Year: 2015

Strike Action and Nation Building. Labor Unrest in Palestine/Israel, 1899-1951 By: David De Vries

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By: David De Vries

Volume: 3 Issue: 12

December 2015

Review by:

Arturo Marzano, PhD

University of Pisa

Pisa, Italy

Whoever has spent some time in Israel is familiar with the word shvita, i.e. strike in Hebrew, given the frequency with which strikes happen in Israel. Foreign researchers who have been affiliated to Israeli universities know well that strikes are part of the academic life, as well and it is not rare that Israeli scholars affirm that they have been able to finish a book thanks to a strike. As David De Vries writes in…

The Neoliberal Landscape and the Rise of Islamist Capital in Turkey.

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By: Balkan Neşecan,
Erol Balkan,
Ahmet Öncü, Editor

Volume: 3 Issue: 12

December 2015

Review by:

David Mason, PhD

Zayed University

Abu Dhabi, UAE

For scholars or observers of Turkey who ask questions such as: 1) if democracy is predicated on the idea that individuals vote for their own advantage, why is it that a great percentage of the working class, who suffer from AKP anti-labor policies and practices along with its cuts to health care and education, continue to vote for Erdoğan and the AKP?, or 2) how is it that after the Gezi Park protests, which developed…

Syria and Lebanon: International Relations and Diplomacy in the Middle East

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By: Taku Osoegawa

Volume: 3 Issue: 12

December 2015

Review by:

Josef Olmert, PhD

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC

This book is dedicated to the question of why and how Lebanon has aligned itself with Syria since 1970 — and the method used by Professor Osoegawa in answering it is to apply theories of International Relations (IR). It seems to me, that this is a logical approach to discuss such an issue with all its complexities by trying to adapt IR theories to the reality of the Lebanese situation. However, after reading the book,…

Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures

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By: Reina Lewis

Volume: 3 Issue: 12

December 2015

Review by:

Chiara Sebastiani, PhD

University of Bologna

Bologna, Italy

Little did Roland Barthes think, when writing in the Sixties about the semantics of fashion, that the topic would expand from cultural studies to politics and religion. Little did Samuel Huntington imagine, when writing in the Nineties on the clash of civilizations that his often misquoted work would be passionately referred to in disputes on female array. And little do the countless voices representing the Muslim veil as a symbol of female oppression imagine the…

Polygyny: What It Means When African American Muslim Women Share Their Husbands

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By: Debra Majeed

Volume: 3 Issue: 12

December 2015

Review by:

Chiara Sebastiani, PhD

University of Bologna

Bologna, Italy

In a globalized world in which basic the structures of human societies — including family, man-woman relationships, parenthood and gender – are critically viewed in public discourse and factually challenged by innovative legal arrangements — polygyny still appears a kind of taboo, more appropriate a subject for political condemnation than one for academic inquiry. Debra Majeed’s book is thus a groundbreaking contribution for several reasons. First, it reframes the topic right from start with her…

Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement: What Everyone Needs to Know®

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By: Daniel Byman

Volume: 3 Issue: 12

December 2015

Review by:

Christopher Anzalone, ABD

McGill University

Montréal, QC, CA

The book under review is a timely addition to Oxford University Press’ “What Everyone Needs to Know” series of primers on key issues and topics in the humanities, social sciences, law, and natural and health sciences. The author, Daniel Byman, a former staff member on the 9/11 Commission and a professor of security studies and foreign affairs at Georgetown University, has written extensively on international politics, jihadi groups, and government counter-terrorism policy. In his newest…

Arab-Iranian Rivalry in the Persian Gulf: Territorial Disputes and the Balance of Power in the Middle East

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By: Farzad Cyrus Sharifi-Yazdi

Volume: 3 Issue: 12

December 2015

Review by:

Christopher Anzalone, ABD

McGill University

Montréal, QC, CA

The political competition between Iran and the Arab states, particularly Iraq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the al-Khalifa ruling dynasty of Bahrain, continues to play a major role in regional and wider geopolitics, and specifically in countries such as Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon, and Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Although today, this competition is often seen as being the result of the conflicting political ambitions of Iran’s Shi’a Islamist government and…

The Life and Times of Abu Tammam (Library of Arabic Literature)

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By: Abu Bakr al-Suli
Beatrice Gruendler, Editor

Volume: 3 Issue: 12

December 2015

Review by:

Issa J. Boullata, PhD

McGill University

Montreal, QC, Canada

Entitled Akhbār Abī Tammām in Arabic, this book by al-Sulī (d. c. 946 A.D.) is translated into English for the first time; in addition, it has an edition of the original Arabic text on opposite pages of the translation. It is an important book, not only because it treats of the great poet Abu Tammam (died c. 846 A.D.) and his times during the Abbasid period, but also because it is a book which offers…

The Politics of Sectarianism in Postwar Lebanon

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By: Bassel Salloukh,
Rabie Barakat, Jinan S. Al-Habbal,
Lara W. Khattab, and Shoghig Mikaelian

Volume: 3 Issue: 12

December 2015

Review by:

Ghassan Khankarli, PhD

University of Texas at Arlington

Texas, USA

In their book, The Politics of Sectarianism in Postwar Lebanon, authors Salloukh et al. examine the inner workings of Lebanon’s sectarian system and its impact on the overall performance of all facets of institutional establishments as well as social, economic, and political norms. As the authors affirm, the main objective of the book is to examine the sectarian system of governance by researching the institutional and societal arrangements which brought into being a structured form…

Al Qaeda: The Transformation of Terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa (Praeger Security International)

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By: Denise N. Baken
Ioannis Mantzikos

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Yiyi Chen, PhD

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Shanghai, P. R. China

For a student of the subject, this book gives the feeling of finding a treasure trove when first encountered in that it not only covers almost all possible aspects of the subject matter, but also leads to a plethora of sources that the reader might be delighted to find. In this sense, the book should be on the shelf of all serious students of the subject. Yet after thoroughly combing through the book, even with…

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