Featured Research

Gender Trouble in the Land of the Nile: Transgender Identities, the Judiciary and Islam in Egypt (Nora Noralla)

The paper provides a socio-political context analysis to outline Al-Azhar’s discourse on transgender identities and its influence on law and policy in Egypt. Transgender identities in Egypt represent an issue governed by Islamic Sharia more than anything else. Scholars at Al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, viewed transgender identities as a danger to the fabric of society if not regulated. Thus, in the 1980s, several Fatwas were issued to examine the compatibility of transgender identities with Sharia.

Grassroots Familialism? NGO Mobilization and Neoconservatism in Contemporary Turkey (Sevgi Adak)

Familialism in contemporary Turkey has primarily been analysed as a crucial aspect of the social policy of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP) government. The incorporation of familialism into other policy areas has also received some attention. Less attention has been given, however, to the ‘civil’ channels through which this state-level familialism is supported and propagated. A network of family-oriented conservative NGOs has proliferated in the last decade, and this article looks at the campaigns they organize and the discourses they use to influence and foster familialism at the state level.

Gramsci’s ‘Southern Question’ and Egypt’s authoritarian retrenchment: subalternity and the disruption of activist agency (Gennaro Gervasio & Andrea Teti)

Explanations of the authoritarian retrenchment after Egypt’s 2011 Revolution invoke either the regime’s repressive advantage over ‘leaderless’ mobilisation and civic activists, or insufficient preparations and radicalism on the part of opposition groups. Both explanations are unsatisfactory. First, because despite being ‘reformist’, opposition groups’ demands were perceived as radical challenges to regimes before, during and after the uprisings.

State, Peasants and Land in Mid-Nineteenth Century Egypt (Maha Ghalwash)

This book examines the rural history of Egypt during the mid-nineteenth century years (1848-1863), a period that is often glossed over, or altogether forgotten. It focuses on the relationship between the absolutist state and the majority of its subject population, the peasant smallholders during this juncture. Drawing on a wide array of archival sources, some only rarely utilized by other scholars, like the athurat registers, it sheds new light on this relationship. This involves specifying state views and perspectives as documented by these sources as well as highlighting peasants’ voices, views, experiences and agential power.

The Turks in the Land of Afghans: History, Politics, and Relationships (Mohammed Alrmizan)

Turkish foreign policy in Afghanistan dates to the changing dynamics in the Ottoman Empire's foreign policy, particularly following the Russian Empire's wars and the support of the British Empire during the middle of the nineteenth century. The Ottoman Empire then began communicating with the Durrani and Barakzai dynasties in Afghanistan through different missions from Istanbul and Mumbai to Kabul.

Why is Syria a War but Not Afghanistan? Nationality- based Aid and Protection in Turkey’s Syria Refugee Response (Shaddin Almasri)

This article argues that, following the most recent influx of Syrians, refugee reception and aid policies in Turkey has shifted to be differentiated depending on the nationality of refugee groups. This research relies on a case study methodology and assesses changes in reception and aid access policies undertaken in Turkey post the Syrian influx and European Union (EU)–Turkey deal.

Are Jordanians (still) 'humourless'? (Yousef Barahmeh)

This article discusses the stereotypical misrepresentations held about Jordanians being ‘humourless,’ and how had the 1989 political opening affected the production and reception of humour in the country. I argue that the difficult economic conditions and increasing pressures after the 1989 political opening have produced more humour and carnivalesque resistance against power and the government in Jordan.

Electoral Engineering in Autocracies: Effects of the 2021 Electoral Reform on Morocco’s Parliamentary Elections (Inmaculada Szmolka)

This article examines the effects of electoral engineering in the 2021 Moroccan parliamentary elections. It demonstrates that Morocco’s proportional system, introduced in 2002 and reformed in 2021, is designed to co-opt political parties, prevent a predominant party and promote party system fragmentation, in line with the monarchy’s interests.

Scholarship on the Middle East in Political Science and International Relations: A Reassessment (Andrea Teti and Pamela Abbott)

As Middle East-focused researchers we often feel that our topics of interest, methods, and the theories we draw on are poorly received in ‘mainstream’ Political Science and International Relations. Pamela Abbott and I found striking empirical evidence for this. Our article maps and analyses publication patterns of Middle East Studies-related scholarship in 13 ‘top’ Political Science & IR journals, providing a more precise analysis of the marginality of ‘regional’ scholarship in Political Science. This marginalisation on is even starker at three different levels: 1. the use of qualitative evidence, 2. the use of qualitative methods and 3. the use of non-positivist or Marxian theoretical frameworks, all of which are rare-to-non-existent. We hope the article will be of use to researchers but also in classrooms, e.g. analysing the politics of knowledge production in Social Science.

The Rewriting of Characters’ Dialogue: Translating Literary Dialectal Dialogue in Saudi and Egyptian Novels (Eman Suraid Almutairi)

The research aims to identify the procedures carried out by translators to deal with translating Literary Dialectal Dialogue (LDD) in the English translations of contemporary Saudi and Egyptian novels. The significance of this study is that it focuses on two Arabic dialects and examines what are the translation procedures if these procedures shift with changes in dialect. The study involves an analysis of random selections of LDD that were extracted from several Saudi and Egyptian novels.

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