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  • Author: Elizabeth R. Nugent
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The economic decline of the Muslim world and the rise of Western Europe has long captured the attention of scholars across disciplines. Explanations largely focus either on Islam, whether its financial institutions or the essence of its teachings, or on Western colonialism as the culprit. In Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment, Ahmet T. Kuru puts forward a new explanation rooted in class relations. He takes issue with existing approaches, convincingly demonstrating the intellectual and economic vibrancy of the Muslim world between the eighth and twelfth centuries, undermining arguments about Islam’s incompatibility with progress, and asserting that colonialism occurred too late to explain multiple political and socioeconomic crises. Instead, Kuru identifies the eleventh century as a critical juncture when the Muslim world witnessed the emergence of alliances between Islamic scholars (ulema; singular alim) and the military. These alliances persisted through path dependence and gradually hindered intellectual and economic creativity by marginalizing independent intellectual and bourgeois classes in the Muslim world. In turn, the absence of these classes led to the persistence of authoritarianism and the well-documented underdevelopment in the contemporary period.
  • Topic: Development, Islam, History, Authoritarianism, Book Review, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Sadia Rafique, Khalid Manzoor Butt
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Political Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Social movements are considered by sociologists as agents of social change. They are not isolated entities but an outcome of prevailing circumstances and at, the same time, result from continuity with the historical roots. Moreover, the mobility of contemporary movements can only be shown in comparison with previous kind of collective actions. Two revolutionary movements within one century (Constitutional Revolution 1905-06 and Islamic Revolution1979), and eight years’ IranIraq war (1981-89) and globalization have significantly contributed to the evolution of distinctive nature of contemporary Iranian society. This makes it an interesting subject for research in general, and particularly the case of social movements and their transformation. The paper aims to give an overview of Iranian social movements from the constitutional movement to the recent Green movement of 2009. The intention is to find out, first, whether there was any continuity in social movements during this period; secondly, to investigate the differences of the recent Green movement from the previous social movements of modern-day Iran. An overview of social structure, the state-society relationship, causes of mobilization and the outcomes of each movement will be studied. Moreover, the complex relation between state and social movements that emerged overall will also be examined. The Touraine/Melucci model has been applied in Iranian milieu
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Social Movement, State, Revolution, Society, Mobilization
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Murat Ülgül
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Novus Orbis: Journal of Politics & International Relations
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Karadeniz Technical University
  • Abstract: What is the relationship between religion and empire, and what role do religious ideas play in the empire-formation process? This paper focuses on these questions by analysing the role of Islam in the formation of the Umayyad and the Ottoman Empires. Although the literature about these Islamic empires is extensive enough, they generally provide a rich historical narrative without theorization. To fill this gap, I use constructivist theory in the analysis and point out that religion as a structural force helps states to turn into empires over time. Nevertheless, following the agent-structure debate, I also argue that the individual characteristics of these states are essential to understand how religion affected their policies and how they interpreted the religion. The findings show that as the Umayyad Empire was not recognized as legitimate by various sects in religious terms in the seventh and eighth centuries, religion played less of a regulatory role in imperial policies and its rulers did not hesitate to adopt ruthless stratagems and a divide-and-conquer strategy. On the other hand, the Ottoman Empire benefited from religion in its conquests and its policies were primarily restricted by religious norms and values. As a result of this dependence, ruthless stratagems were adopted less often, and Ottoman policies were heavily shaped by religious norms and values.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Empire, Constructivism, Ottoman Empire, Umayyad Empire
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Aisha Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In recent years, jihadists across the world have transformed their gendered violence, shocking the world by breaking from prior taboos and even celebrating abuses that they had previously prohibited. This behavior is surprising because jihadists represent a class of insurgents that are deeply bound by rules and norms. For jihadists, deviating from established Islamist doctrines is no easy feat. What then explains these sudden transformations in the rules and norms governing jihadist violence? An inductive investigation of contemporary jihadist violence in Pakistan and Nigeria reveals a new theory of jihadist normative evolution. Data from these cases show that dramatic changes in jihadist violence occur when an external trigger creates an expanded political space for jihadist entrepreneurs to do away with normative constraints on socially prohibited types of violence. As these jihadist leaders capitalize on the triggers, they are able to encourage a re-socialization process within their ranks, resulting in the erosion of previously held taboos, the adoption of proscribed behaviors, and the emergence of toxic new norms.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Gender Issues, Islam, Terrorism, Women, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East, West Asia
  • Author: Roie Yellinek
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: State-directed repression and harassment directed against Muslims in China has drawn broad international condemnation throughout the Western world. However, what has been the reaction from the Islamic world itself? Although reactions among major states have varied (as discussed below), the reaction throughout the Islamic world has largely been one of deafening silence—and when voices are raised, they have been faint.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Prisons/Penal Systems, State Violence, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Xinjiang
  • Author: Benjamin Tua
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Efforts to portray Muslims and their faith as threatening diminish our society by stigmatizing a significant American minority. They also can facilitate costly foreign policy blunders such as the 2017 Executive Order banning entry into the US of visitors from several Middle Eastern majority-Muslim countries, an order purportedly based on terrorist activity, technical hurdles to properly document these countries’ travelers, and poor coordination with US officials. Two recent books, “Mohammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires” and “What the Qur’an Meant: And Why it Matters,” take on the task of broadening Americans’ still unacceptably low understanding of Islam. The authors – Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, and Garry Wills, a Pulitzer Prize winning lay scholar of American Catholicism – approach their subject in distinctly different manners. Yet, their message and conclusions are remarkably similar – namely, that ignorance of and distortions of Islam and what the Quran says both alienate vast numbers of Muslims and have led to foreign policy missteps. The books complement each other nicely.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Peace Studies, Religion, Judaism, Islamophobia, Xenophobia
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Haviland Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: It is clear that there are powerful people both in the United States and in Iran who would like to force a real confrontation between our two countries. What is completely unclear is whether or not those hawks on both sides want a modified Cold War type confrontation, built perhaps on cyber warfare, or an all-out military confrontation. What this situation, with all its incredibly profound dangers and possible disastrous outcomes, has done is once again prompt the question, “what is the United States doing in the Middle East and what precisely are our goals there?”
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, Minorities, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Ed Erickson, Christian H. Heller, T. J. Linzy, Mallory Needleman, Michael Auten, Anthony N. Celso, Keith D. Dickson, Jamie Shea, Ivan Falasca, Steven A. Yeadon, Joshua Tallis, Ian Klaus
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Advanced Military Studies
  • Institution: Marine Corps University Press, National Defense University
  • Abstract: There are a variety of reasons to study geopolitical rivalries, and analysts, officers, and politicians are rediscovering such reasons amid the tensions of the last several years. The best reason to study geopolitical rivalries is the simplest: our need to better understand how power works globally. Power not only recurs in human and state affairs but it is also at their very core. Today’s new lexicon—superpower, hyperpower, and great power—is only another reminder of the reality of the various ways that power manifests itself. Power protects and preserves, but a polity without it may be lost within mere decades. Keith D. Dickson’s article in this issue of MCU Journal, “The Challenge of the Sole Superpower in the Postmodern World Order,” illuminates how fuzzy some readers may be in their understanding of this problem; his article on postmodernism calls us to the labor of understanding and reasoning through the hard realities. Ed Erickson’s survey of modern power is replete with cases in which a grand state simply fell, as from a pedestal in a crash upon a stone floor. Modern Japan, always richly talented, rose suddenly as a world actor in the late nineteenth century, but the Japanese Empire fell much more quickly in the mid-twentieth century. A state’s power—or lack thereof—is an unforgiving reality. This issue of MCU Journal, with its focus on rivalries and competition between states, is refreshingly broad in its selection of factors—from competing for or generating power. Dr. Erickson recalls that Alfred Thayer Mahan settled on six conditions for sea power, all still vital. Other authors writing for this issue emphasize, by turns, sea power (Steven Yeadon, Joshua Tallis, and Ian Klaus); cyberpower (Jamie Shea); alliances (T. J. Linzy and Ivan Falasca); information (Dickson); and proxies (Michael Auten, Anthony N. Celso, and others).
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Islam, Terrorism, War, History, Power Politics, Military Affairs, European Union, Seapower, Cities, Ottoman Empire, Hybrid Warfare , Cyberspace, Soviet Union, Safavid Empire
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Lithuania, Georgia, North Africa, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Nikola Gjorshoski
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: One of the essential postulates of political orientation and determination for the building of stable societies and a functioning political system in its content recognizes and imposes the need to examine the relation of relevant political actors to constitutionalism and human rights as concepts and preoccupations for any modern society. Also, constitutionalism and human rights and freedoms as its inseparable category manifest the political values and the corpus of essential and common political goals and commitments of a particular political community. Political Islam as an ideological political subject has its own sources and a valuable orientation framework through which prisms and perceptions can be interpreted or extracted by individual axiological determinants to certain issues. This paper analyzes exactly the relations of political Islam with constitutionalism and human rights, and similarly to the so-called framework it draws attention to the concepts of power, the mechanisms of control and compliance with the Sharia regulations. At the same time, the importance of human rights and freedoms in the Islamic narrative, their nature and scope, as well as the differences with the western established documents in this area are emphasized and analyzed.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Islam, Constitution, Sharia
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Nikola Gjorshoski
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: The relation between religion and politics is a field of mutual interaction, as well as source and promoter of many historical, current, and probably future political movements, parties, and organizations. Political Islam represents the old-new dimension in the spectrum of contemporary political ideologies with specific characteristic and own socio-political worldview which pretend to penetrate into countries with Muslim inhabitants. The authors analyze those value’s elements, their first term, and modern interpretation, as well as their indicators for change. Level and dynamic of society’s development in many cases are determinate in political ideologies and Political Islam tries to present itself in this light with the affirmation of its/own postulates of organization and regulation on socio-political living. This paper in addition to analyzing those values’ framework logically offers and reviews of political doctrine sources which concept Political Islam in the whole of its time-space aspects.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Religion, Ideology, Islamism, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Ches Thurber, Austin Bowman
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Ches Thurber is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. He was previously a research fellow at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism at the University of Chicago and at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His current book project, Strategies of Violence and Nonviolence in Revolutionary Movements, examines why political movements seeking to overthrow the state embrace strategies of either armed insurgency or civil resistance.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Non State Actors, Sectarianism, Social Movement, Conflict, Interview
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sadia Rafique, Khalid Manzoor Butt
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Socio, economic and political involvement of women as half of the total populace is important to reinforce society and state. In every sphere of life, women have been found under-represented one way or the other. The women of Iran are not exempted from this. This paper evaluates women‟s position in two different periods in the history of Iran, i.e., during the rule of the Pahlavi Dynasty, and during the period of the post Islamic Republic. The objective of the paper is, first, to highlight the treatment meted out to women in Iran and shed light on various spheres of social life while comparing the two periods. Secondly, to examine factors that have affected the position of women in Iran
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Islam, History, Governance, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Nikola Gjorshoski
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: Modern constitutional and political concepts, in a broad sense, represent an expressed codification of the elements of value that structure the relevant society or the particular group that tries to project or channel them through the existing order. The secularism vs. Islamism dichotomy is a part of such a conceptual framework. The author elaborates and compares both ultimate constitutional and political designs, specifying them through the example of Turkey and Iran, as well as to shows the basic characteristics through the prism of their political legitimacy, the organization of power, the human rights and freedoms, as well as the possibility of political activism. The thesis that the author notes develop in the direction of a warning that the extremes contained in the constitutional provisions in the vividly ideologically divided societies can be a source of conflict and/or can generate instability or suffocation of the pluralism in the political arena.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Constitution, Islamism, Secularism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Sherene Seikaly
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Arab Studies Journal
  • Institution: Arab Studies Institute
  • Abstract: A wedding party walks the shattered streets of Aleppo. A flash mob dances in a public square in occupied Ramallah. These scenes inspire the imaginations of millions as they travel through social media. They are shocking and comforting at once. The Arab world we are accustomed to seeing is one of accumulating catastrophes, multiple wars, occupations, and unprecedented authoritarian and sectarian militarization. By all counts, the conditions of people, as varied as they may be, in places like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, and Palestine appear to only be getting worse before, and if, they will get any better. These conditions target the very possibility of life. Yet despite these hardships and amidst the varieties of dispossession and injustice we are now witnessing, people continue to live, to create, and to love. It is in the spirit of honoring this will to live that we present this issue of Arab Studies Journal. We are proud to feature articles that explore the history of modern Assyrian and Chaldean appellations, contribute a literary analysis of Cairo in a time of intense political change and upheaval, and present a historical study of Arab nationalism in the “Trucial States.” A special section titled “Love in the Arab World” includes a rich body of ethnographic studies on compatibility and marriage in Jordan; Valentine’s Day in Egypt; and the politics of desire in post-uprising Syrian television drama. As always, we are pleased to accompany our articles with a review section that engages a number of recent contributions to the field. Together these pieces testify to the resilience of the everyday and the significance of untold stories that are perhaps best represented in the words of Mahmoud Darwish, “One day I will be what I wish to be.”
  • Topic: Imperialism, Islam, Nationalism, Oil, Religion, Statehood, Ottoman Empire, Identity
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, North Africa, Syria, Oman
  • Author: Sherene Seikaly
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Arab Studies Journal
  • Institution: Arab Studies Institute
  • Abstract: The rapid changes that the people of the Arab world have witnessed in the last four and a half years have been revolutionary. In its initial instances this wave of change was a euphoric experience. From the far east of the Arabian Peninsula to the far west of Morocco, many transgressed generational, sectarian, gender, and class divides to break the barrier of fear. They unified to publically and collectively call for popular sovereignty. They marched on various squares, neighborhoods, and roads demanding bread, freedom, and social justice. They led us to the unknown territory of hope. As the bids for popular sovereignty became louder and stronger, and people placed their lives and bodies in the line of fire, these Arabs posed a fundamental challenge to what observers had admonished as apathetic and moribund. Politics outside the confines of a militant Islamism and a calcified authoritarianism seemed possible. Perhaps at last, Arabs could step out of the identity debate on authenticity, to demand the basics: economic redistribution and freedom from state brutality. Perhaps at last, observers could finally step out of the closed circle of debate that 11 September 2001 and the war on terror escalated to new heights: essentialism on the one hand and apologetics on the other. In a sense, the ontological non-choice between militant Islamism and militant authoritarianism mirrors the epistemological trap that can do little more than eulogize politics.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Arab Spring, Christianity, War on Terror, Gulf War, Iraq War, Militant Islam, Nakba, Orientalism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Kuwait, Palestine, Algeria, North Africa, Lebanon, Kurdistan
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In the Middle East today there are armed groups that have no respect for the humanitarian imperative. What challenges does this present to the Red Cross? I see two key challenges. The first one is very basic. We want to maintain a very close relationship with people affected by conflict, and access these days is more complex because we are in a very polarized environment. Look at the Iraq front–the problem is not new but it is exacerbated. The second issue is to be able to engage governments and non-state armed groups on a very pragmatic basis on issues related to people under their control. That normally works rather well. What I have found more complex these days is to engage them on issues related to international humanitarian law and the Geneva conventions.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Islam
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Interest in Turkey and its foreign and security policies has grown significantly in the political and scholarly circles in the world, especially since the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP) came to power with the November 2002 elections. The AKP's electoral success continued in the subsequent elections in 2007 and 2011 with an increasing percentage of votes, which was unprecedented in the history of the Turkish Republic. One particular reason why Turkey attracted much attention in the world was because, in its first years in power, the AKP was easily categorized, both in the media and in academia, mainly in the West, as an “Islamic” party with a hidden agenda that aimed at drifting Turkey away from its mainstream foreign and security policies that have long been anchored in the Western alliance, thereby turning Turkey's face toward the Middle East and the Islamic world beyond it.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Gaza
  • Author: Colin Eide, Averell Schmidt, Ibrahim Sharqieh, Matthew Levitt, Denise Natali, Gina A. Zurlo, Todd M. Johnson, Karina Piser, John Strickland, Sarath Ganji, Nada Zohdy
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: We are pleased to present the third edition of the Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Pol icy. This volume is being published at a time of rapid transformation in the Middle East and North Africa. The euphoric uprisings of 2011 have met with fierce resistance from resilient autocrats and the complex realities of reshuffled domestic politics. With corruption scandals threatening the long-venerated Turkish model, an Egyptian military reasserting itself in political life, and heated tribal disputes compromising an already fragile Libyan state, which way the region is headed remains altogether unclear. These volatile domestic transformations coincide with regional diplomatic realignments. Nuclear diplomacy between Iran and the West has complicated the relationship between Washington and its traditional allies in Israel and the Gulf. The Obama administration’s hesitance to intervene militarily in Syria has at times further strained these ties. Meanwhile, the unprecedented diffusion of Syrian refugees risks destabilizing neighboring states and igniting a region-wide conflagration. This year’s Journal sheds light on many of the dynamics underlying what we see as a larger regional transformation. Ibrahim Sharqieh opens the Journal with a commentary on the often overlooked plight of Palestinian “double refugees”—those first displaced by conflict with Israel, displaced again by conflict in Syria. Matthew Levitt provides our first feature article investigating the evolving strategic relationship between Hezbollah and Iran. Denise Natali analyzes the dynamics—new and old—of transborder Kurdish politics. Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo focus our attention on demographic trends behind the flight of the region’s Christian communities. Karina Piser helps dispel the popular narrative of religion as the sole driver of Islamist political parties in Tunisia, focusing us instead on their internal debates and political acumen. John Strickland points us to an economic transformation with global consequences taking place in the region’s skies: the growth of Gulf airlines. Lastly, spanning the politics of the Palestinian Authority, the political economy of oil and gas, and the underpinnings of the region’s grassroots political movements, this year’s staff interviews offer fresh perspectives on pressing issues.
  • Topic: Islam, Migration, Peace Studies, History, Social Movement, Partnerships, Arab Spring, Protests, Christianity, Hezbollah, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Nelly Lahoud, Muhammad al-`Ubaydi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: ON FEBRUARY 2, 2014, al-Qa`ida released a statement declaring that "it has no connection" with the "group" called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The statement further highlighted that al-Qa`ida was not responsible for founding the ISIL and was not privy to the deliberations that led to its establishment. That is why, the statement continued, "The ISIL is not a branch of al-Qa`ida, the latter is not bound by organizational ties to it and is not responsible for the ISIL's actions."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of The Objective Standard, which begins our ninth year of publication. I want first and foremost to extend an enormous “thank you” to all of our subscribers, donors, and writers, whose material, moral, and intellectual support made our first eight years possible and laid the groundwork for what is to come. Without your initial and sustained support, TOS simply would not exist. With your support, this hub of Objectivist intellectual output is not merely existing, but thriving, expanding, and reaching more and more minds with the ideas on which human life and civilized society depend. From all of us at TOS: Thank you. Now, on to the contents at hand.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Middle East