To cite this publication: Zahra Babar, ed., Mobility and Forced Displacement in the Middle East (Hurst, 2020).

Together, the chapters in this volume emphasise the diversity of the origins, consequences and experiences of human mobility in the Middle East. From multidisciplinary perspectives and through case studies, the contributors offer the reader a deeper understanding of current as well as historical incidences of displacement and forced migration. In addition to offering insights on multiple root causes of displacement, the book also addresses the complex challenges of host–refugee relations, migrants’ integration and marginalisation, humanitarian agencies, and the role and responsibility of states. Cross-cutting themes bind several chapters together: the challenges of categories; the dynamics of control and contestation between migrants and states at borders; and the persistence of identity issues influencing regional patterns of migration. Read more from Hurst.

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Middle Power

To cite this publication: Adham Saouli, ed., Unfulfilled Aspirations: Middle Power Politics in the Middle East (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2020).

The first of its kind, this volume addresses that major gap by interrogating the conceptual, theoretical and empirical underpinnings of the concept of ‘Middle Power’ at a regional level. Composed of nine chapters, Unfulfilled Aspirations offers the conceptual and theoretical tools to examine ‘Middle Powerhood’ in the Middle East, as well as insightful empirical analyses of both ‘traditional’ Middle Powers in the region (Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria) and new, aspiring ones (Qatar, the UAE). The contributors reveal that the Middle Powers of the Middle East have failed, despite their best efforts, to fulfill their regional aspirations. Read more from Hurst.

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Resource curse

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, ed., The "Resource Curse" in the Persian Gulf (London: Routledge, 2019).

The book explores how across the Arabian Peninsula, oil wealth began accruing to the state at a particular juncture in the state-building process, when traditional, largely informal patterns of shaikhly rule were relatively well established, but the formal institutional apparatuses of the state were not yet fully formed. The chapters show that oil wealth had a direct impact on subsequent developments in these two complementary areas. Contributors discuss how on one hand, the distribution of petrodollars enabled political elites to solidify existing patterns of rule through deepening clientelist practices and by establishing new, dependent clients; and how on the other, rent revenues gave state leaders the opportunity to establish and shape institutions in ways that solidified their political control. Read more from Routledge.

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To cite this publication: Marcus Dubois King, ed., Water and Conflict in the Middle East (London: Hurst, 2020).

This volume explores the role of water in the Middle East’s current economic, political and environmental transformations, which are set to continue in the near future. In addition to examining water conflict from within the domestic contexts of Iraq, Yemen and Syria—all experiencing high levels of instability today—the contributors shed further light on how conflict over water resources has influenced political relations in the region. They interrogate how competition over water resources may precipitate or affect war in the Middle East, and assess whether or how resource vulnerability impacts fragile states and societies in the region and beyond. Read more from Hurst.

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To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, A Concise History of Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Presenting a new framework for the study of revolutions, this innovative exploration of French, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cuban, Iranian, South African, and more recent Arab revolutions, provides a theoretically grounded and empirically comprehensive demonstration of how revolutions mean more than mere state collapse and rebuilding. Through the examination of multiple historical case studies, and use of extensive historical examples to explore a range of revolutions, Mehran Kamrava reveals the range and depth of human emotion and motivations that are so prevalent and consequential in revolutions, from personal commitment to sacrifice, determination, leadership ability, charisma, opportunism, and avarice.

to shoot

To cite this publication: Nael Shama, "To Shoot or to Defect? Military Responses to the Arab Uprisings," CIRS Occasional Paper no. 22 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2019).

By examining the events of the Arab uprisings, this paper looks into the nature and dynamics of armies’ responses to popular uprisings. It argues that the outcome of the massive, regime-threatening Arab revolts in 2011 can be assessed by how a military responded to protests: did the army shoot protesters, did it stay idle, or did it largely defect? In light of the rich literature available on the historical experience of the “Arab Spring,” this paper shows that an army’s response to end popular uprisings in authoritarian regimes is determined by several key factors: the military’s level of institutionalization; its relationship to the regime; the degree of the regime’s legitimacy; the amount of international aid it receives; the prospects of foreign intervention; and, finally, the strength of the army’s bond with society and its perception of its own role within society. Additionally, there is a factor often overlooked by scholars; namely, how the military assesses a regime’s capacity to solve the crisis in order to triumph. The paper draws on evidence from the six cases of the 2011 Arab Spring—Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, and Tunisia—to illustrate the dynamics of troop loyalty or defection.

Annual Report

The 2018-2019 CIRS Annual Report contains information about all the activities, research initiatives, publications, lectures, and events that CIRS organized throughout the year. Highlights include the publication of three new CIRS books, nine Arabic Summary Reports, as well as the initiation of new research initiatives.

social currents

"التيّارات الاجتماعية في شمال أفريقيا"، تقرير مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة العربي الموجز رقم ٢٣ (الدوحة، قطر: مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة، ٢٠١٩).

التيارات الاجتماعية في شمال إفريقيا هو تحليل متعدد الفروع للظواهر الاجتماعية الناشئة في بلاد المغرب اليوم. يقوم المشاركون بتحليل الأصول للسلوك الشمال إفريقي ومعاييره الايديلوجية، ويقدم رؤى إلى عمق السلطة بعد الربيع العربي والاتجاهات الاجتماعية والسياسية السائدة اليوم. يضع الكتاب التطورات الإقليمية ضمن تيارات دولية واسعة، دون تخطي الخصائص المحددة لكل من سياقات الاجتماع التاريخي. وبوجود قواعدها المشتركة التاريخية والثقافية والاجتماعية الاقتصادية، فإن منطقة المغرب العربي تمثل إقليماً متماسكاً للدراسة يسمح بفهم أكبر للتطورات المحلية سواء على صعيد كل دولة على حدة أو من منظور مقارن. يقوم هذا الكتاب بتهذيب الوحدة التاريخية – الجغرافية لبلاد المغرب من خلال تفسير الروابط الاجتماعية، سواء داخل الدولة أو عبر الحدود السياسية والفترات التاريخية. ويصور أن الظواهر غير المؤسسية تعتبر أساسية بنفس القدر للمشروع المستمر للاستقلال لعصر ما بعد الاستعمار، من حيث أهميته للبناء الاجتماعي ونشر سلطة الدولة، ولقياس المواقف المحلية من العدالة الاجتماعية، والتوقعات الاقتصادية، والهوية الثقافية.


"الشرق الأوسط الرقمي: الدولة والمجتمع في عصر المعلومات"، تقرير مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة العربي الموجز رقم ٢٢ (الدوحة، قطر: مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة، ٢٠١٩).

خلال السنوات القليلة الماضية، تغير المشهد المعلوماتي والاتصالاتي في منطقة الشرق الأوسط بشكل جذري. فالدول والشركات والأفراد يزيدون من سعيهم وراء الفرص التي تقدمها تلك التقنيات الجديدة، وهو ما يعرف بالتطور السريع للعصر الرقمي وتحسين قدرات التواصل. وهذه التغيرات بعيدة جدا عن إمكانية تحويل دول الشرق الأوسط إلى شبكات اجتماعية، ولكن تأثيرها ملموس. فالنمو المتزايد لتبني مجموعة واسعة من التقنيات في الحياة اليومية قد سبب طفرة في العديد من المتغيرات التي تطمح في الحصول على فهم أفضل. والشرق الأوسط الرقمي يسلط أضواء حرجة على التغيرات المستمرة المتداخلة مع تبني تقنيات المعلومات والاتصالات في المنطقة. عند استحضار نماذج لدراسات حالة من أنحاء الشرق الأوسط، يستكشف المساهمون الأدوار التي تقوم بها هذه التحولات الرقمية في الميادين الاجتماعية والثقافية والسياسية والاقتصادية، كاشفة عن الفواصل والفجوات التي صاحبت ظهور الشرق الأوسط الرقمي.


To cite this publication: Danyel Reiche and Tamir Sorek, eds., Sport, Politics and Society in the Middle East (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2019).

Sport in the Middle East has become a major issue in global affairs. The contributors to this timely volume discuss the intersection of political and cultural processes related to sport in the region. Eleven chapters trace the historical institutionalization of sport and the role it has played in negotiating ‘Western’ culture. Sport is found to be a contested terrain where struggles are being fought over the inclusion of women, over competing definitions of national identity, over preserving social memory, and over press freedom. Also discussed are the implications of mega-sporting events for host countries, and how both elite sport policies and sports industries in the region are being shaped. Read more from Oxford University Press.

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