The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life

Author: Roger Owen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674735378
Release Date: 2014-11-24
Genre: History

Monarchical presidential regimes in the Arab world looked as though they would last indefinitely—until events in Tunisia and Egypt made clear their time was up. This is the first book to lay bare the dynamics of a governmental system that largely defined the Arab Middle East in the twentieth century, and the popular opposition they engendered.

The First World War in the Middle East

Author: Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
Publisher: Hurst
ISBN: 9781849045056
Release Date: 2014-06-15
Genre: History

The First World War in the Middle East is an accessibly written military and social history of the clash of world empires in the Dardanelles, Egypt and Palestine, Mesopotamia, Persia and the Caucasus. Coates Ulrichsen demonstrates how wartime exigencies shaped the parameters of the modern Middle East, and describes and assesses the major campaigns against the Ottoman Empire and Germany involving British and imperial troops from the French and Russian Empires, as well as their Arab and Armenian allies. Also documented are the enormous logistical demands placed on host societies by the Great Powers' conduct of industrialised warfare in hostile terrain. The resulting deepening of imperial penetration, and the extension of state controls across a heterogeneous sprawl of territories, generated a powerful backlash both during and immediately after the war, which played a pivotal role in shaping national identities as the Ottoman Empire was dismembered. This is a multidimensional account of the many seemingly discrete yet interlinked campaigns that resulted in one to one and a half million casualties. It details not just their military outcome but relates them to intelligence-gathering, industrial organisation, authoritarianism and the political economy of empires at war.

The Sunni Tragedy in the Middle East

Author: Bernard Rougier
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400873579
Release Date: 2015-10-13
Genre: Political Science

Northern Lebanon is a land in turmoil. Long under the sway of the Assad regime in Syria, it is now a magnet for Sunni Muslim jihadists inspired by anti-Western and anti-Shi‘a worldviews. The Sunni Tragedy in the Middle East describes in harrowing detail the struggle led by an active minority of jihadist militants, some claiming allegiance to ISIS, to seize control of Islam and impose its rule over the region's Sunni Arab population. Bernard Rougier introduces us to men with links to the mujahidin in Afghanistan, the Sunni resistance in Iraq, al-Qaeda, and ISIS. He describes how they aspire to replace North Lebanon’s Sunni elites, who have been attacked and discredited by neighboring powers and jihadists alike, and explains how they have successfully positioned themselves as the local Sunni population’s most credible defender against powerful external enemies—such as Iran and the Shi‘a militia group Hezbollah. He sheds new light on the methods and actions of the jihadists, their internal debates, and their evolving political agenda over the past decade. This riveting book is based on more than a decade of research, more than one hundred in-depth interviews with players at all levels, and Rougier’s extraordinary access to original source material. Written by one of the world’s leading experts on jihadism, The Sunni Tragedy in the Middle East provides timely insight into the social, political, and religious life of this dangerous and strategically critical region of the Middle East.

Ruling But Not Governing

Author: Steven A. Cook
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801885914
Release Date: 2007-03-13
Genre: History

Ruling, but not governing : a logic of regime stability -- The Egyptian, Algerian, and Turkish military "enclaves" : the contours of the officers' autonomy -- The pouvoir militaire and the failure to achieve a "just mean" -- Institutionalizing a military-founded system -- Turkish paradox : Islamist political power and the Kemalist political order -- Toward a democratic transition? : weakening the patterns of political inclusion and exclusion.

Syria

Author: David W. Lesch
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300197228
Release Date: 2013
Genre: History

David Lesch charts Bashir Assad's turn towards repression and the inexorable steps towards the violence of 2011 and 2012. He recounts the causes of the Syrian uprising, the regime's tactics to remain in power, the responses of other nations to the bloodshed, and the determined efforts of regime opponents.

The Battle for the Arab Spring

Author: Lin Noueihed
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300180861
Release Date: 2012-05-29
Genre: History

Drawn from research, interviews and a wealth of firsthand experience, this analysis of the Arab Spring, a revolution that spread across the Arab world in 2011, provides the first clear glimpse of the post-revolutionary future and the challenges many Arab nations face in building democratic institutions.

Soldiers Spies and Statesmen

Author: Hazem Kandil
Publisher: Verso Trade
ISBN: 9781781681428
Release Date: 2014
Genre: History

A cautionary analysis of Egypt's transformation from a military regime to a police state traces Mubarak's loss of military support, offering a detailed historical study that argues that the revolt reflected an ongoing power struggle between the components of the country's authoritarian regime.

ISIS

Author: Fawaz A. Gerges
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400885596
Release Date: 2017-03-14
Genre: Political Science

The Islamic State has stunned the world with its savagery, destructiveness, and military and recruiting successes. What explains the rise of ISIS and what does it portend for the future of the Middle East? In this book, one of the world's leading authorities on political Islam and jihadism sheds new light on these questions as he provides a unique history of the rise and growth of ISIS. Moving beyond journalistic accounts, Fawaz Gerges provides a clear and compelling account of the deeper conditions that fuel ISIS. The book describes how ISIS emerged in the chaos of Iraq following the 2003 U.S. invasion, how the group was strengthened by the suppression of the Arab Spring and by the war in Syria, and how ISIS seized leadership of the jihadist movement from Al Qaeda. Part of a militant Sunni revival, ISIS claims its goals are to resurrect a caliphate and rid "Islamic lands" of all Shia and other minorities. In contrast to Al Qaeda, ISIS initially focused on the "near enemy"—Shia, the Iraqi and Syrian regimes, and secular, pro-Western states in the Middle East. But in a tactical shift ISIS has now taken responsibility for spectacular attacks in Europe and other places beyond the Middle East, making it clear that the group is increasingly interested in targeting the "far enemy" as well. Ultimately, the book shows how decades of dictatorship, poverty, and rising sectarianism in the Middle East, exacerbated by foreign intervention, led to the rise of ISIS—and why addressing those problems is the only way to ensure its end. An authoritative introduction to arguably the most important conflict in the world today, this is an essential book for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the social turmoil and political violence ravaging the Arab-Islamic world.

The Arab Awakening

Author: Kenneth M. Pollack
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815722274
Release Date: 2011-10-01
Genre: Political Science

Even the most seasoned Middle East observers were taken aback by the events of early 2011. Protests born of oppression and socioeconomic frustration erupted throughout the streets; public unrest provoked violent police backlash; long-established dictatorships fell. How did this all happen? What might the future look like, and what are the likely ramifications for the United States and the rest of the world? In The Arab Awakening, experts from the Brookings Institution tackle such questions to make sense of this tumultuous region that remains at the heart of U.S. national interests. The first portion of The Arab Awakening offers broad lessons by analyzing key aspects of the Mideast turmoil, such as public opinion trends within the "Arab Street"; the role of social media and technology; socioeconomic and demographic conditions; the influence of Islamists; and the impact of the new political order on the Arab-Israeli peace process. The next section looks at the countries themselves, finding commonalties and grouping them according to the political evolutions that have (or have not) occurred in each country. The section offers insight into the current situation, and possible trajectory of each group of countries, followed by individual nation studies. The Arab Awakening brings the full resources of Brookings to bear on making sense of what may turn out to be the most significant geopolitical movement of this generation. It is essential reading for anyone looking to understand these developments and their consequences.

Arab Fall

Author: Eric Trager
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781626163621
Release Date: 2016-10-20
Genre: History

Despite playing a marginal role in the spectacular 2011 Arab Spring uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's reign, how did the Muslim Brotherhood win power so quickly in Egypt? And why did the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, fall from power only 891 days after Mubarak in the face of widespread protests and then a bloody military coup? In Arab Fall, Eric Trager examines the decisionmaking of the Brotherhood and their political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, throughout this critical period and answers why their time in power was so short. Based in part on interviews with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and cadres including Morsi, Trager argues that the very organizational characteristics that helped the Brotherhood win power also contributed to their rapid downfall. While the organization's hierarchical structure allowed them unparalleled mobilizing capabilities, their autocratic governing style alienated much of the population and united diverse groups against them. Their insularity also left them entirely unprepared for the military coup and crackdown in July and August 2013. Trager concludes the book with an assessment the current state of Egyptian politics and whether or not the Brotherhood will reemerge in the future.

Temptations of Power

Author: Shadi Hamid
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199314072
Release Date: 2014-03-17
Genre: Religion

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama famously announced the "end of history." The Berlin Wall had fallen; liberal democracy had won out. But what of illiberal democracy--the idea that popular majorities, working through the democratic process, might reject gender equality, religious freedoms, and other norms that Western democracies take for granted? Nowhere have such considerations become more relevant than in the Middle East, where the uprisings of 2011 swept the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups to power. In Temptations of Power, Shadi Hamid draws on hundreds of interviews with leaders and activists from across the region to advance a new understanding of how Islamist movements change over time. He puts forward the bold thesis that repression "forced" Islamists to moderate their politics, work in coalitions, de-emphasize Islamic law, and set aside the dream of an Islamic state. Meanwhile, democratic openings in the 1980s--and again during the Arab Spring--pushed Islamists back toward their original conservatism. With the uprisings of 2011, Islamists found themselves in an enviable position, but one for which they were unprepared. Groups like the Brotherhood combine the features of both political parties and religious movements, leading to an inherent tension they have struggled to resolve. However pragmatic they may be, their ultimate goal remains the Islamization of society. When the electorate they represent is conservative as well, they can push their own form of illiberal democracy while insisting they are carrying out the popular will. This can lead to overreach and significant backlash. Yet, while the Egyptian coup and the subsequent crackdown were a devastating blow for the Islamist "project," obituaries of political Islam are premature. As long as the battle over the role of religion in public life continues, Islamist parties in countries as diverse as Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan will remain an important force whether in the ranks of opposition or the halls of power. But what are the key factors driving their evolution? A timely and provocative reassessment, Hamid's account serves as an essential compass for those trying to understand where the region's varied Islamist groups have come from and where they might be headed.

War and Peace and War

Author: Peter Turchin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101126914
Release Date: 2007-02-27
Genre: History

Like Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Peter Turchin in War and Peace and War uses his expertise in evolutionary biology to make a highly original argument about the rise and fall of empires. Turchin argues that the key to the formation of an empire is a society’s capacity for collective action. He demonstrates that high levels of cooperation are found where people have to band together to fight off a common enemy, and that this kind of cooperation led to the formation of the Roman and Russian empires, and the United States. But as empires grow, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, conflict replaces cooperation, and dissolution inevitably follows. Eloquently argued and rich with historical examples, War and Peace and War offers a bold new theory about the course of world history.

Triumphs of Experience

Author: George E. Vaillant
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674071810
Release Date: 2012-10-30
Genre: Psychology

At a time when people are living into their tenth decade, the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken offers welcome news for old age: our lives evolve in our later years and often become more fulfilling. Among the surprising findings: people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife, and vice versa.

When Victory Is Not an Option

Author: Nathan J. Brown
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801464362
Release Date: 2012-02-17
Genre: Political Science

Throughout the Arab world, Islamist political movements are joining the electoral process. This change alarms some observers and excites other. In recent years, electoral opportunities have opened, and Islamist movements have seized them. But those opportunities, while real, have also been sharply circumscribed. Elections may be freer, but they are not fair. The opposition can run but it generally cannot win. Semiauthoritarian conditions prevail in much of the Arab world, even in the wake of the Arab Spring. How do Islamist movements change when they plunge into freer but unfair elections? How do their organizations (such as the Muslim Brotherhood) and structures evolve? What happens to their core ideological principles? And how might their increased involvement affect the political system? In When Victory Is Not an Option, Nathan J. Brown addresses these questions by focusing on Islamist movements in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Palestine. He shows that uncertain benefits lead to uncertain changes. Islamists do adapt their organizations and their ideologies do bend-some. But leaders almost always preserve a line of retreat in case the political opening fizzles or fails to deliver what they wish. The result is a cat-and-mouse game between dominant regimes and wily movements. There are possibilities for more significant changes, but to date they remain only possibilities.