Books

Gateways to the World: Port Cities in the Persian Gulf

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, ed., Gateways to the World: Port Cities in the Persian Gulf (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016). 

The Persian Gulf region has become home to some of the world’s fastest growing, most impressive cities, many of them with global aspirations. Gateways to the World presents an in-depth, systematic, and multi-disciplinary approach to the study of these cities. It begins with a broader look at how the emergence and significance of cities along the Persian Gulf waterway should be contextualized. It then moves to historical examinations of the emergence of national borders and boundaries, how they became ‘port cities’ of various kinds, what are the semantics of studying them, and what the glittering skylines and cityscapes and their remaining traditional neighborhoods mean for the international political economy and for the identity of their residents. This book presents a comprehensive study of the nature and variety, the importance, and the domestic and international consequences of port cities along the Persian Gulf. Read more from Oxford University Press.

Read about the research initiative

Bullets and Bulletins: Media and Politics in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings

To cite this publication: Mohamed Zayani, and Suzi Mirgani, eds., Bullets and Bulletins: Media and Politics in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016). 

Bullets and Bulletins takes a sobering and holistic look at the intersections between media and politics before, during, and in the reverberations of the Arab uprisings. It is a multi-disciplinary approach to the topic, with the research backed up by in-depth and rigorous case studies of the key countries of the Arab Spring. The uprisings were accompanied by profound changes in the roles of traditional and new media across the Middle East. What added significantly to the amplification of demands and grievances in the public spheres, streets and squares, was the dovetailing of an increasingly indignant population—ignited by the prospects of economic and political marginalisation—with high rates of media literacy, digital connectivity, and social media prowess. This combination of political activism and mediated communication turned popular street protests into battles over information, where authorities and activists wrestled with each other over media messages. Bullets and Bulletins offers original insights and analysis into the role of traditional and new media in what is undoubtedly a most critical period in contemporary Middle Eastern history. Read more from Oxford University Press.

Read about the research initiative

The Impossibility of Palestine

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, The Impossibility of Palestine (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016). 

The “two-state solution” is the official policy of Israel, the United States, the United Nations, and the Palestinian Authority alike. However, international relations scholar Mehran Kamrava argues that Israel’s “state-building” process has never risen above the level of municipal governance, and its goal has never been Palestinian independence. He explains that a coherent Palestinian state has already been rendered an impossibility, and to move forward, Palestine must redefine its present predicament and future aspirations. Based on detailed fieldwork, exhaustive scholarship, and an in-depth examination of historical sources, this controversial work will be widely read and debated by all sides. Read more from Yale University Press.

Critical Issues in Healthcare Policy and Politics in the Gulf Cooperation Council States

To cite this publication: Ravinder Mamtani and Albert B. Lowenfels, eds., Critical issues in Healthcare Policy and Politics in the Gulf Cooperation Council States (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2018). 

This is the first book to examine challenges in the healthcare sector in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain). These countries experienced remarkably swift transformations from small fishing and pearling communities at the beginning of the twentieth century to wealthy petro-states today. Their healthcare systems, however, are only now beginning to catch up. Rapid changes to the population and lifestyles of the GCC states have completely changed—and challenged—the region's health profile and infrastructure. While major successes in combating infectious diseases and improving standards of primary healthcare are reflected in key health indicators, new trends have developed; increasingly "lifestyle" or "wealthy country" diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, have replaced the old maladies. To meet these emerging healthcare needs, GCC states require highly trained and skilled healthcare workers, an environment that supports local training, state-of-the-art diagnostic laboratories and hospitals, research production and dissemination, and knowledge acquisition. They face shortages in most if not all of these areas. This book provides a comprehensive study of the rapidly changing health profile of the region, the existing conditions of healthcare systems, and the challenges posed to healthcare management across the six states of the GCC. Read more from Georgetown University Press.

Read about the research initiative

Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC

To cite this publication: Zahra Babar, ​​ed., Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017). 

Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC is a unique, original work of scholarship based on in-depth fieldwork shedding light on a topic both highly relevant and woefully understudied. It focuses on the earlier community of Arab immigrants within the GCC, who are among the politically most significant and sensitive of migrant groups in the region. Through its multi-disciplinary lenses of social history, cultural studies, economics, and political science, the book presents original data and provides analyses of the settlement and continued evolution of migrant Arab communities across the GCC, their work in and assimilation within host societies and labour markets, and their political, economic, social and cultural significance both to the GCC region and to their countries of origin. Read more from Oxford University Press

Read about the research initiative

Target Markets: International Terrorism Meets Global Capitalism in the Mall

To cite this publication: Suzi Mirgani, Target Markets: International Terrorism Meets Global Capitalism in the Mall (Bielefeld: Transcript Press, 2017).

This book explores the points of convergence between corporate capitalist and terrorist practice. Assessing an increase in the number of terrorist attacks directed at commercial entities in urban areas, with an emphasis on the shopping mall in general and Nairobi's Westgate Mall in particular, Suzi Mirgani offers a fascinating and disturbing perspective on the spaces where the most powerful forces of contemporary culture – the most mainstream and the most extreme – meet on common ground. Read more from the distributor, Columbia University Press.

Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, ed., Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016).

The 2011 Arab uprisings precipitated the relatively quick collapse of a number of Middle Eastern states once perceived as invincible. The Tunisian and Egyptian states succumbed to revolutionary upheavals early on, followed by that of Qadhafi’s Libya. Yemen’s President Saleh was also eventually forced to give up power. A bloody civil war continues to rage in Syria. These uprisings highlighted weaknesses in the capacity and legitimacy of states across the Arab Middle East. This book provides a comprehensive study of state weakness—or of ‘weak states’—across the Greater Middle East. Read more from Oxford University Press.

Read about the research initiative

Networked Publics and Digital Contention: The Politics of Everyday Life in Tunisia

To cite this publication: Mohamed Zayani, Networked Publics and Digital Contention: The Politics of Everyday Life in Tunisia (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015).

How is the adoption of digital media in the Arab world affecting the relationship between the state and its subjects? What new forms of online engagement and strategies of resistance have emerged from the aspirations of digitally empowered citizens? This book tells the compelling story of the concurrent evolution of technology and society in the Middle East. It brings into focus the intricate relationship between Internet development, youth activism, cyber resistance, and political participation. Taking Tunisia - the birthplace of the Arab uprisings - as a case study, it offers an ethnographically nuanced and theoretically grounded analysis of the digital culture of contention that developed in an authoritarian context. It broadens the focus from narrow debates about the role that social media played in the Arab uprisings toward a fresh understanding of how changes in media affect existing power relations. Read more from Oxford University Press.

The 2016 ICA Best Book Award

The 2016 Toyin Falola Africa Book Award

The 2017 ASA Award

The 2017 Sue DeWine Distinguished Scholarly Book Award

Qatar: Small State, Big Politics

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, Qatar: Small State, Big Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015).

The Persian Gulf state of Qatar has fewer than 2 million inhabitants, virtually no potable water, and has been an independent nation only since 1971. Yet its enormous oil and gas wealth has permitted the ruling Al Thani family to exert a disproportionately large influence on regional and even international politics. Qatar is, as Mehran Kamrava explains in this knowledgeable and incisive account of the emirate, a "tiny giant." Read more from Cornell University Press.

Sectarian Politics in the Persian Gulf

To cite this publication: Lawrence G. Potter, ed., Sectarian Politics in the Persian Gulf (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Long a taboo topic, as well as one that has alarmed outside powers, sectarian conflict in the Middle East is on the rise. The contributors to this book examine sectarian politics in the Persian Gulf, including the GCC states, Yemen, Iran and Iraq, and consider the origins and con- sequences of sectarianism broadly construed, as it affects ethnic, tribal and religious groups. They also present a theoretical and comparative framework for understanding sectarianism, as well as country-specific chapters based on recent research in the area. Key issues that are scrutinised include the nature of sectarianism, how identity moves from a passive to an active state, and the mechanisms that trigger conflict. The strategies of governments such as rentier economies and the 'invention' of partisan national histories that encourage or manage sectarian differences are also highlighted, as is the role of outside powers in fostering sectarian strife. The volume also seeks to clarify whether movements such as the Islamic revival or the Arab Spring obscure the continued salience of religious and ethnic cleavages. Read more at Oxford University Press.

Read about the research initiative