This compelling volume examines important and cross-cutting themes in the study of contemporary Middle East and North African politics and international relations in the current climate. Drawing together contributions from scholars based within the region and beyond, it weaves together essential interdisciplinary, conceptually rich, and forward-looking content. Chapters cover population and youth, civil–military relations, soft power and geopolitical competition, regionalization and internationalization of conflict, the role of oil in reconstruction efforts, extra-regional actors, environmental politics, and specifically, the Israel–Palestine conflict. Students are supported with an extended and innovative glossary, including key concepts, actors and abbreviations. New Perspectives on Middle East Politics serves as an ideal primer and companion volume for scholars of contemporary Middle East Studies, as well as for policy professionals, journalists and the general reader engaging and re-engaging with the region.
Mohamed Abdelraouf, Gulf Research Centre, Jeddah, United Arab Emirates
Dina Arakji, Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Eyad AlRefai, Lancaster University, Lancashire, England and King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Philipp Casula, University of Basel, Switzerland
Ishac Diwan, Paris Sciences et Lettres and Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France
Seif Hendy, American University in Cairo, Egypt
Simon Mabon, Lancaster University, Lancashire, England
Robert Mason, Lancaster University, Lancashire, England
Where do people meet, form relations of trust, and begin debating social and political issues? Where do social movements start? In this fascinating collection, scholars and activists from a wealth of disciplinary backgrounds, including sociology, anthropology, history, and political science, take a fresh look at these questions and the factors leading to political and social change in the Arab world from a spatial perspective. Based on original field work in Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, and Palestine, Spaces of Participation connects and reconnects social, cultural, and political participation with urban space. It explores timely themes such as formal and informal spaces of participation, alternative spaces of cultural production, space reclamation, and cultural activism, and the reconfiguring of space through different types of contestation. It also covers a range of spaces that include sports clubs, arts centers, and sites of protest and resistance, as well as virtual spaces such as social media platforms, in the process of examining the relationships and tensions between physical and virtual space. Spaces of Participation underlines the temporal and transformative quality of participatory spaces and how they are shaped by their respective political contexts, highlighting different forms of access, control, and contestation.
A bold firsthand account of one of the persistent Arab uprisings, in Yemen
At its beginning in 2007, the Southern Movement in South Yemen was a loose merger of different people, most of them former army personnel and state employees of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) who were forced from their jobs after the war in 1994, only four years after the unification between the PDRY and the Yemen Arab Republic.
This bold ethnographic account of a persistent Arab uprising, in a rarely studied corner of the Middle East, explores why the Southern Movement has grown so tremendously during the last decade, and how it developed from a primarily social movement demanding social rights into a mass protest movement claiming independence for a state that had long vanished from the world map. Anne-Linda Amira Augustin asks why so many young people born after 1990 joined the movement and demanded the re-establishment of a state that they had never themselves experienced.
At the core of South Yemeni resistance lies the transmission from generation to generation of a dominant counternarrative, which may be seen as the continuation and rehabilitation of the PDRY’s national narrative. This narrative, amplified through everyday communication in families and neighborhoods, but also by media-makers, journalists, school and university teachers, civil society actors, and by the movement’s activists, opposes the national-unity narrative of the Republic of Yemen and intensifies the demands for an independent state.