The arab uprisings book review

Tech Select Page Book Review: Palgrave Macmillan — pages Book Review by: Paiso Jamakar On December 17,at around

The arab uprisings book review

A primary debate that animates sectarianism in the Middle East is its etiology. While some scholars seek to place it in the realm of modernity and look for its origins in geopolitics, realpolitik and modern state practices, others bestow it an ancient heritage.

Theoretically, these inclinations can be distilled as instrumentalist and primordialist approaches respectively.

The primordial prism, prominent in policy, diplomatic and media circles, argues that age-old animosities animate the contemporary conflicts between Sunnis and Shias.

The arab uprisings book review

In this view, the conflict reaches back to the seventh century and early Islamic history plays a prominent role. Western analysis and thought, according to Abdo, do not apportion due importance to religion as a causal factor in the Arab world in spite of experiencing Islamism for three decades, and instead look through the default political prism of the nation state.

Ultimately, for Abdo, religion as a causal heavyweight stands on its own without recourse The arab uprisings book review other variables such as the economy. It is no more an epiphenomenal aspect when it comes to explaining the region Throughout the book, sectarianism is thus used as a category of analysis and as an explanatory device.


This conceptual leap is crucial for it seeks to walk over the instrumentalist approach that prizes materialism: Abdo does not discount the argument that conflicts in the region are due to the weakening of the state or to the Iraq war of However, for her, one of the fundamental reasons for violence lies in the reimagining of Islam by various actors.

Such refashionings, usually comprising an uncompromising stance, lead to others being deemed unbelievers. Likewise, all geopolitical concerns and issues may either wither away or transform, but not sectarian issues.

Islam is a special case, for since its incipient days it has witnessed unresolved questions about authority and legitimacy. The book also makes the argument that sectarianism in the region is an ever-present threat with a timeless quality to it Sectarianism in the Middle East is therefore an unremitting leviathan in waiting, ready to burst onto the stage with fervour through only a slight nudge.

From her analysis of the tweets of figures such as clerics and sheiks, which betray a pronounced rancour between Sunnis and Shias, Abdo claims that the primeval strife between the two sects is just being recast in the contemporary scene. However, the analysis of these tweets and their layers of virtual vitriol on Twitter belies an analytic preference for those in power.

Thus, questions of power and authority go unexamined in the book. Of course, the current conflicts in the Middle East likewise cannot be explained away by taking recourse solely to geopolitics.

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They are grounded in formidable Islamic political theology. Contemporary Jihadi ideology similarly depicts Shias as apostates and also excludes certain Sunni communities for not living up to their strictures. Contemporary Salafist and Wahhabi discourses also oppose the Shias on two fronts — firstly, Shia practices of venerating different figures implicate them as mushrikin or polytheists.

The region, in fact, is seen typically as a hotbed of sectarianism, religion and illiberal passions. This is also evident in the over-emphasis and palpable fixation on Islam, Muslims, Muslim religiosity and Muslim women.

Islamic Piety, in other words, stands as a substitute for the region, and any incongruities that do not fit into these categories are relegated analytically, which in turn expunges the histories and agency of non-Muslims, non-Muslim Arabs and other communities.

Innocent Thoughts: The Arab Uprisings: Book Review In this updated and revised second edition, James L.

To privilege sectarianism as a social and political category therefore obfuscates more than it reveals and has little analytical purchase. Religion may be called on to bear the causal weight, but its complexities, such as other modes of sociality and relationality, are conveniently ignored in the book in favour of stable, ossified categories and reifications.

Download Understanding the Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings Pdf Ebook

Sectarianism as a category also projects a monolithic picture of Shias across the Middle East, wherein Shia groups that do not follow Twelver Shiism prominent in Iran are clubbed together due to their geopolitical positions. Even within the Shia, there are fissures, such as how the Khomeini doctrine of Velayat-e faqih clerical power that goes against the grain of authority and exercise of power in Shiism horrifies Shia clerics in Iraq as well as Iran.

It also reduces complex theological differences to catchy terms. For example, it does not unravel the alliance between Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria. There is invariably a critical need to take sectarianism seriously without relying on established essences or explaining it as a function of something else altogether.

The book will certainly be profitable to those who look at how social media discourses function in the Middle East and how these, in turn, shape perceptions that have tangible effects.THE ARAB UPRISINGS.

What Everyone Needs to Know. by James L. Gelvin. BUY NOW FROM. AMAZON Using a Q&A format (the book is an installment in the publisher’s What Everyone Needs to Know series), Gelvin traces the various uprisings, beginning with Tunisia, noting that no one could have predicted the popular protests; that they had no single.

The Arab Spring Uprisings are political protests against the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Morocco, and Jordan. (Manfreda,) The protests began in Tunisia when a vegetable vendor set himself on fire in protest of the actions of the government.

Marc Lynch defines the Arab uprisings as “an exceptionally rapid, intense, and nearly simultaneous explosions of popular protest across an Arab world united by shared transnational media and bound by a common identity” (Lynch, 9). Understanding the Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings,,,, Download Note: If you're looking for a free download links of Understanding the Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings pdf, epub, docx and torrent then this site is not for you.

The Arab Uprisings: Book Review words 9 pages. Show More Budd 1 Liam Budd POLI TA: Sherif Fouad The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East Marc Lynch defines the Arab uprisings as “an exceptionally rapid, intense, and nearly simultaneous explosions of popular protest across an Arab world.

May 13,  · The Arab Uprisings: Book Review The Arab uprising by James Gelvin, is the most current book on the Middle East and its recent revolutions encountered, starting in This book provides insight in the various events that played a role in the uprisings.

The arab uprisings book review
The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know by James L. Gelvin