Democracy in the Arab World

Author: Samir A. Makdisi
Publisher: IDRC
ISBN: 9780415779999
Format: PDF, Docs
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Despite notable socio-economic development in the Arab region, a deficit in democracy and political rights has continued to prevail. This book examines the major reasons underlying the persistence of this democracy deficit over the past decades and touches on the prospects for deepening the process of democratization in the Arab World. Contributions from major scholars in the region give a cross country analysis of economic development, political institutions and social factors, and the impact of oil wealth and regional wars, and present a model for democracy in the Arab world. Case studies are drawn from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan and the Gulf region, building on these cross-country analyses and probing beyond the modelâe(tm)s main global variables. Looking beyond the effect of oil and conflicts, the chapters illustrate how specific socio-political history of the country concerned, fear of fundamentalist groups, collusion with foreign powers and foreign interventions, and the co-option of the elites by the state contribute to these problems of democratization. Situating the democratic position of the Arab World in a global context, this book is an important contribution to the field of Middle Eastern politics, development studies, and studies on conflict and democracy.

The Arab World

Author: Allan M. Findlay
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134965419
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Disruption following the Gulf War, and the need to satisfy both rising economic aspirations and the Islamic values of the region's peoples, demands fresh examination of development issues in the Arab world. This introductory text assesses how agricultural, industrial and urban development has evolved in the Arab region. Contrasting Arab and Western interpretations of `development', it draws on case studies covering states as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco and Jordan. The author suggests that until the Arabs define their own identity, there will continue to be `change' but not necessarily `progress' in the region.

Political Regimes in the Arab World

Author: Ferran Izquierdo Brichs
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415625661
Format: PDF, Kindle
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One of the implications of Orientalism is that the Arab world, as a homogenous entity, is often analysed as an anomaly within the international system. This book argues that, despite their differences, societies across the globe ultimately construct their own history according to very similar dynamics and tensions. The methodological approach of this book, using different countries within the Arab world as models, offers the reader an analysis of relations between the elites and their opposition in a variety of settings. A definition of the political structure of each country is drawn from this analysis before potential future scenarios, as according to country specific experts, are proposed. This model provides a useful contribution to students and scholars of political science and international relations. Through providing a comparative study of the political regimes currently operating in the Arab world; their elites, civil society, power resources and political resistance, this book illustrates that despite the image of homogeneity sometimes portrayed by the Arab world, it is the multiplicity of models and heterogeneity of regimes that constitute reality.

Trajectories of Education in the Arab World

Author: Osama Abi-Mershed
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135256497
Format: PDF
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Trajectories of Education in the Arab World gives a broad yet detailed historical and geographical overview of education in Arab countries. Drawing on pre-modern and modern educational concepts, systems, and practices in the Arab world, this book examines the impact of Western cultural influence, the opportunities for reform and the sustainability of current initiatives. The contributors bring together analyses and case studies of educational standards and structures in the Arab world, from the classical Islamic period to contemporary local and international efforts to re-define the changing needs and purposes of Arab education in the contexts of modernization, multiculturalism, and globalization. Taking a thematic and chronological approach, the first section contrasts the traditional notions, approaches, and standards of education with the changes that were initiated or imposed by European influences in the nineteenth century. The chapters then focus on the role of modern state-based educational systems in constructing and preserving national identities, cultures, and citizenries and concentrates on the role of education in state-formation and the reproduction of socio-political hierarchies. The success of educational reforms and policy-making is then assessed, offering perspectives on future trends and prospects for generating institutional and organizational change. This book will be of interest to graduate and postgraduate students and scholars of education, history, Arab and Islamic history and the Middle East and North Africa.

Urban Design in the Arab World

Author: Robert Saliba
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317003918
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Arab World is perceived to be a region rampant with constructed and ambiguous national identities, overwhelming wealth and poverty, religious diversity, and recently the Arab uprisings, a bottom-up revolution shaking the foundations of pre-established, long-standing hierarchies. It is also a region that has witnessed a remarkable level of transformation and development due to the accelerated pace imposed by post-war reconstruction, environmental degradation, and the competition among cities for world visibility and tourism. Accordingly, the Arab World is a prime territory for questioning urban design, inviting as it does a multiplicity of opportunities for shaping, upgrading, and rebuilding urban form and civic space while subjecting global paradigms to regional and local realities. Providing a critical overview of the state of contemporary urban design in the Arab World, this book conceptualizes the field under four major perspectives: urban design as discourse, as discipline, as research, and as practice. It poses two questions. How can such a diversity of practice be positioned with regard to current international trends in urban design? Also, what constitutes the specificity of the Middle Eastern experience in light of the regional political and cultural settings? This book is about urban designers ’on the margins’: how they narrate their cities, how they engage with their discipline, and how they negotiate their distance from, and with respect to global disciplinary trends. As such, the term margins implies three complementary connotations: on the global level, it invites speculation on the way contemporary urban design is being impacted by the new conceptualizations of center-periphery originating from the post-colonial discourse; on the regional level, it is a speculation on the specificity of urban design thinking and practice within a particular geographical and cultural context (here, the Arab World); and finally, on the local level, it is an a

The History of the Book in the Middle East

Author: Geoffrey Roper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351888285
Format: PDF, ePub
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This selection of papers by scholarly specialists offers an introduction to the history of the book and book culture in West Asia and North Africa from antiquity to the 20th century. The flourishing and long-lived manuscript tradition is discussed in its various aspects - social and economic as well as technical and aesthetic. The very early but abortive introduction of printing - long before Gutenberg - and the eventual, belated acceptance of the printed book and the development of print culture are explored in further groups of papers. Cultural, aesthetic, technological, religious, social, political and economic factors are all considered throughout the volume. Although the articles reflect the predominance in the area of Muslim books - Arabic, Persian and Turkish - the Hebrew, Syriac and Armenian contributions are also discussed. The editor’s introduction provides a survey of the field from the origins of writing to the modern literary and intellectual revivals.

Conspiracy Theories in the Arab World

Author: Matthew Gray
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136967508
Format: PDF, ePub
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Conspiracy theories, while not unique to the Middle East, are a salient feature of the political discourses of the region. Strongly reflecting and impacting on state-society relations and indigenous impressions of the world beyond the region, they affect how political behaviour within and among the states of the region is situated, structured, and controlled. Discounting the common pathological explanation for conspiracism, the author argues that a complex mix of political factors account for most conspiracy theories in the contemporary Arab world. The author argues that the region’s modern history, genuine conspiracies, the complex and oftentimes strained relationship between state and society, the role of the state and the mass media as conspiracy theorists, and the impacts of new technologies have all helped to develop and sustain conspiracist narratives. Drawing on a range of examples and cases, including the impacts of globalization, economic reform, weak state legitimacy, the war in Iraq, the Arab-Israeli issue, the rise of political Islamism, and internet and satellite television, the book illuminates the complex sources of conspiracy theories. Providing a comprehensive overview of this controversial topic, this book will appeal not only to students and scholars interested in Middle East studies, political science, globalization and conspiracy theories, but to anyone seeking an understanding of the region’s complex economic, social, and cultural dynamics.

Islamism and Cultural Expression in the Arab World

Author: Abir Hamdar
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317537807
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Whereas most studies of Islamism focus on politics and religious ideology, this book analyses the ways in which Islamism in the Arab world is defined, reflected, transmitted and contested in a variety of creative and other cultural forms. It covers a range of contexts of production and reception, from the early twentieth century to the present, and with reference to cultural production in and/or about Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, the Gulf, Lebanon and Israel/Palestine. The material engaged with is produced in Arabic, English and French and includes fiction, autobiography, feature films, television series, television reportage, the press, rap music and video games. Throughout, the book highlights the multiple forms and contested interpretations of Islamism in the Arab world, exploring trends and tensions in the ways Islamism is represented to (primarily) Arab audiences and complicating simplistic perspectives on this phenomenon. The book considers repeated and idiosyncratic themes, modes of characterisation, motifs, structures of feeling and forms of engagement, in the context of an ongoing struggle for symbolic power in the region.

The Middle East in the World

Author: Lucia Volk
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317501748
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The Middle East in the World offers students a fresh, comprehensive, multidisciplinary entry point to the broader Middle East. After a brief introduction to the study of the region, the early chapters of the book survey the essentials of Middle Eastern history; important historical narratives; and the region's languages, religions, and global connections. Students are guided through the material with relevant maps, resource boxes, and text boxes that support and guide further independent exploration of the topics at hand. The second half of the book presents interdisciplinary case studies, each of which focuses on a specific country or sub-region and a salient issue, offering a taste of the cultural distinctiveness of the particular country while also drawing attention to global linkages. Readers will come away from this book with an understanding of the larger historical, political, and cultural frameworks that shaped the Middle East as we know it today, and of current issues that have relevance in the Middle East and beyond.

Religion and Civil Society in the Arab World

Author: Tania Haddad
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 0429871171
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book examines the links between civil society, religion and politics in the Middle East and North Africa region. The chapters in the volume explore the role of religion in shaping and changing the public sphere in regions that are developing and/or in conflict. They also discuss how these relations are reflected on civil society organizations and the role they are expected to play in transitional periods. This volume: investigates the conceptual dilemmas regarding what is ‘civil society’ in the Arab world today examines the dynamic roles of civil society organizations and religion in the Middle East and North Africa explores the future of the Arab civil society post-‘Arab Spring’ events, and how the latter continues to reshape the demand for democracy in the region. A comprehensive study of how the Arab civil society has come into being and its changing roles, this eclectic work will be of interest to scholars and researchers of politics, especially political Islam, international relations, Middle East Studies, African Studies, sociology and social anthropology.