Contextualizing Sectarianism in the Middle East and South Asia : Identity, Competition and Conflict book cover
1st Edition

Contextualizing Sectarianism in the Middle East and South Asia
Identity, Competition and Conflict

Edited By

Satgin Hamrah

  • Available for pre-order on March 15, 2023. Item will ship after April 5, 2023
ISBN 9781032359533
April 5, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge India
192 Pages

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Book Description

States across the Muslim world are faced with challenges associated with a perpetual cycle of conflict and violence organized along sectarian lines. To understand modern-day sectarianism, it is essential to move beyond explanations that focus predominantly on ancient Sunni-Shia animosities or a singular lens. It is important to engage in interdisciplinary and multidirectional examinations to better understand how sectarianism is strategically utilized by political entrepreneurs. Moreover, while religious identities and how individuals define themselves and their communities are important, it is also integral to analyze how identity has been utilized in historical and contemporary political contexts on state and non-state levels.

This volume seeks to fill gaps in understanding the complexities associated with sectarianism through a transnational interdisciplinary analytical framework to enhance understanding of the socio-political, religio-political, cultural and security landscapes of the Middle East and South Asia. It also challenges narratives regarding sectarian divisions between Sunnis and Shias and deconstructs popular misconceptions about sectarianism, its spatial and temporal impact, as well as its influence on identities, conflict, and competition.   

The volume will be of interest to scholars and researchers of the Middle East and South Asia, and those interested in history, politics, international relations, international security, religion, and sociology.  

Table of Contents

Introduction: Untangling the Complexities of Sectarianism and Moving Beyond Misconceptions 1. Unravelling Sectarianism in South Asia 2. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Identity as the “True Islam” through its Exclusion 3. Understanding the Long-term Impact of Mobilizing Militant Islamists in the Soviet-Afghan War: Strategies of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran 4. Advice Columnists in Egypt: Envisioning the Good Life in an Era of Extremism 5. Sectarianism’s Ambiguity: Lebanon as a Case Study, 1843-1958 6. Falling Together: Identity and the Military in Fragmented Societies 7. Accidentally Accelerating Sectarianism: Elections and the U.S. Role in the Iraqi Civil War 8. Contextualization of Sectarian Conflict and Violence in Iraq: The Intersection of Identity, Power and Conflict 9. Sectarianism and Counterterrorism: Explaining the “Silent Space” between Policy and Practice 10. Old Stately Friends, New Sectarian Foes: The Modern Saudi-Iranian Roots in Shia-Sunni Sectarianism. Conclusion: The Contextualization of Sectarianism: The Role of Identity, Money and Competition

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Satgin Hamrah is a PhD Candidate in History at Tufts University, where she focuses on the Middle East, South Asia, sectarianism, Islamism, as well as state and non-state conflict and violence. She has a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Boston University, where her thesis focused on offensive strategies to protect critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks. Hamrah also has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California, with a focus on international development and state formation of post-Soviet states in the Caspian region during the 1990s. Hamrah was a Doctoral Fellow at The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University between September 2016 and October 2018 and was a Graduate Fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future between December 2008 and September 2009. Hamrah is the founder of the Iran-Iraq War Project and is the Co-Editor of the Council for European Studies: Europe Radicalization and Violence Research Network Newsletter. Her primary regions are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East and South Asia.