. Using two novel choice experiments, we ask Qataris to choose between competing forms of economic subsidies and state spending, producing a clear and reliable ordering of welfare priorities. Expectations derived from the experiments about the individual-level determinants of rentier reform preferences are then tested using data from a follow-up survey. Findings demonstrate the importance of non-excludable public goods, rather than private patronage, for upholding the rentier bargain.

Comparative Studies in Society and History (Volume 63, Issue 1)

Mapping Urban “Mixing” and Intercommunal Relations in Late Ottoman Jerusalem: A Neighborhood Study

By: Michelle U. Campos

Abstract: Although Ottoman cities long have been recognized as sites of significant ethnic and religious heterogeneity, very little scholarship exists that documents or analyzes patterns of residential sorting, be it segregation, the physical separation of groups from each other in the urban landscape, or its opposite, integration. GIS mapping of the Ottoman censuses of Jerusalem illuminates these urban patterns and reveals the importance of scale when considering this question. Even the most “integrated” neighborhood on the aggregate level reveals “segregated” zones of clustering and concentration at the smaller scales of quadrant, street, and building. At the same time, the proximity and exposure of residents to each other reveals how very porous boundaries were in the neighborhood. In order to understand how and why the city developed such a complex spatial pattern, qualitative sources like newspapers, memoirs, and court records are a necessary supplement to demographic records. This approach allows for a comprehensive outlining of the economic, legal, religious, and cultural factors and forces contributing to both segregation and integration in an Ottoman city. It also points to a multidisciplinary reconstruction of the social space of an historic neighborhood.

Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Volume 40, Issue 3)

Alternative Kingdoms: Shrines and Sovereignty in Jaora

By: Carla Bellamy

Abstract: Now a town in contemporary Madhya Pradesh, the former princely state of Jaora is home to a collection of shrines known as Husain Tekri. Unlike most subcontinental Muslim memorial structures, the shrines are unaffiliated with Sufi lineages and sponsored by both Sunni and Shia communities. Unencumbered by accountability to Sufi lineages, Husain Tekri was—and remains—an ideal site for Jaora’s nawabs to assert sovereignty. In the colonial period, the hybrid nature of Husain Tekri facilitated the development of a mutually beneficial exchange between members of Bombay’s Khoja community and Jaora’s nawabs and a mutually defensive exchange between Jaora’s nawabs and the British authorities. In postindependence India, Husain Tekri’s ongoing status as a waqf institution directly controlled by the nawab has allowed for continued royal sovereignty. Husain Tekri has thus perpetuated links between political and social domains in ways that historian Nicholas Dirks has argued were dismantled in the colonial era.

On Empire and Exception: Genealogies of Sovereignty in the Ottoman World

By: Lâle Can, Aimee M. Genell

Abstract: Were Ottoman autonomous provinces nation-states in the making or signs of a semicolonial and irredeemably weak empire? Or, were they evidence of alternative arrangements of imperial sovereignty? By taking a long view of Ottoman history and examining “exceptional” provinces such as the Khedivate of Egypt, the Sharifate of Mecca, and the mutasarrifiya of Mt. Lebanon, this reflection seeks to recast new and reorganized configurations of administrative power in the nineteenth century as part of a broad repertoire of Ottoman autonomy. In lieu of characterizing these territories as flawed or imperfect sovereignties, we question the utility of these terms and argue that arrangements often referred to as exceptions were normative and central to the empire’s survival. Drawing on our work on international law, autonomy, pilgrimage, and migration, we consider how Egypt and the Hijaz—two provinces that are often treated as exceptionally exceptional—serve as productive sites to examine how Ottomans engaged with the international legal order and posed alternative visions of authority that informed not only the end of the empire but also its afterlife.

Pakistan Papers: Louis Kahn’s Designs of a Past and Future in Islamabad and Dhaka

By: Farhan Karim

Abstract: As political questions behind Pakistan’s emergence distilled themselves into aesthetic questions of how to represent a country without a past, the debate erupted through the spatial practices determining the form and architectural character of the nation’s two capitols. President Ayub Khan’s two ambitious urban projects—Islamabad, the new capital city of Pakistan and Ayub-Nagar (renamed Sher-e-Bangla Nagar), and a second capitol complex in East Pakistan—brought together local and foreign stakeholders with differing interpretations of the idea of “Pakistan.” A significant part of each project’s documentation lies far from its site—with the University of Pennsylvania, in the personal papers of Louis Kahn, the US-based architect whose firm designed each. This collection—a vital resource to consider the expanded meaning of architecture, not as an end product, but as a process—emerges as a crucial body of evidence for the evolution of multiple narratives of the political idea of Pakistan. The design process, as documented in sketches, architectural drawings, reports, and correspondence, reflects the frictions created from unfulfilled expectations and the subsequent disillusionment of vested interest groups, shedding new light on constructions of the past and future in postindependence Pakistan.

Critical Studies on Terrorism (Volume 14, Issue 1)

Preventing extremisms, taming dissidence: Islamic radicalism and black extremism in the U.S. making of CVE

By: Manuela Trindade Viana, Pedro Paulo dos Santos da Silva

Abstract: This article explores the effects of the recent discursive re-articulation of terrorism into one of violent extremism. To do that, we examine the conditions for the emergence of the “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) strategy as a solution to diagnoses of failure in the war on terror. More specifically, we historicise the architecture of counterterrorism in the U.S., revealing the formation of an inside/outside division between agencies engaged with counterterrorism. The two subsequent sections dissect the main discursive pillars of the problematisation of “violent extremism” abroad and inside the U.S. and discuss their main effects on dissidence, stretching from de-legitimation of political agendas to criminalisation of specific social conducts while in protest. The second section exposes how “Islamic radicalism” is at the core of initiatives undertaken abroad through the CVE strategy, and the third section analyses the domestic appropriation of “violent extremism” towards antiracist movements in the U.S. Finally, we show that agencies working either inside or outside the U.S. operate with the same problematisation of “violent extremism” and advance similar practices. We argue that the transnational circulation of such discourse is one of the main veins through which dissidence has been managed both inside and outside the U.S.

“We are already 1-0 behind”: Perceptions of Dutch Muslims on Islamophobia, securitisation, and de-readicalisation

By: Liselotte Welten, Tahir Abbas

Abstract: This article presents the findings of an explanatory study into the perceptions of Dutch Muslims in The Hague concerning pre-emptive counter-extremism and de-radicalisation policies. Based on 15 in-depth interviews with established Muslim community figures and a theoretical survey of 102 respondents from 8 mosques, it was found that pre-emptive interventions were perceived unfavourably due to their inherent misconceptualization of the Muslim lived experience. Respondents perceived wide-ranging negative labelling, viewing policies as not just ineffectual but also detrimental in a climate of persistent Islamophobia. In reality, these Dutch Muslims were faced with tackling the challenges of radicalisation based on their existing levels of social and cultural capital. Securitisation forces some Dutch Muslims into further retreat at a time of existing issues of social exclusion and political polarisation. This research highlights the need for greater sensitivity to Muslim community norms and values in developing policy in this area.

Defence and Peace Economics (Volume 31, Issue 7)

Identity Conflict with Cross-Border Spillovers

By: Dripto Bakshi, Indraneel Dasgupta

Abstract: We model simultaneous inter and within identity-group conflict in two territories connected by cross-territorial spillovers. Within each territory, two groups contest the division of a group-specific public good, and all members contest the division of group income. Each group has a cross-border affiliate. Greater success (share) of its affiliate ‘spills over’ into higher efficiency of a group in inter-group conflict. We find that inter-group and total conflict move together within a territory, while within-group conflict and output move in the opposite direction. A unilateral increase in cross-border spillover reduces inter-group conflict in the source territory but increases it in the destination; an equi-proportionate bilateral increase affects conflict in a non-monotone manner. Population increase in a territory, a larger minority, weaker property rights, higher relative labour productivity of the majority, may all increase inter-group conflict in the other territory. Community-neutral growth in labour productivity within a territory reduces inter-group conflict therein.

Monopolization of Violence in the Palestinian Struggle

By: Alexei Abrahams

Abstract: Palestinians currently find themselves involved in two conflicts: an external one with the state of Israel, and an internal one with the leadership of the Palestinian national movement itself. In this essay, we argue that violence is overly monopolized in both conflicts. Firstly, Israel can safely ignore the peace process and renege on political concessions as long as Palestinians lack a credible militant threat. This threat, in turn, has been neutralized in large part by the Palestinian Authority (PA) itself, which has offered Israel increasingly effective security cooperation over the past decade. We argue that the PA’s decision to deepen security cooperation with Israel – in spite of its unpopularity among Palestinians – results from its own territorial monopolies on violence, which render it unaccountable to its constituents. Only by reintroducing a credible, latent threat of political-militant competitors to the PA will Palestinians be able to regain bargaining leverage over their own leadership, restore conditionality to their security cooperation with Israel, and put the peace process back on course.

Proxy Wars & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

By: Pavel V. Konyukhovskiy, Theocharis Grigoriadis

Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by proposing a proxy war model, where conflict lasts longer, but it is less costly than direct military confrontation. In proxy wars, Nash equilibria are realizable, but not always sustainable in the long-run. The consolidation level of the double principal–agent relationship predicts the continuation of conflict and thus the emergence of peace. As our model suggests, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is likely to remain irresolvable, as long as the Palestinians do not have a principal that is willing to provide continuous and positive levels of conflict involvement.

Ashkenazim and Mizrahim in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process: The Role of Israel’s Economic Liberalization and Globalization

By: Yoav Kapshuk

Abstract: This paper examines the mechanisms which drive the different political attitudes of Israel’s two major Jewish groups – the Ashkenazim and the Mizrahim – vis-à-vis the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the 1990s. The study argues that the economic liberalization reforms of the 1980s along with the subsequent Israel’s integration with the global economy are key drivers of the two groups’ opposing attitudes vis-à-vis the peace process. These processes benefited mainly the business classes, who are dominated by the Ashkenazim (originating from Europe). It was such benefit that drove Ashkenazim’s support for the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, which was seen as instrumental to the process of Israel’s integration with the global economy. Conversely, the same economic processes likely hurt lower-class members of Israeli Jewish society, most of whom are Mizrahim (originating from Muslim countries). In this context the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza provided them with an alternative source of welfare to buffer the negative impacts of the integration process. As a result most of the Mizrahim population opposed any peace deal that included the evacuation of settlements. Moreover, Mizrahim’s opposition to Oslo was strengthened by the association of Oslo with Israel’s global integration, which some evidence suggests mainly benefited the business classes.

Male-Female Wage Differential in the West Bank: A Gender-Based Analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

By: Amit Loewenthal, Sami H. Miaari

Abstract: This paper studies the gender wage differential in the Palestinian labor market of the West Bank before, during, and in the aftermath of the second Intifada. We combine data on the Palestinian labor force, politically motivated fatalities of Palestinians, and movement restrictions in the West Bank, in order to quantify the effect of political violence on the gender wage gap. We find that political violence during the second Intifada decreased the gender wage gap. We also observe a long-term trend of more women entering the labor force, especially in middle-income occupations where there is an existing large share of female employees. Political violence did not seem to reverse or hurt that trend. We provide suggestive evidence that the reduction in the wage gap is due to the increased supply of low-skilled men, who previously worked in Israel and entered the local labor market due to the Intifada.

Democratization (Volume 27, Issue 8)

Supporting the Tunisian transition? Analysing (in)consistencies in EU democracy assistance with a tripartite nexus model

By: Elisabeth Johansson-Nogués, Adrià Rivera Escartin

Abstract: This article puts forth a new heuristic model for analysing the EU’s democracy assistance to non-accession countries. The EU’s democracy assistance has predominantly been scrutinized in academia through the so-called democratization-stability dilemma, whereby allegedly the EU is found to single-mindedly promote regime stability to the detriment of democracy. Nevertheless, we argue that this conceptualization falls short of analysing the full dynamics of EU democracy assistance. Our contribution provides an alternative to the traditional conceptualization of EU democracy assistance, by proposing three alternative nexuses of analysis: formal/substantive democracy, elite/non-elite engagement and security/stability. We apply this new analytical framework to the study of EU’s democracy assistance to Tunisia from 2011 to date. While EU’s political and financial investment in the transition has been considerable in the three nexuses, negative interaction effects have generated several inconsistencies that affected several areas of EU’s democracy assistance.

Antidemocratic populism in power: comparing Erdoğan’s Turkey with Modi’s India and Netanyahu’s Israel

By: Julius Maximilian Rogenhofer, Ayala Panievsky

Abstract: By the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, populists have taken charge in Turkey, India and Israel, all previously heralded as exceptional democracies in difficult regions. This moment offers a unique opportunity to explore populism in power outside Europe and the Americas, in three states shaped by deep social, ethnic and religious divisions. This article locates Turkey, India and Israel within a global wave of electorally successful populist movements. It explores how populism can jeopardize democratic choice in deeply divided societies and whether Erdoğan’s capture of democracy in Turkey offers a blueprint for the political strategies employed by Modi and Netanyahu. In unravelling parallels between the three administrations, our analysis uncovers a common populist playbook of neoliberal economic policies, the leveraging of ethnoreligious tensions as well as attempts to denigrate independent news media, by portraying it as the “enemy of the people”. Although their position on the spectrum between democracy and authoritarianism differs, our analysis reveals striking continuities in the erosion of democracy in Turkey, India and Israel as a result of these policies, thus highlighting the vulnerability of political systems, particularly those of deeply divided societies, to democratic decay.

The rise of the democracy – authoritarianism cleavage and opposition coordination in Turkey (2014–2019)

By: Orçun Selçuk, Dilara Hekimci

Abstract: This article examines the coordination of opposition parties in Turkey between the 2014 presidential and the 2019 local elections. To explain opposition coordination from secular, Turkish nationalist, pro-Kurdish, and Islamist parties, the article points out a rising democracy-authoritarianism cleavage. As Turkey became one of the most pronounced cases of democratic backsliding worldwide, this political cleavage gradually overshadowed historically rooted social cleavages and incentivized the opposition parties to coordinate in the name of fighting for democracy. The article shows that in seven electoral contests, the opposition parties coordinated in the form of nominating joint candidates, encouraging strategic voting, running a unified campaign, helping presidential candidates collect signatures, promising to support each other in the runoff, pledging to form a transitional government, transferring deputies to be on the ballot, nominating members of the smaller opposition parties under a larger party’s list, not competing in certain districts against each other, and establishing an official alliance. Thanks to their extensive menu of coordination, the opposition parties challenged the ruling party’s predominance, undermined its parliamentary majorities, and won local elections in key cities. The article’s causal argument and findings have implications for opposition coordination in authoritarian regimes.

Contentious activism and political trust in non-democratic regimes: evidence from the MENA

By: Nadine Sika

Abstract: This study discusses the relation between political trust and contentious activism in non-democratic regimes, via quantitative and qualitative analysis of three countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia. In this article I add to the debate on repression and dissent, by linking political trust in the coercive apparatus to contentious activism. Are activists more inclined to contest their regimes, when they have low political trust levels, especially in the coercive apparatus? I demonstrate that low political trust, especially in the coercive apparatus prompts contentious activism in non-democratic regimes.

Democratic regression in comparative perspective: scope, methods, and causes

By: Larry Diamond

Abstract: Between 1974 and 2005, a majority of states became democratic for the first time in history. However, a global democratic recession began in 2006 and has persisted – and deepened – over the past 14 years. Not only have average levels of freedom (or democratic quality) been declining globally and in most parts of the world, but the pace of democratic breakdown accelerated and the number of democratic transitions declined, particularly in the past five years. Democratic regression is particularly visible among the G-20 countries and other most populous and geopolitically weighty countries, 19 of which have declined in freedom during the democratic recession, with only two improving. The principal method of democratic regression has been incremental strangulation of democracy by elected (typically populist) executives who gradually eviscerate institutional checks, political opposition, independent media, and other forces of scrutiny and resistance in civil society. Weak and declining rule of law has predisposed regimes to democratic regression, enabling ambitious rulers to hollow out political competition. But international factors have also been crucial, generating common economic and social stresses while lifting the constraints and lowering the risks autocrats face as they inaugurate or accelerate the slide into authoritarianism.

Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict (Volume 13, Issue 3)

When women fight: unemployment, territorial control and the prevalence of female combatants in insurgent organizations

By: Victor Asal, Amira Jadoon

Abstract: Recent scholarship suggests that the prevalence of female fighters is determined by various demand and supply factors. On one hand, the voluntary supply of female fighters is dependent on women who are driven by various motivations, ranging from grievances to ideology. On the other hand, violent organizations frequently employ female fighters to gain important tactical and strategic advantages. Focusing on insurgent groups, we posit that two situational factors are critical in determining female participation in combat; lower opportunity costs for women to participate, and a high demand for armed fighters by groups. We argue that high levels of unemployment amongst the female labour force within a state result in lower opportunity costs for women to join an insurgency, while territorial control by groups generates a higher need for armed fighters. Both of these conditions generate the optimal conditions for women to participate in combat roles. We test our arguments by using logistical regression models on a sample of 140 insurgent groups globally from 1998 to 2012. Our findings provide support for our hypotheses that both high levels of female unemployment, and territorial control by insurgent groups increase the likelihood of the prevalence of women fighters in insurgencies.

Drivers of violent extremism in higher education institutions of Pakistan

By: Zahid Shahab Ahmed, Qamar Abbas Jafri

Abstract: Since 2004, madrassas (Islamic seminaries) of Pakistan have been the primary focus of peace education interventions in Pakistan. The incidents of violence involving university students are a historic phenomenon in Pakistan, but the tendencies of violent clashes on university campuses and recruitment of university student in violent extremism are increasing. Despite an increasing number of violent clashes on university campuses and recruitment of university students by Islamists for jihad (holy war), there is negligible literature on university students’ radicalization in Pakistan. This study provides empirical data based on a comparative analysis of students’ perception from two public sector universities of Pakistan, namely the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) and the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU). The findings suggest different dynamics of hate speech, availability of extremist material and extremist recruitment between the two universities. While the QAU campus is dominated by politically motivated ethnic groups, the IIUI students are exposed to religiously motivated contents, violence, and recruitment. As it is reported in this study, the differences between the two universities are also because most of the IIUI students have religious inclinations because of their madrassa backgrounds and also because of the dominance of groups like the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba Pakistan.

Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh: analysis of organizational design and activities

By: Md. Nurul Momen

Abstract: Bangladesh has been identified as one of the rising Islamic militancy regions in the world due to the security challenges posed by the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). JMB aims to change the existing political system and finding ways for the establishment of an Islamic state through an armed struggle. However, the purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the organizational design and activities of JMB, and also illustrates different strategies and measures in place that have been adopted by the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) directed against the militant activities.

Electoral Studies (Volume 68)

Vote with your rabbi: The electoral effects of religious institutions in Israel

By: Michael Freedman

Abstract: How do religious parties mobilize local support and what impact does different political strategies have on neighborhoods? Previous literature focuses on the social welfare benefits distributed by religious parties. In this paper, I analyze how religious political parties in Israel generate grassroots support among voters by allying with Jewish religious institutions. Using original data, I examine the association between the timing of entry of religious institutions into neighborhoods and local voting patterns for Israeli national elections. I find that religious institutions are associated with a 4-percentage point increase in the local vote share for religious parties, where this effect is larger for religious institutions with connections to political parties. My results suggest that the primary mechanism driving these results are that these institutions influence the vote choice of existing residents by distributing tangible goods. In contrast, changes to the composition of the neighborhood through in-migration has a more limited effect on voting patterns. These findings highlight the impact of religious institutions on the social and political fabric of local communities.

European Political Science Review (Volume 13, Issue 1)

Partisanship, elite messages, and support for populism in power

By: S. Erdem Aytaç, Ali Çarkoğlu, Ezgi Elçi

Abstract: Discontent is seen as a critical driver for the appeal of populism, yet studies have typically focused on cases of populism in opposition. We argue that scholars’ emphasis on populism in opposition led them to overlook the roles of elite messages and partisanship in the adoption of populist attitudes. Drawing on theories of elite-driven public opinion, we contend that populist attitudes do not need to be rooted in discontent. In cases of populism in power, those who are more satisfied politically and economically, and partisans of the ruling party should display higher levels of populist attitudes. We provide observational and experimental survey evidence in this direction from Turkey, where a populist party has long been in power. We also find that the dominant characteristic of support for populism in power is an emphasis on popular sovereignty at the expense of institutions of horizontal accountability.

Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (Issue 20)

Climate Change, Livelihoods, and Conflict in the Sahel

By: Ahmadou Aly Mbaye

Abstract: In the Sahel, regional climatic trends show an overall rise in temperature, coupled with an erratic trend in rainfall. Moreover, the region faces a growing number of natural disasters, the frequency and intensity of which are expected to further rise in the near future. Desertification, drought, floods, and sea level rise, among others, are all affecting the availability of natural resources. In a context where natural resources are the main sources of livelihoods, environmental degradation significantly impacts people’s resilience and makes them highly vulnerable. In parallel, the region faces serious political turmoil and radical Islamist threats, which have caused serious security challenges within and across national borders. Some literature draws a link between recent climatic trends and the occurrence and persistence of violent conflict in the Sahel. It mostly points to the natural tendency of people to recourse to migration and fighting over scarce resources as an adaptation strategy to climate change. In this paper, we argue that conflicts in the Sahel usually have many different intertwined drivers, among which governance, favorit ism, and ethnic and religious factors all come into play, with climate change increasingly acting as an amplifier that contributes to trigger violence. We further make the point that mitigating conflict in the Sahel can only come through a larger package of policies, of which adaptation to climate change should be an important component.

Security amid Instability: Oil Markets and Attacks in the Persian Gulf

By: Jim Krane

Abstract: Saudi Aramco’s enormous oil processing plant at Abqaiq was hit September 14, 2019, in a cruise missile and drone attack credibly attributed to Iran. Simultaneous strikes 150 miles away blasted facilities at the Khurais oil field. The attacks knocked out more than six million barrels per day of Saudi oil and natural gas liquids production, the biggest outage in the modern history of oil. Oil prices jumped accordingly, from $60 to $69 per barrel.

The Iran Problem: An Evaluation of US Sanctions on Iran and Global Reactions

By: Mazahir Bootwala

Abstract: Iran is no stranger to sanctions. The United States imposed its first sanctions on the country after a group of radical students seized the American embassy in Tehran almost four decades ago; the Iran hostage crisis has been seared into American public memory and policy toward Iran. The US government has widened the scope of these sanctions since then, with substantial expansion under the Trump administration. The sanctions against Iran broadly apply to science (including nuclear research), military, and most importantly trade (including oil, Iran’s largest export). But in spite of these measures to isolate Iran—and oil exports hitting record lows in 2019—it is still one of the ten largest oil exporters in the world. Iran has seen such (still limited) economic success even in the face of strong US sanctions because, unlike in the case of North Korea, some of the world’s largest economies have used a variety of innovative strategies to circumvent unilateral US sanctions on Iran. This literature review will critically examine the dialogue on and implementation of these strategies to better understand how and why countries navigate trade with a sanctioned nation.

The End of Kafala? Evaluating Recent Migrant Labor Reforms in Qatar

By: Amanda Garrett

Abstract: On January 16, 2020, the Ministry of the Interior in Qatar officially announced the implementation of Ministerial Decision no. 95, the latest reform to the country’s foreign worker sponsorship laws, known in Arabic as the kafala system. This new policy lifted the requirement to obtain an exit permit for nearly all of the non-Qatari expatriate population and provided a moment of renewed optimism for Qatar’s migrant labor situation. International organizations, the media, and noncitizens workers stand to be affected by such legislation. For example, almost immediately after the reform was announced, local and international news sources hailed this reform as the “end of kafala.” The International Labour Organization (ILO), which has worked closely with the Qatari government on such reform, heralded the policy as a “momentous step forward in upholding the rights of migrant workers … mark[ing] the end of kafala in the country.” Such framing, however, is misleading, as this reform alone certainly does not mark the end of Qatar’s kafala system. The kafala system pertains to regulations that govern the entire migration cycle for all expatriates. From entry, legal resident status, remuneration, to eventual exit, all low- and highskilled workers and their families are subject to this system. This article addresses the effects of Ministerial Decision no. 95 by highlighting recent reform efforts and prominent critiques of the kafala system and proposes that engaging a formal network of vendors and loosening worker mobility would significantly aid the migration crisis.

Global Media Journal (Volume 19, Issue 37)

Parental Mediation and Acculturation

By: Janelle Bouknight

Abstract: The prevalence of televisions in the home make parental mediation of television viewing an important topic for researchers to understand. Alongside the increased use of television over the past six decades, three parental television mediation styles have been identified: coviewing, instructive, and restrictive. Previous research on mediation styles has been conducted on Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian cultural groups. This research focuses on Middle Eastern families, specifically those of Islamic faith. Researchers were interested in learning which mediation style would be most prevalent amongst the participants, as well as cultural factors that strongly correlated with the types of television mediation and the acculturation patterns found in the parents. Surveys were distributed at community events by a researcher who was a member of the community. Collected data revealed that this group of parents were more likely to follow the restrictive style of parental mediation

Government and Opposition (Volume 56, Issue 1)

Autocracies and the Control of Societal Organizations

By: Marie-Eve Reny

Abstract: Authoritarian regimes seek to prevent formal and informal organizations in society from engaging in mobilized dissent. What strategies do they use to do so, and what explains their choices? I posit that state actors in autocracies use four mechanisms to control societal organizations: repression, coercion, cooptation and containment. How they control these organizations depends on whether they think they might undermine political stability. Two factors inform that assessment. First is whether state actors think societal organizations’ interests are reconcilable with regime resilience. Second is whether groups are in national or international networks that are either cohesive or incohesive. While the irreconcilability of interests influences state actors’ perceptions of groups as subversive, network cohesion shapes organizations’ capacity for large-scale mobilization.

Resource Wealth as Leverage: Natural Resources and the Failure of Non-Violent Campaigns

By: Mustafa Kirisci, Emirhan Demirhan

Abstract: While the growing body of research on non-violent political movements centres on the idea that choosing non-violence tends to produce more favourable outcomes for dissidents, the question of why some non-violent campaigns still fail has not been sufficiently empirically investigated. Building on the extant research on the effects of group dynamics and certain external actors, we examine the role of the natural resource wealth of target states on the outcomes of non-violent campaigns. We hypothesize that the probability that a non-violent movement will fail increases as the target state’s natural resource wealth increases. This natural resource wealth could serve to neutralize the potential for support from both domestic and external actors, thereby increasing the risk of failure. The results of our statistical analyses support our hypothesis and suggest that non-violent campaigns are more likely to fail in states with higher natural resource wealth, particularly that which stems from oil.

The Role of Internal Third-Party Interveners in Civil Resistance Campaigns: The Case of Israeli-Jewish Anti-Occupation Activists

By: Leonie Fleischmann

Abstract: When a non-violent resistance campaign does not have leverage to challenge powerful opponents, third-party intervention has been shown to assist. While the role of external third-party interveners – foreign activists – has been documented, less attention has been given to intervention from members of the dominant population. Drawing from the literature on civil resistance and through the study of Israeli Jews who intervene in Palestinian resistance campaigns against the Israeli military occupation, I argue that intervention from members of the dominant population is strategically desirable. Through an analysis of three Palestinian campaigns, this article identifies that the physical presence of Israeli Jews was needed to ensure the Palestinians could maintain their resistance efforts and presence on the land, despite the repression they faced. Furthermore, the skills and knowledge of the Israelis were needed to help the Palestinians achieve some of their goals, at least in the short term.

International Affairs (Volume 97, Issue 1)

Humanitarian challenges and the targeting of civilian infrastructure in the Yemen war

By: Jeannie Sowers, Erika Weinthal

Abstract: Many modern conflicts, from Iraq to Yemen, have emerged as brutal wars in which state and non-state actors directly and indirectly target a wide array of civilian infrastructures, including water, energy and food systems. Similar to many twentieth-century wars, a common feature of the wars in the Middle East and North Africa in the twenty-first century has been the ‘civilianization’ of war, as civilian casualties far outnumbered battlefield deaths. We explore the targeting of civilian infrastructures in the Yemeni war (2011–2019) to explicate the connections between conflict, hunger and disease. We draw upon interviews with UN and humanitarian organizations, an original database tracking civilian infrastructure destruction, and a variety of print sources to document the extent and spatial distribution of the targeting of water, energy, agricultural and health systems in Yemen. We elucidate how the conduct of the Yemeni war has undermined human security and livelihoods and has created ethical, logistical and organizational challenges for humanitarian organizations and for advancing peacebuilding efforts. We find that after the 2011 popular uprising, some non-state actors targeted the energy sector; however, the scope and intensity of wartime targeting of civilian objects, particularly those associated with agriculture, fisheries and health, increased significantly once the Saudi-led coalition entered the war in 2015. Loss of livelihoods, internal displacement, currency depreciation, and blockades and sieges further intensified the wartime spread of hunger and disease. The targeting of civilian infrastructures significantly hinders peacebuilding efforts to restore basic services, rebuild livelihoods and strengthen governance mechanisms.

International Interactions (Volume 46, Issue 6)

Women in uniform: the opening of combat roles in state militaries

By: Michael J. Soules

Abstract: Women have historically been excluded from combat roles in state militaries. However, in recent years, women’s growing involvement in combat roles has sparked public debate. Currently, only a small minority of countries allow women into their ground combat forces. Given the policy relevance, it is important to examine the conditions under which militaries will allow women into combat roles. Using data from 1970–2016, I empirically examine how a variety of aspects of women’s participation in social, political, and economic activities and institutions affects the probability that combat roles will be opened to them. The results provide robust evidence that women’s participation in politics, civil society, and economic activities are associated with a higher probability that these exclusionary policies are lifted from combat roles. However, I do not find evidence of an association between expectations pertaining to women’s familial roles and the probability of combat positions being opened to them.

Complementary mediation: Exploring mediator composition in civil wars

By: Elizabeth J. Menninga

Abstract: Mediators improve the chances disputants in civil wars sign a peace agreement by exerting pressure or influence, referred to as leverage. This paper explores how sources of mediator leverage complement one another and draws attention to an under-explored form of influence: credible staying power. I argue that softer forms of leverage (i.e. relationships with the disputants and credible staying power) complement material strength, providing the highest chance of reaching a peace agreement when used together. As multiple sources of leverage mean multiple mediators, this paper also explores the number of and coordination among mediators, acknowledging the tension between multiple mediators increasing available leverage while complicating negotiations by adding more voices to the negotiating table. I argue that more mediators, all else equal, will decrease the probability of success; this effect can be offset, however, by coordination among the mediators. Empirical analysis of 312 mediation efforts in civil wars from 1989 to 2006 find that softer forms of leverage do reinforce material power, producing the greatest probability of reaching a signed agreement when used together. Moreover, coordination substantially mitigates the negative effect of additional mediators.

‘Wars of Others’: National Cleavages and Attitudes towards External Conflicts

By: Efe Tokdemir, Seden Akcinaroglu, H. Ege Ozen, Ekrem Karakoc

Abstract: Why do individuals sympathize with others’ wars, an antecedent of the decision to become a foreign fighter? By collecting original public opinion data from Lebanon, in 2015, and Turkey in 2017, about the actors of conflict in Syria, we test the argument that an ethno-religious cleavage at home shapes the proclivity of individuals to support others’ wars. Individuals may perceive a war abroad as endangering political and social balance of power at home – and hence own survival. Therefore, when transnational identities map onto a national cleavage, as in the Sunni–Shia cleavage in Lebanon, and Turk – Kurd cleavage in Turkey, individuals are more disposed to show sympathy for others’ wars both to help their kin and to protect the balance of power at home. Our findings imply that efforts to end the trend toward citizens becoming foreign fighters must start at home by mending the relations between ethnic and religious groups.

Perceived to slack: secondary securitization and multilateral treaty ratification in Israel

By: Eyal Rubinson, Tal Sadeh

Abstract: This study emphasizes the place that cognitive processes rather than objective concerns have in ratification of multilateral treaties. We argue that secondary securitization by non-security experts hinders treaty ratification. When security is at stake, the potential costs of undesired action by the treaty’s IO are deemed higher, risk-aversion increases, and asymmetry among the member states’ policy perceptions is greater. Thus, our secondary securitization model improves over existing explanations of multilateral treaty ratification by assuming that national selfishness drives treaty (non)ratification, but not necessarily in a rational way. We support our argument with survival analysis regarding the ratification process in Israel of 243 treaties, based on documents retrieved from official archives, and controlling for a variety of competing explanations. We break securitization into objective and subjective components and correct for the possibility of undocumented acts of securitization. Our results are robust to all this. We follow with discourse and content analysis of official discussions of three human rights treaties (ICCPR, ICESCR, and CEDAW). We innovate theoretically by distinguishing secondary from primary securitization, and by combining Securitization and Principal-Agent theories. We believe our results travel well for other countries in which security concerns overshadow aspect of civilian life, and IOs are regarded with suspicion.

The business of peace: understanding corporate contributions to conflict management

By: Molly M. Melin

Abstract: Do private firms act beyond “business as usual” and proactively build peace? Firms are largely absent from the conflict management literature, despite studies suggesting their importance. What conditions encourage firms to actively prevent or resolve violent conflict? Are such actions interdependent with ongoing international conflict prevention and management efforts? I argue international efforts encourage corporate conflict management-related activities since conflict management interdependencies can decrease the costs of conflict management, while increasing the benefits and success of their efforts. In addition, firms respond to gaps in governance and instability, especially when they are norm entrepreneurs or their reputation is threatened. I test these arguments on original cross-national data of conflict management-related efforts by large, domestic firms in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa from 1999–2013. The findings bring large-N empirical analysis to a topic dominated by case studies and emphasize the need for conflict management scholars to account for the role of the private sector in our studies.

Extant commitment, risk, and UN peacekeeping authorization

By: Rebecca Cordell, Thorin Wright, Paul F. Diehl

Abstract: Do aspects of current UN peacekeeping operations affect the willingness of that body to authorize new operations? Our theoretical arguments center on the capacity and costs of the organization – specifically the committed resources and risks associated with ongoing operations – with the assumption that greater existing commitments and perceived risks lessen the likelihood that the UN will create new operations. Related to the concern with risk, does successful diplomacy that produces a peace agreement in the conflict at hand lessen expected costs and therefore make authorizing new peacekeeping operations more attractive? To answer these questions, we examine UN peacekeeping authorization decisions over the period 1989–2016. Our results demonstrate that UN decisions to authorize new peacekeeping missions are connected to two forms of conflict management. First, successful attempts at peacemaking (evidence by peace agreements) increased the likelihood that a UN peacekeeping operation would be sent to that conflict in the aftermath of the agreement. We also demonstrate that the number of ongoing UN peacekeeping efforts are a strong negative predictor of whether or not the UN authorizes new missions. Theoretically, the concepts of perceived carrying capacity and risk, derived from other conflict management efforts, provided the explanatory bases for these effects.

United Nations peace initiatives 1946-2015: introducing a new dataset

By: Govinda Clayton, Han Dorussen, Tobias Böhmelt

Abstract: The United Nations (UN) has developed a complex and interconnected system of committees, representatives, and missions in support of its peace and security mandate. This article introduces the United Nations Peace Initiatives (UNPI) data set, which provides information on 469 UN initiatives aimed at conflict prevention and crisis management, mediation, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. The data encompass all initiatives mandated by the UN Security Council, the General Assembly, as well as Secretary General between 1946 and 2015. This includes diplomatic, technocratic, political-development, and peacekeeping missions. UNPI data provide an empirical basis to assess the relative contributions of various UN subsidiary bodies to prevent, manage, and suppress the outbreak and recurrence of conflict. This article discusses the underlying rationale of the data collection, the coding rules, and procedures, and shows how UNPI can be combined with conflict data. Initial analyses show the increased use of different types of UN peace initiatives over time. The UN regularly deploys multiple peace initiatives to a dispute, often with significant periods of overlap. Ongoing hostilities and economic development are found to be key determinants of mission choice. In line with the theme of the Special Issue, the UNPI data set underscores the importance of, and provides a tool through which to examine the, interdependencies between various conflict management efforts.

International Journal of Middle East Studies (Volume 53, Issue 1)

Public Tears: Populism and the Politics of Emotion in AKP’s Turkey

By: Senem Aslan

Abstract: This article analyzes the increased visibility and frequency of public weeping by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Building on the literature that conceptualizes populism as a particular political style, I argue that crying in public can be understood as a populist performative act of legitimation, serving to dramatize the basic components of the populist discourse. I also contend that the increased frequency of public weeping by Erdoğan relate to two major dilemmas that populists in power encounter. Both dilemmas stem from the growing discrepancy between populist rhetoric and practice, diminishing the credibility of the populist leader. Signaling emotional authenticity, Erdoğan’s tearfulness serves to communicate a message of closeness to the people and sustain the anti-elite rhetoric at a time when his political power and economic wealth increasingly set him apart from the politically and economically marginalized. It also attempts to justify authoritarian practices while sustaining the claim to rule in the name of popular power and mobilize constituents against the opposition.

Abbasid Politics and Performative Panegyric: The Poetry of ʿAli ibn Jabala

By: Fahd Alebdha

Abstract: The poet ʿAli ibn Jabala, also called al-ʿAkawwak, was a little known but significant poet who lived during the late 8th and early 9th centuries. This article examines his poetry in its political and cultural context to delineate the literary devices exploited by the poet in his poems of praise. Moreover, this paper interprets existing prose anecdotes claiming that al-ʿAkawwak’s panegyric poem to the caliph al-Maʾmun’s commander, Abu Dulaf al-ʿIjli, made the caliph so furious that he ordered the poet’s execution, despite the poet having never composed any verses overtly criticizing the caliph. The argument is made that, within the tense political atmosphere of the time, the style that the poet embraced in praising the two commanders, Abu Dulaf al-ʿIjli and Humayd al-Tusi, intensified al-Maʾmun’s anger toward the poet.

Muslim-Jewish Sexual Liaisons Remembered and Imagined in 20th-Century Yemen

By: Mark S. Wagner

Abstract: Despite mutual taboos against exogamy, memoirs and similar materials written by Jews from Yemen contain a number of anecdotes describing love affairs and sexual encounters between Muslims and Jews prior to the mass migration of the vast majority of Yemen’s Jews to Israel in 1949–50. These stories associate these liaisons with vulnerability, poverty, and marginalization. In them, sex and conversion to Islam are intrinsically connected, yet this interreligious intimacy leads not to resolution but to ongoing identity crises that persist beyond the community’s realignment with a majority-Jewish society. The staging of the anecdotes in rural areas where shariʿa norms held only nominal sway, in watering places and hostels where strangers might interact, and at dusk, when identity is difficult to discern, heightened their ambiguity.

One-Humped History: The Camel as Historical Actor in the Late Ottoman Empire

By: Onur İnal

Abstract: This article explores the so far little explored animal dimension of the significant social, economic, and ecological transformations that occurred in Western Anatolia in the late Ottoman Empire. It focuses on how the use of the hybrid, one-humped “Turcoman” camel transformed the way in which trade and transport operated in the region. In light of Ottoman, Turkish, and European sources, it suggests that the camel was a visible yet often underestimated actor in the incorporation of Western Anatolia into global markets and integrating the camel as important history-shaping actor into the historical narrative allows us to better grasp the complex relationships that existed between humans, nature, and technology and to change the way we think about the Ottoman Empire.

Labor Migration from Kruševo: Mobility, Ottoman Transformation, and the Balkan Highlands in the 19th Century

By: Akın Sefer, Aysel Yıldız, Mustafa Erdem Kabadayı

Abstract: Although mountainous regions remained relatively isolated and almost untouched by the Ottoman rule, labor migration connected the inhabitants of these regions to the socioeconomic and political processes in the Ottoman Empire and beyond. Kruševo, a highland village located in present-day North Macedonia, provides an excellent case for understanding these connections. This paper presents systematic evidence from the Ottoman archives to document and analyze the social, economic, and demographic impacts of labor migration during this period. It provides an in-depth analysis of the Ottoman population and tax records of Kruševo in the 1840s, demonstrating the occupational profiles, migration patterns, and family and neighborhood networks of village residents during this period. Based on this analysis, it argues that labor migration was key to the transformation of social, economic, and demographic relations in rural communities and to the integration of even the most remote highland villages with the modernization processes that characterized the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century.

The “Second Egypt”: Cretan Refugees, Agricultural Development, and Frontier Expansion in Ottoman Cyrenaica, 1897–1904

By: Fredrick Walter Lorenz

Abstract: This article investigates the Ottoman state’s endeavor to create the “second Egypt” by consolidating its imperial authority along the coastline and hinterland of Cyrenaica from 1897 to 1904. It examines the strategic settlement of Cretan Muslim refugees in territories situated between Benghazi and Derna and in al-Jabal al-Akhdar following the Cretan insurrection of 1897–98. I argue that Cretan Muslim refugees-turned-settlers served as skilled agriculturalists and experienced armed sentries who were integral to the Ottoman state’s plans for economic development and expansionism in Cyrenaica. Focusing particularly on ‘Ayn al-Shahhat and Marsa Susa, this article contends that the establishment of Cretan Muslim agricultural colonies served to undermine the political and economic position of the Sanusi order by appropriating the order’s properties and access to resources. This work offers a new perspective on how the Ottoman state reasserted its sovereignty in its frontier territory in Cyrenaica by harnessing the power of migration.

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (Volume 45, Issue 1)

Urban Symbolic Violence Re‐Made: Religion, Politics and Spatial Struggles in Istanbul

By: Cihan Tuğal

Abstract: The symbolic and physical map of Istanbul has undergone dramatic shifts over the past four decades. Squatters—the persistent underdogs in this huge metropolis—have mounted an attack against established economic and cultural hierarchies. This challenge has transformed the structures of symbolic violence through the production of an alternative urban space (contentious neighborhoods and districts, teahouses, innovative district and street layouts, and ‘Islamic’ internal and external architecture). In the process, the meanings of urbanity and provinciality, of secularity and Islam, have been altered—and stigma, along with urban rent, has been systematically redistributed (although redistribution has been far from egalitarian). The dominant sectors ultimately absorbed the attack: squatters remained subordinated, but the terms of subordination have changed. A synthesis of Bourdieu and (a geographically revised) Gramsci sheds light on this process of challenge and absorption in and through urban space.

International Political Science Review (Volume 42, Issue 1)

The Clean Energy Ministerial: Motivation for and policy consequences of membership

By: Jale Tosun, Adrian Rinscheid

Abstract: What motivated national governments to join the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), a climate club founded in 2010? And to what extent have the club members participated in policy initiatives developed by the CEM? Our analysis shows that combinations of (a) the expected benefits of club membership and (b) the leadership of the USA induced the governments of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to join the CEM. The importance of these two factors varied across countries. Participation levels in the CEM’s policy initiatives varied over time. While this variation happened in a ‘proportionate’ manner for Australia, Canada and China, we observed singular instances of ‘disproportionate’ changes in levels of policy effort for the UAE and Brazil. Overall, our findings suggest that climate clubs constrain the behaviour of its members by discouraging them from engaging in sustained policy under-reactions.

International Political Sociology (Volume 14, Issue 4)

Unfolding the Past, Proving the Present: Social Media Evidence in Terrorism Finance Court Cases

By: Tasniem Anwar

Abstract: During terrorism trials, social media activities such as tweeting, Facebook posts, and WhatsApp conversations have become an essential part of the evidence presented. Amidst the complexity of prosecuting crimes with limited possibilities for criminal investigations and evidence collection, social media interactions can provide valuable information to reconstruct events that occurred there-and-then, to prosecute in the here-and-now. This paper follows social media objects as evidentiary objects in different court judgments to research how security practices and knowledge interact with legal practices in the court room. I build on the notion of the folding object as described by Bruno Latour and Amade M’charek to research the practices and arguments of the judges through which they unfold some of the histories, interpretations, and politics inside the object as reliable evidence. This concept allows for an in-depth examination of how histories are entangled in the presentation of an evidentiary object and how these references to histories are made (in)visible during legal discussions on security and terrorism. The paper therefore contributes to the field of critical security studies by focusing on how security practices are mediated in the everyday legal settings of domestic court rooms.

The Nakba in a Livestream: Empathic Encounters and the Solidarity of Shared Precariousness

By: Michal Givoni

Abstract: Since the summer of 2015, hundreds of Arab Palestinians from Israel have joined the massive number of volunteers who flocked to Greece and other locations in Europe to assist refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. Based on their stories about their experiences of volunteering, this essay examines how the affective regime of humanitarian action in crises mutates when such action is practiced by ordinary people who are living through their own protracted political crisis. Focusing on the empathy that Palestinian volunteers have practiced in their encounters with refugees, I show that the Palestinian relief actions and the solidarity of shared precariousness they embody challenge the premises of Western humanitarianism but also complicate the picture sketched by studies on “other humanitarianisms” from beyond the Western and universalist frame. I claim that empathy—one of the main humanitarian resources the Palestinian helpers have mobilized—has prompted a composite sense of affinity in which the similarities between the helpers and the refugees were both stressed and qualified. This affinity, as I further show, draws not just on the helpers’ traumatic memories and cultural and ethnic affiliations but also on their fears of the future.

International Politics (Volume 57, Issue 6)

‘Remember Iraq!’ Learning theory and the 2013 non-decision on air strikes against Syria

By: Hans Mouritzen

Abstract: Statesmen sometimes seek to legitimize contemporary foreign policy decisions by referring to a ‘historical lesson’, derived from an allegedly analogous situation in the past. According to foreign policy learning theory, such lessons may also be decisive for the actual decisions. Learning theory is here being tested against four national decision processes in August–September 2013 regarding air strikes against Syria. The four countries participated militarily in the March 2003 Iraq intervention. The latter being defined as reasonably ‘similar’ to the Syria project and also as a failure, learning theory expects the 10-year-old memory to decisively restrain their 2013 decisions. Was this really the case, or were the countries driven more by, for example, contemporary 2013 concerns focusing at the situation in and around Syria? The theoretical expectation turns out to be fulfilled in the USA, the UK, and Poland, but is disappointed regarding Denmark, where a rivalling lesson, i.a., proved stronger.

Historical memory and securitisation of the Russian intervention in Syria

By: Mykola Makhortykh

Abstract: Memories of the past conflicts are a major part of Russian foreign policy discourse. Scholarly literature highlighted the widespread use of Second World War references in Russian discourse during the Ukraine crisis. However, the use of historical memory in the context of Russia’s intervention in Syria remains underinvestigated. Applying securitisation theory, the paper analyses a set of political statements made by Russian pro-government and opposition politicians between 2015 and 2018. The analysis identifies several ways in which they integrate memory and security discourse. These include pro-Kremlin actors’ justifications of the intervention through references to the War on Terror and Chechen Wars; the anti-systemic opposition’s de-securitisation of the Syrian conflict by exposing manipulative uses of history; and the systemic opposition’s counter-securitisation of the intervention itself as an existential threat to Russia through references to the Soviet–Afghan war. The paper concludes by discussing the relationship between historical memory and security discourse.

International Studies Perspectives (Volume 22, Issue 1)

Differing about Difference: Relational IR from around the World

By: Tamara A Trownsell, Arlene B Tickner, Amaya Querejazu, Jarrad Reddekop, Giorgio Shani…

Abstract: Difference, a central concern to the study of international relations (IR), has not had its ontological foundations adequately disrupted. This forum explores how existential assumptions rooted in relational logics provide a significantly distinct set of tools that drive us to re-orient how we perceive, interpret, and engage both similarity and difference. Taking their cues from cosmological commitments originating in the Andes, South Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East, the six contributions explore how our existential assumptions affect the ways in which we deal with difference as theorists, researchers, and teachers. This initial conversation pinpoints key content and foci of future relational work in IR.

International Studies Review (Volume 22, Issue 4)

Ontological Counter-securitization in Asymmetric Power Relations: Lessons from Israel

By: Amal Jamal

Abstract: This article seeks to enhance the understanding of ontological counter-securitization and the constitution of securitized subjects in the context of asymmetrical power relations. It builds on the available critique of the conceptualization of counter-securitization and the differentiation between physical and ontological securitization in order to facilitate a better understanding of the identity formation of securitized subjects as resistance. It argues that whereas the current literature deals with the differentiation between physical and ontological dimensions of securitization and recently with the meaning of counter-securitization, nonetheless the treatment of the later as a resistance is limited. It remains in the realm of the physical dimensions of securitization, rendering ontological ones unaddressed. The article argues that ontological counter-securitization emerges as an analytical category when the mismatch between the physical and ontological securitization policies is utilized as a structural opportunity for resisting asymmetrical power relations. The article exemplifies its theoretical arguments through exploring the complicated securitization policies of Israel toward its Palestinian citizens and the resistance of the latter to such policies. It argues that despite the fact that the Israeli physical and ontological securitization of its Palestinian citizens have not matched, they have been constructed as complementary and therefore have not been morally justifiable. This lack of moral justifiability has had repercussions on the legitimacy of the securitization policy, leading to the rise of the securitized subject as a securitizing agency that is able to practice counter-securitization. Since the power relations between the state and its Palestinian citizens has been asymmetrical, the latter limited their counter-securitization to the ontological dimension, manifested through politicizing their indigenous identity. The conceptualization of politicizing indigeneity as an ontological counter-securitization strategy of resistance has not been addressed in the available literature on securitization theory. Thus, exploring its analytical merits is a central goal of this article.

Journal of Contemporary History (Volume 56, Issue 1)

Republic of Conspiracies: Cross-Border Plots and the Making of Modern Turkey

By: Ramazan Hakkı Öztan

Abstract: In August 1935, British authorities tipped off Ankara about a team of assassins who were allegedly headed for Turkey to assassinate its president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Within a month, the Turkish authorities arrested a number of suspects in the Turkish-Syrian borderland, and began to pressure London to extradite the Circassian masterminds of the plot who were then living in the British mandate territories of Palestine and Transjordan. This article examines how the British tip-off quickly evolved into an episode fully publicized by the Kemalist regime, exploring the ways in which the alleged conspiracy helped consolidate Ankara’s ideological positions at home and pursue its long sought-after policies abroad. This curious episode illustrates the political and socio-economic relevance of imperial networks that continued to crisscross the post-Ottoman Middle East. On a more analytical level, the conspiracy helps us understand the complex interaction between intelligence and rumors, and in so doing, shows both empirical limits and opportunities in approaching them as a field of historical inquiry.

Journal of Democracy (Volume 32, Issue 1)

The Arab Spring at 10: Kings or People?

By: Tarek Masoud

Abstract: Ten years after the onset of the Arab Spring, the Middle East and North Africa are torn between two visions of progress: a democratic one that seeks to replace the leaders who dominate the region, and an ostensibly modernizing one that seeks to replace the people who inhabit it. Though the latter project is currently ascendant, it is likely to founder on its own internal contradictions. Arab publics may be ambivalent about democracy, but the region retains considerable democratic potential.

Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development (Volume 41, Issue 4)

Economic Growth, Productivity and Convergence of Middle East and North African Countries

By: Mushtaq Ahmad Malik, Tariq Masood

Abstract: The objective of this study is to investigate the variability in economic growth and productivity of the Middle East and North Africa countries for the period 1970-2014. We employed growth accounting approach to measure and decompose growth in total output into contributions from growth in factor accumulation and total factor productivity. The study also tests the hypotheses of regional convergence using the neoclassical framework. The results indicate significant variability in growth performance of oil dependent countries that can be associated with movements in oil process, at least in the short run. In most oil dependent economies, growth rates of per capita GDP are quite meagre. However, non-oil countries showed higher and consistent growth performance over the sample period. The results of growth accounting equation indicate that output growth in the region is due to the accumulation of factor inputs, while total factor productivity has a negligible or negative role. Both 𝜎 and βconvergence tests provide support for existence of convergence in per capita GDP across the countries. The study favours the adoption of large scale structural reforms to achieve sustained long run growth. At the same time, economic diversification of the individual countries to reduce dependence on single sources of income and employment would diminish the volatility of income and employment.

The Impact of Crude Oil Import Prices on Household Natural Gas Prices: The Case of Turkey

By: Halim Tatli, Doğan Barak

Abstract: This study examines the impact of crude oil import prices on household natural gas prices in Turkey. The household sector natural gas prices are chosen as a dependent variable while crude oil import price and real exchange rate are chosen as independent variables. The data for the period 1990-2016 for these variables are analyzed by the ARDL, causality test, variance decomposition and impulse-response functions. As a result of the ARDL, it was concluded that both short-run and longrun crude oil import prices affect natural gas prices positively while the real exchange rate affects it negatively. The results obtained from the impulse-response functions confirm the results of the ARDL model. According to the causality test result, there is not any causality between crude oil import prices and household natural gas prices. However, it has been concluded that there is unidirectional causality from the real exchange rate to the natural gas prices.

Debt-Growth Nexus in Jordan: New Evidence Using Dynamic Threshold Analysis

By: Mohammed Daher Alshammary, Zulkefly Abdul Karim, Norlin Khalid, Riayati Ahmad

Abstract: This paper examines the government debt and economic growth nexus in Jordan from 1990 to 2017 by estimating the debt-growth threshold, using the time series dynamic threshold estimation technique. The empirical results reveal that a threshold effect exists in the gross government debt and economic growth relationship. More precisely, the findings demonstrate that the explanatory variables respond differently under the upper and lower regimes to attain economic growth in Jordan, indicating that the relationship between gross government debt and economic growth is contingent on the debt-to-GDP ratio. Importantly, policymakers should reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio through efficient allocation of financial sources by reducing government-funded programs to attain a higher growth rate and curb the effects of shocks such as the financial crisis.

Waqf Company: Concept, Rulings and The Practice in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

By: Abdulrahman Abdullah Alssadi

Abstract: Waqf company is a new concept in the waqf. It is different from the conventional waqf that is based on real estate and plantations. It is also different from the cash waqf. Due to this, the purpose of this paper is to study the concept of waqf company, try to define it, and establish how it works through the use of the Saudi Arabian practice as a reference point. This research adopted a qualitative research method, using content analysis of the secondary literature from both classical and contemporary jurists and legal experts’ opinions. Some of the major findings are the definition of a waqf company whose shares are all waqf. It also found that a company does not become a waqf company because of having few shares declared as waqf by their owners. In terms of incorporation, waqf company can take any form of business entity that could be used as a vehicle for commercial activities. The limitation of the research is that there is little literature because the topic is still new. The research presents a practicable concept of the waqf company. To prove this, there is a need to establish a business entity so that the assets and the shares are declared as waqf so that the dividends will be benefiting the designated beneficiaries. The research has a social implication, considering waqf as an Islamic social fund. It will help policymakers further push for adequate laws and regulations that will strengthen the operationality and efficiency of waqf company, thereby significantly reducing poverty and creating jobs through employment by the waqf company. The research is one of the few research pieces that have been conducted in this field as there is a shortage of literature till the current time. Thus, the research will contribute to the efforts being asserted towards understanding the concept of waqf company.

The Potential of Islamic Finance in Reinforcing and Regaining Economic Stability in Qatar

By: Muslehuddin Musab Mohammed, M Evren Tok, Syed Nazim Ali

Abstract: The COVID-19 has put a severe dent in the resilience of several economies by slowing down the economic growth. The challenge for Qatar was more severe as the occurrence of pandemic collided with the ongoing political blockade from 4 neighboring counties and Qatar’s commitment of hosting 2022 FIFA world cup. This contextual research of COVID-19 attempts to identify the potential of Islamic finance in reinforcing and regaining economic stability in Qatar. The desk research has adopted the explorative method and analyzed the research reports in the context of the current landscape particularly looking from the angles of economic, social, financial and health impact. Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19 and stimulus packages were discussed; and Islamic social finance tools, Zakat, Infaq, Qard Hassan, and Waqf were proven to be resilient to the situation. Moreover, the excessive liquidity in the Islamic banks in Qatar, Formosa Sukuk, Waqf, Zakat and policies based on objectives of Shari’ah have a great potential for reinforcing and regaining the economic stability in Qatar. The research shall help streamline the thought process for the policy makers and the practitioners of Islamic finance industry, especially in Qatar.

Journal of Peace Research (Volume 58, Issue 1)

First comes the river, then comes the conflict? A qualitative comparative analysis of flood-related political unrest

By: Tobias Ide, Anders Kristensen, Henrikas Bartusevičius

Abstract: Disasters triggered by natural hazards will increase in the future due to climate change, population growth, and more valuable assets located in vulnerable areas. The impacts of disasters on political conflict have been the subject of broad academic and public debates. Existing research has paid little attention to the links between climate change, disasters, and small-scale conflicts, such as protests or riots. Floods are particularly relevant in this context as they are the most frequent and most costly contemporary disasters. However, they remain understudied compared to other disasters, specifically, droughts and storms. We address these gaps by focusing on flood-related political unrest between 2015 and 2018 in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Drawing on data from the Dartmouth Flood Observatory (DFO) and Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED), we find that flood-related political unrest occurs within two months after 24% of the 92 large flooding events recorded in our sample. Subsequently, a qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) shows that the simultaneous presence of a large population, a democratic regime, and either the exclusion of ethnic groups from political power or a heavy impact of the flood is an important scope condition for the onset of flood-related political unrest. This indicates that disaster–conflict links are by no means deterministic. Rather, they are contingent on complex interactions between multiple contextual factors.

Weather, wheat, and war: Security implications of climate variability for conflict in Syria

By: Andrew M Linke, Brett Ruether

Abstract: We examine how Syria’s local growing seasons and precipitation variability affected patterns of violence during the country’s civil war (2011–19). Among Syria’s 272 subdistricts (nahiyah), we study conflict events initiated by the Assad regime or its allies, and, separately, by other armed non-government groups (‘rebels’). Throughout the war, violence to capture agriculture has been used regularly to control valuable cropland and harvests. Combatants also seek to deny their adversaries access to these resources by deploying violence to destroy agriculture. We test the hypothesis that conflict was most likely during local growing seasons due to both of these motivations. Additionally, we examine whether unusually dry conditions further elevated the risk of conflict during growing season months. A theory for why higher levels of conflict would occur during unusually dry conditions is that livelihood losses elevate incentives to control scarce crops and also facilitate recruitment of militants or their sympathizers. We find that violent events initiated by the government and rebel groups are both more likely during the growing season than other times of the year. There is also evidence that dry conditions during the growing season led to an increase in government-initiated attacks over the duration of the war. We find the strongest relationship between precipitation deficits and both government- and rebel-initiated violence in later years of the war. Compared with our growing season results, the rainfall deviation estimates are less consistent across models.

New Left Review (Issue 127)

Turkey at the Crossroads?

By: Cihan Tuğal

Abstract: Reconfiguration of the AKP regime, amid domestic upheaval, economic turbulence, regional devastation and a growing gravitational pull from Eurasia. Contrasts and continuities of Erdoğan’s militarized foreign policy with the liberal-Islamic formula lauded by the West.

Law and Development Review (Volume 14, Issue 1)

African Traditional Religion and Law-Intersections between the Islamic and non-Islamic Worlds and the Impact on Development in the 2030 Agenda era

By: Elizabeth Bakibinga-Gaswaga

Abstract: Religion, law and development intersect in a number of ways. Almost one-third of the world’s Muslim population resides in Africa. With a focus on Africa and taking into account Africa’s triple heritage as envisioned by A. Mazrui, a product resulting from three major influences: an indigenous heritage borne out of time and climate change; the heritage of Eurocentric capitalism forced on Africans by European colonialism; and the spread of Islam by both jihad and evangelism, this paper seeks to review the impact that African Traditional Religion (ATR) as a component of the indigenous heritage, have on the development and enforcement of law in Africa. This paper seeks to address the impact of religion on state formation, examining how colonialism, the Fulani jihads and migration have impacted on the body of law in Africa by introducing Islamic and Judeo-Christian tenets and constructs in the administration of secular states and theocracies. ATR presents itself as a lived reality, regulating the way of life, business transactions, etc. inter alia. There is close proximity between law and religion in Africa and also in the Islamic world. The practice of Islam in Africa is not static and is constantly being reshaped by prevalent social, economic, and political conditions. Generally, Islam in Africa often adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems forming Africa’s own orthodoxies. The paper also examines how concepts of ATR have found place in the body of law through the inclusion of customary norms and usages in the law applicable, mainly through constitutional endorsement. It addresses the relevance of religion, culture to the development of the law (the intersection between religion and the law) and how the resultant body of law impacts on implementation of the law for development. The paper examines the role of the resultant body of law as a bridge and at times as a distraction to transactions between the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds for development. The paper concludes with recommendations on how the intersection of religion, law and development can better be utilised to foster sustainable development, most especially the Sustainable Development Goals premised in Agenda 2030, among others.

A Strong Judiciary as a Crisis for Democracy: A ‘Law and Development’ Study from Pakistan

By: Muhammad Azeem

Abstract: By the late 1990s, international financial institutions prescribed a ‘good governance’ paradigm that sought to empower the judiciary to curb ‘state capture’ by the corrupt political elites of developing countries. Good governance was supposed to act as a midwife to economic development, providing the ‘rule of law’ for the free market reforms of structural adjustment programs that had hitherto failed to provide much success. This article examines the implementation of ‘good governance’ in Pakistan, arguing that empowering the judiciary served to weaken an already weak legislature. The tangible issues of popular political representation and economic redistribution were displaced by the discourses on the control of corruption and the rule of law. Based on this experience, the article encourages a shift in law and developmental theorizing to focus on forms of legislature and democratic rule and a redefined role for the ‘civil society’ within this.

MELA Notes (Issue 93)

Information Literacy in the Arabic Language Classroom

By: AJ Robinson

Abstract: Not available

Adapting Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Librarianship to Changing Users’ Needs

By: Mariette Atallah, Anais Salamon

Abstract: Not available

International and Area Studies (IAS) Faculty: Are They Different?

By: Mohamed Hamed

Abstract: Not available

Information Use, Information Needs, and Information Behavior of Graduate Students at Kuwait University

By: Wafaa al Motawah, Barbara Sen, Peter Willett

Abstract: Not available

Political Science Quarterly (Volume 135, Issue 4)

Religious Parties and Ideological Change: A Comparison of Iran and Turkey

By: Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, A.kadir Yildirim

Abstract: Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar and A.kadir Yildirim examine ideological change within religious parties in Iran and Turkey. They argue that these political parties actively and continuously shift ideological discourse in response to their political context.

Review of African Political Economy (Volume 47, Issue 166)

The war and the economy: the gradual destruction of Libya

By: Matteo Capasso

Abstract: This article questions dominant analyses about Libya’s present ‘war economy’ and ‘statelessness’, which are often deployed to explain the country’s ongoing destruction. By reinterpreting the history of the past as the failure of Libya to implement neoliberal reforms, these accounts trivialise its anti-imperialist history. The article reflects on the role that war and militarism play in the US-led imperialist structure, tracing the gradual unmaking of Libya from the progressive revolutionary era, towards its transformation into a comprador state and an outpost for global class war. In doing so, it moves the focus away from Libya’s ‘war economy’ to examine the war and the economy, linking Libya’s fate to the geo-economic and geopolitical forces at the core of US-led imperialism.

Security Studies (Volume 29, Issue 5)

The Obama Administration and Syrian Chemical Weapons: Deterrence, Compellence, and the Limits of the “Resolve plus Bombs” Formula

By: Wyn Bowen, Jeffrey W. Knopf, Matthew Moran

Abstract: This article examines responses to the Syrian government’s possession and eventual use of chemical weapons (CW) in that country’s civil war from 2012 to 2013. During this time, the United States and other outside powers applied coercive strategies, in both deterrent and compellent modes. Outcomes varied: compellence in the form of coercive diplomacy achieved a partial success, getting Syria to give up much of its chemical stockpile, but there were multiple deterrence failures, culminating in a large-scale sarin gas attack in August 2013. We examine this record to draw lessons about factors associated with the effectiveness of coercion. Our analysis draws on insights from existing research on both deterrence and coercive diplomacy to develop an integrated analytical framework involving the interplay of three factors: credibility, motivations, and assurance. We find the typical default approach to coercion, based on demonstrating toughness and threatening to impose costs using airpower—an approach we call the “resolve plus bombs” formula—was not sufficient to change Syria’s calculations regarding chemical use.

Desert Shield of the Republic? A Realist Case for Abandoning the Middle East

By: David Blagden, Patrick Porter

Abstract: Political realists disagree on what America should “do” and “be” in the Middle East. All are skeptical toward extravagant geopolitical projects to transform the region. Yet they differ over whether hegemony in the Gulf and its wider environs are worth the substantial investment of blood and treasure. Hegemonic “primacy realism” finds the commitment effective and affordable, and that Washington should stay to stabilize the region to ensure a favorable concentration of power. There is an alternative “shield of the republic” realism, however, which views the pursuit of armed supremacy in the Middle East as harming political order at home, reducing security more than generating it, and costing too much for too little gain. It involves interests that are either manageable from a remove or largely generated by being there in the first place. In this article, we lay out the latter position, arguing that the unruly Gulf is increasingly peripheral to US national interests. The region is losing its salience grand strategically, entanglement and continuous war damage republican liberties, and the calculus of whether continued hegemony is “worth it” has shifted decisively toward the downside. The time for abandonment has come.

Channeling Contraband: How States Shape International Smuggling Routes

By: Max Gallien, Florian Weigand

Abstract: Although smuggling is commonly assumed to happen in remote and difficult-to-access borderlands, in reality, smuggling is most prevalent in areas that states tightly control, including at formal border crossings. To understand this puzzle, this article explores the relationship between states and smugglers at international borders. Based on extensive empirical research in various borderlands in North Africa and Southeast Asia, it argues that different kinds of smugglers prefer different types of relationships with the state. The article outlines six ideal types of such relationships. It contends that these types of relationships are the dominant factor in how different smuggling networks choose routes along a border. The findings have implications for our understanding of smuggling and policies that aim at addressing smuggling, especially regarding the effects of border fortifications and corruption prevention.

Terror after the Caliphate: The Effect of ISIS Loss of Control over Population Centers on Patterns of Global Terrorism

By: James A. Piazza, Michael J. Soules

Abstract: Experts opine that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) responded to its loss of control over major population centers in Iraq and Syria that constituted its self-described “caliphate” by internationalizing its patterns of terrorist violence, committing higher-profile attacks abroad, and exploiting sectarian conflicts in other countries. In this study, we test this conventional wisdom. We theorize that the loss of population centers prompted ISIS to conduct more attacks abroad, to shift its attack venues abroad, and to cause higher casualties abroad. Using original time series data on ISIS control over major cities, we find empirical support for our theoretical assumptions.

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism (Volume 43, Issue 12 and Volume 44, Issues 1 & 2)

Toward a New Typology of Sunni Jihad

By: Nathan González Mendelejis

Abstract: One recurring theme of the immediate post-9/11 environment was that of regional political organizations and violent lone-wolf actors pledging allegiance to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda group (AQ). Following the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)’s 2014 capture of Mosul, Iraq, many of these loose affiliations began shifting to ISIS. This resulted in a blurring of distinctions between different types of Sunni jihadi organizations, with media commentators and analysts at times referring to groups as “Al Qaeda–like” or “ISIS-affiliated,” despite those groups’ goals and operational scopes being largely disconnected from both AQ and ISIS. This article proposes a new typology of Sunni jihadi groups according to theater of operation, strategy, and geopolitical alignment. This typology offers three categories: global jihad, local jihad, and sectarian jihad. In addition, it identifies four types of operation types that Sunni jihadi groups adopt: (1) core theater attacks, (2) power-projection attacks, (3) local recruitment, and (4) foreign recruitment. The main contribution of this article is its frameworks for improving the quality of the analysis of Sunni jihadi groups.

Intra-Jihadist Conflict and Cooperation: Islamic State–Khorasan Province and the Taliban in Afghanistan

By: Niamatullah Ibrahimi, Shahram Akbarzadeh

Abstract: The proliferation of jihadist groups raises intriguing questions about their internal relationship. Drawing on Resource Mobilization Theory we explore this question by examining the relationship between the Taliban and the local incarnations of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syrian (ISIS) in Afghanistan. We conceive the Taliban and ISIS as parts of a broader “jihadist movement industry” that is simultaneously united and divided by the logic of their embeddedness in the movement. While most existing research emphasizes intra-jihadist conflict or rivalry, we found that the relationship between the two groups goes through cyclical shifts, vacillating between conflict and cooperation.

Understanding the Syria Babel: Moral Perspectives on the Syrian Conflict from Just War to Jihad

By: Tom Smith, Peter Lee, Vladimir Rauta, Sameera Khalfey

Abstract: The war in Syria, and its ongoing analysis, is burdened by a variety of seemingly irreconcilable political motivations, actions, ideologies, religious affiliations, and power dynamics of multiple state and nonstate actors. In this context, various moral perspectives appear to come into direct conflict, underpinning the actions of the actors involved and to varying degrees influencing their competing political interests. Is there a coherent dialogue of moralities between the rivals involved or is Babel reborn with moral claims being launched but with no real exchange of meaning involved? On Syria, the answer is a complicated mixture of both but within which are important and as yet underappreciated patterns of convergence and divergence. This article looks at the leading states involved as well as the role of individuals to elucidate this pattern of overlap and difference in the morality discourses surrounding Syria. Ultimately, it is argued that a moral Babel is not reborn in Syria: there is sufficiently common moral language being used by all sides for a degree of shared meaning to emerge. The challenge is for the protagonists to listen and really hear what is being said and work with those commonalties as tools toward peace.

A Struggle for Power: Al Nusra and Al Qaida in Syria

By: Antonio Giustozzi

Abstract: Relying on interviews with members of the organization, the article argues (contrary to the prevailing view) that Al Nusra never split from Al Qaida and even more so from the global jihadist movement. Instead the leadership of Al Nusra was locked in a power struggle with Al Qaida over the control of jihad in Syria and possibly even over the future of Al Qaida itself. Efforts to unify the Syrian opposition, even those limited to jihadist groups, failed also because of the leadership of Al Nusra kept trying to co-opt other opposition groups, rather than forming alliances with them.

Coin as Imagined Sovereignty: A Rhetorical Analysis of Coins as a Transhistorical Artifact and an Ideograph in Islamic State’s Communication

By: Ayse Deniz Lokmanoglu

Abstract: This research argues that an imagined artifact, the IS coins, serves as a transhistorical artifact, condensing the larger ideology of the violent extremist organization of legitimacy and sovereignty. This paper conducts a qualitative content analysis on all references to IS Coin within Dabiq, al-Naba, Rumiyah and all the official videos publicized in the above magazines from April 2014 to September 2018. The power of one artifact, in this case, coin, embodies the whole ideology of ISIS and transports the ideology from the past to the present to the future and the artifact belongs to daily life, amplifies its power.

Research Note: Former Extremist Interviews Current Extremist: Self-Disclosure and Emotional Engagement in Terrorism Studies

By: Mehmet Ümit Necef

Abstract: In this article I describe how recognizing elements from my own extremist past made me emotional while interviewing a jailed terrorist about his motivations for joining Islamic State. I relate how this mood led me to an uncontrolled self-disclosure and recount how he agreed to elaborate on his motivations for joining IS, despite initial reluctance to talk about them. Then, I present some considerations on whether research in which emotional attachment is involved can produce critical scientific knowledge. The basic aim of the article is to develop methods, concepts and means to contribute to research on the motivations of terrorists.

“I Will Tell You a Story about Jihad”: ISIS’s Propaganda and Narrative Advertising

By: Anna Kruglova

Abstract: This article further broadens the understanding of ISIS propaganda and its effectiveness by looking at the group’s social media through the prism of marketing. The group was found to rely on a narrative type of advertising while creating its propaganda. Specifically, ISIS was using stories to appeal to its recruits’ emotions and desires. The use of stories helped ISIS to establish a strong connection with its target audience, and increased the group’s success in promoting its ideas.

A Qualitative Analysis of Drivers among Military-Affiliated and Civilian Lone Actor Terrorists Inspired by Jihadism

By: Alexa Katon, Christine Shahan Brugh, Sarah L. Desmarais, Joseph Simons-Rudolph, Samantha A. Zottola

Abstract: This qualitative study explored and compared factors that drive individuals with and without military experience to commit violent acts of terrorism within a sample of 10 jihadism-inspired lone actors. Findings reveal four major themes driving violent terrorist action among lone actors: Action, Grievance, Growing in Jihad, Religious Fervor. Results also provide some of the first evidence that drivers of lone actor terrorism differ between those with and without military experience. Factors related to action, certain grievances, and growth in Jihad were seen more commonly among the military-affiliated lone actors than their civilian peers. Implications for policy and prevention are discussed.

Iran and Hezbollah’s Pre-Operational Modus Operandi in the West

By: Ioan Pop, Mitchell D. Silber

Abstract: Tensions between the United States and Iran/Hezbollah have been on the rise since 2018 when the U.S. administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal. These tensions spiked in January 2020 when U.S. strikes killed Qassem Soleimani the leader of Iran’s IRGC-Quds Force. Furthermore, there is mounting evidence that in recent years, Iran and Hezbollah have sought to create a sleeper network in the U.S. and Western Europe, which could be activated to launch attacks as part of a retaliatory attack. This paper assesses Iran and Hezbollah pre-operational modus operandi in the West derived from court documents and open source reporting of recent arrest of Hezbollah and Iranian agents in the US and abroad. It sheds lights on the recruitment, training, and placement of these agents and the intricacies of their past operations. While it is impossible to predict when, where or how Iran/Hezbollah might retaliate as retribution for Soleimani’s killing, this article argues that there is growing number of indicators and warning signs for a possible attack in the U.S. or against U.S. interests abroad.

Terrorism and Political Violence (Volume 32, Issues 7 & 8)

Sunni Suicide Attacks and Sectarian Violence

By: Seung-Whan Choi, Benjamin Acosta

Abstract: Although fundamentalist Sunni Muslims have committed more than 85% of all suicide attacks, empirical research has yet to examine how internal sectarian conflicts in the Islamic world have fueled the most dangerous form of political violence. We contend that fundamentalist Sunni Muslims employ suicide attacks as a political tool in sectarian violence and this targeting dynamic marks a central facet of the phenomenon today. We conduct a large-n analysis, evaluating an original dataset of 6,224 suicide attacks during the period of 1980 through 2016. A series of logistic regression analyses at the incidence level shows that, ceteris paribus, sectarian violence between Sunni Muslims and non-Sunni Muslims emerges as a substantive, significant, and positive predictor of suicide attacks. Indeed, the context of sectarian conflict predicts the use of suicide attacks to a much greater degree than the contexts of militant outbidding or foreign occupation. We also present five case examples, illustrating the use of suicide attacks in sectarian conflicts in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Our overall results indicate that only a reduction in sectarian violence, and especially conflicts involving fundamentalist Sunni Muslims, can prevent the continuing spread of the suicide-attack phenomenon.

Young Blood: Understanding the Emergence of a New Cohort of Australian Jihadists

By: Shandon Harris-Hogan, Kate Barrelle

Abstract: The overwhelming majority of jihadists identified in Australia across the last two decades form an interconnected network which transcends time and geographic locations. Close peer relationships appear key to understanding how Australian jihadists recruit and how the network evolves. More recently the Australian network has grown significantly, and with this increase in size has come a concurrent escalation in the level of threat posed. This article analyses the factors that have coalesced together to drive this increase. In doing so, it challenges some underlying assumptions regarding radicalisation in Australia that may not be backed by empirical research, or are based on anomalous case studies not representative of the larger network. It also highlights the recent emergence of a new cohort of Australian jihadists: teenagers. An analysis of the emergence of these teenage jihadists is then conducted, along with a discussion of the implications for policing strategies and the future of countering violent extremism programs in Australia.

What Explains the Flow of Foreign Fighters to ISIS?

By: Efraim Benmelech, Esteban F. Klor

Abstract: This paper provides the first systematic analysis of the link between countries’ economic, political, and social conditions and the global phenomenon of ISIS foreign fighters. We find that poor economic conditions do not drive participation in ISIS. In contrast, the number of ISIS foreign fighters is positively correlated with a country’s GDP per capita and Human Development Index (HDI). Many foreign fighters originate from countries with high levels of economic development, low income inequality, and highly developed political institutions. Other factors that explain the number of ISIS foreign fighters are the size of a country’s Muslim population and its ethnic homogeneity. Although we cannot directly determine why people join ISIS, our results suggest that the flow of foreign fighters to ISIS is not driven by economic or political conditions but rather by ideology and the difficulty of assimilation into homogenous Western countries. These conclusions are consistent with those of the related qualitative literature that relies on the personal profiles of ISIS foreign fighters.

Islamic State Propaganda: Between Social Movement Framing and Subcultural Provocation

By: Jan Christoffer Andersen, Sveinung Sandberg

Abstract: Not available

Rearing Cubs of the Caliphate: An Examination of Child Soldier Recruitment by Da’esh

By: James Morris, Tristan Dunning

Abstract: This study investigates child soldier recruitment strategies of the Islamic State group (Da’esh). It argues that while the dominant caretaker and free-ranger approaches to child soldier recruitment make useful contributions to understanding Da’esh’s strategy, a self-perception-based approach to examining children’s agency and association with Da’esh sheds new light on how the organization was able to systematically militarize and recruit children within occupied territory. Da’esh used social and/or political pressures to inform children’s self-perception of agency, while also aligning these self-perceptions with the group’s interests. Further examination of these pressures, children’s reactions to them, and how they inform children’s self-perceptions of agency is essential in understanding how and why children are recruited by Da’esh and how children justified violence within this context.

Foreign Fighter Returnees: An Indefinite Threat?

By: David Malet, Rachel Hayes

Abstract: How long does it typically take a returned foreign fighter to launch a domestic terror attack? The issue of returnees, and appropriate national and international responses to potential threats, has become a preeminent security concern of the 2010s, impacting policies on everything from refugees to whether to permit ISIS fighters to leave the theater of conflict alive. This article attempts to illuminate these contentious debates through a new data set of Lags in Attack Times of Extremist Returnees (LATER) that examines 230 jihadi returnees to Western countries. The data indicate that the majority of attempted attacks occur within one year, with a median lag time of just four months. Prison appears to play no role in lag times. Our findings indicate that security and reintegration efforts should be targeted within the critical six months after return, which diminishes the risk of attack considerably.

Mapping Far-right Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorism Efforts in the West: Characteristics of Plots and Perpetrators for Future Threat Assessment

By: Daniel Koehler, Peter Popella

Abstract: The threat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism is widely attributed to collective actors based on a religious ideology, e.g. globally operating Salafi-jihadist groups like al-Qaeda or ISIL. Only limited attention has been given to the CBRN threat of violent domestic extremists in general or far-right terrorists specifically. Nevertheless, a number of incidents involving far-right activists and CBRN agents in Western countries are known to the public, even though these have had comparatively little impact on public threat perception. This study systematically collected public information about far-right CBRN incidents to identify their main characteristics. The authors were able to identify 31 incidents in Western countries since 1970, which display features contrary to generally assumed forms of CBRN terrorism. Far-right CBRN terrorism appears to be predominantly a lone-actor phenomenon oftentimes involving middle-aged and comparatively well-educated male perpetrators, mostly motivated by non-religious forms of far-right ideology (i.e. neo-Nazism, non-religious white supremacism) and indiscriminately targeting victims. Overall, far-right actors attempting to weaponize CBRN agents have been few and generally technically inept. However, the characteristics of the plots pose potential challenges for effective counter-measures and intervention, should the number of actors or the technical sophistication of plots increase in the future.

“One of the Two Good Outcomes”: Turning Defeats into Victories in the Islamic State’s Flagship Magazine Rumiyah

By: Miron Lakomy

Abstract: This paper attempts to understand the most evident propaganda methods and leading themes exploited in the recent issues of the Islamic State’s flagship Anglophone magazine Rumiyah to downplay its increasingly visible crisis. It argues that there are several leading methods of damage control utilized by Daesh. To begin with, a noticeable effort has been made to recover the “winner’s image” of the Islamic State with the use of card-stacking propaganda devices. This has been combined with the widespread promotion of martyrdom as an end-goal for all mujahidin, which is symbolized by the slogan: “one of the two good outcomes.” Finally, the crisis of the group has also been downplayed by a plethora of religion-related manipulation techniques and name-calling propaganda devices, utilized predominantly to exploit sectarian tensions.

Promoting Extreme Violence: Visual and Narrative Analysis of Select Ultraviolent Terror Propaganda Videos Produced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2015 and 2016

By: Vivek Venkatesh, Jeffrey S. Podoshen, Jason Wallin, Jihan Rabah, Daniel Glass

Abstract: This paper examines aspects of violent, traumatic terrorist video propaganda produced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) within the theoretical confines of abjection and the use of utopian/dystopian themes. These themes have been present in a number of studies that have examined consumption of the dark dystopic variety. We seek to elucidate on the use of specific techniques and narratives that are relatively new to the global propaganda consumerspace and that relate to horrific violence. Our work here is centered on interpretative analysis and theory building that we believe can assist in understanding and interpreting post-apocalyptic and abject-oriented campaigns in the age of social media and rapid transmission of multimedia communications. In the present analysis, we examine eight ISIS videos created and released in 2015 and 2016. All of the videos chosen for analysis have utilized techniques related to abjection, shock, and horror, often culminating in the filming of the murder of ISIS’s enemies or place-based destruction of holy sites in the Middle East. We use inductive content analytic techniques in the contexts of consumer culture, “cinemas of attraction,” and pornography of violence to propose an extension of existing frameworks of terrorism and propaganda theory.

Refugee Radicalization/Militarization in the Age of the European Refugee Crisis: A Composite Model

By: Marina Eleftheriadou

Abstract: This article constitutes an effort to examine the prospect of long-term refugee radicalization, beyond the dominant “short-sighted” debate on the possibility of radical Islamist militants posing as refugees. The main argument of the article is that refugees are inherently different from second-generation economic migrants, on whom most radicalization models are based. The article proposes a composite model that enriches our understanding of radicalization drivers with insights from refugee militarization studies. The model demonstrates that not only do some radicalization drivers present different dynamics in refugee populations, but that there are also other important factors, such as refugees’ cause of flight or prior political organization, which are absent in traditional radicalization models. Moreover, the article highlights the importance of a host state’s will and capacity to address refugees’ needs and the influence of external actors in policy formulation, particularly in weak or struggling host states. One implication of this study is that early-stage policies largely predetermine future radicalization. Another implication is that the possibility of refugee radicalization is not the same for every refugee population and in every (European) country. Thus, the policies the European Union or specific states adopt should be tailored to the specific needs of each community and state.

Terrorism, Religion and Self-control: An Unexpected Connection Between Conservative Religious Commitment and Terrorist Efficacy

By: Dr. Ian Ravenscroft

Abstract: Correlations between terrorism and the religious commitments of terrorist organizations and actors have been the subject of extensive scholarly investigation.1 Whilst the focus has often been on extreme Jihadist terrorism, other terrorist groups and individuals with religious commitments have been widely discussed such as Baruch Goldstein’s 1994 attack in Hebron, Christian Identity groups in the US, and Aum Shinrikyo in Japan.2 A number of theories have been advanced to explain the relationships between religious commitment and terrorism. For example, Atran has argued that many terrorists are “devoted actors”, and that members of deeply conservative religions are typically devoted actors.3 Whilst not denying that these factors may be important, this article draws attention to a further significant impact of religion on terrorism: the surprising connection between religion and self-control.4 Drawing on the large empirical literature establishing a link between religion (in particular deeply conservative religions) and self-control, it is hypothesized that the religious practices of religiously-inspired terrorists enhances their self-control and thus raises their efficacy, operationalized as casualties per attack. This hypothesis will be referred to as TERS (Terrorist Efficacy, Religion and Self-control). TERS predicts that highly conservative religious terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS will typically have higher levels of terrorist efficacy than non-religious or moderately religious groups, and the research of supports this hypothesis.5 In addition, it is argued that TERS provides a crucial addition to Piazza’s emphasis on “universal/abstract” ideologies.6 Piazza remarks that left-wing terrorist groups can have universal/abstract ideologies. Case studies of atheist left-wing terrorist groups—specifically the Red Army Faction and the Red Brigades—reveal that such groups satisfy Piazza’s characterization of universal/abstract groups but have casualty rates per attack very much lower than those of highly conservative religious groups such as Al Qaeda and its affiliates. It is argued that highly conservative religious convictions enhance the self-control of the latter groups, raising their efficacy relative to the former atheist groups.

The European Journal of Development Research (Volume 32, Issue 5)

Intersecting Vulnerabilities: The Impacts of COVID-19 on the Psycho-emotional Lives of Young People in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

By: Prerna Banati, Nicola Jones, Sally Youssef

Abstract: Across diverse contexts, emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing levels of anxiety and stress. In calling for greater attention to people’s psychosocial and emotional well-being, global actors have paid insufficient attention to the realities of the pandemic in low- and middle-income countries, where millions of people are already exposed to intersecting vulnerabilities. Chronic poverty, protracted violence, conflict and displacement, coupled with weak health, education and protection systems, provide the backdrop of many adolescents’ lives. Drawing on qualitative in-country telephone interviews with over 500 adolescents in Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire and Lebanon, this article unpacks the age and gendered dimensions of COVID-19 and its response. We conclude by discussing the implications for COVID-19 recovery efforts, arguing that embedding adolescent-centred, inclusive approaches in education, community-based health and social protection responses, has the potential to mitigate the psycho-emotional toll of the pandemic on young people and promote resilience.

The Journal of Development Studies (Volume 57, Issue 2)

Weak Street-level Enforcement of Tax Laws: The Role of Tax Collectors’ Persistent but Broken Public Service Expectations

By: Moritz Schmoll

Abstract: What drives ineffective tax collection in developing countries? This widespread phenomenon has been explained by weak ‘state capacity’, rent-seeking bureaucrats, or the influence of political elites. More recently, scholars have also emphasised the role of ‘moral economies’, shared notions of what constitutes fair and legitimate taxation that prevent tax collectors from strictly enforcing the law. However, the literature has thus far missed the ways in which shared notions of what constitutes fair work and employment in the tax administration affect collection. Drawing on two years of fieldwork in Egypt, including ethnographic research among street-level tax collectors, the article finds that the simultaneous persistence and disappointment of historical expectations and feelings of entitlement to a white-collar, middle-class job renders tax collectors unwilling to carry out vital enforcement tasks, and further impedes the building of administrative capacity. Furthermore, the administrative leadership’s buying-into such narratives hollows out its capability to incentivise tax collectors to change their ways. These findings have important implications for our understanding of the micro-foundations of governance and state capacity, underscoring the role of normative-ideational factors not only in shaping the willingness of taxpayers to pay taxes, but also of tax collectors to collect them.

The Journal of Politics (Volume 83, Issue 1)

Unpopular Protest: Mass Mobilization and Attitudes to Democracy in Post-Mubarak Egypt

By: Neil Ketchley, Thoraya El-Rayyes

Abstract: Political science has long debated the significance of protest during a democratic transition, but attention has been largely confined to its impact on elite support for democracy. Contributing to scholarship on the attitudinal consequences of mobilization, we examine how protest shaped popular perceptions of democracy during the post-Mubarak transition in Egypt. We do this by matching wave 2 of the Arab Barometer survey with georeferenced protest events reported in Arabic-language newspapers. Our results show that Egyptians came to hold less favorable attitudes to democracy following sustained protest in their district. We find that this relationship was principally driven by longer-lasting, static street protests that targeted public space. Qualitative case details illustrate how such tactics could disrupt everyday life and affect livelihoods. These findings highlight one way in which popular support for democracy can be eroded during a transition.

Third World Quarterly (Volume 41, Issue 12 and Volume 42, Issues 1 & 2)

Democratisation in ambiguous environments: positive prospects for democracy in the MENA region after the Arab Spring

By: Osman Bahadır Dinçer, Mehmet Hecan

Abstract: Instead of writing off the post-uprising period in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a failed attempt at democratisation, this article argues that the region is still undergoing an ambiguous and contingent process in which democratisation survives as one likely path among others. From this alternative viewpoint, the uprisings have multi-faceted, complex and uncertain consequences that constitute the beginnings of a long-term transitional phase in which various forces of political development continue to coexist in competing fashions. We argue that amidst this ambiguous process, the uprisings have introduced game-changing dynamics with regard to democratisation. We further attempt to identify these dynamics and discuss the potential value of the post-uprising experience as an asset for regional democratisation. For this purpose, we underline at least three crucial aspects of the post-uprising experience regarding democratic development in the region: (1) the demonstration of the potential for political change, (2) the contribution to the democratic learning curve, and (3) the emergence of Tunisia as a ‘transition game’. This study aims to serve as a guiding analytical exercise in the study of democratisation within ambiguous political environments, such as the post-uprising MENA region, where identifying the direction of democratisation may prove difficult.

Refugee return and fragmented governance in the host state: displaced Syrians in the face of Lebanon’s divided politics

By: Tamirace Fakhoury

Abstract: How do host states with a refugee regime relying on a patchwork of competing and informal responses negotiate refugee return? Amid a stalemate, Lebanon has taken in more than one million Syrian refugees. As soon as conflict dynamics shifted in favour of the Syrian regime, politicians started calling for their repatriation. In this context, although conditions are not propitious for return, various state and non-state actors have rushed to devise return initiatives. The article discusses shifts in governing returns from the Lebanese state as the sole decision-maker to the dispersion of authority within competing structures. It shows how various actors have drawn on return as bargaining leverage. Their divergent agendas have enshrined disputed preferences over repatriation, obscuring accountability over refugee rights. Competing logics are to be contextualised in a historically informed analysis of the state and its refugee regime. They are further to be embedded in a geopolitical reading of the ways Syria’s war has cut across Lebanese borders. The Lebanese case conveys broader insights. Host states may draw on fragmentation and informality to blur responsibility over safe and dignified return. Additionally, fragmentation and informality within a state make it harder for international actors to rally support for principles governing repatriation.

Refugee community organisations: capabilities, interactions and limitations

By: Zeynep Sahin Mencutek

Abstract: This article focuses on ways in which refugee-led community organisations (RCOs) carve out a space of influence through civic activism in the migration architectures of receiving countries. Building on scholarship addressing migration governance and grassroots refugee organisations, it argues that RCOs have become vital in the refugees’ search for means to alleviate the sufferings of their fellows, to empower their community and claim rights for an improvement of their conditions. The notions of invented and invited spaces are convenient to describe opportunities, limitations and the ways of interactions encountered by emerging formal and informal RCOs. Drawing on qualitative data obtained from Syrian RCOs and governance actors in Turkey, the article demonstrates how increasing numbers of RCOs operate in the invited spaces opened by the state agencies and international donors. Only rarely, however, are RCOs able to invent spaces to change existing power relations, as Turkey’s political context categorically opposes rights-based advocacy of any marginalised group, and the national refugee governance is based on temporary protection. The findings can serve to analyse the dynamics of new refugee groups’ collective actions as well as their interactions with governance actors at transnational, national and local levels.

Criminalisation of kindness: narratives of legality in the European politics of migration containment

By: Galya Ben-Arieh, Volker M. Heins

Abstract: This article explores the emergence of the crime of migrant smuggling and its legitimising narratives as tools of global migration management. We examine the ways in which the language of ‘migrant smuggling’ was introduced into and then lifted out of the context of international law and recontextualised to serve the purposes of migration management. The main consequence of this fusion of law, narrative and policy is the redefinition of the legality of actors and actions along the migration routes across the Sahara, the Mediterranean and Europe. We examine the conflict between two dominant narratives of legality: the smuggler narrative vs the rescue narrative. Laws designed to protect people are being turned against the people they were ostensibly designed to protect. We argue that the smuggler narrative facilitates policies whereby wealthy states, under the pretence of law, contain migration from the South within the broader framework of a divisive global politics of life. Since these policies are implemented through bribery, blackmail and brute force, they are displaying the ugly face of global migration governance without contributing in any way to a solution of the problems driving migration in the current global environment.

Iran’s strategic culture: the ‘revolutionary’ and ‘moderation’ narratives on the ballistic missile programme

By: Mohammad Eslami, Alena Vysotskaya Guedes Vieira

Abstract: Drawing on an analytical framework that combines strategic culture theory with narrative analysis, this paper explores the recent evolution of Iran’s ballistic missile programme (BMP) (2015–2019). Iran’s strategic culture attributes a key role to the BMP but nevertheless allows room for manoeuvre in Iran’s security policy, which explains multiple and sometimes contradicting visions of the BMP. We demonstrate that Iran’s approach towards the programme is enveloped by political discourses, which shift with the direction of Iran’s international relations and domestic politics. We distinguish two competing narratives – ‘revolutionary’ and ‘moderation’ – and demonstrate how they define the opportunities and constraints of Iran’s military behaviour in different ways. Finally, we demonstrate a move towards a more confrontational approach, reflected in the consolidation of the ‘revolutionary’ narrative. This article contributes to a more fine-grained understanding of Iran’s policy towards its BMP, which remains central to Iran’s strategic culture.

A conditional norm: chemical warfare from colonialism to contemporary civil wars

By: Güneş Murat Tezcür, Doreen Horschig

Abstract: The norm against chemical weapons (CW) is considered to be a strong and universal restraint against poisonous methods of warfare. Yet the repeated CW attacks during the Syrian civil war have raised questions about the robustness of this international norm. Under what conditions do third parties emphatically sanction violators of the norm? Adopting a historical approach, we analyse the discursive and contextual dynamics characterising the CW attacks since the early twentieth century. Employing process tracing, we consult a variety of rich archival resources including primary language documents to study a number of historical cases including late colonial wars during the interwar period, and Middle Eastern civil wars since the late twentieth century. Building on Judith Butler’s distinction of grievable and ungrievable lives and Didier Fassin’s notion of politics of life, we argue that the anti-CW norm has never had universal status and always remained conditional on a hierarchy of victims. CW attacks targeting certain groups have been more readily justifiable and generated ineffective and inconsistent third-party reactions. Consequently, certain groups, who are implicitly or explicitly perceived to be outside the pale of civilised order, remain more vulnerable to CW attacks than others.

From livelihoods to leisure and back: refugee ‘self-reliance’ as collective practices in Lebanon, India and Greece

By: Estella Carpi, Jessica Anne Field, Sophie Isobel Dicker, Andrea Rigon

Abstract: Over the last two decades, leading humanitarian agencies in the Global North have increasingly promoted a policy of self-reliance, understood as making individual refugees financially independent from aid assistance through livelihood programmes. However, individual economic autonomy offers an incomplete picture of refugee well-being. Based on fieldwork conducted over 2017 in Halba (Lebanon), Delhi (India) and Thessaloniki (Greece), this multi-site study shows that non-camp refugees build on collective strategies at household, social network and community levels in efforts to develop mechanisms of survival and enfranchisement. These strategies include social and leisure activities as well as income-generating activities which are often organised compartmentally in humanitarian programming. We argue that while leisure and social mingling alone cannot ensure economic sustainability, they are fundamental dimensions of self-reliance as seen by refugees and should therefore be systematically included in livelihood programming.

World Politics (Volume 73, Issue 1)

Practical Ideology in Militant Organizations

By: Sarah E. Parkinson

Abstract: Ideology shapes militant recruitment, organization, and conflict behavior. Existing research assumes doctrinal consistency, top-down socialization of adherents, and clear links between formal ideology and political action. But it has long been recognized that ideological commitments do not flow unaltered from overarching cleavages or elite narratives; they are uneven, contingent, fraught with tension, and often ambivalent. What work does ideology do in militant groups if it is not deeply studied, internalized, or sincerely believed? How can scholars explain collective commitment, affinity, and behavioral outcomes among militants who clearly associate themselves with a group, but who may not consistently (or ever) be true believers or committed ideologues? I argue that practical ideologies—sets of quotidian principles, ideas, and social heuristics that reflect relational worldviews rather than specific published political doctrines, positions, platforms, or plans—play a key role in militant socialization through everyday practices. Ethnographic evidence gained from fieldwork among Palestinians in Lebanon demonstrates how militants and affiliates render ideas about ideological closeness and distance accessible through emotional, intellectual, and moral appeals. This approach reaffirms the role of discourse and narrative in creating informal mechanisms of militant socialization without expressly invoking formal doctrine.


[The articles below were recently added to the Peer-Reviewed Articles Review: Fall 2020 (Part 4). They have been included here for your convenience.]

American Economic Review (Volume 110, Issue 10)

Misperceived Social Norms: Women Working Outside the Home in Saudi Arabia

By: Leonardo Bursztyn, Alessandra L. González, David Yanagizawa-Drott

Abstract: We show that the vast majority of young married men in Saudi Arabia privately support women working outside the home (WWOH) and substantially underestimate support by other similar men. Correcting these beliefs increases men’s (costly) willingness to help their wives search for jobs. Months later, wives of men whose beliefs were corrected are more likely to have applied and interviewed for a job outside the home. In a recruitment experiment with a local company, randomly informing women about actual support for WWOH leads them to switch from an at-home temporary enumerator job to a higher-paying, outside-the-home version of the job.

American Journal of Political Science (Volume 64, Issue 3)

Can Terrorism Abroad Influence Migration Attitudes at Home?

By: Tobias Böhmelt, Vincenzo Bove, Enzo Nussio

Abstract: This article demonstrates that public opinion on migration “at home” is systematically driven by terrorism in other countries. Although there is little substantive evidence linking refugees or migrants to most recent terror attacks in Europe, news about terrorist attacks can trigger more negative views of immigrants. However, the spatial dynamics of this process are neglected in existing research. We argue that feelings of imminent danger and a more salient perception of migration threats do not stop at national borders. The empirical results based on spatial econometrics and data on all terrorist attacks in Europe for the post‐9/11 period support these claims. The effect of terrorism on migration concern is strongly present within a country but also diffuses across states in Europe. This finding improves our understanding of public opinion on migration, as well as the spillover effects of terrorism, and it highlights crucial lessons for scholars interested in the security implications of population movements.

Repression Technology: Internet Accessibility and State Violence

By: Anita R. Gohdes

Abstract: This article offers a first subnational analysis of the relationship between states’ dynamic control of Internet access and their use of violent repression. I argue that where governments provide Internet access, surveillance of digital information exchange can provide intelligence that enables the use of more targeted forms of repression, in particular in areas not fully controlled by the regime. Increasing restrictions on Internet accessibility can impede opposition organization, but they limit access to information on precise targets, resulting in an increase in untargeted repression. I present new data on killings in the Syrian conflict that distinguish between targeted and untargeted events, using supervised text classification. I find that higher levels of Internet accessibility are associated with increases in targeted repression, whereas areas with limited access experience more indiscriminate campaigns of violence. The results offer important implications on how governments incorporate the selective access to communication technology into their strategies of coercion.

Arab Media & Society (Issue 30)

Impact of US Drama Binge-Watching in the Emirates: Third-Person Effect and Cultural Self-Conceptual

By: Azza Abdel-Azim Mohamed Ahmed

Abstract: The study investigates respondents’ perception of the negative effects of US drama binge-watching on their cultural values as compared with its perceived effects on the cultural values of others. The study helps in understanding the extent to which Arab residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) perceive media’s imperialist influence upon themselves as compared with others. It examines the perceptual and behavioral components of the third-person effect (TPE) in relation to binge-watching TV. Cultural background traits (individualism and collectivism) are studied as an intervening variable. The results showed that binge-watchers of US drama tend to perceive the potential negative influences of US drama to exist more for others than for themselves. The presence of individualist vs collectivist cultural tendency did not have a significant impact on the workings of TPE. The perceptual component of TPE was proved, while the behavioral component was not significant.

The Role of Smartphone Applications in Risk and Natural Disaster Communication Management (Arabic)

By: Shaymaa Salem and Dina Elkhattat

Abstract: Natural disasters are one of the most dangerous challenges facing societies because of the heavy human, economic, and social losses they cause, besides the damages in infrastructure and holdings. While it is difficult to prevent some risks or disasters, the efficiency and effectiveness of communications during these periods can reduce their consequences and serious damage, especially in light of the development of digital communication technology, the increased use of social media platforms, and the widespread use of smartphones that have come to be an essential part of our daily activities. In this context, thousands of smartphone applications have emerged in various fields including commercial, medical, industrial, entertainment, public services, etc. Faced with grave risks and disasters, the importance of smartphone technology has developed, which has helped to mitigate the devastating effects of such disasters by saving the lives of thousands of citizens and enhancing the ability of affected communities to help themselves. This study adopts the case study method with the aim of extrapolation and reasoning, by reviewing the most popular smartphone applications used in risk and disaster communication management. To explore the role of these applications in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of risk and disaster communications and their benefits in reducing the serious damage caused by these disasters. The study concluded a set of results; researchers emphasize the important role of smartphone applications as an integrated information guide to educate users about all types of natural disasters and risks, and as an interactive social network, that saves many lives, property, and natural resources. Moreover, the researchers concluded a proposed model that illustrates six quality standards of smartphone applications in general, and in times of emergency and natural disasters in particular in terms of operating specifications, information quality, design quality, reliability, interactive, privacy, and security.

Factors Influencing Public Attitudes Towards Paying for Online News: Field study (Arabic)

By: Elsayed Bekhit Darwish and Haythem M. Younis

Abstract: Despite the implementation of new business models in several Western media organizations, most Arab newspapers have not yet explored these models, and little is known about public attitudes towards their willingness to pay for online news. The study sought to identify factors that encourage the public to pay. It was applied to a sample of 530 newspaper consumers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. The study concluded that there are unfavorable trends in the public regarding their interest in following up on the news and did not show willingness for paying for online news. Most of them prefer to pay for entertainment materials. The study found that demographic variables such as age and income were important indicators of the public’s willingness to pay. Most respondents were not yet exposed to the paywall and anticipated difficulty in implementing the culture of paying for online news in Arab societies. They also expected that many print newspapers will disappear in the near future, and the idea of paying for online news was not seen favorably.

Freedom Issues Management in Digital and Traditional Media Platforms: A Comparative Study among Egyptian and Saudi Youth (Arabic)

By: Souraya A. El Badaoui and Bassant Attia

Abstract: With the expansion of the digital public sphere, tackling freedom issues has been widely transferred from traditional mass media to digital platforms. Based on the constructive approach that demonstrates the recipient’s active ability to give meaning to what he/she is exposed to, and what “Binge-watch”, this study aims at identifying the various visions of youth in Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the political, social, and religious freedom issues discussed in series presented on Netflix digital platform as well as traditional television channels. The study adopted a survey approach to a sample made up of (300) Egyptian and Saudi youth. Thus, this study reveals the excessive increase of binge-watching Netflix series at the side of the collected sample of Egyptian and Saudi youth, in comparison to the decline in the rate of their exposure to series presented on traditional TV channels. Furthermore, the study also shows the limited role of traditional and new media platforms in forming the youth vision of freedom issues. It is, moreover, manifested that generating meanings related to such issues is subject to several internal and external factors associated with youth and their surrounding context, not to their exposure to any platform viewing patterns or content.

Knowledge, understanding, and adherence to Social Media regulations by youth in the United Arab Emirates

By: Thouraya Snoussi, Ahmed Farouk Radwan and Sheren Ali Mousa

Abstract: The study deals with legislation and guidelines related to the use of virtual space, especially social media. A special focus has been placed on youth in the United Arab Emirates, where a set of regulations are being implemented, in addition to a series of media campaigns to spread awareness and ensure positive use compatible with Emirati culture. Thus, this article aims to explore young people’s level of knowledge, understanding, and adherence towards social media regulations. The authors raised the problem related to perceptions and behaviors of a sample of students enrolled in two Emirate Universities in this regard. The stress was put on the correlation between participants’ understanding and their practices, to test their adherence to the online regulations they are aware of; three hundred (300) students volunteered to answer the online survey questions via Google Forms. Search data were then analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics (version 26). The results highlighted a heavy use of social media but a moderate level of awareness, as participants announced a wide and regular range of virtual practices with limited knowledge of general regulations. In the meantime, a special understanding of the UAE’s standards on the use of social media was tracked, which led to a level of adherence to it. The authors recommend intensifying awareness campaigns that focus on raising the level of knowledge and understanding of rational uses of digital platforms and increasing compliance with regulations among young people.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Diffusion of Fake News through Social Media in the Arab World

By: Hussein Khalifa, Mujeeb Al-Absy, Sherif Badran, Tamer Alkadash Qais Almaamari, and Muskan Nagi

Abstract: Social media platforms are among the most widely used sources of information in the world. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the public needs access to timely and reliable information about the disease symptoms and their prevention. Thus, this study aims to determine the respondents’ perception of their trust level in the information published on social networking sites regarding the coronavirus. In addition, it aims to identify the most popular social media sites spreading rumors related to coronavirus. Further, it explores the respondents’ interaction with news and information relating to coronavirus published on social media. A non-probability sampling technique was used. The questionnaire was administered to respondents through the internet; posted on social media accounts, internet newsgroups, discussion groups, and emails sent to colleagues and friends to respond to the questionnaire. A total of 1274 self-selected cases from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates were investigated. This study revealed that respondents have more confidence in the information published by Twitter, Followed by Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook. However, they have less confidence in the information published by Tik Tok or other networks. Regarding spreading rumors, the study found that the most popular social networking platform spreading rumors related to coronavirus is WhatsApp. Further, the study found that respondents are interactive with all news and information of coronavirus published on social media.

Virtual Brand Communities: Engagement Profiles and Typology

By: Ahmed Taher and Heba El Shahed

Abstract: Within the prevalent digital communication era, users have utilized digital connectivity to form social aggregations and virtual communities (VC) with unique features.  Recently, millions of internet users have joined one or more brand virtual communities to serve their communication, knowledge-seeking, entertainment, and self-fulfillment needs. Virtual communities represent different contexts, objectives, and technical configurations catering to diverse consumption patterns. This article is the first to present virtual communities’ typology focusing on passion, professional, social, and commercial brand communities. This article also explores a comparative framework for brand communities’ engagement profiles in the four types of brand communities. Moreover, it outlines recommendations for future research relating to VC’s engagement in behavioral studies.

The Effect of using Artificial Intelligence Technologies in Presenting News Stories in Virtual Reality Immersive Experiences (Arabic)

By: Marwa Atyah

Abstract: This study aims at uncovering the effect of using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques on two levels of virtual reality (360° video and immersive 3D) while presenting news stories in recipients’ immersive experiences. To achieve this goal, a field experiment was designed to collect the feedback and responses from individuals. Later, we designed and applied the immersive measure on these responses and found that there are differences for recipients while using 360° video and immersive 3D in the spatial dimension during the experiment. On the other hand, there is no difference between the two technologies in terms of the dimensions of time or sense. The results also showed that the 360° video technology supports the knowledge dimension when compared to immersive 3D. From this study, we can conclude that applying immersive journalism with the support of virtual reality technologies has started to appear clearly in the media field, especially with the major strides in AI technologies that support digital platform algorithms being used in presenting this kind of content.

Gender and Issues of Digital Identity among Arab Women: An Ethnographic Study of a Sample of Facebook Users in Algeria (Arabic)

By: Mostapha Tabet and Hanane Hadji

Abstract: Not available

“I’ll See You on Zoom!” International Educators’ Perceptions of Online Teaching Amid, and Beyond, Covid-19

By: Adity Saxena and Sahar Khamis

Abstract: When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world in 2020, it affected every aspect of life, including education. The spread of this pandemic compelled the world to shift from traditional classroom education to online learning. This exploratory qualitative research study investigates the critical and timely topic of the sudden transition to online teaching amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It studies its multiple implications through in-depth interviews with a diverse group of international educators from different higher education institutions, representing different nationalities, ethnicities, genders, ranks, and generations. The findings reflect an early snapshot of the continuous teaching and learning development efforts on a large scale, across different regions of the world, and provide insights for future research and practice in the field of international education. The results also reveal some areas of concern in the educational digital environment, requiring further investigation moving forward, such as the digital divide, the gender gap, especially the gender digital gap, and the importance of meeting the needs of students with various physical and mental disabilities. The study offers suggestions to improve online education strategies, both amid the pandemic and in the post-pandemic era.

Daesh and the Power of Media and Message

By: Jamileh Kadivar

Abstract: This paper, as a part of an on-going research project, examines Daesh’s media (2014-2017) and seeks to provide a deeper understanding of how Daesh spreads its messages. It focuses on the importance of media as one of the main factors behind Daesh’s power. It also demonstrates that in order to export a powerful self-image to the outside world, Daesh considers media a significant part of Jihad, and consequently perceives the media war as equally, or even more important than the military war.  In this process, Daesh relies on its own media to spread its content, while mainstream media enthusiastically release the news relevant to Daesh. Besides studying Daesh’s media, this paper highlights the importance of ‘message’ for Daesh: to present itself as a powerful and a victorious actor, while seeking to portray a weak and coward-like picture of its enemies to the outside world. This paper also examines the group’s communication strategy.

Countering Counterfeits: The Digital Challenge of Fake News

By: Abdulrahman Elsamni

Abstract: This article reviews the most recent academic scholarship and professional literature pertinent to fake news, in order to provide a better understanding of its challenge in the digital era. In so doing, the article outlines fake news phenomenon, its political and financial motives, its impacts on quality journalism, as well as the controversy surrounding its effects, particularly with regard to social media, drawing examples from Germany, the United States, and Egypt, and discussing possible practices to counter the digital challenge of fake news.

Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (Issue 384)

The Ördekburnu and Katumuwa Stelae: Some Reflections on Two Grabdenkmäler

By: K. Lawson Younger Jr.

Abstract: The recent discovery of the Katumuwa Stele and the new edition of the Ördekburnu Stele have invigorated the study of ancient Yādiya/Samʾal, in particular the study of its Grabdenkmäler. This article will investigate some of the ways in which the two are mutually informing of one another. It will address some of the important interpretive difficulties in these monuments, especially as they bear on religion in that ancient polity.

Marble Sculptures from the Great Eastern Baths of Gerasa (Jordan): The Sources of the Marbles

By: Khaled Al-Bashaireh, Thomas M. Weber-Karyotakis, Nizar Abu-Jaber, Thomas Lepaon

Abstract: This paper aims to examine the provenance of Roman marble statues uncovered from the Eastern Roman Baths (Gerasa of the Decapolis, Jordan) during the 2016 and 2017 excavation campaigns. The samples were characterized using magnifying lenses, an x-ray diffractometer, a stable isotope mass spectrometer, and a polarized light microscope. The results show that the Aphrodite and drapery marbles are dolomitic and most probably from the Cape Vathy of Thassos Island (Greece); the Asklepios and Zeus marbles are fine-grained and most probably from Docimium (Turkey); the Melopmene, Demetrius Aphrodite, and eagle marbles are fine-grained and most probably from Penteli (Greece); the dancing satyr and Apollo marbles are coarse-grained and most probably from Lakkos (Paros Island, Greece); and the marble fragments of unknown statues are coarse-grained and most probably from Marmara (Proconnesus-1) Island, Turkey. The results indicate that sculptors preferred fine white marbles for carving sculptures in spite of their source, price, and sculpture workshop. The results agree with previous studies that showed a wide variety of marble sources, indicating that Gerasa prospered in its location on the King’s Highway and participated in a well-established trade network with the major cities and marble sources in the Roman Empire.

Basileus Meets Imperator: Herod’s Evolving Honors to Augustus

By: Barbara Burrell

Abstract: This paper uses recent finds and reinterpretations (archaeological, epigraphic, and historical) to re-examine and place in a wider context Herod the Great’s actions towards honoring Augustus in his realm. As a king formerly allied with Antony, Herod needed to placate Augustus quickly after Actium. At first he showered his new overlord with service, money, and supplies, but it may have been in imitation of cities like Pergamon in Asia that he established a festival in Augustus’s honor in Jerusalem. We hear nothing of actual temples, however, until after Augustus granted Herod new territories; it was there, in non-Jewish areas, that Herod founded cities (which was what kings did), named them in honor of his sole superior, and built in them temples to Augustus and Roma, perhaps again on the model of Hellenic cities of Asia or Bithynia, or of Alexandria in Egypt. Herod did this not for the sake of Hellenization or Romanization, but to reify his relationship with Augustus before his kingdom and the world, enshrining him in the sole place in the hierarchy that a king could tolerate, and also, not incidentally, to show his own magnificence.

Hazon Gabriel: A Display of Negligence

By: Årstein Justnes, Josephine Munch Rasmussen

Abstract: How do recently crafted objects of dubious provenance become ancient manuscripts of serious scientific interest? In this article, we will explore the curious case of Hazon Gabriel. We will demonstrate how this unprovenanced stone inscription was turned into an “authentic” artifact with an ideal provenance, and we will discuss the role of the owner and the scholarly community in this process.

Crime and Punishment: Deportation in the Levant in the Age of Assyrian Hegemony

By: Jonathan Valk

Abstract: Assyrian imperialism is closely associated with the practice of mass deportation. This practice has been explained by recourse to many different motivations. But can we hope to pinpoint the logic informing deportation rather than merely identifying its advantages? This paper surveys the evidence of deportation in the Levant in the period 745–620 b.c.e. Focusing on deportation in this circumscribed time and place enables a more concentrated account of its use. Deportation is generally argued to have served three broad ends: bolstering the supply of human resources in the Assyrian heartland, meeting particular strategic needs, and dealing with dissent. This paper finds that despite the many uses of deportation, it was first and foremost a punitive instrument intended to curb resistance to Assyrian hegemony. This punitive dimension constituted the foundation of Assyrian deportation in the Levant in the age of Assyrian hegemony.

Foreigners at Beni Hassan: Evidence from the Tomb of Khnumhotep I (No. 14)

By: Anna-Latifa Mourad

Abstract: The procession of Asiatics in the tomb of Khnumhotep II (No. 3) at Beni Hassan is one of the most famous scenes alluding to ancient Egypt’s interactions with its neighbors. Khnumhotep II, however, was not the only official at Beni Hassan to include representations of foreigners. The tomb of his possible grandfather, Khnumhotep I (No. 14), additionally features unique depictions of a number of individuals who can be identified as of non-Egyptian origin. These foreigners signal that particular cross-cultural relations could remain under the auspices of specific families in the early Middle Kingdom, perhaps influencing power and political dynamics that helped shape the 12th Dynasty. The following presents the most recent recordings of the depictions as completed by The Australian Centre for Egyptology, commenting on their nature and historical significance in relation to Khnumhotep I and the Oryx nome.

“Beloved of the Lady Are Those Who …”: A Recurring Memorial Formula in the Sinaitic Inscriptions

By: Aren M. Wilson-Wright

Abstract: This paper proposes a revised interpretation of the recurring sequence ḏ t b ṯ n m ṯ found in the early alphabetic inscriptions from Serabit el-Khadem, an Egyptian turquoise mining facility located in the Sinai Peninsula. I argue that this sequence combines with the well-known phrase m(ʾ)hb(b)ʿlt “beloved of the Lady” in Sinai 351, 353, 360, and 361 to form a memorial formula meaning “Beloved of the Lady are those who tell people about Māṯ.” It thus expresses a sentiment similar to contemporaneous Egyptian inscriptions from Serabit el-Khadem: the author of the inscriptions—in this case Māṯ—asks the reader to perform some action on his behalf. In return, he assures the reader that they will be beloved of the Lady (i.e., Hathor, the patron goddess of the mining district).

The People Behind the Stamps: A Newly-Found Group of Bullae and a Seal from the City of David, Jerusalem

By: Anat Mendel-Geberovich, Ortal Chalaf, Joe Uziel

Abstract: The article presents a group of thirteen inscribed bullae and a stamp seal, dated to the late 8th–early 6th centuries B.C.E., discovered in the recent excavations of Area U in the City of David, Jerusalem. Following the presentation of the archaeological context and palaeographic analysis of the finds, we discuss the names appearing on them and their contribution to the broader topic of the history of Jerusalem, with a special emphasis on the connection of the findings to the importance of the Gihon Spring and to the debate regarding Israelite refugees in Judah.

The Morphology of Iron Age Storage Jars and Its Relation to the Handbreadth Measure (Biblical Tefach)

By: Avshalom Karasik, Ortal Harush, Uzy Smilansky

Abstract: In this paper we compare morphological features of three groups of Iron Age storage jars that were unearthed in several Judahite and Israelite sites. The most famous group is the royal Judahite storage jars with stamped handles (“lmlk,” “rosette,” etc.). The other two groups are the “Hippo” jars found abundantly in Israelite sites and the jars from Khirbet Qeiyafa (Judah), assigned chronologically to the early 10th century b.c.e. We scanned most of the available jars in 3D and compared them in a detailed morphological study. We extracted several metric measures and observed large variations between jars within a group and, to a larger extent, between jars from different groups. The only exception is the inner rim diameter, which shows surprising uniformity. Moreover, the distribution of inner rim diameters is consistent with anthropometric measurements of the handbreadth of the human male. We provide a detailed description of our methodology and findings and offer a few alternative explanations for the clear correlation between the measured inner rim diameter and the human tefach.

Yehud Stamp Impressions from Ramat-Raḥel: An Updated Tabulation

By: Oded Lipschits, David S. Vanderhooft

Abstract: The 2011 publication of the corpus of the Yehud stamp impressions of the Persian and Early Hellenistic periods included 582 items—307 of them were excavated at Ramat Raḥel. A few additional handles with Yehud stamp impressions were discovered since then, mainly in Jerusalem, but 33 more stamped handles were discovered in the “Babylonian-Persian Pit” at Ramat Raḥel (five of these were previously published and one is unidentified). Forty-one more were discovered during processing, cataloging, and restoration of material from the 2009–2010 seasons (three of them are unidentified), bringing the total number of identified Yehud stamp impressions from all sites to 647. In this paper we present all the unpublished stamped handles, as well as a final tabulation of Yehud stamp impressions excavated at Ramat Raḥel, and reflect on the significance of the site for the administration of the province during the Persian and early Hellenistic periods.

Radiocarbon-Dating the Late Bronze Age: Cultural and Historical Considerations on Megiddo and Beyond

By: Mario A. S. Martin, Israel Finkelstein, Eli Piasetzky

Abstract: Megiddo, with its tight stratigraphy and well-controlled ceramic typology, yielded more than half of the radiocarbon determinations for the time span of the Middle Bronze II to the Iron I in the southern Levant. Here we present two radiocarbon models for this entire sequence, focusing on the Late Bronze Age—1) for Megiddo; 2) for Megiddo and Beth-Shean—adding a third model for sites which provide results relevant to the Middle Bronze III/Late Bronze I transition. We then discuss the impact of the results on the material culture and history of Megiddo in particular and the southern Levant (and eastern Mediterranean) in general.

Constellations (Volume 27, Issue 3)

They don’t represent us? Synecdochal representation and the politics of occupy movements

By: Mathijs van de Sande

Abstract: In 2011 and the ensuing years, the world witnessed a global wave of various “occupy movements,” from the Spanish 15‐M and the Greek anti‐austerity protests of 2011 to Occupy Wall Street (OWS), and from the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul to Nuit Debout in Paris. Inspired by the Arab Spring earlier that year—and by the iconic image of an occupied Tahrir Square in particular—protesters in different parts of the world took possession of public spaces in order to oppose the austerity measures of their governments, to challenge the power of financial industries and economic elites, and to voice their widely shared experience of a democratic deficit. I emphasize from the outset that there are many, and often very substantial, demographic, cultural, economic, and political differences among these various occupy movements and among the contexts in which they intervened. There is thus no particular reason to assume, as some enthusiastic commentators suggested at the time, that they were all exponents of a single global movement (Hardt & Negri, 2012; Mason, 2011). But it is also clear, on the other hand, that they often expressed a strong sense of solidarity with each other, and referred to each another as important sources of inspiration (Graeber, 2013, p. 237). Notwithstanding the many differences between these movements, they did share at least a number of important points in common.

What is asylum? More than protection, less than citizenship

By: Nanda Oudejans

Abstract: Increasingly, European and other Western States no longer wish to accept refugees but rather explore and implement extraterritorial asylum policies that seek to keep refugees safe in their region of origin or transit. Australia recently reached an agreement with Cambodia to permanently transfer recognized refugees (see Gammelthoft‐Hansen, Pijnenburg, & Rijken, 2018, p. 366). Likewise, Israel reached transfer agreements with Uganda and Rwanda to exchange recognized refugees (see Bar‐Tuvia, 2018, p. 475). States promote protection outside their territories as a mechanism that prevents the unmanaged inflow of refugees into their societies while also claiming that regional protection facilitates the return of refugees once their country of origin has become safe. For instance, the EU Migration Partnership Framework launched in 2016 identifies two main objectives of the EU’s cooperation with third states: “enable … refugees to stay close to their homes” and “increase the rate of returns to the country of origin or transit countries” (European Commission, 2016, p. 5).

Journal of Near Eastern Studies (Volume 79, Issue 2)

Muhammad and Justinian: Roman Legal Traditions and the Qurʾān

By: Juan Cole

Abstract: Not available

The Language of Filiation in the Code of Hammurapi

By: Christoph Schmidhuber

Abstract: Not available

Destined for Slaughter: Identifying Seasonal Breeding Patterns in Sheep and Goats in Early Babylonia

By: Magnus Widell

Abstract: Not available

On an Incised Palette from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Date, Suggested Provenance, and Use Practices of Grinding Palettes with Engraved Animal Figures

By: Axelle Brémont

Abstract: Not available

“Isn’t she a Woman?”: The “Widow of Ephesus” in the Ottoman Empire

By: Nazlı İpek Hüner Cora

Abstract: Not available

The Literary Dynamic of Loyalty and Betrayal in the Aramaic Ahiqar Narrative

By: Saul M. Olyan

Abstract: Not available

Solomon and The Petrified Birds on the Dome of the Rock

By: Elon Harvey

Abstract: Not available

Excavations at Barveh Tepe: New Insights into the Early Bronze Age in Northwest Iran

By: Mahnaz Sharifi

Abstract: Not available

See Ḫattuša and Die: A New Reconstruction of the Journeys of the Babylonian Physician Rabâ-ša-Marduk

By: Elena Devecchi, Irene Sibbing-Plantholt

Abstract: Not available

Progress in Development Studies (Volume 20, Issue 4)

Early Marriage in Perspective: Practicing an Ethics of Dialogue with Syrian Refugees in Jordan

By: An Van Raemdonck, Marina de Regt

Abstract: This article discusses rationales for development and humanitarian intervention through the lenses of poststructuralist policy analysis and a postcolonial politics of the womb. It aims to show a variety of perspectives on early marriage and the limitations of dominant policy responses. The article argues that humanitarian logics easily blend with developmentalist models, especially in conditions of protracted displacement. The response to the rise of early marriage among Syrians in Jordan mainly consists of educational activities such as awareness raising that are based on imparting knowledge. The article suggests that responses based on an ethics of dialogue may be more adequate to meet refugees’ needs and, second, may help to shift the balance from developmentalist reproductive governance towards realizing the humanitarian goal of identifying and addressing women refugees’ needs.

The Journal of Politics (Volume 82, Issue 4)

Identity and Provocation: Dynamics of Minority Assimilation

By: Xiaoli Guo

Abstract: This article formalizes how extremists manipulate an ethnic or religious identity to generate intergroup tension in society. I argue that Islamic extremists seek to reinforce the Islamic identity of Muslims. To do so, they launch terror attacks against a majority non-Muslim population as a provocation strategy to trigger a backlash against Muslims. This backlash makes it more difficult for Muslims to assimilate, pulling them away from the mainstream and promoting their in-group solidarity. I find that this strategy of provocation succeeds only if Muslims manage to provide sufficient in-group favoritism to counteract the backlash. If the majority shuns unassimilated Muslims more, or if the Muslim community is more economically unproductive, it is easier to mobilize Muslims, and extremists can induce more Muslims to stop assimilating. Provocation efficacy increases if the government excludes the Muslim community and, surprisingly, decreases when the Muslim community is more extreme or more homogeneous.

The Washington Quarterly (Volume 43, Issue 3)

“Pax Americana” Is a Myth: Aversion to War Drives Peace and Order

By: John Mueller

Abstract: Not available