1st Edition

The Politics of Race and Racialisation in the Middle East

Edited By Burcu Ozcelik Copyright 2022
    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the extent to which race and racialisation offer us an explanatory framework to study the contemporary politics of identity in the Middle East today. Most studies of the Middle East commonly presume that the race signifier is reserved for the juxtaposition of 'Black' and 'White' identity to which the Arab, Persian and Turkish world counts itself as exterior. Up until now, few works on the Middle East have discussed race as central to their analysis. This book works to remedy this shortcoming by extending the critical scholarship on race and racial subordination to the region's states and societies. Crucially, how does race interact with and confront other categories of identity, such as gender, religion, sect and nationality? What can a consideration of racialisation reveal about structures of oppression in the Middle East and evolving forms of belonging and dispossession? Adopting race as the focus of enquiry allows us to unpack what we are really talking about when we talk about difference in the region: the reproduction and resilience of power and the insidious, harmful mutations of identity-based discrimination in unequal societies.

    The Politics of Race and Racialisation in the Middle East is a significant new contribution to racial and ethnic studies, and will be a great resource for academics, researchers, and advanced students of sociology, politics, history, social anthropology, political and cultural geography.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies.

    1. Introduction: confronting the legacy and contemporary iterations of racial politics in the Middle East

    Burcu Ozcelik

    2. The Israel/ Palestine Racial Contract and the challenge of anti- Racism: a case study of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism

    Abigail B. Bakan and Yasmeen Abu- Laban

    3. Palestine along the colour line: race, colonialism, and construction labour, 1918– 1948

    Nimrod Ben Zeev

    4. Anti- Muslim hate on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean: Lebanon, the Hijab, and modernity/ coloniality

    Ali Kassem

    5. Racial otherness, citizenship, and belonging: experiences of “not looking like a Turk”

    Murat Ergin

    6. Difference in difference: language, geography, and ethno- racial identity in contemporary Iran

    Rasmus Elling and Kevan Harris

    7. The racial politics of smart urbanism: Dubai and Beirut as two sides of the same coin

    Özgün Eylül İşcen


    Burcu Ozcelik holds a PhD in Politics and International Relations from the University of Cambridge, where she held the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and is an affiliated lecturer. Her research explores conflict, peacebuilding and identity in the contemporary politics of the Middle East, with a focus on Turkey, Iraq, Syria and transnational movements.