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December 2016

An Islamist Power Grab Derails Democracy in Turkey
by Kerem Öktem
“[W]hat sort of country is going to emerge from this revolutionary reshaping of society?”

The Origins and Consequences of US Nonintervention in Syria
by Faysal Itani
“The single most important external factor in the Syrian war’s trajectory was the set of foreign policy beliefs Obama held well before the first shot was fired.”

Why ‘Artificiality’ Fails to Explain Iraq’s Woes
by Fanar Haddad
“[F]ocusing on the supposed consequences of Iraq’s artificial foundations diverts our attention from the real issues—cumulative or immediate—that continue to destabilize the country.”

Labor’s Role in the Arab Uprisings and Beyond
by Ian M. Hartshorn
"Some trade unions, even in the most repressive states, attempted to organize themselves and press for greater autonomy in the revolutionary moment.” Third in a series on labor relations around the world.

Can the Saudi Economy Be Reformed?
by Karen E. Young
“Saudi Arabia must place its citizens firmly in the center of its transformation, so that employment, productivity, and local demand determine the direction of the economy.”

Perspective: Is Israeli Democracy in Danger?
by Dov Waxman
Demographic shifts have contributed to an illiberal trend also fueled by five decades of occupation and settlement of Palestinian lands. The new right-wing majority is trying to stifle dissenting voices.

Books: Islamists and Liberal Values in the Middle East
by Ewan Stein
A new book’s argument that Islam is exceptional, with an inbuilt resistance to democracy, sounds to our reviewer like an echo of an earlier era’s Orientalist assumptions.

The Month in Review: October 2016
by the editors of Current History
An international chronology of events in October, country by country, day by day.

2016 Current History Index
by the editors of Current History
January-December 2016

Map of the Middle East
by the editors of Current History

Current History cover

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