Routledge Handbook of Citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa

ISBN 9780367617790
Published January 9, 2023 by Routledge
514 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This comprehensive Handbook gives an overview of the political, social, economic and legal dimensions of citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa from the nineteenth century to the present.

The terms citizen and citizenship are mostly used by researchers in an off-hand, self-evident manner. A citizen is assumed to have standard rights and duties that everyone enjoys. However, citizenship is a complex legal, social, economic, cultural, ethical and religious concept and practice. Since the rise of the modern bureaucratic state, in each country of the Middle East and North Africa, citizenship has developed differently. In addition, rights are highly differentiated within one country, ranging from privileged, underprivileged and discriminated citizens to non-citizens. Through its dual nature as instrument of state control, as well as a source of citizen rights and entitlements, citizenship provides crucial insights into state-citizen relations and the services the state provides, as well as the way citizens respond to these actions.

This volume focuses on five themes that cover the crucial dimensions of citizenship in the region:

  • Historical trajectory of citizenship since the nineteenth century until independence
  • Creation of citizenship from above by the state
  • Different discourses of rights and forms of contestation developed by social movements and society
  • Mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion
  • Politics of citizenship, nationality and migration

Covering the main dimensions of citizenship, this multidisciplinary book is a key resource for students and scholars interested in citizenship, politics, economics, history, migration and refugees in the Middle East and North Africa.

Table of Contents

Nils A. Butenschøn



  • Peace to those of Faith: Political Affiliation and Belonging in Classical Islamic Thought
    Omar Farahat

  • The Ottoman Citizen between Millet and Nation
    Bruce Masters

  • Citizenship and Nationality in the French Colonial Maghreb
    Jessica M. Marglin

  • Revolutionary Citizenship at the End of Empire
    Michelle U. Campos

  • Colonial citizenship? Producing Sectarianism in the Interwar Middle East
    Laura Robson

  • Citizenship and the Transition from Colonial to Authoritarian Pacts
    Roel Meijer


  • Between Claims, Residence and Recognition: the Conceptual Unity of Jinsiyyah and Muwatanah
    Paul M. Esber

  • Muwatana, Exclusion and Politics of Belonging in Modernizing Monarchies: the Cases of Kuwait and Morocco/Western Sahara
    James N. Sater

  • Constitutions and Citizenship: Rights in Law and Practice in Jordan and the Arab Word
    Lillian Frost and Nathan J. Brown

  • The Egyptian Middle Class and the Nasserist Social Contract
    Relli Shechter

  • The Islamic Republic and Citizenship in Post-1979 Iran
    Shirin Saeidi

  • The Islamic State’s Construction of Citizenship
    Mathilde Becker Aarseth


  • The Communist Movement and Citizenship in Arab Countries
    Manfred Sing

  • New Islamist Movements and Concepts of Citizenship
    Emin Poljarevic

  • Striking for Rights? Workers’ Political Agency and Revolutionary Crisis in the Middle East
    Anne Alexander

  • The Politics of the Poor in the Middle East and North Africa: Between Contestation and Accommodation
    Cilja Harders

  • Human Rights Movements and the Promotion of Citizenship in MENA
    Fateh Azzam

  • The Ambiguity of Citizenship and the Quest for Rights in Morocco
    Driss Maghraoui


  • Domestication or Transformation? Modern Amazigh Identity in the Shadow of the Authoritarian State
    Bruce Maddy-Weitzman

  • The Struggle for Kurdish Citizenship
    Michael M. Gunter

  • Supremacy Unleashed: the Ongoing Erosion of Palestinian Citizenship in Israel
    Shira Robinson

  • Patriarchal Nationality Laws and Femal Citizenship in the Middle East
    Rania Maktabi

  • Why his Photograph Was not Taken: Reconsidering Membership in Lebanon
    Nadia Sonneveld and Joseph Alagha

  • Trafficking in (non)-Citizenship in Kuwait and the UAE
    Zahra Albarazi and Yuona Kusmova

  • The Christians of the Middle East: from Arab Christians to Marginalized Minorities

Heleen Murre-van den Berg

  • Citizenship and Political Participation in Post-Qaddafi Libya: The Long and Winding Road to a New Social Contract
    Suliman Ibrahim


  • Political Participation and the Middle East Migration State
    Gerasimos Tsourapos

  • Economic Migrants and Citizenship in the GCC
    Zahra R. Babar

  • The Middle East and North Africa and the Global Trend towards Multiple Citizenship
    Claire Beaugrand

  • Migration and Citizenship in Modern Turkey
    Rusen Yasar

  • Subjecthood and Citizenship in the Diaspora: Libyan and Syrian Voice before and after the Arab Spring
    Dana M. Moss

  • Tunisian Migration to the EU: A Tale of Asymmetry
    Françoise De Bel-Air

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Roel Meijer is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen. He is a historian and has edited numerous volumes, including Global Salafism: Islam’s New Religious Movement (2009), The Muslim Brotherhood in Europe (2012), and (with Nils A. Butenschøn) The Crisis of Citizenship in the Arab World (2017) and The Middle East in Transition: The Centrality of Citizenship (2018).

James N. Sater is Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations at the University of Malta. He is the author of Morocco: Challenges to Tradition and Modernity (Routledge 2010/16) and Civil Society and Political Change in Morocco (Routledge 2007). He has worked on sectarianism, citizenship, electoral politics, gender, marginalisation and migration with a focus on North Africa and Arab Gulf monarchies.

Zahra R. Babar is Associate Director at CIRS at Georgetown University in Qatar. She has published several articles on citizenship, including "Enduring ‘Contested’ Citizenship in the Gulf Cooperation Council" in The Middle East in Transition: The Centrality of Citizenship (2018); "The ‘Enemy Within’: Citizenship-Stripping in the Post-Arab Spring GCC" in Middle East Journal (2017); and "The Cost of Belonging: Citizenship Construction in the State of Qatar" in Middle East Journal (2014). She served as editor for a special issue of the Middle East Journal titled "Citizenship" (2019).