Aba Sadki is a PhD researcher, and tutor, in Geography at the University of Montreal, Canada. He holds a diploma from the National Institute of Archeology and Heritage in Rabat (Morocco) and a postgraduate diploma in Urban and Territorial Planning from the National Institute for Urban and Territorial Planning in Rabat. He also received a master's degree in Environmental Management from the International Francophone University for African Development in Alexandria (Egypt).
This paper studies a new trend in international tourism, which leads to permanent or long-term residence among different communities, known as “residential tourism” or “lifestyle migration.” This style of tourism has spread within the world heritage cities of Morocco. In the era of globalization, these cities have preserved the cultural authenticity that satisfies the image of the Arab Islamic World in the orientalist imagination. Since the late 1990s, wealthy Westerners have been buying up and re-creating traditional houses in poverty-stricken neighborhoods overflowing with villagers who cannot find housing in or around the modern city. The premise of this research is that residential tourism, despite positive economic effects, contributes to the eradication of the cultural personality and social system of historic cities. It creates tension between “residential tourists” and local people, fueled by social and economic disparities. The study thus examines the effects of conflicting collective cultural identities on relations between the locals and the newcomers and the prospects of coexistence between the two groups.
Having completed his BA and MA at M’sila University in Algeria, Ghorab was awarded a full scholarship granted by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to pursue a PhD at Lancaster University, where he is exploring the interplay between ‘national identity’ as a flawed form of an image of totality and ‘nation’ as an imaginary artefact in an Algerian and South African context.
The politics of language and interrogation of memory in Kamel Daoud’s Meursault contre-enquete The winner of Prix Goncourt revises the Algerian colonial heritage and the post-independence era through an innovative reimagination of Albert Camus’ l’Etranger. Haroun, the novel’s protagonist and the brother of the Arab killed by Meursault, held the belief that in retelling the past and giving a voice to the dead he would be able to break away from the burden of his somber past and find a place for himself in this world. This paper will demonstrate Haroun’s failed attempt in resorting to the mastery of language as a means of re-adjusting the colonial historicity, challenging the creation of Meursault whom he addresses as the author of the novel instead of Camus, and ascribing one of his own. His paradoxical, and often confusing, narrative addresses his slow realization of the futility of carving an alternative past. The novel puts the Algerian nation’s revolutionary memory into question and challenges the colonial distortion of the nation’s past, the alteration of events and the refusal of acknowledging the atrocity of its practices.
Doctoral student in the Arab and Islamic Studies Institute at the University of Exeter, UK, specialized in Arabic literature. He is currently preparing his doctoral thesis, entitled “The Impact of Oil on the Poetry of the Blind Poets of the Gulf: a Literary Study”. He is also fellow at the University of Kuwait.
This paper seeks to fill a gap in research on the ingenuity of blind poets in Gulf societies before and after oil, by looking closely at the case of Kuwaiti poet Saqr al-Shabib (1894-1963). He spent much of his life under the weight of poverty and in the prison of blindness in a desert society. With the advent of oil (1938), he lived through a period of rapid change as a civilization grew in record time. This paper explores two main themes: the first is the impact of the Kuwaiti environment on the poetry of the young man and his ability to document the desert society during the pre-oil era, despite his visual impairment; the second is the impact of the sudden change in Kuwaiti society that accompanied the age of oil, and how the poet harnessed all of his senses in portraying and documenting this change effectively, as well as his own stance with regard to that change.
PhD scholar, holder of Yousef Jameel Scholarship, at the Centrum für Nah- und Mittelost-Studien (CNMS), Philipps-Universität Marburg. Sheir graduated from Alexandria University in 2008 and obtained his MA from Göttingen University, Germany in 2014. He has published several papers on the Crusades and the East-West relations in the Middle Ages.
Mythology and history are usually seen as paradoxical forms of interpretations, but there is a mutual influence between reality or history and myth or imagination. It is within this context that this paper examines the legend of Prester John, its evolution, and the perception of him being a Christian savior during the 12th century, and through the figure of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan, in the 13th century. The legend of Prester John and his link with the Mongol ruler, according to what the Crusaders and the Latin West believed at the time, led to perceiving the Mongols as the divine allies against the Muslims. This study seeks to measure the extent to which such connections and imaginations would have shaped the historical events of the conflict between Muslims and the Crusaders during the 12th and 13th centuries. It stems from the recognition of the importance to not only study the military history of the crusades but to also investigate the history of thought and culture behind the conflict, as well as the anthropology and mythology of the time.
PhD candidate in Political Science at Stanford University. He graduated magna cum laude and with high honors in Government from Dartmouth College. Ala’ researches political violence and issues related to immigration and refugee issues with a focus on the Middle East.
Over the past few decades, several civil wars have attracted many foreign fighters. Most prominently, the ongoing Syrian civil war has drawn over 30,000 foreign fighters. While this influx has led to important policy questions, the topic remains largely understudied in political science. This article examines the motivations of foreign fighters by studying the effect of laws that criminalize foreign fighting. While laws are ineffective at preventing foreign fighters from traveling, they can have a differential effect on deterring foreign fighters depending on their motivations. Laws are unlikely to deter zealot fighters, but they can deter adventure seekers from traveling to Iraq and Syria. In this paper, a difference-in-differences design is used to show that these laws have been an effective means for deterring potential foreign fighters from traveling to Iraq and Syria, thus suggesting that many foreign fighters are adventure seekers.
Senior MENA Researcher for Praetorian Connections company in London. He has a BSc in Economics and Business Administration. He also completed an MSc in Banking and Finance at the Eastern Mediterranean University in Northern Cyprus, and an MA in Conflict Resolution at Bradford University, UK.
By examining the evidence on the ground this paper argues that the emerging conditions in areas which were once governed by the IS can set the stage for a new phase: the Talibanization of the Islamic State. The notion of Talibanization is inspired by the resilience of the Taliban to remain as a shadow government after their military defeat in 2001. The paper argues that the factors helping the Taliban to maintain their influence after their military defeat constitute a pattern which can be applied to other conflict driven regions such as Syria. In this light, Talibanization refers to the process in which an insurgency organization with short-lived territorial governance experience obtain legitimacy due to the public perception of incompetence of its successor in providing essential services, security and transparency. The paper argues that Talibanization is about the politics of remembrance. It happens in retrospect. It is a collective remembrance of a time, which is representing a relative certainty and stability. At extreme times, the perception of stability, security and transparency are more relative than the peacetime and if there is a period, which is remembered as relatively more stable, then people are more likely view its rulers as more legitimate.
PhD Scholar in the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University where he also lectures on the Political Economy and Business Dynamics of the Middle East. He has previously worked in Palestine with the United Nations, Oxfam, and the Korean International Cooperation Agency and has served as a Research Fellow at Birzeit University in 2017.
With the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the international aid industry commenced its mass operations in Palestine forming a new dimension of complexity in the matrix of Palestine’s social, political, and economic developments. It became clear that the newly established Palestinian Authority (PA) would require significant international financial backing to carry out its newly dictated mandates of administering Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and Gaza, maintaining the order of security with Israel, and negotiating a final settlement. This proposed research lays the theoretical foundations to categorize aid and clearance revenue as external sources of income that are controlled by third parties. Such categorization allows for the utilization of Rentier State Theory (RST) in the context of political rentierism. Hence, this research will first propose a theoretical contribution to RST, while also identifying the boundaries of what qualifies as political rentierism. Secondly, it will address the nuances of political and economic governance in the Palestinian context by critically addressing economic data obtained during fieldwork in Palestine. Thirdly, it will delve into the dynamics shaping the PA’s balancing act of different sources of external income and the political and economic consequences associated within this context.
PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and a Visiting Scholar at Columbia's Middle East Institute. She received her M.A. in Women’s Studies from UC. Mhajne is a Graduate School Fellow and a Dean Dissertation Fellow.
How did political opportunity structures (POS) shape Islamist women’s political participation in Egypt? How did Islamist women’s political organizing and framing strategies, in turn, reshape their political opportunities? This article answers these questions by using interviews, social media, and news articles as primary sources to examine the mobilizing strategies of the Muslim Sisterhood in Egypt between 2010 and 2017. This dissertation contributes to the few existent gender-sensitive analysis of POS structures and their relationship to Islamist women’s activism in the Middle East. It reveals how a lack of gender analysis of POS can mask certain important political processes. It further examines how the shift in alliances between military, seculars, and Islamists, as well as their relationship to civil society has resulted in political opening for and backlash against the Muslim Sisterhood. To address the response of the Muslim Sisterhood to the change in the POS, the dissertation examines the mobilizing mediums the Sisters’ utilize and their framing strategies, shedding light on how the activities of the Muslim Sisterhood impacts the political elites’ backing for the movement’s agendas.
Holds a PhD in Linguistics from Essex University, UK, 2016. Her PhD thesis “A Sociolinguistic Investigation of Two Hourani Features in Souf, Jordan” mainly discusses phonological and morphological variation in the dialect of Souf. Since October 2017 she started working as an Assistant Professor of English Language and Translation at Jerash University, Jordan.
This study investigates sociolinguistic variations in the traditional dialect of Sūf, a Hōrāni town in northern Jordan. Two variables are examined: (k): depalatlization of /k/; and (l): develarization of /l/, according to internal linguistic constrains and two external social factors: namely age and sex. Conditioned palatlization of /k/ and the presence of a dark allophone of /l/ are two of the most salient phonological features of the dialects of Hōrān in general. The present study provides a quantitative analysis within the framework of Variationist Theory, using the multiple logistic regression program Rbrul. Palatalization of /k/ is treated at two levels and thus involves two variables: 1. Phonological variable (k) in the stem of the word. 2. Morphophonemic variable (–ik) in the feminine suffix -ik. Overall, the results show that women are more conservative with respect to the usage of both these traditional features, thus indicating that women preserve the local way of speech more consistently.
PhD student of Social and Political Thought at the Australian Catholic University. She holds a Master’s degree in Global Politics (Global Civil Society) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Ayah is passionate about positive social change and Middle Eastern women’s issues. Her doctoral research focuses on postcolonial theories, Islamic feminism, autonomy, agency, freedom, globalization and means of solidarity.
This paper comes within the context of exploring the possibilities of clearing up the conflation between social coercion and religion in communities where its population, and women particularly, are in a “submerged status”. It historically examines the Islamist gender ideology of Hamas and the role of Islamist women in social and political mobilization in the Gaza Strip. It argues that Hamas has been pragmatic when faced with women’s issues, but its ideology has never changed or been contradictory. Hamas’ neoconservative view of women is based on both religious doctrines and public support for women’s activism. However, there is unchangeable essence of a “Muslim” women’s roles and its boundaries that are still confined within the traditional reading of the sacred texts. The author contends that this one interpretation has been limiting women to a hegemonic, male-dominated gender ideology, and argues that Islamist women are not having access to challenge the conservative norms that are usually justified under the name of Islam. They are also not inaugurating any Islamic reforms of the existing discriminatory system in a patriarchal society like Gaza. This constitutes an epistemic violence because of the intersecting levels of historical oppression they faced first as Palestinians who have been colonized for decades, and second as women living in a patriarchal society.
PhD student at the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. Her doctoral thesis is entitled "Silent Displacement in Occupied Palestine: Hebron and Gaza as a Case Study". She holds a BA in History and Political Science and an MA in Islamic Arab History from Birzeit University. She also works as a teaching assistant in the political science department of the University of Exeter. She received a Visiting Scholar Fellowship at Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford and is currently a researcher at the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies and the Editorial Secretary of the Ostour journal for Historical Studies.
This article will explore modes of resistance adopted by Palestinians exposed to internal forced displacement in the city of Hebron. It will examine the ability of Palestinians to resist and remain in their homes and city, along with instances in which they were forced to flee. The author reviews the mechanisms and strategies adopted by Palestinians with reference to what James Scott has termed “everyday resistance”. Drawing on testimonies of residents of the city of Hebron, the author demonstrates how resistance has become part of the city’s ‘everyday’ fabric, how Israel has used fear as a mechanism of control and how displacement has been justified and established as an active and ongoing process. The article is part of a PhD dissertation project called Silencing Displacement and Transfer in Occupied Palestine: The Cases of Hebron and the Gaza Strip, which addresses contemporary dimensions of displacement, specifically focusing on the period after 2008.
PhD student at Birkbeck, University of London. His research interests are centered on Middle East politics and modern, political Islamic thought. He is particularly interested in the processes of framing social movements, focusing on Salafi-Jihadism. Azzam holds a Master's degree (Distinction) in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter, UK. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Politics from the University of Damascus.
In tandem with a growing post-Orientalist perspective, the notion that Islamism is a product of certain historical circumstances has recently become widespread among scholars of political Islam. This trend implies that there is nothing intrinsic to Islam that makes it necessarily violent or politically engaging. In order to become a political ideology that provides rulings and principles relevant to the present problems, Islamic traditions, values, and symbols pass through various interpretive, mobilizational and organizational processes. These processes are dynamic and agentic in nature. It is the purposive efforts and motivational factors behind politicizing and strategizing Islam that is being overlooked in the study of Islamism and Islamist activism. Arguing that the rise of Islamism reflects certain temporal and spatial conditions opens up a constructive discussion about the questions of ‘what’ and ‘why’, but it does not cover the question of ‘how’, and specifically: how Islamist activists articulate their ideational and strategic frames? This research builds on the post-Orientalist traditions to provide a more comprehensive approach that addresses the role of Islamist claim-makers in linking ideology and action.
PhD candidate at Georgetown University’s History Department with a focus on the history of the Middle East and North Africa, the history of Islam, Islamic thought, intellectual history, and religious renewal. Al-Saif holds a Master of Education and a Master of Theology, both with honors from Harvard University, and a Master of Law with Distinction from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Various scholars believe that the vibrant religious reform activity of early twentieth-century Egypt entered a dormant phase between the 1940s and the early 1970s. How accurate are these claims on religious reform discourse and activity in mid-twentieth-century Egypt? Through a rigorous textual analysis and historical review, I plan on showing the interdependency of content and context in the articulation of religious reform in mid-twentieth-century Egypt through the example of Azharite ‘alim, Muḥammad al-Bahī. Among the various variables affecting Bahī’s environment, the role of the Egyptian state stands paramount. This article’s goal is to show the pervasive influence of the state on the ideas and activities of Bahī in both his articulation of reform and attitude towards the production of state reform through the purported reform of al-Azhar. The paper reveals the ways in which religious scholars and the Egyptian state influenced each other, and how this seemingly uneasy combination could coexist through a competition over an institution that was claimed by both the ‘ulama and the state: al-Azhar. Mid-twentieth-century Egypt, therefore, exhibited religious reform discourse and activity through the powerful permeation of the Egyptian state as a religious reform “actor” alongside a diverse network of Egyptian ‘ulama reformers, of whom Bahī stands paramount.
PhD student in Sociology at the Free University of Berlin. The topic of his thesis is "A Grounded Theory Approach to Emotions and Belonging after Forced Migration: the Case of Syrian Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Berlin." He holds a Licentiate (equivalent to a Master’s degree) in Sociology from the University of Granada in Spain and an MA in Arabic and Hebrew from the same university.
This paper suggests “grounded theory” as a methodology capable of contributing effectively and efficiently to overcoming impediments to the social sciences in the Arab context. To this end, it presents the procedures and inductive method of this approach, arguing that it can be conducive to the construction of theory based more on empirical data than on preconceived theories. The paper discusses theoretical and practical benefits of adopting this approach to field research in Arab societies. It also addresses challenges faced by those who use it, both in general and in the Arab world in particular, offering some ideas on how to manage these. Finally, it concludes with a number of suggestions for enhancing the practice of Grounded Theory in Arab universities and research centers.
PhD student in the Department of History at Georgetown University. She is a holder of a Master of Arts of Arab Studies from the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in Georgetown University, and a Master of Arts in Economic Development and International Studies from Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Germany. Currently, she is researching the social and cultural experience of World War I in Damascus.
World War I events brought an end to four hundred years of Ottoman rule that birthed a new political construction known as the Middle East. Shortly after WWI, a plethora of literary works were published that reflected on the human and social sacrifices made during the war. Works of literature, films, and TV shows of people’s experiences during the war’s hard years constituted the cultural remembrance practices in Syria. These practices sought to construct a specific collective memory of WWI experience and Ottoman rule in the Middle East. This paper analyzes four famous Syrian remembrance practices of WWI events in Syria. These show how masculinity is negotiated during WWI conditions in Syria including forced conscription, famine and disease, the infamous executions of Arab intellectuals of 1916, and finally the Arab aspirations for independence that culminated in the Arab revolution. Remembering WWI as a history dominated by men, makes the severity of this history measured by masculine notions of heroism and humiliation. Syrian remembrance practices offer an ambiguity to the concept of masculinity that makes its definition flexible. Masculinity is not limited to traditional notions of bravery and military fighting. Instead, it is redefined through the inclusion of acts of evasion, desertion, and defection.
PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University, with concentrations in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Her research addresses issues of urban governance, the informal economy, authoritarian politics, and the political economy of development in the Middle East.
Algeria’s Black Decade—the economic crisis and widespread unrest of the late 1980s, which was followed by a brief political opening and the victory of the Front Islamique du Salut (FIS) in elections in 1990 and 1991 and led ultimately to political breakdown and violent civil war—has been extensively dissected in analyses of the prospects for democratization and political inclusion in Algeria. Scholars have argued these contentious events have strongly influenced the political strategies and mobilization tactics of other Islamist groups in the Middle East and North Africa. The tumult has undoubtedly also shaped how autocratic regimes throughout the region manage religious groups seeking political power. What is not fully clear, though, are the impacts of this period for economic development and social welfare policy in contemporary Algeria. This paper aims to fill this gap through an analysis of the distributive implications of the 1991 Algerian election as the conflict waned. Using unexploited data sources, it explores the 1991 voting patterns, as well as patterns of changes in social welfare and living conditions, under the autocratic regime that has ruled Algeria since its short flirtation with democracy.
PhD candidate in Ethno-Political Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. Her research interests include settler colonialism, indigeneity and native feminism.
Infertility is present globally, however, its definition is heterogeneous and subject to locality. The Palestinian case as a site of settler colonialism with its underpinning of biopolitics provides no exception to this understanding and conceptualization of infertility. As such, this paper attempts to portray the existence of two other types of infertility in the oPt aside from the predominantly known medical infertility: political and social. The empirical data for this paper was collated during the years of 2016 and 2017 in the West Bank, oPt in the form of qualitative, open-ended interviews. Moreover, the analysis for this paper is in accordance with the theory of indigenous societies being considered by settler societies as not adequate to reproduce or raise children and indigenous presence being a threat to settler survival.
PhD candidate in Architecture at the University of Cambridge. The working title of her dissertation is “Post Arab Spring Tunis: Materializing Revolution in a City”. Her previous research has focused on urban citizenship in Tel Aviv-Jaffa and planning policy in Doha. She holds an MSc in Urban Development Planning from University College London and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas, Austin.
The images of protests of the Arab Spring brought into focus the Arab city as a site for analysis. This paper outlines a methodology for studying the Post Arab Spring City and an approach towards studying the materialization of revolution in the city. It problematizes the relationship between the Arab city and the Arab Spring and argues that the focus on democracy and public space has averted attention from other spaces in the city that will be crucial in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Orientalist representations have had a lasting effect on Arab identity and the contemporary Arab city and its architecture. These assertions reinforce unitary narratives of how Arab and Islamic cultures materialized in urban space and promote a homogenous view, suspended in the past, of these societies. The cases of French, Russian and Mexican revolutions are discussed in order to draw some common threads—mainly related to power, identity, and culture—that can be used to create associations between revolution and the city. Tunis is introduced as a paradigmatic case through which to study the materialization of revolution in the city. Preliminary observations regarding changes in Tunis post Arab Spring are offered.
PhD candidate of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and BSc. in Engineering. Abdellatif has several years of experience working for private and public-sector institutions in the Middle East, Europe and the US. Abdellatif’s current research looks at the effect of the energy crisis in Gaza on de-development and unviability.
This thesis looks at the connection between the Gaza energy crisis and de-development as acknowledged by the UN as the main process affecting the Gaza Strip. De-development is defined by Sara Roy as “a process that forestalls development by ‘depriving or ridding the economy of its capacity and potential for rational structural transformation [that is natural patterns of growth and development] and preventing the emergence of any self-correcting measures.” The logical end point of de-development is unviability. The central question of the research is: “How does the energy crisis affect de-development and unviability of Gaza?” The research’s hypothesis is that “without sufficient level of energy resources and electricity supply, Gazan economic activities will be halted, and infrastructure will be dysfunctional, leading to de-development and unviability”.
Researcher in The Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal. She holds a doctorate in Social Sciences, specialized in Anthropology, from the Rovira i Virgili University in Spain. Her doctoral thesis focused on the evolution of the security dimension of immigration policies in Morocco and Turkey, in addition to migrant rights, discrimination between citizens and immigrants, and the coexistence of both categories of people in these two countries. She has several publications, most recently, a book review published in 2016, in the European Journal of International Studies: “Migration in the Mediterranean Continuities and Changes in the Era of Revolutions and Crises”.
This paper examines the evolution of the security dimension of immigration policy in both Morocco and Turkey. It analyzes the extent of both countries’ policy independence from European Union diktat to its neighboring countries, which act as a "shield of protection" against the flow of migrants to European countries. It also reviews the rights of migrants and discrimination and examples of coexistence between citizens and immigrants of both countries. Taking up political, legal, and social anthropological perspectives, the research examines the historical development of immigration policies and laws governing them. It assesses the extent of European influence through observation and analysis, presenting an integrated framework to account for the failures of the two countries in formulating an immigration policy that adequately integrates social, humanitarian and human rights dimensions.
PhD student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and post-graduate researcher at Mohamed V University, Rabat. Previously a Fulbright visiting scholar at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania for the academic year 2014/15. Echkaou researches protest movements’ discourses in cyberspace. He coordinated several field studies, particularly on urban youth in Morocco and on insecurity realities of Atlas mountain dwellers.
This paper addresses social media influencers in Morocco. It specifically targets Moroccan Facebook influencers who aspire to political and social change. Throughout the study the author refers to them as “moʾthirīn” in Arabic and/or “influenceurs” in French interchangeably, terms that were used to describe activists in the “post-Moroccan Spring” period of 2011. After the uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa, Moroccan social media activists shifted their agency from directing their anger against the political elites and the status-quo on the streets into making their Facebook pages as spaces of resistant but sustainable activism. The influenceurs use their online medium to sustain the drift of agency and the imaginary hope of change that has been displaced by mainstream mass media. It is a continuous clashing dichotomy between mediums of the youth and those of the past generation. Other dichotomies entail social media versus mass media, the publics and the masses, the framework in which the feedback is allowed and where the message is imposed, and finally the terrain of protest, reflection, and the terrain of compromise.
PhD candidate and Teaching Associate in International Relations at the School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University, London. His PhD dissertation is entitled “The Ignorance Contract: Ignored Violence in Nonviolent Movements: A Case-Study of the Egyptian Selmeya Revolution.” Shafick has published multiple reviews and research papers.
The cultural turn in New Social Movement Theory (NSMT) conceptualized Social Movement (SM) as an epistemic community enacted and sustained through collective circulation and (re)production of homogenizing knowledge among otherwise contentious groups. Existing literature, however, overlooks the other face of this epistemic homogenization project: the collective unknowing of de-homogenizing (non)knowledge. Taking cue from feminist works on ‘epistemologies of ignorance’, this paper interrogates the virtual ‘ignorance contract’ that enables the movement to sustain its homogeneity through systematically ignoring contentious facts, evidences, issues, and inquiries. It then utilizes the case of Tahrir activists’ ignorance of the massacre at Rab’aa square to demonstrate the operation of this contract in practice, and the detrimental ethical and political repercussions it might imply. Finally, it concludes by a call for a second cultural turn that incorporates ‘ignorance’ into SM analysis, not merely as a lack of knowledge, but as an active epistemic practice in-itself.
PhD student at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, in the Department of Literary, Artistic and Cultural Studies and is specialized in "Comparative Literature".
This study explores the semantic dimensions of the term "historical imagination" by interpreting the meaning of "imagination" in Arab and Western philosophical thought across different stages of time. It will investigate the way some critics of history such as Robin George Collingwood and Hayden White employed the concept of “historical imagination”. The research also examines how Roland Barthes and Paul Ricoeur applied the concept of "historical imagination" to contemporary historical narratives, explaining the close relationship between the historical imagination and the historical events evoked within these texts. The study will also focus specifically on some of the artistic elements found in contemporary historical novels in both Spanish and Arabic, delving into the artistic arrangement of time and space, historical figures, the concept of the narrator and other aspects. The paper concludes that the concept of "historical imagination" can be a contemporary critical term, used to interpret the semantics and features of historical narrative text, to promote the idea that history is a semiotic structure, adopted by the novelist in shaping elements of creative writing, and imposing their vision in a distinctive artistic manner.
PhD student in the fields of cultural studies and social sciences at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. One of her most important pieces of research to date was "The Role of German Political Institutions in Tunisia in Support of Civil Society in Tunisia" (2013), in addition to the topic "German Arms Deals and the Arms Race in Arab Countries: Implications and Questions" (2016).
The accumulation of crises in Arab societies has led to the pathologizing of those societies, particularly in discussions surrounding their elites. No signs of a solution have appeared in the Tunisian “Intellectual Crisis”; it has in fact become banal. Today, the idea of an intellectual crisis in Tunisia no longer serves the function of diagnosing the Tunisian situation as it stands, but rather as a means of excusing it. This paper will explore the theme of the “crisis” of the Tunisian intellectual class, relying on a combination of case studies from the field as well as a number of other analytical and critical methods. Doing so necessitates the interrogation of the motive of the intellectual elites in their invokation of a “Crisis,” requiring an understanding of Reinhart Koslleck’s definition of “Crisis” and his studies of conceptual history.
PhD candidate and a teaching assistant of Arabic/ French in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta. He was a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant of Arabic at Michigan State University from 2010–2011. His research interests include politics and translation, Middle Eastern graphic novels, and Islamist militant movements.
The Syrian Civil War constitutes the last episode of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. What started as a series of peaceful demonstrations and protests demanding economic opportunities and political freedoms escalated into an armed conflict after President Bashar al-Assad's government violently repressed the uprising. Over time, the Syrian soil became the battlefield for major regional and international powers such as Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as their proxies. Interestingly, all belligerents have used the mass media to try to discredit their opponents by using negative labels and constructing antagonistic discourses. This article examines how the warring factions have been represented in mass media through translation. The data consists of stories and articles by various international and regional media outlets as well as translations of Al Assad’s speeches, key Syrian officials’ statements, the rebels’ statements and reports about the battles and the humanitarian crisis.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Hussam’s research focuses on Hydro politics in Jordan and of Lebanon, exploring the role of discourses in shaping water policies. Hussam obtained his PhD degree from the School of International Development at the UEA.
The Middle East is believed to be among the most water scarce regions in the world, mainly due to the fact it is in an arid region with low precipitations. This article investigates the issues underlying the problem of water scarcity in Qatar. Water scarcity in the state of Qatar is due to limited water resources, increasing demand due to a new lifestyle and population growth, very high-water consumption in addition to overexploitation of groundwater resources mainly for agricultural uses, and the strive of becoming more food self-sufficient which is further straining the limited water resources. Most of the water supply in Qatar comes from desalinated water, which consumes large amounts of energy, with negative impacts on the environment. In a nutshell, Qatar represents a mix of unsustainable water uses. It also is a perfect example of the necessity of considering water-energy-food sectors as a nexus, as the solution to water scarcity cannot be found by looking narrowly in the water sector alone.
PhD student in Mediatized Conflicts at the IAIS and a Teaching Assistant at the Department of Politics and Communication at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), University of Exeter, UK. Al-Ahmad Holds a Master of Communication from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Master of Philosophy in Political Communication, University of Exeter.
The thesis highlights the vital role that Satellite Television (STV) can play in covering ongoing conflicts. It aims at providing insight into how journalism of pan-Arab/Regional STV (RSTV) played a role in shaping Palestinian domestic politics during the recent spate of internal conflict. Principally, the thesis explores the nature of this involvement by analyzing qualitative data obtained through interviews with key Palestinian informants knowledgeable about the geopolitical context and media-politics boundaries. The primary focus of analysis in the study is the interplay between regional powers and Palestinian politics over RSTV channels as seen during the last bout of internal conflict. One principal theory that addresses the interrelationship between media, politics and society and how news media can influence political processes is ‘Mediatization’. The researcher developed his own analytical paradigm, which fits the contextual complexities and limitations of his case study, thus facilitating data collection and processing, to demonstrate the significant interrelation between RSTV news coverage and the political reality.
Earned his PhD from the Free University of Berlin, focusing on Hamas in Gaza. Currently works as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthrophony in Halle, Germany. His research focuses on a comparative study of Hamas and an-Nahda’s forms of internal and external mobilization while they were in opposition and in office.
Although widely regarded to be merely another armed group, Hamas is in fact based on a complex hierarchy composed of discrete working groups and cadres of dedicated societal activists deeply rooted in their local communities. Such a social structure is more reminiscent of the Muslim Brotherhood than an armed militia or even a regular political party. It is precisely these features which give Hamas the latent authority it needs to lead its membership in the transition from an unarmed mobilization to an armed mobilization when needed. This paper relies on fieldwork carried out by the author on the internal mobilization structures of Hamas. Through it, the author demonstrates that Hamas is more likely to engage in mass mobilization, along lines similar to the earlier Palestinian intifada of 1987 than it is to lead an armed, militarized campaign.
PhD student in psychoanalysis and clinical psychology at the University of Paris VII. She holds a Research Master’s degree in Psychoanalysis from the University of Paris VII and a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tunis, specializing in child and adolescent psychology and family therapy.
This paper concerns itself with jihadism among adolescent girls in France, the reasons behind their involvement in radical jihadist movements, and the psychological factors influencing their engagement in jihadism. The work concerns itself as well with the structure of the family in France, and particularly the modern concept of the nuclear family and the relationships within it, out of a belief that these family factors are psychological determinants which drive the subjects of the research study to jihadism. . The work relies on a number of clinical interviews with adolescent and pre-adolescent subjects of both genders.
PhD student at the School of Languages and Area Studies, University of Portsmouth, UK. She holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and TEFL from the University of Larbi Ben M'hidi at Oum El Bouaghi, Algeria. Her PhD research project focuses on English as a medium of instruction in Algerian higher education. She is particularly interested in exploring language politics, attitudes and linguistic landscape.
While English as a medium of instruction (EMI) has become a principle element for an international and highly-ranked education, it has been widely challenged from both linguistic and educational perspectives. EMI is blamed for language death or marginalization in multilingual societies as well as difficulties in learning and student failure and dropout in non-English speaking countries. While debate continues, its implementation has grown in importance in Algeria. Little attention however has been given to EMI studies in African postcolonial contexts, particularly Algeria. This paper aims to contribute to this area of research and offer important insights into the controversies over EMI. Different linguistic and regional universities in Algeria (Francophone, Arabophone or Berbophone, metropolitan or peripheral and elite or non-elite) have been also included in this discussion in order to offer a deeper understanding of medium of instruction and EMI debates. The findings display a mismatch between monolingual mindset language policy and actual language practices within an unacknowledged multilingual setting.
PhD student in Clinical Developmental Neuropsychology, York University. She also holds the position of Teaching Assistant at York University. Her PhD dissertation is entitled “Contaminated Mindware in Adolescence: Contributing Factors and Individual Differences”, with her comprehensive project addressing “Trauma and Affective Forecasting: The Role of Personal and Situational Factors in Emotional Predictions towards Negative Life Events”.
Understanding people’s emotional thought processing and reactions to news of public tragedies is important, given that humanitarian crises are daily news. One component of emotional thought processing is our ability to predict or forecast our emotional reactions to events we might experience in the future. Although we predict scope-sensitive emotional reactions to different scopes of public tragedies, our true emotional reactions are insensitive to the scope of ongoing tragedies. The current research comprised of two studies focused on understanding personal and situational factors that impact emotional sensitivity and in turn the intensity and accuracy of emotional reactions to large and small-scale public tragedies. The results demonstrated participants’ emotional insensitivity to larger tragedies and the influence their personal emotional sensitivity and a temporarily emotionally evoking situation have on these emotional reactions. The implications for emotional information processing, attention and compassionate reaction to public tragedies, and funding services are discussed.
PHD candidate in Politics at Oxford University. He studies social movements and collective violence in the Middle East with a focus on the case of Syria. Jalal completed an MPhil in Comparative Politics from Oxford University and a BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut. He is currently developing research on military mobilisation.
The digitization of social practices presents new opportunities to study contentious politics. This paper outlines several strategies for using video footage uploaded to social media sites as sources for the study of contentious street politics. Cataloguing protest events has been at the core of the study of social movements in recent decades. Citizen-journalists and activist networks were diligent in validating and documenting protests to gain credibility, especially as they engaged in a media war with the state. Data generated from social media videos can provide corrections for many of the selection and description biases in mainstream media reporting, even in areas with higher level of media freedom. This paper discusses the problems in protest event coding from traditional media and explains the media conditions during the Syrian uprising in 2011 which gave rise to alternative media reporting. It illustrates the strategies used by the author to compile an event catalogue of 6800 protests that occurred during the first six months of protests in Syria in 2011. It weighs the strengths and weaknesses of these strategies in the providing of opportunities for the quantitative and qualitative study of protests, especially in conditions of authoritarian rule.
PhD candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation examines the convergence of the revolutionary trajectories of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Lebanese National Movement (LNM) in the 1970s.
This paper will specifically look at the assumption of armed struggle by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Lebanese National Movement (LNM). It examines the alliance between the PLO and LNM specifically to intervene in questions of revolution and violence in different colonial contexts, one being settler and the other manifesting through imperialism, to develop a notion of armed struggle in liberatory praxis. This paper debunks notions of a violence/non-violence dichotomy by situating armed struggle practices within the colonial context and broader practices of resistance, drawing upon the context in which violence emerges and is discursively understood as such. The paper works to challenge the dominant norms and tropes associated with violence and militarism, what is acceptable violence and what is not. Working through Fanon’s reading of violence, it argues that within the context of colonial and imperial rule, all sets of relations are violent and as such all acts within this context produce violence. Ultimately, while militarism is only legitimated violence through the privileging of the nation-state, the author argues that violence is not only legitimate, but necessary in anti-colonial liberation struggle.
MPhil/PhD Candidate of Arab and Islamic Studies within the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies [IAIS] at the University of Exeter. In 2017, he was a Post-Graduate Teaching Assistant [PTA] within the IAIS. Currently, he is a PTA leading Security Studies seminars within the Politics and International Relations department at the same university.
Relying on Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, Ibn Khaldun’s concept of the asabiya and Michel Foucoult’s writing on power relations, this study examines how heads of fractured regimes support armed groups in other countries to maintain their leaderships over their regimes. Accordingly, the case studies of this research are as follows: Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan supporting the Eritrean Islamist Jihad Movement, and the factions that came out of it, and King Abdullah Ibn Al-Saud support for armed Syrian insurgents. Having initially planned to use four case studies to add further comparative value for this research, the focus on the two case studies aims to effectively show the application of the research’s theoretical framework.
PhD candidate in Sociolinguistics at the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Arizona. Her PhD dissertation is entitled “Language, Power and Identity Politics: Dynamics of Identity Performance among Tunisian Elite and Subaltern Groups”.
This paper attempts to discern the relationship between linguistic discourse and political agenda-setting in French-era Tunisia. To do this, it looks at the role played by Judeo-Tunisian Arabic in the dissemination of the Zionist thought among Tunisian Jews. Arguing that language is ideological and performative, and that linguistic ideologies are permeated with political interests, this paper focuses on the use of language to disseminate the Zionist thinking among Tunisian Jews. To fulfill this aim, this paper studies primary Hebrew and Judeo-Tunisian Arabic resources (a poem, excerpts from a responsa book, newspaper articles and booklets) to trace the development of the Zionist movement in Tunisia. It argues that Judeo-Tunisian Arabic was the main means upon which many Zionist thinkers relied in order to reach the Tunisian Jewish masses and to spread Zionist thinking among them.
PhD candidate at the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada). He is researching the changing state-society dynamics in the Arab Gulf States, focusing on the United Arab Emirates. El Saddik has academically contributed to the Gulf Research Center Meetings (2010, 2012) and to a series of SDGs Evaluation policy briefings (IIED).
In an attempt to understand the policymaking processes in the oil rich Arab Gulf States (AGS), the paper provides an account of the “rentier state” theory, challenges its classical notion that provides a static and over-simplistic model in delineating the relationship between the rent (derived from a natural resource, mostly oil and gas) and the prevailing political ruling in the AGS monarchies. It critically explores the notion of “Late Rentierism” introduced by Matthew Gray in 2011 and analyses its key features. While it acknowledges the latter, the paper concurs with Gray that “rentierism” is a dynamic state-society relation, rather than a structural characteristic of the state. It argues that, in addition to the seven features, four additional aspects are fundamental in better understanding the third phase of rentierism in the Arab Gulf State. They are namely (1) kinship-centered governance; (2) citizenship, culture and nationality and the associated (3) rentier mentality; and (4) the religious-affiliation of ruling.
PhD candidate in the field of anthropology, theology and religious studies at the University of Groningen with primary focus on Islamic pilgrimage (hajj) and its meaning in everyday life in Morocco. She is a graduate of International Studies, Peace Studies (MA), and Anthropology and Development Studies (Mphil). Al-Ajarma is also an award-winning photographer and film-maker.
“Hajj al-Miskin” or the pilgrimage of the poor refers to pilgrimage practices that take place locally in Morocco. In general, Islam recognizes Mecca as the only destination for pilgrimage for Muslims. In practice, however, Moroccans visit sacred sites and places that are believed (by those who practice them) to substitute the pilgrimage in Mecca. This chapter taken from the author’s dissertation explores the debate on the ‘pilgrimage of the poor’ in Morocco by examining the pilgrimage at the site of “Sidi Shashkal” on the west coast of the country and its relevance to the experiences of pilgrims. Overall, it argues that factors including poverty, lack of education, and lack of means to travel to Mecca to perform the pilgrimage, contribute to the continuation of local pilgrimage practices. To those who undertake these pilgrimages, these are believed to be equivalent to the pilgrimage to Mecca, however, many Moroccans believe that such practices are un-Islamic and recognize Mecca as the only destination for pilgrimage for Muslims.
A lawyer and a researcher in the Mediterranean Public Law Laboratory in France. She has completed a PhD in Finance and Tax Studies, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Aix-Marseille, France. Her doctoral thesis was entitled “The Role of the Development of Public Finance Management in Development Policies: an Analytical Study of the Syrian Experience.” She previously completed a master’s degree in Finance Negotiation in France.
The Syrian Public Financial System developed very slowly from its early days, with evident impact from historical events. That is until the Basic Law No. 92 of 1967 established in the period after the French mandate. After 40 years of delay, in line with the development and modernization process announced in 2001 and the decisions of the 10th Baath Party Regional Congress, the Syrian government was compelled to conduct public financial system reform and institutional restructuring. External pressures from international financial institutions also motivated the government to reorganize the public institutions to enable them to contribute to the economic development of the country. Strengthening institutional capacity and good governance of public finance was one of the main axes of the national strategy for growth and poverty reduction. The purpose of this paper is to identify the weaknesses of the Syrian public financial management system and analyze the changes that took place in 2006. It will proceed to determine the impact of these reforms in the country and their role in igniting the revolutionary movement of early 2011, or the Arab Spring.
Holds a PhD in Education at the University Paris-Dauphine, France. She obtained an M.S., in Strategic Negotiations from Saint Paul de la Sagesse & Paris XI-Sud and an M.S., B.S. in International Economics and Finance from the Lebanese University. She has been a University Lecturer since 2009 at the Lebanese University.
Despite slow economic growth and high unemployment rates especially among youth, educational expansion, at the higher level, is very high in Lebanon. This trend does not seem to change, particularly with Lebanon’s demographic growth and proliferation of private universities. This paper accounts for the impact of educational decisions on monthly wages, based on a special survey conducted among Lebanese higher graduates. Quantifying different educational variables and experience, the results show that graduates from the private sector are not favored in terms of wages growth, graduates specialized and working in the services sector earn less than others, and a gender gap exists in the labor market. On the methodological side, the Instrumental Variables technique is used to account for possible endogeneity between wages and experience.
Doctoral candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation examines transnational Palestinian youth movements before and after the 2011 Arab Uprisings. Qutami is a policy member of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network and also the former Executive Director of the Arab Cultural and Community Center (ACCC) in San Francisco. Qutami is also as a founder, member, and the former International General Coordinator for the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM).
This paper examines how the language of secular modernity played a central role in naming, coding, assigning meaning to and containing the events of the Arab region in 2011 by obscuring a more historical analysis of coloniality which mobilized conditions ripe for protest. I utilize activist ethnographic methods and political frameworks informed by transnational Palestinian youth organizing to disrupt common sense narratives of the Arab Uprisings as an awakening of youth from their deep slumber aspiring join the West in modernity and progress. This essay begin with an examination of secular modernity as a phenomenon as it emerges from the European Enlightenment project through the Cold War Era. It then traces how it was deeply constitutive with Global South colonial plunder and examine its reformation following September 11, 2001 and the role of both Zionism and Palestinian insurgency in re-formulating its tenets in the War on Terror context through the onslaught of the Arab Uprisings. This paper illustrates how new iterations of secular modernity were taken up from three vantage points in the context of the Arab Uprisings: that of the United States media and policy discourses, that of the Palestinian political establishment, and that of transnational Palestinian youth organizers involved in the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM).
PhD condidate in International Law. His research addresses the resposibilty of the UN to protect civilians during armed conflicts. He holds an LLM in International Law from the University of Westminster, UK and a BA from the Damascus University. He also works as an International law mediator and consultant.
Do we leave civilians die under the claimed restrictions of state sovereignty and non-intervention? Genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity seriously threaten the lives of millions of civilians during armed conflict areas around the world. State sovereignty is not merely a state's capacity to make authoritative decisions concerning the individuals and resources on its territory, but it is a responsibility of state to protect its citizens from mass atrocities. Previous practice shows that protecting innocent civilians by the United Nations (UN) is usually blocked by using the veto power under two restrictions state sovereignty and non-intervention. The paper discusses the emergence of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as an international norm of human security based on international law and customary international law. It focuses on applying R2P by regional organization and UN intervention at an early stage of a crisis to prevent atrocity crimes. By using doctrinal analysis methodology, the study aims at finding mechanisms to implement R2P consistent with international law to protect civilians from atrocity crimes when their state fails to do so.
PhD candidate at the University of Warwick, UK. His research project is entitled “Political Communication and Islamophobia: the Framing of Muslims in the UK Media and its Impact on Public Policies Towards Them”. He holds an MBA from the University of Newcastle, UK.
This study investigates Islamophobic political communication and its relationship with policies towards Muslims from a decolonial perspective. The decolonial thought and methodology will highlight the neo-coloniality of knowledge production and the epistemic Islamophobia in media, as a part of epistemic racism. The study implements the qualitative methodology of critical discourse analysis and political narrative analysis in British newspapers and media. It highlights media discourse about policies affecting Muslims such as securitization, immigration and social policies. It will also follow an exploratory qualitative research design, by conducting interviews. The paper explores the concepts and history of the manufacturing of Islamophobia and cultural racism, showing the influence of political actors, pressure groups and lobbies as well as media organizations on the rise of Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia. It will focus on the time period during the refugees’ crisis in Europe, and during the climate of the referendum on Brexit.
Third year PhD candidate in Palestine Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter University, UK.
For a long time, film production has been a prominent medium for Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation and create a cultural memory. Though there are some academic studies on the subject, a critical framework of analysis for such films remains underdeveloped. This article argues that Palestinian film production has surged particularly in recent years as part of an increasingly globalized dimension of Palestinian resistance. Early Zionist rhetoric asserted the non-existence (or invisibility) of Palestinians. Several decades later, when the Arab revolt was shut down, the Israeli official propaganda largely shifted to a discourse of “emergency”, which decontextualizes the anti-colonial nature of Palestinian resistance. The films 5 Broken Cameras (2011) and Omar (2013) challenge Israeli authority through their depictions of predominantly non-violent forms of resistance, which counters their historically constructed invisibility as a people, as well as the colonialist narrative of “terrorism”. Non-violent resistance makes the recognition of Israeli authority problematic, as the settlers cannot use brute force to drive out the Palestinians if there is no documented incident or context to justify violence. Furthermore, the article argues that the form of the films – pseudo-documentary and especially “talking witness” documentary – enables their emotive content to reach out to an international audience, which could potentially respond.
PhD student in Sociology at George Mason's Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He is also a Graduate Instructor at the Department and is currently teaching a course on Violence and Conflict. His research interests focus on law, democratization, and state-society relationships, specifically in Egypt. Elgohari completed his MA at New York University, with a Master’s thesis examining the political role of Egyptian Ultras groups.
How does Egypt’s military regime use law to reproduce and sustain authoritarianism in post-revolution Egypt? This paper examines this key question by deconstructing the relationship between authority and law. Law is a tool the political authority employs to control individuals and institutions. Through law, political authorities can regulate individuals’ existence and behaviors in the public sphere and to some extent in the private sphere. The purpose here is to explore how Egypt’s post-Revolution transitioning regimes in general, and the military institution in particular, have managed to reproduce and reinforce the authoritarian form of governance by utilizing law. The argument is that through crafting a number of laws, the military redefines reality and citizens’ perception of themselves, their fellow citizens, and their worldview. The paper illustrates how post-Revolution ruling regimes have persistently used law in order to suppress society and to position itself as the only sovereign by redrawing the boundaries between the state and society and by shifting narratives.
PhD student at the University of Hull, UK, focused on FDI, natural resources and economic growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Mohamed’s research interests are primarily in econometrics, development economics and consumer economics. He holds the position of visiting lecturer at the Business School, University of Buckingham.
This paper investigates the impact of sectoral foreign direct investment (FDI) on economic growth by validating the resource curse hypothesis in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. To this end, the author applied the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) for empirical analysis. The empirical analysis reveals that aggregate FDI has negative effects on economic growth. The analysis of two sectors (resource and non-resource sectors) suggests that resource FDI impedes economic growth. The analysis of three sectors (primary, manufacturing and service sectors) shows that primary FDI has a negative effect on economic growth. In contrast, FDI related to service sector leads to economic growth. The effect of FDI on manufacturing sector remains ambiguous. The results are robust to different estimators.
PhD Candidate in Middle Eastern Politics at the University of Exeter. He holds an MA in International Relations of the Middle East from the same university. He is the Chairman of the Board at Gulf House for Studies and Publishing (U.K.). He also worked as a senior journalist and presenter at the BBC as well as a presenter at Alaraby Television Network (Aug 2014 – January 2018).
This paper traces the origins of the Baharna, their homeland and identity. It studies the ramifications of the 1783 takeover and its consequent events and analyses the unequipollent conflict over landownership and governance. The analysis reveals the root cause of the feudal relation between the Baharna as aborigines striving to prevail and stick up for their ancestral identity, and, per contra, the Al Khalifa and their allies as settlers vying to control and predominate. The paper argues that there is an intentional systematic pattern pursed by the settled ruling class, and its accompanying migrated allies, to alter the perception of who are the native people of Bahrain; adopting the epithet Bahraini is one of those measures. The British departure from the Gulf (1971) left Bahrain with two perpetual questions: sovereignty and national identity. Both sides, the Al Khalifa and the Bahrani were engaged in an identity conflict of settlers-versus-indigenous. The political contradictories between both attributes, Bahrani and Bahraini, and how the ruling sheikhdom, at first and the State later on, imposed its own interpretations of the terms, would explain a prominent part of the prolonged social and political strife in Bahrain.
PhD student at George Mason University at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. His research interests are centered on sociology of religion and the relationship between religion and the state, especially in Egypt. He was a Fulbright scholar and received a Master’s degree (M.A) in Islamic Studies from the George Washington University (2014-2016). He was also a Chevening scholar and received his Master’s degree (M.A) with distinction in Middle Eastern Studies from King’s College London (2016-2017).
This essay argues that the relationship between the Ulamā of Al-Azhar and the political authority have witnessed three dramatic shifts in modern Egypt; the first one took place after Muhammad Ali came to power and attempted to bring the Ulamā under his control through nationalizing their Awqaf. The second shift was after Mubarak came to power in 1981, when he gave the religious establishment an unprecedented independence and allowed the Ulamā to gain more powers and consolidate their influence in the religious, social, and political domains. The last shift took place after the 2011 revolution when Al-Azhar considerably freed itself from the state and imposed itself as an important actor in the critical transition that followed the uprising. However, the post-revolution period witnessed a re-appropriation of the religious establishment when the army stepped in and removed the first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi and nationalized the religious discourse. The last two shifts constitute the main tenor of this essay, as it studies the clerical-state link as well as the political role the Ulamā played over the last few decades through exploring three factors; Al-Azhar leadership, the political authority, and political Islam during this period.
PhD candidate in Psychology-Special education. He is a member in the Neuro-E-Motion Research Team, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Deusto. His PhD dissertation is entitled the extent of applying international standards on vocational rehabilitation centers among people with disabilities in the Basque country.
It is important to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation (VR) services that meet people with disabilities (PWDs) needs, effectively and in a timely manner, particularly the opportunity for training and preparation for employment. This study aimed to describe PWDs’ perceptions regarding the VR and employment program in the Basque country. An interview questionnaire was administered to 136 PWDs randomly selected from ten VR associations in the Basque country. Results showed that, although PWDs perceive VR and employment services as advanced and beneficial, there is a need to provide additional courses about work skills
PhD candidate at the Department of Islamic Studies, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, UK. He holds a master's degree from the College of Islamic Studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar and a BA in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University in Egypt. His published research includes "The Purposes of Sharia and Modernity: A Knowledge Transition in the Methodology of Islamic Jurisprudence"; "Islamic Public Domain in Pre-Modernity: Towards a Different Narrative" and "Wael Hallaq between Orientalism and Surrealism: a Study in the Development of his Jurisprudential and Intellectual Theories
This study examines the mechanism of issuing fatwas in modern times, and how muftīs have been influenced by their preconceived modern thoughts. It draws mainly on the author’s ethnographic study at Al-Azhar's Fatwa Council in Egypt where he spent more than two months as participant observant. Having focused on cases such as the nuclear family, age of marriage, detest of divorce, and arranged marriage, the author specifically examines the social and legal opinions on divorce in the historical and classical legal sources and then elaborates the changes in attitudes on divorce in Egyptian society as a result of a long process of modernizing in the period of colonialism. Finally, he observes how this modern view of divorce may have an impact on the muftis' fatwas. Drawing on various extensive and detailed examples from his fieldwork, he demonstrates a turn in the fatwas of divorce which are influenced by the modern understanding of divorce in "Egyptian society".
Doctoral student in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She also earned a B.A. in International Relations and History from Stanford University and graduated with an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University with distinction. Her current research examines how the Syrian conflict and the process of forced migration impacts Syrian refugees gender identities, perceptions, and behavior in Egypt.
The Syrian conflict has unraveled hierarchies which structure men’s and women’s dealings with each other and the roles they play in the family have also been thrown into chaos by the political upheaval. With the Syrian conflict’s unraveling of social institutions and the death of family members, Syrians must figure out how they will live and handle their new familial roles in a foreign context. Based on four months of fieldwork in Egypt, this paper examines men’s and women’s experiences of displacement and migration from Syria to Egypt as a primary destination of resettlement, and how forced migration reorders gender identities, roles, and relations. Specifically, the paper observes how changes in gender relations are informed by both a set of processes inherent to international migration, as well as local processes determined by cultural and economic differences between Syria and Egypt
Second year PhD candidate and associate tutor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, England. The title of her thesis is “Literary Depictions of Migrants’ Experiences in Arab Gulf Countries.”
Intermarriage between Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis has been the subject of many debates, especially regarding the social restrictions and gendered laws imposed on such marriages. Kuwaiti television drama series is a space where this issue has been approached recently in many - what is referred to in the Arab world as - musalsalat. The paper focuses on two recent series: Saq Al-Bamboo (2016), based on the award-winning novel by Kuwaiti writer Saud Alsanousi, and Thurayya (2014). This paper is interested in these TV series’ representations of the “other,” be they non-or half-Kuwaiti, as well as their depiction of “other places.” Important questions generated by this paper include the role of cultural productions in consolidating national identity, the current status of the “other” in Kuwaiti society, and the way relations between the self and the other are mapped out geographically, taking shape through spatial divisions that become more visible through representations of place in literary and cultural productions.
Third year PhD student in Assyriology at the School of Oriental and African studies (SOAS), London. She holds a BA in Arabic from SOAS, and an MA in Ancient Near Eastern languages from the EPHE (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes), Paris. Her current doctoral thesis is focuses on describing the sentence structure of Old Babylonian omens by using Arabic concepts of grammar.
The aim of this article is to demonstrate that transferring Arabic grammatical knowledge into a modern investigation of Old Babylonian omen texts can add new perspectives to our understanding of Old Babylonian grammar and to textual meaning. As an example of what the Arabic model can help us refine or reassess, the paper discusses sentences that begin with an accusative constituent. These sentences, which are referred to as accusative-initial sentences, are a frequent construction of Old Babylonian apodoses. This type of sentence structure has raised several questions in recent Assyriological research such as what rules of syntax prompt this construction, and, what is the function of such sentences? When the Arabic grammatical model and its tripartite division of sentence structures is used two answers emerge. Accusative-initial sentences represent a sentence type, independent from sentences that begin with a nominative constituent. Second, the function of the accusative-initial sentence is to communicate the new or more-newsworthy information first via the accusative target. A function that the author has interpreted as something akin to exclamatory statements.
Research Fellow with the Department of Arabic at Georgetown's Qatar campus. Nadine received her PhD from Georgetown University, and her M.A. from the University Of Bayreuth, Germany. She researches how language and linguistic choices contribute to the creation and communication of identity in public and political discourse, especially in that of movements of Political Islam
Language variation, and positioning of the Self, the audience, and the Other are linguistic choices that index social meanings relevant for purposes of identity construction. Based upon an analysis of these discourse linguistic markers in Hizbullah’s public discourse from 2005-2009, the author argues that the movement promoted an alternative reading of ‘What it means to be Lebanese’. More specifically, Hizbullah managed to not only articulate an identity for its Shia constituency situated firmly within rather than on the fringes of Lebanese national identity but communicated a version of a Lebanese national identity aimed at the Lebanese population as a whole. This analysis demonstrates that Nasrallah, Hizbullah’s Secretary General, seemingly acts as a voice and agent for Lebanon’s perceived subaltern communities. He challenges not only the legitimacy and authority of established elites, but also existing conceptualizations of Lebanese identity. By substituting religion with a shared understanding of moral values, he promotes a secularized version of Hizbullah’s Resistance ideology as national identity to appeal to the Lebanese across sectarian divisions.
Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Center for Research on Gender and Women at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S and a PhD student in Women and Gender Studies at Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdullah University, Faculty of Letters and Humanities Dhar Mehraz, Fez- Morocco.
Organizations like the military are male-dominated organizations and women still constitute a minority in these institutions. The study investigates gendered practices and women’s experiences in the Moroccan security forces, particularly the armed forces and the police. The author argues that on the surface, it appears that the Moroccan security structure replicates traditional gender roles, but a careful examination of the performance of gender reveals a more complex reality. Discourses of the armed forces adopt and understand the integration of a gender approach as women’s roles are completing men’s ones. Women tend to be relegated to female stereotypical roles, serving as ‘monitrice de foyer’, teachers, social workers. In those roles, they take on a male posture, particularly with regard to civilians. However, in dealing with fellow male soldiers or police they find it advantageous to perform in a stereotypically feminine fashion. Men, on the other hand, assert only male stereotypical behavior in all types of roles, combat and other roles. The study is based on semi-structured interviews with 36 men, 22 women and some of their family members in cities throughout Morocco in 2017.
Doctoral student at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, the UK where he is specialized in Macroeconomics. He is preparing his PhD thesis on "The Impact of Corruption on Economic Growth and Investment in the Middle East and North Africa." He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Jordan. He has worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the Department of Economics in the University of Aberdeen.
Corruption is a multi-dimensional problem that has attracted widespread interest among researchers and decision-makers as a dangerous indicator of institutional and structural weakness in the economic, political, and moral systems of a society. This study establishes a framework to determine the causal relationship between corruption and development or between corruption, economic growth and capital formation. It attempts in addition to assess the impact of corruption on important macroeconomic variables in the economies of the Middle East and North Africa during the period 2003-2016, and to address two principal questions: How does corruption affect GDP per capita in the Middle East and North Africa? Is corruption one of the determinants of GDP in the Middle East and North Africa? This study explores some of the hypotheses stemming from the nature of the relationship between economic variables and corruption in the Middle East and North Africa, including the hypothesis that "incorruption has no impact on GDP per capita."
A 2017 Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School, an Islamic Studies PhD student at UT Austin, and lawyer with expertise in Islamic Law, the Middle East and commercial law. Her research focuses on comparative Jewish and Islamic Law. She has worked at the Brookings Institution, the Carter Center, Mayer Brown LLP, and Maersk. Benhalim holds a M.P.P. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Texas.
The core argument presented in this article is that religious courts in secular countries tend to adapt to the secular, legal norms of their surroundings, accommodating the desires of litigants who come to expect civil rights in all contexts and the pressures of civil courts on which they rely for enforcement of their decisions. Although religious courts are often treated as alien to their secular environments, this article demonstrates that religious courts serving minority populations – but not those serving majority populations – respond to pressures from potential litigants. Religious courts may strive for an application of religious law guided purely by traditional texts and legal schools, but in practice religious courts often accommodate the secular norms – regarding both substantive and procedural justice – of the environments in which they operate.
Doctoral candidate in her final year, completing her thesis on the International Protection of Refugees in cases of Collective Protection, and a researcher in refugee studies and international law, teaching assistant, and member of the Center for International Law at the University of Exeter. She obtained her Master's degree in Comparative Law from the same university. She holds a degree in law from the University of Damascus and has previously worked as a lecturer in the Law Department of Tishreen University
This paper reconsiders the meaning of ‘Temporary Refuge’ within the context of large-scale refugee influx. It examines the emergence of this concept in international legal discourse and then proceeds to explore the doctrinal approaches to identify the notion of Temporary Refuge. It seeks to demonstrate that continuing uncertainty over the function of Temporary Refuge has clouded its legal status under international law. It concludes that if Temporary Refuge is to persevere into the future, then international cooperation must first be recognized as its key accompaniment and corollary. If international cooperation is not instituted as a binding norm of refugee law, it is highly unlikely that states will henceforth draw upon Temporary Refuge during large-scale refugee influxes. Even if they do, it is likely that the concept will fall short of the hopes that have been invested in it.
PhD Candidate at Columbia University, Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies focused on “Technology Constructs Common Sense: Science as Progress and the Printing Press in Nineteenth Century Cairo”.
Beginning in mid-nineteenth century Cairo, a peculiar notion of science begins to emerge in political literature. Two primary characteristics underpin this notion. First, science becomes an important component of the rapidly expanding lexicon of the sociopolitical ideal of al-Nahda (roughly translated as renaissance/modernization) and its concern for social and political reform. Second, science emerges as the foremost means to achieve this ideal and, in this capacity, gradually assumes the status of common sense. But how does science, previously the purview of the educated few, become common sense as the primary reform strategy? This paper will answer this question in two ways. First, it will trace the answer in the role of the printing press in transforming the field of mass media and mass dissemination of ideas. Second, the answer can be found in the political literature of the period. In brief, this paper will demonstrate the way in which science as progress came to assume the status of common sense in Egypt through the medium of technology/the printing press.
PhD candidate in Sociology at York University, Toronto. Her dissertation examines the means and temporality of coalition building in transnational social movements, focusing on the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. She holds a BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut, Hons. and an M.A in Sociology from York University.
In this paper, the author explores how the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is used as a vehicle for decolonizing by linking the Palestinian struggle to that of other oppressed groups. Based on in-depth interviews with BDS student activists and their allies in Canada, the paper borrows from literatures of social movement and diasporic political transnationalism to look at the ways BDS decolonizes through the process of building transformative solidarity movements with oppressed groups. The paper focuses on the dynamics of social movements and political engagement from a transnational framework. More specifically, it engages in discussions of solidarity building among diverse social movements to challenge the hegemonic order, and the complexity of overcoming daily disputes among activists.
PhD candidate in Social Policy at the University of Oxford. Rania’s Doctoral thesis “Distributive Politics and the Allocation of Public Finance in Egypt” addresses the main causal factors that drive spatial variation in the distribution of public resources in electoral authoritarianisms. The argument presented in her dissertation is illuminated through the case of Egypt under Mubarak.
Most of the literature on distributional politics focuses on modelling and analyzing the relationship between the outcomes of legislative elections and the geographic allocation of concentrated benefits. Little research has focused on the analysis of other intricate causal factors, apart from elections, that can bring about spatial change in public spending. In this chapter, the author takes on a different dimension to the analysis of distributive politics in electoral authoritarianisms, in which she depicts the economic side of the story. She argues that the weight autocrats place on economic growth to attain legitimacy is often of greater significance for regime resilience than the legitimacy realized from ostensible political contestability. Those autocrats will be induced to distribute scarce public resources in spatially biased way that is seen to foster economic efficacy. The chapter’s empirical terrain focuses on the real estate and tourist markets in Egypt from 1982 to 2010. Mubarak’s economic policies are also discussed.
Doctoral student of Sociology at George Mason University. She has a Master’s degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from Northern Illinois University. Abdelnabi’s Master's thesis focused on women activists in the occupied Palestinian territories.
This paper explores the ways in which Palestinian women activists negotiate their role in the Palestinian liberation movement with their desire for gender equality as presented in their respective memoirs. The memoirs of three prominent women - Fadwa Tuqan, Leila Khaled, and Hanan Ashrawi – are thus analyzed to determine the core issues they encounter as they attempt to join the liberation movement. Through a discourse analysis, this study shows that women activists - as represented by Tuqan, Khaled, and Ashrawi - operate within a paradox: while women can be and have been influential members of the nationalist struggle, in becoming influential they have had to operate against gender norms and maintain their so-called womanhood by taking on certain caregiving roles. They also had to struggle against gender inequality within the movement.
PhD student at the Paris Diderot University, where she is a member of the Science, Philosophy and History Laboratory, a research team specific to the history and philosophy of medical sciences. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the Higher School of Health Sciences and Technologies in Tunis and a Master’s degree in Sociology from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences in Tunis.
This study investigates the difference and convergence in the social manifestations of hereditary Hemoglobinopathy (divided into two categories: chronic anemia and sickle cell anemia) among Tunisian and Moroccan immigrants in France. It seeks to understand how individuals and a communities assign meaning to a disease, through their life experiences, their relationships and their connections to the social and cultural environment in which they live. It examines the dynamics of the construction and perception of disease during the process of social integration. This paper hypothesizes that the quality of life for those who live with Hemoglobinopathy is defined by their own personal and social experiences. This is determined by their daily interactions with their social and cultural environment. A patient’s good health is not only determined by medical treatment, even if it is successful. For someone living with Hemoglobinopathy, their well-being will be affected by biological standards of “perfect” health. Therefore, the definition of disease and health should transcend biological standards.
PhD candidate at the Political Science Department, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where her subfield is Comparative Politics. Her broad research interests are in African politics, democratization, elections, and political behavior. Her dissertation topic is on how local elections contribute to the evolution of South Africa’s dominant party system.
In an electoral environment that has been dominated by the ruling party for over two decades, what strategies contribute to opposition party success in South Africa’s dominant party system? The author argues that local level conditions contribute to increasing party competition in dominant party systems. In this paper she focuses on two strategies used by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to gain local level support. Given the DA’s image as a predominantly white party, what explains its growing support among non-white voters? First, she argues that ethnic divisions within the ANC’s core electorate contribute to the DA’s electoral fortunes. Second, she maintains that the DA’s performance in local government is one way it overcomes its image as a racially non-inclusive party. The results show that the DA performs better in areas where ethnic divisions are greater among blacks. Also, the findings indicate that the DA benefits electorally from the delivery of basic services in areas it governs. The findings also show that as African countries continue to experience rapid industrialization, the dynamics of electoral politics may shift the playing field between the incumbent party and it challengers.
PhD student in Social Sciences at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. His PhD thesis centers on the role of sports as a form of revitalization in the organization, mobilization, and protest activity of LGBT communities in Switzerland. His most prominent research topic is sport, specifically in relation to social movements, gender, politics, and international relations.
Since the 1980s, LBGT rights activists have established sports clubs in Switzerland. This paper attempts to address the inaccuracy of current generalizations about the topic and define the role of sport as a type of revitalization in the organization, mobilization, and protest activity of LGBT communities in Switzerland. A previous study of the Lausanne Aquarius swimming club highlighted the club’s main goal of creating a social space to serve as a haven for LGBT individuals suffering from discrimination and exclusion. The club offered moral and psychological support to members who were unable to face their community because of their sexuality. The club also raised awareness during years of panic regarding HIV/AIDS. This paper aims to expand the geographical research area to include sports teams from the Zürich and Geneva districts. It will use a mixed methods approach of social survey, participant observation, and interviews.
PhD candidate at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, where he completed a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies in 2012. Before obtaining a BA in History and Government from Centre College in 2010. He specializes in the study of the Modern Middle East and Islamic Civilizations with an interest in the Arabian Peninsula and Transjordan during the 19th and 20th centuries.
This paper examines the role of dynastic succession to the appointment of Sharif Husayn ibn ‘Ali to the Amirate of Mecca in November 1908. It argues that his appointment represented a dynastic victory for Sharif Husayn ibn ‘Ali within his own Hashemite household, the ‘Awn. By tracing his internal conflicts and strategic marriages within the ‘Awn household, one can chart Husayn’s development and emergence as the preeminent ‘Awn Hashemite. Within the historiography of Sharif Husayn’s life, as the leader of the 1916 Arab Revolt that pitted himself against the Ottoman Empire, the history of his place in the succession patterns of his household and the Amirate of Mecca more broadly helps us locate the dynastic impetus that can account for his eventual revolutionary trajectory.
PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science, University of Kansas. He received a BA in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Minnesota in 2007 and an MA in Political Science from the University of Hawaii in 2012. Sammy spent the 2016-2017 school year conducting field research in Morocco funded through a Fulbright Research Fellowship.
The case of the February 20 Movement (F20) during the Arab Spring in Morocco demonstrates how when social movements face an existential crisis, they focus on maintaining relevance and resonance with the public. The paper argues that the F20 movement was not united in resonating with the public. The divide between what activists characterize as reformist-monarchists and revolutionary-republicans became more visible following the King Mohammed IV’s speech on March 9, 2011 and especially leading up to the Kings second major announcement concerning the new constitution in June 2011. The F20’s message became inconsistent and less relevant when the King systematically responded to demands with reforms. Moreover, it became viewed as increasingly incompatible with Moroccans as the movement’s image became framed as extreme and composed of fringe groups that hoped for radical/revolutionary change. This paper demonstrates how changes in the political environment interact with social movements framing processes that may lead to their decline.
PhD candidate and lecturer at the School of Industrial Relations, University of Montreal. His research interests include government policies, labor relations and immigration studies. Madi has recently completed a study about the country-of-origin effects on poverty in Canada. He is also the co-founder and president of the Association Middle East & North Africa of University of Montreal.
Under the influence of the Washington Consensus, most developing countries have embarked on the path of reforming their social protection, but their extent and direction vary from country to country, depending on several determinants. In this research, the author discusses the reforms of labor laws in Tunisia (reforms of 1994 and 1996) and in Lebanon (reform of 2000). More specifically, he attempts to understand the factors that contributed to the reforms of the flexicurity of labor laws. The study seeks to identify, through a qualitative analysis, the role played by key actors in terms of reforms in the two countries under study. It is based on a theoretical approach linking the welfare regime and the production regime which argues that these regimes are integrated and mutually support each other. To guide the analysis, the author outlines assumptions from three approaches explaining institutional change: the approach explaining the process of change, that of dynamics of change, and finally that focusing on the transfer of public policies.
PhD Candidate in Political Science and International Relations, Sant Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy. She holds a Master’s Degree in World Politics and International Relations from the University of Pavia, Italy and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the Lebanese University, Lebanon. Her PhD project is entitled “Examining Political Elites’ Resilience in Power vis-à-vis Mass Movements: A Comparative Analysis of Lebanon and Tunisia”.
As events continue to unfold post-Arab spring protests, much of the relevant literature has closely focused on proposing explanations for the ousting of authoritarian rulers, understanding why outcomes among Arab countries have starkly varied. However, the resilience of “the politically relevant elite” (PRE) against mass movements and the strategies employed to neutralize such calls was somehow ignored. The aim of this article is twofold: First, to produce a mapping of the politically relevant elites per se in Tunisia. Second, to unravel the strategies employed by the PRE to co-opt, neutralize and weaken such movements and consequently hinder any prospects for political reform. This will be done by examining the case-study of the “Manich Msamah” movement of July 2015 in Tunisia which was still active until recently. Accordingly, the paper will be based on a qualitative approach, using semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted in Tunisia between August and September 2017 with civil figures and activists standing behind the movement.
PhD candidate in Audiovisual Communication and Media studies at the Jacobs University in Bremen. She holds a Master’s in International Media Studies and one in Teaching German as a Foreign Language, in addition to a Bachelor’s degree in German and English. She works as a German-English-Arabic interpreter, translator, editor and journalist.
The first chapter of this PHD thesis highlights the various definitions of terrorism, with an emphasis on labeling an incident as an act of terrorism. The second chapter throws some light on the main historical events contributing to the inception of Daesh, starting from the days of the Sykes-Picot agreement to the brutal crackdown by the Assad regime in response to initially peaceful calls for reform, as well as the fissuring of Iraq and the US intervention, among others. Audiovisual content analysis is used to reveal the production structures, strategic functions and intended meanings of Daesh’s videos and attacks. Based on the findings of the content analysis, media visual framing analysis is conducted. In addition, the CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and ARD online website news coverage of four Daesh-related attacks are further analyzed to demonstrate, how Daesh-related attacks were framed. Premised on the results of the above, and a comparison between the audiovisual frames deployed by Daesh with those of online news media, suggestions and recommendations are offered.
Wael Garnaoui is a PhD student in Psychoanalysis at Sorbonne University, USPC, Paris 7. He holds a Master's in Psychology from the University of Paris Diderot, as well as an MA in Political Science from the Paris Dauphine University.
This paper focuses on the politics of borders and their psychological impact on young Tunisians dreaming of leaving their country, even if it costs them their lives. The research attempts to understand the connection between immigration policies and the exodus of Tunisian youth to conflict areas, especially in Syria and Iraq. Initially, the research worked to deconstruct a range of psychological phenomena, both individual/personal and collective. It dealt with the concept of desire and its impact on the formulation of family decisions. After drawing the features of the psychological anthropological foundation, the research moved on to define the historical and political moment in Tunisia that aroused anxiety regarding identity. The collapse of the dominant political narrative resulted in the emergence of several different perceptions of identity, which intensified emigration, especially in a new direction. The paper also deals with the collapse of the border and its political and cultural implications. It looks at the impact of border policies on the self-awareness of the potential emigre and the role of these policies in transforming the destination into the land of jihad. Here the individual finds a promise of salvation as an alternative to the dreams of Europe.
PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Washington in Seattle. His dissertation is on judicial politics in hybrid and transitional regimes.
Why may judges and lawyers in an autocratic regime oppose the autocrat, when they do. The “when they do” suffix intimates at once two points: that the record of these actors is mixed, even within the same country; and, in deciding on the stances they take, judges and lawyers exercise political agency to an extent more deliberate, more forceful, than merely clutching at what “empowerment” they can extract from the executive. In my telling, judges and lawyers—the key groups in the so-called “legal complex”—are cast as an interest-associational group. The degree of embeddedness of the legal complex into the governing edifice can explain when it may or may not challenge the executive, when it may or may not endorse political change away from extant arrangements when the autocrat weakens or tumbles.
Research Associate in the Institute of Political Studies in the city of Aix-en-Provence, France. He received his PhD from the Department of Information and Communication Sciences. His doctoral thesis was entitled "Political Uses of Facebook: The Framework of Injustice, Methods of Mobilization - A Case Study of Digital Social Networks during the Syrian Crisis of 2011".
This paper extends the academic debate on the nature of political participation through the Internet by addressing the uses of social networks in the election campaign and counter campaigns during the Syrian presidential elections of June 2014. While most studies have been carried out in stable democratic countries where Internet use has been established for a relatively long period, this research comes from a unique environment. The authoritarian regime, the nature of the transition phase, and the relatively new Internet and social network renders Syria a unique context. The study seeks to address the idea that Social networks give users the opportunity to participate in politics, flexibly, through their digital/online social practices, linking Internet activity with the outside world. In this context, political participation in social networks is not confined to discussion, dialogue or rallying supporters. It also extends to the visible role of the network, the spread of the "active" audience, and numerical superiority.
Researcher in the social sciences focused on identity construction and negotiation for Moroccan Muslim immigrants and their direct descendants in Post WWII France. Yacine has held two Research Assistant positions at the University of Luxembourg. He has also earned a Master of Arts from the University of Luxembourg, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Wales in the UK, and a BA and a Postgraduate Degree in English Studies and Translation from Morocco.
This study explores the process of identity construction and negotiation among Moroccan Muslim immigrants and their direct descendants in post WWII France. Through the analysis of major identity factors such as language, religion, group identifications, and ethnicity within a migratory context, the research critically investigates how group individuals construct and negotiate their social identities. To approach these issues, the author used ethnographic qualitative methods based on observations and semi-structured interviews with four participants – two from the parents’ generation and two from the descendant’s generation. The findings show that parents and descendants do not only categories each other differently but also look to the “French other” differently. Religion is found to highly influence the two generations’ identity in the sense that both groups thoroughly attach to some important religious practices and symbols in the faith of Islam. In relation to language, the parents were found to use Arabic and little French, they use of French translation to communicate a message, but they highly prioritize Arabic. The descendants use French in everyday life, Arabic at home and English at work and thus their linguistic identity is found to be in favour of multilingualism.
Doctoral candidate in Politics at the University of Oxford and a Pachachi Scholar. Holds a B.A. (Hons) from Columbia University. Her dissertation investigates the causal mechanisms behind regime survival in modern Arab monarchies. Her broader research interests include the study of authoritarian persistence, democratic transitions, non-rent accommodation, and regime legitimacy.
How do Arab monarchies survive threats of overthrow? When juxtaposed with the survival of all eight Arab monarchs, the fall of four non-monarchs during the 2010 uprisings has led scholars to re-contextualize the differences between monarchical and presidential authoritarian systems. Do monarchies survive because they are inherently more legitimate or because they are guaranteed more external support? Do regime type and wealth in monarchies lead to resilience? Or, is the current literature’s focus on a monarchy-republic divide misleading, and do Arab monarchies survive, not because they are exceptional, but rather because they have mastered the science of survival? Through a comparative analysis of Morocco and Oman, this dissertation uses mixed methods to demonstrate that monarchs were not guarded from the threats of the Arab Spring because of their alleged innate legitimacy; past monarchs in the MENA region have been unseated, so present-day kings are by no means invincible. Neither did they avoid overthrow because of higher legitimacy or more stable regimes. To substantiate this claim, this paper examines the conditions under which Arab monarchies repress, co-opt, and partially concede to the opposition thereby elucidating the tactical nature of these regimes’ reactions to dissent.
Second-year PhD student at Lancaster University department of languages and cultures. Holds a BA in Anglo-Saxon studies, followed by an MA in the same specialization at the University of Algiers 2.
In the realm of post-colonial spaces, “we” and “they” are an inevitable reality. Othering has established itself as a parameter of identification, where comparing and contrasting became fundamental to one’s construction of identity. However, one question seems to perpetually arise, especially within patriarchal societies; what about Algerian women? What about the triple-other; the other of men, of the colonizer and of the colonizer’s woman? In this light, the francophone Algerian Literature hosts an interesting dichotomy juxtaposing two essentially dissimilar versions of the female; the Algerian and the foreign woman. The ambivalence between the Algerian and the “pieds-noirs” women is predominantly conspicuous in male-authored literary canons, where local women are labelled with pejoratively orientalist epithets, while Europeans are synonymous to men’s muses of spiritual and political awakening. Making sense of Fanon’s and Bhabha’s ideas, this paper is devoted to the analysis of the discrepancy in the literary portrayal of women, using, as case study, the first oeuvre of the Algerian francophone subversive author Rachid Boudjedra, La Répudiation (1969). Through the use of textual and contextual approaches, this paper will also highlight the relationship colonizer-colonized along with the underpinning aspects that shape gender dynamics in the postcolonial space.
PhD student in International Public Policy in the Political Science department at the University of Burgundy, France. His doctoral dissertation analyzing the EU's international public policy is based on the study of cultural cooperation within the context of the Neighborhood Policy with the Mediterranean countries in the MENA region.
The integration of immigrant communities is at the heart of contemporary French political discourse, in the midst of a wider discussion about national identity which has been made more pressing by a deterioration of the security situation and the unraveling of a refugee crisis. A large body of research supports the proposition that the above described factors have contributed to anti-immigrant and broader xenophobic sentiment. These in turn have led to a feeling of alienation and marginalization by members of France’s ethnic minorities, particularly Muslims. Within this framework, it becomes important to raise questions about how public authorities in France have dealt with problems relating to multiculturalism, and about the mechanisms and urban approaches taken to addressing the needs of ethnic minorities. Specific questions to be addressed include how policy makers can account for the aspirations of all of the conflicting parties, as well as how questions of identity can influence public policy. The paper closes with an evaluation of the policies and mechanisms presently in place, and an assessment of where the flaws lie.
PhD student at the School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies at the University of Portsmouth, UK. He received his BA in English Language and Literature from Yarmouk University, Jordan, and MA in English Literature from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), UK. His doctoral research, provisionally entitled “Humour, Satire and the Jordanian Experience”, focuses on the use of humour in Jordan during and after the Arab Spring.
This paper investigates the use of humour in Jordanian society after the Arab Spring. Using Bakhtin’s theory of humour as a counter-political force and tool for resistance, the author argues that humour has become a very powerful tool for targeting and degrading senior officials, the political rhetoric of economic reform and austerity measures introduced after the Jordan-IMF deals. To do this, this paper will introduce the historical and cultural background of Jordanian society before considering how humour has become a political tool and as a counter-narrative to government rhetoric. The analysis is based on key satirical internet memes, cartoons and satirical articles. This paper will question how humour is used and consumed within Jordanian society in the context of post-protest Jordan. How humour has increased rapidly in Jordanian society after the Arab Spring and how it is both seen as reflective and participative in this transformation are the focus of this paper.
PhD candidate and Provost’s Fellow in the Political Science and International Relations Program at the University of Southern California. Youssef’s dissertation advances the comparative study of political tolerance through innovative survey analysis, in-depth interviews, and experimental methods. Beginning this fall, Youssef will serve as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, USA.
Is Muslim (in)tolerance constant or conditional? That is, does “more Muslim” invariably map to “more intolerant,” or is this association contingent on proximate social and political factors? To answer this timely yet empirically under-examined question, the author utilizes data from the second and third waves of the Arab Barometer to model political tolerance in a Muslim-majority setting. First, although analysis of the pooled sample indicates that Islamists are, on average, more intolerant than non-Islamists, partitioning the sample by year reveals that this division only emerged after the initial transitional periods in these countries. This conditional relationship suggests that the observed intolerance is a function of changing political circumstances rather than an innate aversion to particular democratic norms. Second, it is only among Islamists that increased religiosity and support for implementing sharia are correlated with higher intolerance, implying that enhanced in-group identity mediates this link. Last, educational attainment–one of the most robust predictors of tolerance–exerts a significant impact on Muslim civil libertarian attitudes, although not through the usual pathways.
PhD Researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (Department of Social and Political Science). His PhD dissertation inquires the effects of war and its preparation in the development of the state and society in the contemporary Middle East.
For Arab states, it is: war, low and indirect taxes. The element that these countries share is war. War makes the state, that saying from Charles Tilly became a folkloric truism in political science. It shapes the fiscal state through the effort needed to wage them. Why then, did the fiscal constructive effect of war worked for Israel and not for Arab States? The availability of tax revenue determines what a government can and cannot and how effectively it can impose its authority domestically and internationally. Taxation, in turn, leaves its imprint on society. This article exposes first the usual associations in the field of fiscal sociology between the nature/level of tax extraction with culture, economic development, political system and war. Then, it explores the latter by putting forward a fiscal–military mechanism where the level of war lethalness shapes the fiscal state on the longue durée. It does so by generating fiscal illusions in the case of a limited or civil war, increasing tax compliance in the case of a total war and dismantling the tax structure in the case of a transnational war.
PhD student at the University of Bielefeld, Germany and a DAAD scholarship holder. He serves as an assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University. He obtained his MA in Arabic computational linguistics in 2014 with distinction. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arabic Language and Literature, Bachelor’s degree in English language and Literature and a diploma in English translation from Cairo University.
This study introduces a purely surface-oriented treatment of Arabic morphology as a part of a comprehensive approach to integrate Arabic syntax and semantics using overt morphological features in the string-to-meaning translation. The authors first describe the components of a morphosemantic lexicon for a fragment of Arabic. To remain surface oriented, they allow for discontinuity in the constituents; constituents are sequences of strings, which can only be concatenated or duplicated, but no rule can delete, add or modify any string. The units in the sequences are so-called glued strings rather than only strings. A glued string is a string that has left and right context conditions. Optimally morphs are combined in a definite and non-exceptional linear way, but the process of Arabic word formation is rather complex; it is not just a sequential concatenation of morphs by placing them next to each other. But the constituents are discontinuous. Vowels and more consonants are inserted between, before and after the root consonants resulting in what we call “fractured glued string”; i.e. as a sequence of glued strings combined in diverse ways; forward concatenation, backward concatenation, forward wrapping, reduction, forward transfixation and, going beyond the MCFGs, also reduplication.
Palestinian lawyer and lecturer, currently pursuing her doctorate in Science of Law (J.S.D) at Columbia Law School. Zeina was one of the first women lecturers at the Faculty of Law and Public Administration at Birzeit University in Palestine, and served as a member of the Palestinian Taskforce where she assisted the Palestinian Ministry of Women Affairs and the Palestinian Legislative Council in adopting new legislation that improved the security of Palestinian women and girls.
Through an examination of the legal status of the Samaritan community in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, one of the most ancient and smallest communities in the world, this paper makes a counterintuitive claim. It suggests that legal pluralism under conditions of occupation may be understood as an enabling tool towards achieving self-determination and emancipation. This paper thus intervenes in existing literature on self-determination, indigeneity, sovereignty, identity, legal consciousness, and legal pluralism. It challenges the dominant analysis of self-determination in International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and proposes that under limited conditions where national self-determination is denied, legal pluralism might provide an avenue to gain some degree of autonomy.
PhD Candidate at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Media and Communication and a Master’s degree in 'Politics/Current Democracies: Nationalism & Multiculturalism' from Pompeu Fabra University as well as a Master's Degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Barcelona.
This research deals with Moroccan diaspora entrepreneurs between Catalonia and Morocco. It analyses how Moroccans in the diaspora undertake business ventures in Catalonia and/or Morocco, and how they develop social capital through cultural and linguistic understanding. The paper tries to fill the gap regarding this area of study at the micro level, given the lack of new data on Moroccan entrepreneurs living abroad. It also seeks to identify tools and good practices that can contribute to the improvement of Moroccan diaspora entrepreneurial ventures by providing insight into public policies that influence entrepreneurs. This ongoing study will also attempt to highlight the potential of Moroccan diaspora entrepreneurs as both economic and social investors in Catalonia, challenging the preconceived notion that Moroccans are generally migrant workers in the host country.
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