[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the eighteenth 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 three-to-four parts, depending on the number of articles included.]
American Journal of Political Science (Volume 65, Issue 4)
By: Carolyn Barnett, Amaney A. Jamal, Steve L. Monroe
Abstract: Does earning income empower women in patriarchal societies? We conducted two original experiments in Jordan investigating how patriarchal norms constrain the effects of relative earned income on women’s bargaining power and women’s preferences for paid employment opportunities. In the first experiment, we randomized women’s relative earned income in a bargaining lab game involving male and female partners. Women with higher incomes than their partners behave more efficaciously than women with lower incomes. They are only more influential over bargaining outcomes, however, when paired with women, not men. We then employed a conjoint survey experiment using hypothetical job opportunities to assess how the prospect of higher incomes and working alongside men affect women’s job preferences. Though higher wages make jobs more desirable, mixed-sex work spaces are a strong deterrent. Together, these findings demonstrate that patriarchal norms constrain women’s desire to engage in paid labor and segment the empowering effects of earning income.
Arab Law Quarterly (Volume 35, Issue 4)
By: Reem Anwar Ahmed Raslan
Abstract: The current international investment legal regime results from the interplay between international investment norms, embodied mainly in international investment agreements (IIAs), and the legal regime of the host country. This article will outline two major impacts IIAs can exert on national governance in Egypt: first, the domestic reform impact that refers to domestically initiated reform measures taken to compliment IIAs objectives, such as establishment of Economic Courts as well as limitation of third-party challenge of Investor–State contracts; and, second, the Supra-National Impact which involves situations where IIAs constrain the regulatory powers of the host state usually by imposing legal obligations that go beyond international standards, such as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms as well as trade-related investment measures-plus (TRIMS-Plus) and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights-plus (TRIPS-Plus) provisions. Understanding the profound effects of IIAs on national governance will beneficially inform policy makers when concluding IIAs.
By: Derar al-Daboubi
Abstract: This article discusses the maritime carrier’s effect on the transfer of ownership between contracting parties to international sales. The discussion initially focuses on the relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 1980 (CISG), and Incoterms 2010 Rules as international instruments. It will also cover the provisions of the Jordanian Civil Code 1976 (JCC) as a domestic statute. The necessity to examine the maritime carrier’s influence on transfer of ownership lies in the impact it can exert on a buyer’s right to acquire ownership that may deprive him of selling the goods in transit. This article will point out the obstacles encountered when determining the timing for transfer of ownership. The study proposes some suggestions through which the role the maritime carrier plays in the transfer of ownership can be recognised and the time when transfer of ownership occurs can be easily determined.
Judicial Support for the Islamic Financial Services Industry: Towards Reform-oriented Interpretive Approaches
By: Umar A. Oseni, M. Kabir Hassan, S. Nazim Ali
Abstract: This study examines different dimensions and permutations of invaluable judicial support to Islamic financial services and products and identifies specific areas where the judiciary has helped to shape the industry in line with the original value proposition of Islamic financial intermediation. While relying on qualitative legal methods with comparative case analysis from different jurisdictions, this study conducts cross-jurisdiction case analyses and identifies the role of judiciary in introducing sustainable practices. It concludes that the judicial function has played a significant role in ensuring justice and fairness through purposive interpretation of contracts, recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and judgments, consistency and predictability of outcomes, legal risk mitigation, and facilitation of mediation and arbitral proceedings, thereby positively reshaping the future of Islamic financial services industry. Above all, the availability of binding judicial precedents, which is hitherto not common for Islamic law matters, is a welcome development in the Islamic financial services industry.
An Analysis of Murābaḥah and Ijārah Muntahiyah bi-t-tamlīk: How Do Islamic Banks Choose Which Product to Utilise?
By: Ahmed Mansoor Alkhan
Abstract: Contrary to its conventional counterpart, which uses interest-based methods of financing, Islamic banks commonly use sale, lease, or partnership modes of financing. The murābaḥah (cost-plus sale) and ijārah muntahiyah bi-t-tamlīk (lease-to-own) products achieve similar end-results, where both products are used as Islamic financial mechanisms for Islamic banks to achieve profits on financed assets, and where the client benefits from the financed asset—leading the client to ultimately own the asset at the end of the financing tenor without limitations (whether releasing the asset as a collateral for a murābaḥah or transferring the title deed to the client at the end of an ‘ijārah muntahiyah bi-t-tamlīk’ contract). Using a qualitative methodology, this article investigates how Islamic banks choose between using murābaḥah or ijārah muntahiyah bi-t-tamlīk when financing a customer. This article includes empirical work by analysing primary and secondary data pertaining to three Islamic banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Applicability of the UNIDROIT Principles as the Law Governing the Merits of Arbitration in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries
By: Amin Dawwas, Tareq Kameel
Abstract: According to the principle of party autonomy, the disputant parties may choose the law applicable to the merits of international commercial arbitration. In the absence of the parties’ choice, the arbitral tribunal shall determine this law. This article discusses the applicability of ‘rules of law’, namely the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (UNIDROIT Principles) to the merits of the dispute. It shows whether the UNIDROIT Principles can be selected by the disputant parties or the arbitral tribunal to govern the subject of the dispute under the Arbitration Laws of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries as well as the Constitution and the Arbitral Rules of Procedure of the GCC Commercial Arbitration Center (GCCCAC).
By: Faten Hawa
Abstract: The current research focuses on the most important features of the Foreign Investment Law of 2019 in the State of Qatar, including guarantees and incentives for foreign investors. These include customs, tax, financial and investment advantages and exemptions, in addition to protection for the foreign investor from non-commercial risks that may be caused by his investment in the country. This research reached a number of conclusions and made recommendations that focus on strengthening as well as enforcing incentives and guarantees based on the Executive Regulation of the Law. These guarantees, along with some proposed recommendations, will be issued shortly, making the enforcement law a real and attractive element for foreign investment.
Contemporary Arab Affairs (Volume 14, Issue 3)
By: Long Yaling
Abstract: The Nakba, or loss of Palestine in 1948 to the Zionists, led to the expulsion of most of the Palestinian people from their homeland to neighboring countries and all around the world. This was a severe blow for the Palestinians, and it was expected that their identity would whither, and this may have been the case had it not been for the memories they kept from the pre-Nakba and Nakba periods. These memories became so important that up to the present they act as a pivot for Palestinian identity during the diaspora. This article argues that these memories still bind the Palestinian people together and give them a sense of common and national identity.
By: Khalid Shibib
Abstract: The fiercely waged, century-long conflict on the ground of historic Palestine between the Jews, who from the mid-nineteenth century have mainly immigrated from Europe, and the Arab Palestinians, who live there—and have been living there for centuries/thousands of years—primarily started in the educational field. With the establishment of the Technion Institute in 1912, the Political Zionist movement started to develop a higher education system (HES) that could deliver the human capital needed for the building of a prosperous state, one built on the occupation and expropriation of Palestinian land and material property, on the expulsion of the people who lived there, on a system of apartheid, and, at long last, on the denial and destruction of the Palestinian identity. It was only sixty years later that a Palestinian response in the field of higher education was in a position to start with the establishment of Hebron University in 1971, followed by over fifty other Palestinian higher education institutes (HEIs). Despite current numerical parity in the population of around 6.5 million each (The New Arab 2018) and the number of HEIs (over fifty each) on the ground of historic Palestine, a devastating multi-sectorial power discrepancy exists in favor of the visions of Political Zionism. The power discrepancy and the irreconcilable narratives developed on both sides render peaceful compromises impossible. Through bibliographic research, this paper provides an outsider’s general snapshot of the current state of higher education in Palestine in order to explore its relation to conflict narratives, to power gap, and to major political events. It presents ideas for an intra-Palestinian, just as a regional and a global, discourse on how the still weak Palestinian HES in the Occupied Palestinian Territory could be improved to further strengthen Palestinian economic and scientific progress. It reflects on how to expand into a pan-Palestinian HES that, in addition, targets Palestinian refugees and diaspora Palestinians from all over the world, as well as Palestinians living in Israel. Beyond this demographic expansion, this essay suggests an academic engagement with the strengthening of historic Palestinian identity and the restitution of its cultural Druze and Jewish components, which were lost during the last century of conflict. This strengthened renewed multi-religious (now multilingual) Palestinian identity can also offer a long-term perspective for a peaceful solution, a perspective which cannot be offered by the exclusive Political Zionism.
By: Federico Battera
Abstract: This article explores the differences between two North African military regimes—Egypt and Algeria—which have been selected due to the continuity of military dominance of the political systems. Still, variations have marked their political development. In particular, the Algerian army’s approach to civilian institutions changed after a civilian president was chosen in 1999. This was not the case in Egypt after the demise of the Hosni Mubarak regime of 2011. Other important variations are to be found in the way power has been distributed among the military apparatuses themselves. In the case of Egypt, a principle of collegiality has been generally preserved within a body, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which is absent in the case of Algeria, where conflicts between military opposed factions are more likely to arise in case of crisis. How differences generally impact the stability of military rule in these two cases is the main contribution of this paper.
By: Magdalena Karolak
Abstract: This paper analyzes the complex processes that have been shaping the increased involvement of Bahraini women in politics, especially their share in elected political offices as MPs. Looking back at the unprecedented rise of female MPs in electoral polls in 2018, this research examines the last two decades of female progress in politics and looks in depth at the contributing factors. Using the initial factors established through a literature review, it examines their relevance in the Bahraini political environment, and establishes additional factors peculiar to the kingdom. The role of women is interwoven with political liberalization reforms in the first decade of the twenty-first century, but it was also shaped by the current events, namely, the popular uprising of 2011. The uprising was ultimately contained; yet, the authoritarian upgrading that followed paradoxically created opportunities for greater women’s engagement in electoral politics. The case of Bahrain sheds light on how sectarianism, popular uprisings, and authoritarianism affect women’s position in electoral politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
By: Mohamad Zreik
Abstract: In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which includes the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. In 2017, Lebanon officially joined this initiative, and thus China will be present on the western shores of Asia. This paper examines Lebanese–Chinese relations and Chinese direct investment in Lebanon. It explores the dilemma of Chinese investment in Lebanon in light of its troubled security, political, and economic situation. The study relies on a qualitative descriptive analysis to address the status of Chinese investment in Lebanon and the consequences of this partnership.
Development and Change (Volume 52, Issue 6)
By: Güneş Murat Tezcür, Rebecca Schiel, Bruce M. Wilson
Abstract: Under what conditions can a human rights-based approach be successfully utilized? This article argues that the efficacy of a human rights discourse is, in large part, determined by the nature of the arena in which rights are claimed. Utilizing process tracing, involving content analysis and in-depth interviews, the article examines the decades-long struggle to block the construction of a large dam in southeastern Turkey. The analysis focuses on the struggle’s three core dimensions: (a) international activism to influence foreign financial stakeholders; (b) domestic activism targeting the government; and (c) regional conflict over international water flows. Each of these dimensions is characterized by vastly different degrees of discursive rights consensus and leverage. In the international dimension, activists achieved both discursive consensus and leverage and were able to successfully thwart the Turkish government’s goal of building a major dam. However, this ultimately proved to be a pyrrhic victory when the Turkish government secured domestic financing for the project. The loss of leverage in the domestic arena rendered anti-dam activists? rights discourse ineffectual. Finally, the lack of regional consensus on water sharing and Iraq’s lack of leverage enabled Turkey to complete the dam.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (Volume 45, Issue 6)
FROM VISIBLE INFORMALITY TO SPLINTERED INFORMALITIES: Reflections on the Production of ‘Formality’ in a Moroccan Housing Programme
By: Raffael Beier
Abstract: Increasingly, scholarly works challenge the formal/informal dichotomy, stressing the multiple political practices of producing informality which go beyond state incapacity. In contrast, this article addresses a lack of research concerning the production of ?formal? urban space through state-led housing programmes. Deconstructing simplistic notions of state intentionality and incapacity, the article zooms in on competing interests and diverse resources, as well as the shifting power relations between multiple private, semi-public and public actors which shape the production of ?formality?. Focusing on a shantytown resettlement programme in Casablanca, the article differentiates between visible informality and splintered informalities. The former relates to the prevailing clear-cut and stereotypical dichotomy between formal and informal urban space which underpins the state’s objective of eliminating the visible informality attached to Morocco’s shantytowns. The latter is the result of a messy process of ensuring housing affordability through the so-called third-party scheme?a sites-and-services project based on small-scale private investment and land speculation?once this objective is achieved. Characterized by heterogeneous actor constellations, opportunism and flexible regulatory practices, the scheme has not only capitalized but also individualized urban space. Instead of building new formal housing, the scheme has produced splintered informalities and created new uncertainties and arbitrariness beyond the control of a single actor.
By: Lior Volinz
Abstract: The home is an arena of political contestation. The choice, or lack thereof, of where and how one might inhabit and maintain a home is a political decision, in a political (urban) landscape. This is particularly the case in Jerusalem, where some Palestinian residents are forced into living double lives, in which they craft a carefully manicured script of their lives to present to state authorities, complete with showcase homes and furnishing, aimed at preserving their right to enter and work in their city. Palestinian Jerusalemites are legally considered stateless under Israeli law, as foreigners with a permit to reside in their home city. Israeli state actors increasingly seek to revoke their residency permits, often on the grounds of living outside the city’s boundaries. I explore how Palestinian Jerusalemites perform their home through socio-material practices, as part of an enactment of citizenship aimed at maintaining limited rights, resources and mobility in the face of urban exclusion. I propose that a focus on how residents curate their home and showcase its interior to state authorities can cast a light on previously unexplored elements of state-citizen relations, in which residents claim rights through the materiality and social practices of the home.
International Studies (Volume 58, Issue 4)
By: Sameena Hameed
Abstract: Despite the Indian government’s proactive initiatives and reforms in the labour laws in the host countries, the welfare of Indian workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries remains compromised. The Indian workers continue to face exploitation, often left stranded or forced to return home penniless. In line with best global practices, India?s Bilateral Labour Agreements (BLAs) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with all the GCC countries need to make specific reference to the host countries’ labour laws and facilitate bilateral coordination in the governance of the full migration cycle. Special focus is needed in the construction sector, where a vast majority of low-skilled Indian workers are employed. The article examines the effectiveness of India?s BLAs and MoUs with the GCC countries in protecting the low-skilled Indian workers in the region.
Islamic Law and Society (Volume 28, Issue 3)
Status Distinctions and Sartorial Difference: Slavery, Sexual Ethics, and the Social Logic of Veiling in Islamic Law
By: Omar Anchassi
Abstract: This article explores how jurists articulated the distinction between free and enslaved Muslim women through sartorial norms in the formative and early post-formative periods of Islamic law. Drawing on works of fiqh (positive law), tafsīr (Qurʾān commentary) and ḥadīth (Prophetic and non-Prophetic reports), I posit that this distinction attests to the tensions between “proprietary” and “theocentric” sexual ethics, as noted by Hina Azam. Specifically, I track the variant transmissions of a widely-cited report featuring the Caliph ʿUmar (r. 13–23/634–44), and trace how jurists responded to the free-slave binary in their discussion of “modesty zones” (ʿawrāt) and veiling practices. Based on a detailed examination of fiqh sources to the early fifth Islamic century (with some attention to subsequent material), I argue that Islamic modesty norms are best understood in light of the proprietary/theocentric binary, and that the divergence between juristic expectations of free and enslaved women increased in the post-formative period.
By: Norbert Oberauer
Abstract: The present study investigates the role of written documents in Islamic court procedure, and especially the evidential status of such documents. For this purpose, I analyze different kinds of sources that vary in their proximity to practice. In addition to furūʿ-literature, I draw on shurūṭ manuals, fatwās and court records from 16th-century Jerusalem. This approach allows for a multi-dimensional reconstruction of the legal discourse on written documents. I argue that this discourse operated on several levels, some of which are virtually invisible if these sources are studied in isolation. By contrast, a holistic perspective reveals a subtle interaction between these discursive levels that reduced the tension between legal doctrine and practical concerns.
Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development (Volume 42, Issue 2)
By: Mohsen Mohammadi Khyareh, Hadi Amini
Abstract: The OIC countries encountered problems concerning reduction of poverty, filling gaps between income inequalities and achieving economic development. Thus, the main question to ask was: “What can be the solution?” Furthermore, entrepreneurship and economic growth had an increasing pattern. Hence, many scholars have highlighted the importance of economies’ entrepreneurial activities and the impact of entrepreneurship and economic growth on poverty, income inequality and economic development. Meanwhile, studies that are quantitatively analyzing the interrelationship between entrepreneurship and their impact on economic performance are very limited. Therefore, the aim of this study is to fill the gap in entrepreneurship literature and to study the causal relationships between the entrepreneurship, income inequality, poverty, employment and economic growth in the panel of 22 OIC countries during 2012- 2017. The results suggested that entrepreneurship plays a vital role on poverty, income inequality, employment and economic growth in the OIC countries.
Health Expenditure, Economic Growth and Life Expectancy at Birth in Resource Rich Developing Countries: A case of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria
By: Yusuf Opeyemi Akinwale
Abstract: Health care has recently been given more attention as disease and various pandemic affect the country’s economic productivity. This study investigates the relationship between health expenditure, life expectancy at birth and economic growth in resource rich developing countries namely Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. The study adopts autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bound test, error correction model and Granger causality to determine the relationship and the direction of causality among the variables. The results establish that health expenditure and life expectancy positively influenced economic growth in the long run in both countries. While life expectancy has more impact in Saudi Arabia, health expenditure has more impact in Nigeria. Furthermore, the results in the short run reveal that both health expenditure and life expectancy positively influenced economic growth in Saudi Arabia whereas only health expenditure has positive impact on economic growth in Nigeria. The results also indicate one-way causality running from each of the health expenditure and life expectancy to economic growth without any feedback for the two countries. This study confirms a health-led growth hypothesis for both Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Since health seems to promote economic growth, it becomes imperative for the government of the two countries to further strengthen the health sector with appropriate policy and funding.
By: Şerif Canbay
Abstract: This study aims to test whether there is any relationship between the electricity consumption and gross domestic product of D8 countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey) and in the period of 1971 and 2014. The relationships between variables are examined through the Bootstrap Panel Causality test. The most important reason for choosing this test is that it reveals individual causality relationships for each country and that there is no need for unit root and/or cointegration testing prior to it. According to the Bootstrap Panel Causality test results, there is a positive and unidirectional causality relationship from electricity consumption to economic growth (the growth hypothesis) in Iran and from economic growth to electricity consumption in Indonesia and Nigeria (the conservation hypothesis). For Egypt and Malaysia, a positive and bidirectional causality relationship (the feedback hypothesis) is determined between the variables, while no causality (the neutrality hypothesis) relationship is found between the variables in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Is Profitability of Islamic Banks Shaped by Bank-specific Variables, Global Financial Crisis and Macroeconomic Variables?
By: Hatem Elfeituri, Khaled O. Alotaibi
Abstract: This study aims to investigate the determinants of Islamic banks’ (IBs) profitability. A large sample of IBs from 12 developing counties has been selected for a period (2004-2017) that includes the recent global crisis period (GFC), as well as bank-specific and macroeconomic variables. The paper applies advanced quantitative techniques by using a dynamic generalized method of moments (GMM) compared to the fixed effect models that are widely used within the literature. Findings indicate that asset quality, capital adequacy and non-financial activity play major roles in determining profitability of IBs. Furthermore, findings show that IBs are not affected by the GFC, as they are less exposed to international banks and do not grant subprime loans. Moreover, IBs were able to maintain better capital ratios during the GFC, which shielded them from the severe effects of the crisis. On the other hand, results showed that profitability would be reduced by increases in asset quality, liquidity, and deposit ratio. These findings emphasised that profitability of IBs would be safeguarded if those banks maintained a suitable level of capital adequacy to withstand any financial distress and introduced diverse sources of income. Hence, the findings of this research provide useful insights for IBs’ stakeholders including bank management, investors, clients, and policy markets.
On the Investigation of the Impact of Cultural Diversity on the Complexity of Exports in MENA Countries
By: Hooman Shababi, Ahmad Jafari Samimi, Fatemeh Rezaei Donechali
Abstract: Exports play an important role in the global economy. The broad variety of factors affects exports, including cultural diversity, growth, and experience, type of company and export behavior. Among these factors, the factor of cultural diversity was unique and little research was done in this field. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of cultural diversity on export complexity. To do so, data of 17 MENA countries including Iran, Bahrain, Egypt, Algeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, Morocco, Kuwait, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Djibouti, and Sudan were used in Eviews Software during 1985-2015 by applying panel data regression. These countries are almost homogeneous in terms of political and social conditions, culture and customs. The data were extracted from World Health Organization and World Bank. Findings show that cultural diversity in the MENA countries has a positive and significant effect on export complexity and also on export growth. The results suggest that cultural diversity can contribute to increasing economic growth by increasing export complexity. In other words, policies that promote cultural diversity in a country cannot harm its economy, and therefore extreme worries in some countries, due to the cultural differences, are at least economically discredited.
By: Abdullah Abdulaziz Bawazir, Mohamed Aslam, Ahmad Farid Osman
Abstract: This study primarily aims to examine the effect of three education levels namely primary, secondary and tertiary on economic growth in the Middle East countries. Furthermore, the education levels disaggregate by gender to examine their influences on the countries’ economic growth. Accordingly, the study employs the static panel data models namely pooled ordinary least squares model, random effects model, and fixed effects model on ten Middle East countries, for the years 1996 to 2018. Based on the findings, secondary and tertiary education both have significant and positive influence on the economic growth. Analysis by gender reveals that the female education levels are highly positively related to the economic growth compared to the male education levels. The result is in tandem with the policies by the governments towards the enhancement of the involvement of women in the economy by the intensification of the participation of females in the labor force. These findings confirm that governments need to encourage education enrollment rates for both males and females to achieve economic growth. Briefly, the most important policy recommendation to the government is to position human capital development at the center of its development strategy.
By: Marium Naz, Bushra Yasmin
Abstract: This study investigates the effect of corruption on public debt in selected Asian and African developing countries for the time period 1990-2016. The System Generalized Method of Moment (GMM) is applied on three measures of corruption by ICRG, transparency International and Worldwide Governance Indicators. The findings suggest that corruption leads to high public debt accumulation in Asian and African countries however the intensity of this relationship is sharper for the African region than the Asian. The study found the role of institutional quality as mitigating in the corruption-debt relationship. And the computed threshold level of institutional quality provides 4 and 3.66 for Asia and Africa as benchmark, respectively that can offset the adverse effect of corruption on public debt. The study also elucidates the findings by computing marginal effects of corruption on public debt at various levels of country-specific institutional quality which reflect the relative standing of each country. Overall, empirical findings suggest adopting effective measures to combat corruption to reduce public debt burden in both regions. A strong judicial system around the anti-corruption strategies and improvement in institutional quality can lower the debt burden through effective control of corruption. Besides, the debt burden situation of the regions can be improved by bolstering GDP as well.
Assessing the Effects of COVID-19 on Stock Markets in the GCC Countries: Evidence from Sector-wise Panel Data Analysis
By: Hazem Al Samman, Erhan Akkas
Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of the COVID-19 on the stock prices in service, industrial, and financial sectors using daily data for 295 companies from January 1, 2020, to February 23, 2021, in the GCC countries. The panel data techniques are utilized based sector-wise in each country: random-effect model, fixed-effect model, and Hausman test. The impact of COVID-19 was analysed during two phases. The first phase included analysing the financial markets’ response from 01-01- 2020 to 30-07-2020. The second phase is the analysis of the financial market response from 01-08-2020 to 23-02-2021. The first phase of results show that the COVID-19 outbreak leads to decreasing stock market prices in GCC countries. The empirical results show that the COVID-19 outbreak has badly hit the stock markets in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar while the stock markets in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman are the least impacted countries in GCC. Furthermore, the sector-wise analysis results reveal that the financial sector in Saudi Arabia is the most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in GCC countries. However, the response of stock markets to COVID-19 varied over time. The second phase’s findings confirm that the negative impact of COVID- 19 on stock markets in the GCC countries has faded in most sectors due to government support.
By: Zhang Hengchao, Azhar Mohamad, Zarinah Hamid
Abstract: We assess the contagion effect of the global financial crisis (GFC) and the European debt crisis (EDC) on Islamic and conventional stock market indices of the US, GCC and Malaysia. We run the asymmetric dynamic conditional correlation GARCH specification on daily closing prices of relevant indices from 1 January 2006 through 31 December 2016. Our results show that the Malaysia Islamic stock market is exempted from the contagion effect of GFC and EDC when the shock stems from the US Islamic stock market. Investors in the US Islamic equity markets can create a safety net by reallocating some of their portfolios into Malaysia Islamic stock market, which appears to be more resilient. However, we do find a significant contagion influence between the US Islamic and GCC Islamic stock market, suggesting that the GCC Islamic stock market cannot provide an effective hedge for the US investors seeking a Shariah-compliant investment. Contagion effect generally is inconsistent and not significant for conventional stock markets of these three countries.
By: Muhammad Ubaidillah Al Mustofa, Raditya Sukmana, Sri Herianingrum, , Ririn Tri Ratnasari, Imron Mawardi, Siti Zulaikha
Abstract: This study analyzed the impact of country risk, regulatory quality, and selected macroeconomic factors on the inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into selected Muslim countries. A quantitative study was applied using the panel regression method on data of 13 Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries from 2002 to 2019. The developed panel regression models evaluated the country risk, institutional quality, and selected macroeconomic factors which included the country’s inflation level, exchange rate, economic output, and political system. These factors are deemed important in many Muslim countries which are known to be associated with poor institutional quality and high exposure to risks due to a multitude of factors such as political instability, wars, and poor management of natural resources. The composite score of the International Country Risk Guide was applied to analyze the impact of country risk on the inflows of FDI and to provide managerial relevancies for different stakeholders. The results showed that in general, Muslim countries tend to have a moderate level of country risk exposure and a low level of institutional quality. As investors prefer to invest in countries with low exposure to risks, the institutional quality must be enhanced to play a vital role in enhancing the flow of foreign investments. Countries with higher economic output have more opportunities to receive higher investment flows.
Middle East Law and Governance (Volume 13, Issue 2)
Re-thinking the Tanẓīm: Tensions between Individual Identities and Organizational Structures in the Muslim Brotherhood after 2013
By: Lucia Ardovini
Abstract: This article traces the struggle between individual agency and organizational structures characterizing the Muslim Brotherhood in the aftermath of the 2013 coup, identifying these tensions as a main point of contention driving its restructuring and fragmentation. Since Mohammed Morsi’s violent toppling, the Brotherhood experienced a process of gradual fragmentation, with tensions developing between different approaches to repression. Yet, while these debates came to the fore during the current crisis, they have roots in the pre-revolutionary period. The article traces the emergence of tensions between structure and agency from 2011 to the post-2013 context to provide a clearer picture of the internal challenges facing the Brotherhood today. It relies on data collected during fieldwork conducted between 2013 and 2019 in Turkey and the UK, and interviews with current and former Brotherhood members from across the organizational spectrum. It focuses on the members’ individual perspectives in order to trace the growing disconnect between them and the organization.
From Competition to Cooperation: The Radicalization Effect of Salafists on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in the Aftermath of the 2011 Uprising
By: Mohammad Yaghi
Abstract: Using the case studies of the 2012 Constitution, the call of al-Jabha al-Salafiyya for the Revolution of the Muslim’s Youth (rmy) and the Salafi’s statement of Nida Ard al-Kinana, this article provides empirical evidence that the Salafists have a radicalization effect on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood when they compete or cooperate with each other. By “radicalization effect,” the article means pushing the Brotherhood to build less inclusive institutions and/or pulling them toward the justification of the use of violence in religious terms in their confrontation with al-Sisi’s regime. Methodologically, the article relies on the Salafist and the Brotherhood statements as well as on the work of other scholars.
By: Erika Biagini
Abstract: The Muslim Brotherhood’s brief period of governance in Egypt, followed by its 2013 ousting from, power heightened the movement’s pre-existing internal divisions, causing members to question the tenets upon which the organization was established and ran. Since then, a growing body of literature has investigated the Brotherhood members’ call for internal reforms, but this rests largely on the views of its male members. In order to fill this gap, this article explores how the Muslim Sisterhood, an important but often overlooked Brotherhood constituency, envisages the movement changing in the aftermath of 2013. Findings based on interviews with Muslim Sisterhood members suggest that the central issues over which women envisage change within the movement include the Sisterhood’s desire for greater pluralism, the possibility to express women’s diverse identities, and the ability to pursue personal ambitions.
By: Noha Mellor
Abstract: This article sheds light on the use of narrative within the realm of political Islam, taking the Muslim Brotherhood as a topical case study. The argument is that the Brotherhood media served as a faith brand that was based on a narrative aimed at mobilizing voters and supporters, both within Egypt and regionally. The article questions whether the Brotherhood media represent a coherent voice of the movement, and how the media have helped sustain, preserve, and distinguish the Brotherhood’s brand for nine decades. It is argued that the Brotherhood’s narrative and brand attributes have come under scrutiny with the ongoing fissures within the movement post-2013, particularly between the old and new guard with regards to the re-assessment of the Brotherhood’s ideology and mission. These controversies attest to the gradual fragmentation of the Brotherhood brand, raising doubts about the movement’s ability to resuscitate this brand in the future.
By: Mustafa Menshawy, Khalil Al-Anani
Abstract: This article explores the disengagement of members from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Following both the 2011 uprising and the 2013 coup, increasing disenchantment with the group’s ideology and political project have led many members to reconsider their commitment to, and membership in, the Brotherhood. While scholarship examining the Brotherhood’s processes of recruitment and forming of collective identity is burgeoning, few works have assessed members’ disengagement from the movement and abandonment of its ideology, or how former members make sense of their “ex” identity. Based on rich, original material and extensive interviews with former Brotherhood members in Egypt, Turkey, the UK, and Qatar, this article investigates how former members seek new meanings and identities. Adopting a processual and discursive perspective on disengagement from the Brotherhood, we identify disengagement as consisting of distinct ideological, political, and affective processes. These processes shape individuals’ strategies for exiting the Brotherhood and forming their new identities as ex-members.
Middle East Policy (Volume 28, Issue 3-4)
By: Syed Sami Raza
Abstract: The Middle East is notorious for its deep-rooted state rivalries based on ethnic and sectarian divisions. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey are the three major powers in the region that seek hegemony, impelling the smaller states to choose their allies. At the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, these major powers engaged in a blame game about the spread of the virus in the region, further straining their diplomatic relations. In this article, I map out this blame game among the major powers as well as other political groups and nonstate actors in the Middle East. This highlights how the pandemic has entrenched state rivalries and intensified regional geopolitics.
By: Ali Bagheri Dolatabadi, Mehran Kamrava
Abstract: Iran’s foreign policy changed with the spread of Covid-19 in three main ways. First, the pandemic propelled its health diplomacy into prominence. Second, the pandemic altered the customary view of the country’s diplomacy. For more than four decades, Iran has regarded this diplomacy from the perspective of humanitarianism and ethics. But the pandemic imparted new object lessons. Third, the pandemic ushered Iran into a new era of cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). Considering Iran’s medical and other scientific achievements over the past three decades, it seems likely that pursuing this diplomacy can improve Iran’s position in the WHO and enhance its prestige and influence within this and other international organizations, possibly easing the pressure of sanctions in the future.
By: Ariel Admoni
Abstract: The normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain had a major impact on other entities in the Middle East. One of the important players was the Al Thani administration in Qatar. This was the third time Doha needed to respond to a peace treaty with Israel. Every time, Qatar has chosen a different way. In the cases of both the Egypt–Israel peace treaty and the Abraham Accords, Doha objected. In the 1990s, however, the Al Thani regime supported rapprochement with Israel, for two reasons. The first was the opinion of the Palestinian community. The second was due to the objectives of the foreign policy of the emirate. In 1979, Qatar had to suit the norm in the Arab arena, in particular, Saudi Arabia. In 1990, it had to externalize Qatar’s status in international affairs. In 2020, it had to ally itself with other Islamic states and organizations that opposed Israel, like Turkey. In order to understand Doha’s point of view on the peace agreements, this article examines each one separately, as each has its unique features, causes, and consequences for the negotiations and the way they affected the years that followed. The article then identifies the recurring characteristics of the two earlier processes and their relevance to contemporary politics in the Persian Gulf.
By: Yoel Guzansky
Abstract: One of Israel’s first political strategies was its establishment of relations with non-Arab states through its “periphery doctrine.” As a means of balancing pan-Arabism and outflanking its hostile Arab neighbors, the strategy served to enhance Israel’s security and economic ties, and reduce regional isolation. Today, Israel operates under a “reverse periphery doctrine,” having recently formed or improved ties with several Arab Gulf states and Eastern Mediterranean countries. The basis for the current Israeli strategy is the understanding by the involved parties that, despite specific political disagreements, they share certain security and economic interests for which an alliance can provide concrete, mutual benefits, especially countering the growing regional influences of Iran and Turkey. In both peripheries, Israel’s diplomatic efforts were largely related to the relative power of Iran and Turkey, countries with which Israel had allied itself in the initial periphery. Their present-day power is the reason Israel is aligned against them in the reverse periphery. As the United States continues to recede from the Middle East, members of the reverse periphery will be further emboldened to work together in managing shared threats.
By: Farshad Roomi, Ehsan Kazemi
Abstract: Although the member states of the Shiite Crescent—Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon—have recently gained partial success in regional competition, they face a governance crisis due to the growing public dissatisfaction in each country. This has undermined their achievements and made them the field of conflict between the proponents of secular and political Islam. However, consequential to the revived Shiite identity and the reinvigorated incentive to shape the politics of the Middle East after the Shiite rise to power in Iraq, the Iran-led alliance has concerned Arab states wary of changes taking place in the traditional regional order. The result has been an upsurge of distrust and a clash between Shiite fundamentalists and the conservative Arab states.
By: Elisheva Machlis
Abstract: Regime change in Iraq provided a new opportunity for Shiis and Kurds to create a new power-sharing system. These two persecuted communities embraced a democratic-federal system based on a combined civic and ethnocultural model. Analyzing this new alliance, this article argues that there were prominent forces within both communities that did not uphold an essentialist sense of identity, thus providing a basis for mutual recognition, as reflected in the new constitution. However, while in theory there was room for mitigating sectarian and ethnic boundaries, in practice, the differences assumed a much larger place, as reflected in the power struggle between Baghdad and Erbil. The process of unifying Iraq lacked an in-depth debate over the place of diverse national narratives, together with an effort toward people-to-people contact. Concurrently, the struggle against the jihadists enhanced Shii-Kurdish interdependency, while the battle of Kirkuk led to greater pragmatism. Post-2003 Iraq provides a challenging case of democratization and regime change, due to the need for a delicate balancing act between power and multiple visions of religion and ethnic identity while contemplating multiple visions of nationalism.
By: Şaban Kardaş
Abstract: Turkey has pursued an assertive military campaign in Iraq to eliminate the presence of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been supported by elements of hard power, coercive diplomacy, and an increasingly emboldened foreign-intelligence apparatus. This article traces the roots of this new phase in Turkey’s cross-border military engagement to two interrelated factors. First, Ankara has adopted a new counterterrorism doctrine that relies on a militarized regional policy. Second, the course of Turkey-Iraq relations since the liberation of Mosul and the Kurds’ failed independence bid has allowed Ankara to forge a relationship of dominance over Baghdad and Erbil, facilitating its interventionism. Next, the article evaluates the broader implications of Turkey’s determination to sustain the ongoing campaign. First, Turkey’s military operations against the PKK may play a decisive role in the organization’s evolution. Second, they may expose the challenges and limits of Ankara’s new assertiveness and reliance on the use of force in the Middle East. Third, Turkey may have to pursue a delicate line in its coercive policy, lest it further undermine the fragile internal balances of Iraq. Last, while Ankara’s assertiveness may test the tense relationship with Tehran, it may not end the new understanding the two countries reached in their regional policies.
By: Eren Alper Yilmaz
Abstract: In the last five years, Turkish foreign policy in the regional and international arenas has followed a neorealist approach, mostly defensive, by establishing either cooperation or conflict with its allies, based on the dynamics of its domestic politics and the structure of the international system. Due especially to the coup attempt in 2016 and rising tension in Syria sparked by the activities of illegal groups, Turkey has usually followed a security-oriented foreign policy to ensure national security and strengthen its strategic position within the framework of agreements in the military operations at its southern borders and its uncompromising principles regarding migration. The objective of this study is to analyze why Turkish foreign policy has followed a neorealist policy, by evaluating the bilateral relations with Turkey’s core allies, the United States, Russia, and the European Union—ties that have survived at the highest level, even after the coup attempt and the Syrian conflict.
By: Tyler B. Parker
Abstract: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have pursued distinct policies in Yemen since their intervention began in March 2015. The Saudis remain mired in an air war in the north to defeat the Houthis, an Iran-linked group that ousted Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Between 2016 and 2019, the UAE shifted from this task toward a ground war in the south to fight Islamist groups and support the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a secessionist organization that opposes Hadi’s government. Why have Saudi Arabia and the UAE pursued such different intervention policies? Building on Elizabeth Saunders’ intervention typology, as well as theories of alliance politics, I analyze individual-leader perceptions of both the origins and types of external threats. I argue that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman formed a “nontransformative” policy in the north to address a material threat embodied in the Houthis. Alternatively, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed formed a “transformative” policy in the south to counter Islamist threats that could spread to the UAE. Assessing these different intervention policies amid divergent threat perceptions sheds light on Yemen’s multifaceted conflict.
By: Raj Verma
Abstract: The intra-Afghan dialogue stalled despite hectic diplomatic efforts by the United States, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Russia, and other countries to revitalize the dialogue and reach a political settlement before Western troops left Afghanistan. This article argues that there were three main reasons for disagreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban, and these issues remained a major stumbling block in the peace process and will prevent lasting peace. First, the Taliban were unwilling to reduce violence or declare a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” as stated in the US-Taliban peace deal. Second, the Taliban would not accept Afghanistan’s democratic political system and insisted on establishing an “Islamic Emirate.” The group also showed its reluctance to respect women’s rights and advances made with respect to their social position. Third, the Taliban consistently refused to respect ethnic and religious tolerance of minorities, especially the Shia Hazara. The Hazara have declared that they will take up arms to protect themselves against the Taliban’s return to power in Kabul, which does not bode well for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
By: Ali Akbar
Abstract: During the past two decades, Iran has gained a prominent position in the Middle East. Its influence in Iraq has gradually increased following the US invasion in 2003, and in Syria after the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011. Many scholars and political analysts frame Iran’s actions in the region as driven by the country’s desire for expansionism. This article, however, demonstrates that Tehran’s foreign policy rationale for exercising regional influence, especially in Iraq and Syria, has mainly been oriented around guaranteeing Iran’s national security.
By: Jonathan Fulton
Abstract: China’s deepening ties to Iran, evident in the comprehensive strategic partnership (CSP) signed in 2021 after five years of stalled progress, is not an indication of a revisionist Chinese approach to the Gulf region. In fact, its CSPs with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, already activated and implemented, are at far more mature levels, commensurate with China’s deep levels of economic and political engagement with the Arab side of the Gulf. This is consistent with a strategic hedging approach that Beijing has used to build a sustainable presence without disrupting a competitive and fragile regional order. With far larger and more diverse interests in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, China’s partnership with Iran creates leverage due to the asymmetry inherent in the China-Iran relationship.
By: Itir Ozer-Imer, Emrullah Can Kilic
Abstract: International trade can be considered a means of sharing the world’s wealth and a web that holds countries together. Despite the fact that this web is not strong enough to defy every problem between states, trade has become an important tool for Turkey’s rapprochement with its neighbors. In this regard, Turkish-Iranian trade relations are based on mutual benefits and reciprocal dependency. Despite the two countries’ different political and economic structures and numerous points of controversy, Turkey and Iran have enhanced their economic relations. As a result of increasing and mutually beneficial bilateral trade, both countries have succeeded in confining their differences to minor points of friction.
By: Banafsheh Keynoush
Abstract: Africa is a pivotal continent for Iran, as the Islamic Republic aims to expand its influence in wider global vistas. Iran experiences frequent setbacks in developing its Africa policy, but the continent continues to offer ample opportunities to support Tehran. This is partly because revolutionary Iran’s Africa policy evolves through a wide array of piecemeal political, security, maritime, economic, and cultural activities. A host of Iranian organizations implement Iran’s Africa policy, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Quds Force, the naval forces, inter-parliamentary groups, friendship associations, and local chambers of commerce, as well as charities, religious seminaries, and universities. This article explores Iran’s policies and their impact across the African continent. It also shows how Iran’s activities evolve as the country seizes opportunities to expand bilateral and regional ties with African countries while retracting its involvement when it is unable to ensure strong bonds. The ebb and flow in Iranian Africa policy challenges but continually offers Tehran a chance to explore its foreign relations across the continent; as a result, Africa will play a vital role in sustaining Iran’s international contacts, ability to circumvent sanctions, and capacity to withstand pressures from rival powers. The undeniable spread of Islam across Africa means that Iran will make efforts to win followers and propagate its brand of religion and revolutionary worldview as part of measures to build strategic depth across the continent.
Millennium: Journal of International Studies (Volume 50, Issue 1)
By: Mariam Georgis, Nicole V. T. Lugosi-Schimpf
Abstract: This article responds to recent calls to decolonise International Relations. Despite the urgency of this task, much of this work remains at the margins or worse, bound to colonial world views and commitments. Against this backdrop, we first argue that centring Indigeneity demands scholarship that unravels the current configurations of the field and moves away from merely adding Indigeneity as a category within neoliberal, colonial, Westernised frameworks. Second, we assert that Critical Indigenous Studies offers a theoretically generative framework to begin examining international issues in new ways. To illustrate, we re-read sovereignty debates in Québec (Canada) and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) through a critical Indigenous lens to disrupt the discourse and taken-for-granted understandings of self-determination struggles for secession in these two sites. Along with highlighting a path towards Indigenising the discipline, our work also reveals how distinct, yet intertwined colonialisms function across the globe.
By: Karim El Taki
Abstract: The scholarship on hierarchy held the promise of exposing conditions of systemic inequality in world politics. However, a significant strand of it approached the international order from above, privileging the perspective of dominant actors. I make the case for a from-below approach to hierarchical orders, recognising and accounting for understudied experiences in world politics, but also developing a more accurate understanding of hierarchy. Through a relational-sociological approach, I conceptualise hierarchy as a socially differentiated system predicated on recognition. The experience of misrecognition by way of normative and material constraints constitutes actors as subordinates. I propose a framework for subordinate actors? navigation of hierarchy in quest of social recognition. I identify three strategies that subordinates employ, depending on the misrecognising constraints they counter (normative/material) and the recognition they seek (internal/external). Subordinates may engage in norm appropriation, alternative leveraging, and salvation from victimhood. I demonstrate the applicability of the framework by examining Egypt?s quest for recognition in the aftermath of the 2013 military coup.
Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies (Volume 18, Issue 2)
By: Roy J Sartin
Abstract: Egyptomania has been described as a significant cultural interest in things related to Ancient Egypt, which manifests in the activities – including collection, reproduction, and creation – of its participants. Thus this cultural phenomenon is participatory in much the same way that a fandom is participatory, existing in the specific actions of fans, sustained and evolving over time. As a result, Egyptomania can be defined as a fandom, one whose fan activities began in Greco-Roman antiquity and have continued into the 21st century, making it quite possibly the world’s oldest fandom. However, Egyptomania is not just one fandom, but two: Egyptomania 1.0, which celebrates the original ‘text’ of Ancient Egypt, and Egyptomania 2.0, which celebrates a culturally fan-created (or ‘fanon’) reading of ‘Ancient Egypt’ as a place of hidden, magical promise. Analyzing four key historical moments within Egyptomania (Greco-Roman antiquity, early modern Europe, the 19th century, and the 20th-21st centuries) demonstrates not only how and when each of these fandoms developed, but also how the Egyptomania 2.0 fanon has popularized to become canon for many audiences, in both fandoms and beyond, today.
By: Sarah Laura Nesti Willard, Urwa Tariq
Abstract: Instagram has become a popular social media platform for visual expression: many Emirati youth are drawn to the platform because it is This research study will analyze a collection of illustrations posted on Instagram by a selected group of female Emirati artists by relating these posts to their social context. It employs a qualitative approach involving personal interviews to identify points of view related to the existing visual material created by these ‘avant-garde’ illustrators. The results show that a new trend of illustration is emerging among young female Emirati artists local traditions while revealing cultural inhibitions. The study also reveals how these illustrators’ artwork impacts their followers and how these, conversely, contribute to shape the artists’ work. The illustrators discuss the challenges they face and offer reflections on how best to grow their practice to reach a wider audience.
The Washington Quarterly (Volume 44, Issue 3)
By: Dominic Tierney
Abstract: Not available