In recent years, the term sectarianism has been widely used to explain contemporary affairs across the Middle East and North Africa. A range of assumptions about the nature of sectarianism have become prevalent amongst scholars and policy makers who engage with these areas, in part driven by the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran (the two dominant Sunni and Shi’a states) and the emergence of ISIS. Despite its prevalence, few scholars have engaged critically with the meaning of the term and its application across the Middle East. Whilst many associate sectarianism with Islam, Sectarianism in the Contemporary Middle East interrogates the political, economic and security factors surrounding the term within both Islam and Judaism, leading to a better understanding of the contemporary politics of the Middle East.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Global Discourse.
1. People, sects and states: interrogating sectarianism in the contemporary Middle East
Simon Mabon and Lucia Ardovini
2. Dehumanisation in religious and sectarian violence: the case of Islamic State
3. The politicisation of sectarianism in Egypt: ‘creating an enemy’ the state vs. the Ikhwan
4. ‘Jewish sectarianism’ and the State of Israel
5. Reply: Bounding an elusive concept: response to ‘Jewish Sectarianism’ and the State of Israel
Sarah V. Marsden
6. Social protest and the political economy of sectarianism in Lebanon
7. Lebanon’s consociational model, Christian parties and the struggle for political power in post-2005 period
8. Reply: Communalism and consociational democracy: a response to Abbas Assi
9. Contested spaces and sectarian narratives in post-uprising Bahrain
Sossie Kasbarian and Simon Mabon
10. Hamas and the ‘trap’ of sectarianism?
11. Reply: The structure of sectarianism: response to ‘Hamas and the "trap" of sectarianism’
12. Casting the Other as an existential threat: The securitisation of sectarianism in the international relations of the Syria crisis
May Darwich and Tamirace Fakhoury