Featured Research

The Manama riots 1947: Bahraini Jews between Palestine and Gulf labour politics (Eirik Kvindesland)

In December 1947, following the UN decision to divide Palestine, Bahrain’s Jewish community became the target of communal violence. As crowds protested the partition plan, Manama’s Jewish quarter was attacked and looted. In their aftermath, the Manama riots have been understood as a nationalist show of anger against Zionism, unfortunately unleashed against local Bahraini Jews. However, a close reading of events shows the riot as complex event involving local labour politics, anti-colonialism and Shi’a religious rituals.

Not Anymore in Politics: Theorising the Young Egyptian Muslim Brothers’ Political Disengagement in the aftermath of the 2013 Military Coup (Doha Abdelgawad & Shaimaa Magued)

This article relies on the life story narratives of 48 young members of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers in identifying the different reasons behind their political disengagement in the aftermath of the 2013 military coup. Unlike the social Movement Theory scholarly writings addressing Islamists’ political disengagement within a limited scope of analysis that focuses on members leaving their groups rather than politics, this study presents a multi-layered approach that examines the interplay between youth’s personal experiences, the repressive macro political conditions, and the organizational decay in shaping young Muslim Brothers’ positions towards political activism.

Reconstituted authoritarianism: Islam, service provision and the state in al-Sisi’s Egypt (Neil Russell)

Social service provision by non-state actors is cited as an important factor in maintaining authoritarian regime stability in the Middle East. By facilitating their growth regimes ease the burden on their own shrinking resources and avoid resultant social unrest. But these arrangements are not politically risk free, with Islamic opposition groups able to develop substantial social capital. After the Arab Spring, in which regimes faced mass mobilization, and in some cases, nascent democratization, authoritarian elites adapted and transformed their tactics of control to contain newly mobilized societies.

States of Subsistence: The Politics of Bread in Contemporary Jordan (José Ciro Martínez)

On any given day in Jordan, more than nine million residents eat approximately ten million loaves of khubz 'arabi - the slightly leavened flatbread known to many as pita. Some rely on this bread to avoid starvation; for others it is a customary pleasure. Yet despite its ubiquity in accounts of Middle East politics and society, rarely do we consider how bread is prepared, consumed, discussed, and circulated - and what this all represents. With this book, José Ciro Martínez examines khubz 'arabi to unpack the effects of the welfare program that ensures its widespread availability.

The Arabs and the Muslims Between Diaspora and Transnationalism (Mohammed Alrmizan)

Both Arab and Muslim migrants have noticeable populations in all parts of the world. This article qualitatively investigates the Arabs, the Muslims, and mainly diaspora and transnationalism theories from historical and social understandings, based on primary and secondary sources. It engages conceptually in defining Arabs and Muslims through the lenses of diaspora and transnationalism theories, discusses theoretical issues and explores the status of the Arab and the Muslim diaspora(s) and transnational communities through primary data and the findings of the Global Muslim Diaspora Project, which surveyed 7,147 participants between 2018 and 2019.

Islamic Revolutionary Ideology and its Narratives: The Continued Relevance of the Islamic Republic’s Ideology (Olivia Glombitza)

Is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s revolutionary ideology still relevant more than 40 years after the revolution? Is it still relevant in the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy? While the Islamic Republic’s ideology undoubtedly developed alongside its institutions over the course of 40 years, this article argues that its revolutionary ideology continues to remain relevant and in fact important.

Advocating for Palestine in Canada: Histories, Movements, Action (Jeremy Wildeman)

Why is it so difficult to advocate for Palestine in Canada and what can we learn from the movement’s successes? This account of Palestine solidarity activism in Canada grapples with these questions through a wide-ranging exploration of the movement’s different actors, approaches and fields of engagement, along with its connections to different national and transnational struggles against racism, imperialism and colonialism.

The Middle East in Canadian foreign policy and national identity formation (Jeremy Wildeman)

While often overlooked, the Middle East has been a pivotal geographical and discursive space in Canadian foreign policy and national identity formation. With the support of three contemporary case studies—Israel and Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Iran—this paper explores how Canada’s ties to the Middle East have shaped and continue to shape Canada’s foreign policy, national identity, and place in the world.

Arab diasporic media in Turkey: A story of (trans)national narratives in the Middle East (Mohammed Alrmizan)

The aim of this article is to investigate what seems to be a developing phenomenon of regime-critical Arab diasporic media post-Arab Spring in Turkey. First, the article explores the academic literature covering the concepts of (Arab) diaspora and (Arab) diasporic media. Second, it highlights the development of the Arab diasporic media in Turkey drawn from Syrian, Egyptian, Yemeni and Libyan landscapes. Finally, the article discusses the reasons that made Turkey welcome such a phenomenon.

Prison Periods: Bodily Resistance to Gendered Control (Malaka Shwaikh)

Prisons are places of power and resistance. This article is based on original research material derived from Arabic, English, and Hebrew sources, including interviews with menstruating prisoners from Palestine, Northern Ireland, England, and the United States. I document and translate stories, including those of minors who had their first periods behind bars. I then show how several global prison structures fail to provide minimum support, from offering adequate sanitary products to accessing toilets and showers.

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