1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Middle East Politics

Edited By Larbi Sadiki Copyright 2020
    684 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    684 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing on various perspectives and analysis, the Handbook problematizes Middle East politics through an interdisciplinary prism, seeking a melioristic account of the field. Thematically organized, the chapters address political, social, and historical questions by showcasing both theoretical and empirical insights, all of which are represented in a style that ease readers into sophisticated induction in the Middle East.

    It positions the didactic at the centre of inquiry. Contributions by forty-four scholars, both veterans and newcomers, rethink knowledge frames, conceptual categories, and fieldwork praxis. Substantive themes include secularity and religion, gender, democracy, authoritarianism, and new "borderline" politics of the Middle East. Like any field of knowledge, the Middle East is constituted by texts, authors, and readers, but also by the cultural, spatial, and temporal contexts within which diverse intellectual inflections help construct (write–speak) academic meaning, knowing, and practice. By denaturalizing notions of singularity of authorship or scholarship, the Handbook plants a dialogic interplay animated by multi-vocality, multi-modality, and multi-disciplinarity.

    Targeting graduate students and young scholars of political and social sciences, the Handbook is significant for understanding how the Middle East is written and re-written, read and re-read (epistemology, methodology), and for how it comes to exist (ontology).

    1. Introduction: Middle East Politics: A Field in Transit Larbi Sadiki

    I. Knowledge Frames and Horizons

    2. Middle of Where? East of What? Simulated Postcoloniality’s Assemblages, Rhizomes and Simulacra Larbi Sadiki

    3. Traveling the Middle East without a Map: Three Main Debates Bahgat Korany

    4. Literature in the Arab Postcolony Miriam Cooke

    5. The Primacy of Fieldwork: Inductive Explorations of the MENA State Laurie A. Brand

    6. Nationalism in the Arab Middle East: Resolving Some Problems James Gelvin

    7. Studying the International Relations of the Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf: A Personal Account and a Theoretical Overview F. Gregory Gause III

    8. Committed History: Sticking to Facts and Adhering to Principles Ilan Pappe

    9. Reimagining the Middle East and Its Place in the World Robert Bianchi

    II. Towards Re-conceptualizations of the Democratic and the Authoritarian

    10. Survey Research and the Study of Politics in the Arab World Mark Tessler

    11. Authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa: the trajectories of the MENA republics Raymond Hinnebusch

    12. Economic Reform’ Since the 1980s: The Political Corollaries of a Political Project Eberhard Kienle

    13. Overcoming Exceptionalism-Party Politics and Voting Behavior in the Middle East and North Africa Francesco Cavatorta

    14. Elections in authoritarian contexts: The case of Algeria Youcef Bouandel

    III. The Secular and the Religious: Questions and Contests

    15. The Challenges of Researching Political Islam Beverly Milton-Edwards

    16. The Other Side of Middle Eastern Studies: On Democracy, Violence and Islam Abdelwahab El-Affendi

    17. Sectarian fault lines in the Middle East: sources of conflicts or communal bonds? Keiko Sakai and Kota Suechika

    18. The Unseen in the Islamic Awakening: Walking with the Muslim Jesus Raymond William Baker

    19. Re-thinking Shi¿i political theology Naser Ghobadzadeh

    20. Patronage in Reverse and the Secular State in Egypt Mohammed Moussa

    IV. Gendered Relations and Realities: Critical Interpretations

    21. Gender and Politics in the Middle East Nicola Pratt

    22. Islam and Resistance in the Middle East: A Methodology of Muslim Struggle and the Impact on Women Maria Holt

    23. Gender, Religion, and Politics in Jewish and Muslim Contexts: The Case of Israel Lihi Ben Shitrit

    24. Gender: Still a Useful Category to Analyze Middle East History? A View from Egypt (1919-2019) Lucia Sorbera

    V. Borderline Politics: Claims and Counter-claims

    25. Social Movements and the Middle East Anne Marie Baylouny

    26. Sports and politics: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer James M. Dorsey

    27. Various Faces of Violent Radicalisation in the Syrian Crisis: the Case of Tripoli Marie Kortam

    28. Non-state actors and ‘the international’: counterinsurgency and empire in the Middle East Marina Calculli

    29. Start with the Art: New Ways of Understanding the Political in the Middle East Kirsten Scheid

    30. Truth to Power: On Digital Scene-Making Tarek El-Ariss

    31. Bread and its Subsidy: Some Reflections Jose Ciro Martinez

    VI. Conceptual Categories: Reflexive Notes

    32. Distributive Politics in the Middle East Lisa Blaydes

    33. The Rule of Law in the Contemporary Arab Middle East David Mednicoff

    34. The Politics of Identity in the Middle East: Rereading Arab Nationalism Youssef M. Choueiri

    35. On the Intertwinement of the Political and the Intellectual in Modern Arab History Elizabeth Kassab

    36. Studying the Middle East Security Sector: A Conceptual Framework Oren Barak

    37. Reflections on Doing Digital Humanities in the Context of the Middle East Minoo Moallem

    38. The Theoretical and Methodological Traps in Studying Sectarianism in the Middle East: Neo-Primordialism and ‘Clichéd Constructivism’ Rima Majed

    39. Tentative Notes on Syria’s Uprising: Researching Protest Politics in the Diaspora Layla Saleh

    VII. Navigating The Field: Notes And Outlooks

    40. Researching Iranian history and politics: a guide for the perplexed Ali M. Ansari

    41. Investigating Tribalism and Civil Society in Qatar Ali A. Hadi Alshawi

    42. Yemen: The Case of Politics, Tribes and Instability Bakeel Alzandani

    43. Is Sustainable Development Possible Under Occupation? The Case of Palestine Basem Ezbidi

    44. Palestinian Politics in One Century, from Sykes-Picot to Post Oslo Agreement - A Time for a Re-Evaluation As’ad Ghanem

    45. Concluding Remarks: Quandaries of Researching Middle East Politics Sheila Carapico


    Larbi Sadiki is Professor of Arab Democratization at Qatar University. His blogs have appeared in Aljazeera, and his publications have been translated into Arabic, Turkish, and Portuguese. He is editor of the Routledge Series on Middle Eastern Democratization and Government, and has been a Non-resident Fellow at Carnegie Middle East Center (Beirut), Senior Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, and an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney’s Department of Arabic Languages and Cultures.