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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 Rise and Fall of the New Arab Public Sphere
by Marc Lynch
“Arab politics will be torn for many years to come between the restless, critical power of the public sphere and the determined efforts of regimes, states, and old elites to maintain their domination.” Third in a series on public spheres around the world.
How Syria Fell to Pieces
by Samer Abboud
“With major regional powers in disagreement over how to solve the Syrian conflict . . . military and political stalemate continues, along with the territorial fragmentation of the country, the proliferation of networks of violence, and a humanitarian catastrophe that will have generational consequences.”
Egypt’s Revolution Turned on its Head
by Emad El-Din Shahin
“Sisi’s focus on fighting terrorism has shifted the nation’s political narrative from democracy and freedom to security and war . . .”
Lebanon’s Perilous Balancing Act
by Tamirace Fakhoury
“Although its dysfunctional governance patterns predate the recent wave of turmoil in the region, the war in Syria has unsettled Lebanon’s precarious equilibrium.”
The Middle East’s Spreading Morass
by Augustus Richard Norton
“Many of the Arab states see the uprisings, the Iraq war, and the rise of ISIS as fundamentally related. All of these issues are complicated by the Iran deal.”
Perspective: Iran’s Uncertain Course After the Deal
by Kevan Harris
The latest political realignment in the Islamic Republic resulted in détente with the West even as regional upheaval has drawn Tehran into overextended military interventions. While Iran’s future is uncertain, it is definitely not a hegemon in the making.
Books: A Bold Call for Middle Eastern Feminism
by Valentine M. Moghadam
In her new book, Mona Eltahawy argues that a sexual revolution is needed in the region to overcome religious ideologies that oppress women’s rights. Without progress toward gender equality, broader political reforms are bound to fail.