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  • Author: Muhammed Kürsad Özekin, Hasan Hüseyin Akkaş
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: This article pursues two main objectives. First, mainly drawing on empirical evidences rather than journalistic impressions and reports on the Arap Spring, it aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the sets of socio-economic and socio-political factors that have been deeply rooted in the region for more than half a century and which have driven (and continue to drive) a wave of uprisings across the region commonly labelled as the 'Arab Spring'. Thus, this study expects to present a slightly different reading of the Arap Spring by placing the issue into the socio-economic and socio-political context of the recent past. Secondly, by considering a range of factors such as the responses of the regimes, the role of security forces, the ethnic and sectarian makeup of the societies and the politico-institutional feature of states, it explains how the unfolding of events has differed from country to country and why some uprisings have succeeded in toppling regimes and others have not.
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: Nilüfer Karacasulu, Irem Aşkar Karakır
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper discusses EU-Turkey relations with a specific reference to regional developments in the Middle East after the Arab Spring. In the last decade, the Turkish government has tried to intensify Turkey's influence in the region. However, increasing activism in Turkey's foreign policy toward the region was not accompanied by a parallel commitment in its relations with the EU. In the meantime, the EU was caught unprepared by the Arab Spring in the middle of the Euro-zone crisis, and now its strategic interests are being threatened by regional instability. Both sides have been faced with the task of adapting their policies to the political transitions in the region. After an analysis of their contemporary regional policies, this article argues that even though their strategies are not totally in line with each other, Turkey follows the same objectives that the EU neighborhood policy has pursued towards the Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Valerie Morkevicius
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring has generated a variety of responses from the West. While broad political support was voiced for uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, the responses to protests in Bahrain and Morocco were muted. The swift decision to intervene in Libya stands in marked contrast to the ongoing hand-wringing on Syria. While political realists might see these contradictions as evidence that geopolitical concerns determine foreign policy, from an ethical point of view these responses also reveal a fundamental tension in Western thinking about rebellion. On one hand, rebellion is viewed with a distrustful eye—as a disruptive, chaotic force that threatens to destroy the day-to-day order on which civilization is built. On the other, rebellion is perceived more optimistically—as a regenerative, creative force that can leave a better civilization in its wake. These two radically disparate ways of thinking about rebellion have deep philosophical and theological roots. The pessimistic view has historically dominated just war thought, as James Turner Johnson's contribution to this roundtable illustrates; whereas the perspective of Enlightenment liberalism offers a more optimistic judgment, as found, for example, in the works of Locke and Rousseau.
  • Political Geography: Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Author: Paulo Gerbaudo
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The 2011 protest wave, encompassing the Arab Spring revolutions, the Indignados movement in Spain and Greece, and the Occupy Wall Street movement has often been described as a new global protest cycle. However, the dynamics of diffusion suggest a more complex picture. Transmission of protest frames and repertoires from one country and cultural region to another was quite slow and tortuous. Moreover, adoption of the new ideas and practices of protest spawned by the protest wave of 2011 involved laborious dynamics of cultural translation and domestication. This situation points to the continuing importance of local protest cultures and cultural contexts, in addition to channels of transmission, even in an era of instantaneous communication technologies.
  • Topic: Communications
  • Political Geography: Greece, Arabia
  • Author: Arno Tausch
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article evaluates Arab public opinion with the "Arab Opinion Index" by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in Doha, Qatar. The Index covers 12 Arab countries with 85 percent of the population of the entire Arab world. The data was weighted by UNDP population figures in order to arrive at conclusions about the totality of opinions in the Arab states. There is indeed overwhelming support for democracy and change in the region, but, at the same time, the data imply real basic weaknesses of civil society support for the structures of democracy.
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Mohsen Milani
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When the Arab Spring reached the Mediterranean shores of Syria in early 2011, there was an ephemeral exuberance that Bashar Assad's dictatorship would be replaced with a democratic order. Today, Syria has descended into an existential civil war among religious sects and ethnic communities. The country has transformed into a battleground for a proxy war among regional and global powers that pursue irreconcilable objectives. Balkanization of Syria appears underway as the government, the Kurds, and the opposition to President Bashar Assad's regime control different swaths of the country, while the civil war has ominously metastasized to Syria's neighbors. Alarmingly, a large number of foreign born jihadists and terrorists with possible links to al Qaeda have also flooded the country to foment mischief. Amidst all the destruction, the complex civil war has reached a stubborn stalemate with no breakthrough in sight.
  • Topic: Civil War
  • Political Geography: Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Nadia Helmy
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: In the past three decades, Chinese Iranian and Middle East Studies have become more and more systematic, which is reflected not only in the great volume of publication, but also in the varied research methodologies and the increase in Iranian and Middle East academic journals. The development of Chinese Middle East studies have accelerated in particular after Arab Spring revolutions and the political changes in the Middle East (2000- 2013). Research institutes evolved from state-controlled propaganda offices into multi-dimensional academic and non-academic entities, including universities, research institutes, military institutions, government offices, overseas embassies and mass media. At the same time, publications evolved from providing an introduction and overview of Iran and Middle Eastern states to in-depth studies of Middle East politics and economics in three stages: beginnings (1949- 1978), growth (1979- 1999), and dealing with energy, religion, culture, society and security. The Middle East-related research programs' funding provided by provincial, ministerial and national authorities have increased and the quality of research has greatly improved. And finally, China has established, as well as joined, various academic institutions and NGOs, such as the Chinese Middle East Studies Association (CMESA), the Asian Middle East Studies Association (AMESA) and the Arabic Literature Studies Association (ALSA). However, Chinese Middle East Studies remain underdeveloped, both in comparison with China's American, European, and Japanese studies at home, and with Middle East studies in the West.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government, Politics, Religion, Culture, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Seth Kaplan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: That the Arab Spring caught the world off guard is hardly surprising. Interpreting overt stability as a reflection of fundamental strength or resiliency has often set the international community up for surprise. Few forecast the dissolution of the Soviet Union, for example; far too few in Washington anticipated what would follow the invasion of Iraq. These are reminders that apparent stability can be little more than an illusion.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Arabia
  • Author: Nelly Lahoud, Muhammad al-`Ubaydi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: ON FEBRUARY 2, 2014, al-Qa`ida released a statement declaring that "it has no connection" with the "group" called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The statement further highlighted that al-Qa`ida was not responsible for founding the ISIL and was not privy to the deliberations that led to its establishment. That is why, the statement continued, "The ISIL is not a branch of al-Qa`ida, the latter is not bound by organizational ties to it and is not responsible for the ISIL's actions."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Mark Perry
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Fire is both the symbol of revolution and its most potent weapon. Much like the American Revolution and other key historic events, the Arab Spring began with fire when Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight to protest his treatment by police. Ever since the Arab Spring's onset, experts have debated about its eventual conclusion and concentrated on major forces, including the army and the clergy. The future of the revolutions, however, rests with the masses in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria. The uprisings marked deep and irreversible changes in the Arab world and will inevitably entail future repercussions. For onlookers, the best policy is not to interfere, but to let the fire burn.
  • Topic: Islam, History
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Berdal Aral
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper examines the position of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during the Arab revolutions of 2010-2013. In the early 1990s, the UNSC devised the doctrine of 'humanitarian intervention' which was premised on the view that systematic and comprehensive human rights violations within a state could pose a “threat to international peace and security.” Nevertheless, the Security Council consistently failed to act during the course of Arab uprisings due to a number of structural and procedural problems, including the primacy of national interests, permanent members' disagreement about the meaning of 'collective security,' and the isolated nature of decision-making whereby the substance of major resolutions is negotiated behind closed doors.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia
  • Author: Esmira Jafarova
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This article intends to highlight the dynamics within the UN Security Council 1 (UNSC) with regard to the events in the Syrian Arab Republic that have unfolded in the wake of the so-called "Arab Spring" and perturbed the entire region of the Middle East. What had begun as peaceful demonstrations against the incumbent leadership of the country very quickly transformed into the violent conflict that has raged for about three years. As a primary world body fulfilling the watchdog functions over the protection of international peace and security, the UNSC was overwhelmed by the highly dynamic nature of the situation on the ground, and was embroiled in intensive deliberations on the ways to solve the Syrian crisis.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Ruben Tuitel
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Sinai Peninsula has been a center of conflict for many years, starting with the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. After Israel and Egypt signed the Camp David Accords in 1978, it became a peaceful region, strongly controlled by the military during Hosni Mubarak's rule in Cairo. Now, after several years of non-violence, the Sinai Peninsula is once again the center of a complicated conflict. Heavy protests across Egypt in 2011 forced Hosni Mubarak to step down from the presidency, creating a security vacuum in the Sinai that allowed radical Islamists to almost freely operate in the region. During the months that followed, insurgent groups grew in number, recruiting frustrated Bedouin who have been neglected by the Egyptian government for years.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Israel, Arabia, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Sajjad H. Rizvi
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Story of Islamic Philosophy You cannot judge a book by its cover – or even its title. Now and then, a work comes along that forces us to take notice of what the author means by giving his work a particular title. Certainly, those who pick up The Story of Islamic Philosophy might expect a conventional history of the philosophical endeavour in the world of Islam, starting with the translation movement and the appropriation of Aristotelianism and ending with the 'eclipse' of 'rational discourse' in medieval mysticism and obscurantism. The study of philosophy in Islam is rather polarised: the traditional academic field of 'Arabic philosophy' starts with the Graeco-Arabica and is very much in the mould of understanding what the Arabs owed to the Greeks and then what the Latins owed the Arabs. This book is a story of Aristotle arabus and then latinus, and hence it is not surprising that the story culminates with the ultimate Aristotelian, Averroes. Many Arab intellectuals, such as the late Muḥammad ʿĀbid al-Jābirī, have been sympathetic to such readings and wished to revive a sort of Averroist Aristotelianism in the name of reason and enlightenment. In particular, they wished to save the Arab-Islamic heritage from its 'perversion' by the Persians, starting with Avicenna and Ghazālī who initiated the shift from reason and discourse to mystagogy and 'unreason.' The models for this tradition of philosophy are the Metaphysics and the Organon of Aristotle. However, the Greek heritage was always much more than Aristotle – Plato and the thoroughly neoplatonised Aristotle were critical. If anything, a serious historical engagement with the course of philosophy in the late antiquity period, on the cusp of the emergence of Islam, demonstrates that philosophy was much more than abstract reasoning, discourse and a linearity of proof.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Yonathan Gonen
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: Since newspapers first arrived in the Middle East, around the beginning of the 19th century, newspapers have played important roles in the life of Arab residents. Although many newspapers do not allow space for discussion and do not investigate governmental injustices, they provide valuable information that affects a large public, reinforce cultural values and instill a rich intellectual heritage . In recent years, these newspapers, like many newspapers in the West, have experience a decline in revenues and have seen new media bite into their share of popularity. This is particularly notable in light of the events of the " Arab Spring . " However, these difficulties are not as severe as the crisis facing the Western press, and it seems that the Arab newspapers survive, for now, the technological wave .
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Arabinda Acharya
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: ISIS is fighting an insurgency deeply influenced by the principles of Maoist protracted political warfare and moreover informed by the successes and failures of previous Al Qaeda movements in Iraq from 2006-2008, and of other jihadist groups attempting to seize and hold territory in countries like Somalia, Yemen and Mali. This analysis argues that, whether it survives or not, ISIS has set a political separatist precedent, the effects of which are yet to be fully understood and addressed by the international community.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Malik Mufti
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: During the first years of its tenure in office, as the AK Party focused on consolidating its position domestically, Turkey's reengagement with the Arab world after decades of alienation took a largely unproblematic form. Inevitably, however, as Turkish activism deepened, conflicts of interest emerged both with other aspirants to regional influence such as Iran and Israel, and then - especially after the outbreak of the 2011 uprisings - with many Arab regimes as well. The future character of Turkey's engagement with its Arab neighbors will depend on its ability to combine an adherence to a conception of community based on Islam rather than ethnic nationalism, with a commitment to democratization both at home and regionally.
  • Topic: Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Murat Yeşi̇ltaş
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines the critiques directed at Turkish foreign policy during the AK Party administration. There are three basic critiques leveled at the foreign policy that has been followed by the AK Party: Islamist ideology, geopolitical codes, and lack of capacity in foreign policy. These criticisms will be examined through a multi-layered approach, whereby they will be contextualized in terms of global fragmentation (macro level), regional disorder and fragmentation (meso level), and restoration in domestic politics and the opponents within Turkey towards these policies (micro level). A look at the challenges that Turkish foreign policy faces today and the search for a new foreign policy model will follow.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Phinnemore, Erhan İçener
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the reasons for frustration and pessimism about Turkey-EU relations. It focuses on the impact of the crisis in Europe, the 2014 EP elections and selection of Jean- Claude Juncker for the Commission President post on Turkey\'s EU accession process. Finally, the paper tries to answer how the currentpessimism over Turkey-EU relations can be overcome.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Arabia
  • Author: Andrew A. Szarejko
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Some 15 to 20 years from today, it will be illuminating to examine how academic and policy circles read the period from early 2013 to late 2014 in Turkey. There are many competing narratives about the future of the country. One pessimistic reading that is currently popular with many American observers of Turkey goes as follows: the so-called "Turkish model" was all the rage just a couple years ago. Turkey was prospering and democratizing under the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which was hailed for its successful fusion of Islamic values and democratic governance.
  • Topic: Development, Governance
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Suna Gülfer Ihlamur-öner
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The EU has been involved in democracy promotion in the Mediterranean for many years. However, it is facing criticism from its members and partners for prioritizing security and stability over democracy. Particularly following the Arab uprisings, the effectiveness of the EU's efforts have increasingly been called into question and demands for a new approach towards democratization in the Mediterranean are growing. Ann-Kristin Jonasson's book, The EU's Democracy Promotion and the Mediterranean Neighbors: Orientation, Ownership and Dialogue in Jordan and Turkey, systematically evaluates the EU's democratization efforts by focusing on democracy promotion in two Mediterranean countries, Jordan and Turkey, and effectively addresses the major pitfalls in the EU's strategy. Therefore, it is a timely contribution as the Arab revolutions have forced us to reconsider the prospects for democratization in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Amir Sajedi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: India and Israel share many common characteristics such as having emerged from a colonial past of the British Empire, and having a parliamentary system which encompasses moderate and radical forces. In spite of this shared background, for nearly four decades, India did not show interest in establishing complete diplomatic relations with Israel, and in general supported and voted for defense of the Palestinians and the Arab Middle-Eastern governments and for condemnation of Israel in world bodies such as the United Nations. However the broad changes in the world stage arising in the 1990's such as the break-up of the Soviet Union, the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent crisis in the Middle-East, the rise of the price of oil, the reduction in the remittances sent back to India by the returning Indian workers from Arab countries, and also the change of the political climate in India, the increase in support for the right wing (B J P) all changed the direction of the attitudes of most Indian politicians towards Israel. But developing Indo-Israel relations does not affect Indo-Iran's relations.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Middle East, India, Israel, Kuwait, Soviet Union, Palestine, Arabia, United Nations
  • Author: Haifaa al-Mansour
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: World Policy Journal
  • Institution: World Policy Institute
  • Abstract: RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—Developing Wadjda, the first full-length feature film ever shot entirely inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and directed by a woman, posed some wholly unique challenges that come with making a film in a country where cinema is illegal, public displays of art are vilified, women are marginalized, gender segregation is strictly enforced, and tribal and fundamentalist groups stand resolutely against anything they feel threatens their values.
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: David Galbraith
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: As revolution swept across the Arab world beginning in early 2011, the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) appeared largely immune. In Bahrain, the only GCC country where mass protests did erupt, the government suppressed them violently with the political and military support of neighboring GCC countries. This crackdown was a leading exhibit in what observers termed the “counterrevolution.” Yet to think of the Gulf states as immune to unrest ignores the internal challenges that have been inspired by the Arab Spring over the past two years. Although these challenges differed from country to country, three trends broadly hold: they represent an intensification of trends that pre-dated the Arab Spring; except in Bahrain, they have not evolved into broad-based movements that question regime legitimacy; and no regime has chosen to open up meaningful new institutional political space in response. The United States has been criticized for hypocrisy in the wake of the Arab uprisings because it maintains strong alliances with the Gulf monarchies even as it supports democratic transitions elsewhere. However, the United States should not push strongly for systemic political reform across these countries in the absence of broad social mobilization. A more targeted and softer approach, adjusted to the internal dynamics in each country, is the right course.
  • Political Geography: United States, Arabia, Bahrain
  • Author: Timo Behr
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The rise of political Islam in the EU's southern neighbourhood represents a political as well as conceptual challenge to the EU as a foreign policy actor. In the past, the EU reacted to this challenge based on its essentialist perception of political Islam and its overarching interest in regional stability and security. However, the growing salience of 'contingencist' interpretations of political Islam and the resolution of the EU's democratisation-stabilisation dilemma in the wake of the Arab Spring have recently provided an opportunity for greater engagement and cooperation. This has enabled a switch in EU policies from a strategy of containment to a strategy of engagement. Despite this, problems remain as the EU continues to expect Islamist actors to adjust to its own discursive framework and as intra-European divisions revive as a result of the renewal of secular-religious divisions in the neighbourhood. This will complicate EU attempts to build a new partnership with Islamist democracies and will fuel old stereotypes and animosities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Rashid I. Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: AT FIRST GLANCE the contents of this issue of the Journal appear disparate, ranging as they do over the Israeli settlement project, Tony Blair's tenure as Quartet Middle East representative, the role of Islamic Jihad, and the effect of recent upheavals in the Arab world on the Palestinian issue. But taken as a whole they show how much the contemporary Middle East-with the Palestine question at its center-is in dialogue with its history. Although history may not repeat itself, there are nevertheless striking parallels and linkages between past and current events.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Mahmoud Muhareb
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Based on declassified reports in the Central Zionist Archives, this article brings to light a virtually unknown disinformation project implemented by the Jewish Agency (the governing body of the Yishuv before 1948) in the Arab world during the 1936-39 Palestinian revolt. Operating via a JA front organization—an Arabic-language news agency set up in Cairo—and out of the Jerusalem-based JA Political Department's intelligence services, the project involved inter alia the planting of fabricated articles in the Lebanese and Syrian press with the aim of influencing public opinion. Whatever the project's impact, the article provides insights into the Zionist leadership's thinking, internal debates, and operating methods, and shows the degree of corruption that existed in certain segments of the Arab elite.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Arabia, Jerusalem, Syria
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: For some time, the Journal of Palestine Studies' sister quarterly, Majallat al-Dirasat al-Filastiniyya (MDF), has held small, open-ended roundtable discussions at the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) headquarters in Beirut to address issues of importance to Palestine and the Arab world, with a view to publishing the proceedings. On 15 December 2012, JPS followed suit, and in cooperation with MDF organized an English-language roundtable at the IPS Beirut headquarters to consider the impact, on Palestine, of the regional changes subsumed under the “Arab Spring” rubric. Participants ranged over an array of topics, including geopolitical changes at the global and regional levels; political, social, and intellectual trends from the Maghrib to the Gulf; and internal developments in several states, as well as within Palestinian communities in historic Palestine and the Diaspora. Especially noteworthy is the grounding of current developments in a historical framework evolving since World War I. The roundtable was transcribed by JPS Editorial Assistant Linda Khoury and the transcript edited by JPS Associate Editor Linda Butler.
  • Topic: Development, War
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section aims to give readers a glimpse of how the Arab world views current events that affect Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli conflict by presenting a selection of cartoons from al-Hayat, the most widely distributed mainstream daily in the Arab world. JPS is grateful to al-Hayat for permission to reprint its material.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Arabia
  • Author: John Price
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As the United States drove Islamist insurgents from Afghanistan, many migrated to Yemen, eventually reaching the Horn of Africa, which became the “epicenter” for al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden was indoctrinated by Wahhabist imams in Saudi Arabia, a sect that espouses armed jihad. In 1987, bin Laden formed al-Qaeda (the base) in Afghanistan, with his mujahedeen fighters. In 1991, he moved to Sudan with his al-Qaeda lieutenants and spent the next five years plotting attacks against Western interests.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Sudan, Yemen, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Mali
  • Author: Henry S. Ensher
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When asked about the effects of the Arab Spring on their country, Algerians tend to say that they knew the nearby revolutions would be dangerous to them, and point to extremist takeover and foreign intervention in northern Mali and the terrorist attack at In Amenas. Looking further back, they will say that Algeria had its own political spring in the late 1980s, but it led straight to the terrorist violence of the 1990s that resulted in the deaths, they say, of 200,000 Algerians, a decade of development and progress lost and psychological damage and divisions in their society. Algerians point to three troubling developments from recent events in their region: the rise of extremist forces to political power in their region, the trafficking of large numbers of weapons from Libya and the chaos of northern Mali, leading to foreign military intervention, which Algerians find deeply troubling, given their own history as a colonized people.
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia, Algeria, Northern Mali
  • Author: Nader Hashemi
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring of 2011 is widely viewed today as one of the great historical moments of political transformation. Comparisons have been made to the European revolutions of 1848 and the post-cold war democratic transitions in Eastern Europe, while some have spoken of a possible "fourth wave" of democratization. These analogies make sense given that longstanding dictators who seemed impervious to political change, in a region known for persistent authoritarianism, were suddenly toppled by largely nonviolent protesters invoking the universal themes of political freedom, dignity, and social justice. From the outset, however, the Arab Spring was met by a small chorus of criticism and contempt from prominent intellectuals, writers, and politicians.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Nikolay Kozhanov
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Russian government sincerely believes that Assad's removal from power would trigger the expansion of jihadism and instability in the Caucasus and southern Russia. Moscow is deeply concerned about the rise of Islamists in the Middle East, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia's efforts to support the most radical factions in Syria. At the same time, the obvious absence of the ideological background behind current Russian-Syrian relations makes them a trade item. Thus, official guarantees that the jihadists will not export their revolution elsewhere accompanied by promises to preserve some Russian economic positions in post-Assad Syria will probably create the necessary ground for the emergence of a compromise stance on Syria (including the issue of foreign intervention).
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Norbert Scholz
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section lists articles and reviews of books relevant to Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Entries are classified under the following headings: Reference and General; History (through 1948) and Geography; Palestinian Politics and Society; Jerusalem; Israeli Politics, Society, and Zionism; Arab and Middle Eastern Politics; International Relations; Law; Military; Economy, Society, and Education; Literature, Arts, and Culture; Book Reviews; and Reports Received.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Philipp O. Amour
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: In December 2010, a revolutionary spark in Tunisia initiated what is now referred to as the Arab Spring. Since then, many countries across the broader Middle East have been swept up in uprisings that have led to fundamental shifts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. The same drive for change has also led to minor changes in Jordan, Morocco, and elsewhere.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Morocco
  • Author: Ufiem Maurice Ogbonnaya
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring, a pro-democracy uprising which has been sweeping through North Africa and the entire Arab world since 2010, has been described as a cataclysmic revolutionary wave that has seen the over-throw of numerous political regimes in its wake. This has had great impacts on the political developments and democratic governance in the Arab world in particular and the world in general. Though the political, environmental and socio-economic factors and variables that resulted in and sustained the revolutions in the affected states appear similar in nature, they vary from one country to the other. Using the MO Ibrahim Foundation Index, Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index among others on selected indicators, this paper draws a comparative analysis of the key factors and variables that gave rise to the Arab Spring. The paper focuses particularly on the North African countries of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Findings show that the inability of governments in these affected states to respond adequately to the growing demands of political inclusion, good governance, job creation and policies of inclusive growth played fundamental roles in awakening the people's consciousness, resulting in the revolutions. This paper recommends the institutionalization of participatory and multiparty democracy and the implementation of people-oriented policies such as job creation and the introduction of poverty reduction programmes among others, as a means of sustaining the success of the revolutions.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Sean Foley
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: What was the intellectual vision that led to the Arab Spring and what are its roots? This article investigates how that vision took shape in the years immediately before the Arab Spring through the work of poets and popular Arab singers like Hamza Namira and Maher Zain. It argues that the vision in art and politics mirrored the desire of many Arabs and Muslims to find new ways to solve the challenges plaguing their societies. The vision also reflected a) how the downturn in the global economy after 2008 combined with major environmental changes to galvanize millions to act in the Arab World b) how social media and new communications tools helped to mobilize dissent and to limit the ability of governments to effectively repress their populations. More than two years after the Arab Spring began in late 2010 the movements it spawned are radically reconstructing societies in the Middle East. They are also undermining some of the basic assumptions of the international system, many of which have been in place since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Paul Kubicek
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The “Turkish model” has been upheld as a positive example for Middle Eastern countries, particularly in light of the Arab Spring. While Turkey is, in many respects, successful—it has a dynamic economy and in recent years has made great strides toward political liberalization— and the current Turkish government has high standing in the Arab world, this paper will argue that the applicability of a “Turkish model” to other settings is limited. In part, this is due to confusion over what the “Turkish model” precisely is or should be. For many years, the “Turkish model” was taken to be Kemalism, or a statist, authoritarian, secular order imposed “from above” with the goals of modernization and Westernization. More recently, the “Turkish model” would mean embracing a more moderate-type of political Islam, exemplified by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). While the AKP has proven to be successful in Turkey, it came to power in conditions very different than those that prevail in the Arab world at present. In particular, the AKP has evolved to reconcile itself to secularism in Turkey and embraced a program of Europeanization through accession talks with the European Union, an option not on the table in Arab states. Finally, a comparison of the political culture of Turkey with that in much of the Arab world reveals significant differences in values and priorities between the two cases.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Moritz Pieper
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Turkey's role in the Iranian nuclear dossier is often portrayed as that of a 'facilitator' and 'mediator' in scholarly analyses. NATO member Turkey was seen as a potential bridge-builder between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the 'Western camp' of negotiators. During prime minister ErdoÄŸan's first legislature, however, Ankara's and Washington's foreign policy outlooks and strategic priorities started to diverge in the course of Turkey's new regional engagement in what has been theorized as a 'Middle-Easternization' of Turkish foreign policy. It is Turkey's location as a geostrategic hub in a politically instable region that informed Turkey's 'Zero problems with neighbors' policy and foreign minister DavutoÄŸlu's advocacy for a 'Strategic Depth' in Turkey's foreign and regional policies. Ankara emphasizes its need to uphold sound relations with its neighbors and publicly stresses an unwillingness to go along with Western pressure on Iran, and insists on the principle of non-interference and Iran's right to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes. All the same, Turkish-Iranian relations are undergoing a deterioration in the wake of the Syrian civil war at the time of writing, with both sides supporting diametrically opposite causes and factions. Turkish-Iranian fundamentally differing conceptions of regional order will also impact upon Turkey's leverage power to defuse the Iranian nuclear crisis. This paper therefore adds a timely contribution to our understanding of a multifaceted and nuanced Turkish foreign policy toward Iran that can be a critical complement to 'Western' diplomatic initiatives in the search for new paradigms for a new Middle East order.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Henelito A. Sevilla
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring has brought significant changes to the political landscape in many Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries since early 2011. It has also affected the geo strategic and economic interests of powerful emerging Asian states, especially China and other net-energy consuming countries. One immediate result of the Arab Spring is its highly disrupted impact (a ' Black Swan') on the production and supply of crude oil to the economies in Asia due to their high degree of reliance on hydrocarbon from the Middle East. Chinese reactions to Arab Spring have fed tensions between itself and the countries with which it shares the South China Sea, most importantly the Philippines and Vietnam. This paper demonstrates that the black swan effect of the Arab Spring is manifested in the renewal of a geo-strategic competition in the South China Sea as China is re-asserting its historical claims over the control of the area and of its possible hydrocarbon reserves.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Vahit Yucesoy
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Well-researched, and well-documented, L'Iran et la Turquie face au Printemps arabe (Iran and Turkey in the face of the Arab Spring), written by authors Mohammad-Reza Djalili and Thierry Kellner, sets out to analyse the Arab Spring from the vantage point of two major non-Arab powers of the Middle East. Given the shortage of academic books on the reaction of these two major powers to the Arab Spring, the authors' book comes at a very pertinent time.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Eli Elhadj
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: There is a guarded optimism that the Arab Spring could result in genuine religious and political reforms. This optimism is grounded in the belief that for the new governments to be reelected, they must reduce unemployment and poverty quickly and convincingly. Dogmatic posturing produces neither jobs nor prosperity. Islamists, Salafists, and jihadists–with Wahhabi inspiration and cash–will assail the new policies as un-Islamic. The confrontation could marginalize Islamist and other extremists, cement democratic governance, reform Shari'a laws, and lead to the evolution of a more tolerant, peaceful Islam.
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: David Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been experiencing deteriorating parameters for both food production and consumption for some time. Agricultural output is constrained by limited water resources, diminishing arable land, and poor public policy. Consumption is driven by high population growth and subsidies that encourage waste. The region is food insecure, both on the level of the individual consumer (high rates of poverty) and on a national level (reliance on imports). Rising food prices played a role in fomenting Arab Spring unrest but appear to have been quickly overtaken by other grievances. Nevertheless, MENA regimes–both the transitional governments emerging from the turmoil and incumbents seeking to retain power–responded by increasing food subsidies and adopting other economically unsustainable policies, thereby exacerbating the policies that contributed to the Arab Spring.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Merlyna Lim
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article offers a three-prong approach to investigating the emergence of contemporary Indonesian radical Islamism in the post-Suharto era (from 1998 onward). First, it places it within the historical context of radical Islamism in Indonesia, its past connection to colonialism, as well as a more contemporary one to Middle Eastern Islamism. Second, it puts this resurgence within the larger context of global jihad movements; it traces the origins of the ideology of radicalism itself, which is the global jihad meta-narrative that dominates much of the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Arab countries. Third, it discusses the dissemination of radicalism in society, including how the media, particularly the internet, plays an important role in spreading the jihad meta-narrative and its stylized version of contemporary history.
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Barry Rubin
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: The gap between dominant Western perceptions of the Middle East and the region's reality is dangerously wide. While the “Arab Spring” is celebrated as an advance for moderation and democracy, in fact the advance is going to revolutionary Islamists. Developments in Turkey and Egypt especially threaten to plunge the Middle East back into an era of conflict, instability, and the worst threats to Western interests in decades.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Gordon L. Bowen
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: Prominent U.S. officials have claimed that only dwindling numbers of isolated extremists support terrorists engaged in violent attacks against Americans. Survey research on Muslim publics' attitudes reveals a different picture, one that undermines this interpretation. Evidence from key Arab states and some other important Muslim states (Pakistan, Nigeria) is reviewed. Markedly hostile views toward the security interests of the United States and its allies are shown to exist, despite efforts of the Obama administration. Since anti-U.S. terrorism retains the support of significant minorities, recruitment of much smaller numbers of actual terrorists should be expected to continue.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Arabia, Nigeria
  • Author: A. Lukmanov
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: TODAY, the peoples of the Middle East are living through one of the brightest and critical periods in their history known in the world as "Arab Spring." for two years now, the forces which emerged as a new political element have been fighting desperately in the name of subjugated peoples to restore their violated rights. They call on the world to support their ardent desire to free themselves from the shackles of "injustice" which have been restricting their freedom for a long time. In some cases, these efforts cause relatively little pain, in others, they run across fierce resistance of the ruling elites; they develop into street protest rallies, waves of violence and revolutionary upheavals.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Thorsten Hochwald
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: To look at social media in the context of conflict seems, at first glance, a stretch of the imagination. Before 2011, many would have argued that the Web 2.0 or social media was originally designed for business purposes and had little to do with conflict at all. However, following recent events, mainly in the Arab world, this view faces some serious challenges. Some would go so far as to claim that new media can be and actually have been "weaponized" in order to catalyze the transformation of existing authoritarian regimes in the Arab world. It has also been argued that social media was the single most important factor in bringing about the Arab Spring - leading to it being referred to as "Revolution 2.0." [1] Those who support the antithesis to this argument merely see social media as a set of new information exchange tools made available by the ever-advancing tide of technology. Whatever the truth may be, the events in the course of the Arab Spring, which swept the Region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) since December 2010, took many by surprise. As these events are quite recent or still ongoing, factual data is fragmentary, and research on the connections between conflict and social media is incomplete at best. Although numerous books have been published, up-to-date information can be found mostly in think-tank research papers and articles on the Web. Much is still unresolved and in a state of change. Moreover, the nature of conflicts has changed after the end of the Cold War, from mainly inter-state to intra-state. Civil society's influence became a major and expanding factor within the conflict sphere. Last but not least, the nature and number of actors playing important roles in these struggles have also changed-not only in dimension but also in their scope of action.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Oldřich Bureš
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: This study analyzes the limits and further areas of possible privatization of security in the Czech Republic in the context of a growing number of private security companies (PSCs). With reference to the recent foreign studies of security privatization and interviews conducted with the owners and/or managers of PSCs operating in the Czech Republic, this study shows that the process of security privatization is not taking place somewhere outside the structures of the Czech state because the very (in)activity of its components in providing security, along with the understandable efforts of PSCs to maximize their profits by offering new services, or extending the range of the existing ones, represents one of its key determinants. By outlining possible further areas as well as limits of security privatization in the Czech Republic, this study has the ambition to be the basis for not only an academic, but also a political debate about the ways of ensuring the safety of the citizens of the Czech Republic in the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, France, Arabia
  • Author: Zdeněk Ludvík
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: The realm of privatization of security and the consequent existence of private military companies is an important constitutive element of security with regard to international relations. This phenomenon is most strongly developed in the Anglo-Saxon world. However, in the case of the French Republic, we can observe significant developmental and functional disparities. This paper examines externalization processes in the context of the French approach to the legitimacy, legality and territoriality of the privatization of security functions of the state and explains the different causes of their development. It discusses the main aspects of externalization, defines the typical activities of French private military companies, describes their strengths and weaknesses and outlines the problems and possible solutions that lie before the French, which cannot be ignored in the future. Finally, this paper describes the most important French private military companies and their characteristics.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, NATO, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, France, Arabia