Year: 2017

Statecraft in the Middle East: Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics and Security

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By: Imad Mansour

Volume: 5 Issue: 8

August 2017

Review by:

Sanford R. Silverburg, Ph.D

Catawba College

Salisbury, NC

Political scientists, especially international relations and foreign policy specialists, are well aware of the theoretical approach of linkage politics, which for some reason is not mentioned in this work.  Introduced by James N. Rosenau[1] and followed soon thereafter by Joseph Frankel[2] the efforts of state decision makes toward the external environment is dependent to some degree on their respective domestic political structure and set of condition. Government policies dealing with the external environment and domestic…

Vulnerability in Resistance

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By: Judith Butler
Zeynep Gambetti
Leticia Sabsay , Editor

Volume: 5 Issue: 8

August 2017

Review by:

Sanford R. Silverburg, Ph.D

Catawba College

Salisbury, NC

A collaborative effort resulting from a workshop the theme of which was the “Rethinking Vulnerability and Resistance: Feminism and Social Change” held at Columbia University’s Global Center in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013. There are 13 essays representing a number of nationalities, but principally Turkish and Greek participants, with a sprinkling of American, British, French, Belgian, and Palestinian folk.  The editors are a professor of comparative literature (Butler), political theory (Gambetti), and gender studies (Sabsay). The…

Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy: Conflict and Cooperation in Uncertain Times

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By: Neil Partrick, Editor

Volume: 5 Issue: 7

July 2017

Review by:

Mohammed M. Aman, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI

The book brings together original and previously published papers on aspects of Saudi Arabia foreign policy, and the overlapping relationships with states and regions in a historical context as well as their relevance to the ever changing present.   At the writing of this review, the Saudi Royal Court announced a reverse in the line of succession by naming the 31 years old  Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the crown prince and next in line to…

Hadhramaut and Its Diaspora: Yemeni Politics, Identity and Migration

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By: Noel Brehony, Editor

Volume: 5 Issue: 7

July 2017

Review by:

Calvin H. Allen, Jr. Ph.D

Shenandoah University

Winchester, VA

Noel Brehony, a retired British diplomat and author on Yemeni affairs, has joined with eleven other specialists to present an examination of the Hadramaut, Yemen’s eastern province, and its many emigres dispersed throughout the Indian Ocean basin. The collection of articles seeks nothing more than to “illuminate many aspects of Hadhramaut, Yemen and the diaspora” while showing that research “is still comparatively underdeveloped” (p. 14), and has in common with much of the literature on…

Nasser’s Blessed Movement: Egypt’s Free Officers and the July Revolution

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By: Joel Gordon

Volume: 5 Issue: 7

July 2017

Review by:

Sanford R. Silverburg, Ph.D

Catawba College

Salisbury, NC

A particularly intense history of Egypt’s revolution conducted by a group of army officers in July 1952.  This is an updated version of the study conducted by the author now with the perspective of a post 9/11 observation position and the availability of newly released archival materials.  We know the military officers took over from the Egyptian pasha elite and the parliamentary system without understanding the unintended consequences of the political forces essential in the…

State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel

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By: Thomas Suarez

Volume: 5 Issue: 7

July 2017

Review by:

Sanford R. Silverburg, Ph.D

Catawba College

Salisbury, NC

The politically violent orientation of two Jewish organizations operating in mandated Palestine is the focus of State Terror.  Suarez, a writer and musician , based in London strains credulity by taking the obviously odious activities of the Irgun and Lehi, aka Stern Gang, and equating them to the overall effort of the Jewish Agency in Palestine to seek and work for an independent Jewish state.  Each attack by these two focused groups is highlighted with…

Year of the Sword: The Assyrian Christian Genocide, A History

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By: Joseph Yacoub

Volume: 5 Issue: 7

July 2017

Review by:

Elizabeth Monier, PhD

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

This translation of Yacoub’s comprehensive history of the 1915 Assyrian Genocide is a timely publication in light of the emergence of Islamic State (IS) in 2014.  The violence perpetrated by IS in eastern Syria and northern Iraq, particularly against Christians and Ezidis, has renewed discussions around the recognition of genocide and what the international community can and should do to prevent ethnic or religious cleansing.  Both communities have a deep collective consciousness of a bloody…

Salafi-Jihadism: The History of an Idea

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By: Shiraz Maher

Volume: 5 Issue: 7

July 2017

Review by:

Matthew Vondrasek

University of Nebraska Omaha

Omaha, NE

In his book, Salafi-Jihadism: The History of an Idea, Shiraz Maher examines several key features that have widely shaped the Salafi-Jihadi discourse. The text focuses on these key features while also providing concise historical, political, religious, and linguistic context. This examination helps the reader engage and understand the religious justifications, rationalizations and neutralizations that have propelled the salafi-jihadi movement to where it is today. Many scholarly texts focusing on salafi-jihadism and Islamic inspired terrorist groups…

Beyond Shariati: Modernity, Cosmopolitanism, and Islam in Iranian Political Thought.

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By: Siavash Saffari

Volume: 5 Issue: 7

July 2017

Review by:

Adis Duderija, PhD

Griffith University

Queensland, Australia

Questions pertaining to the conceptual relationship between Islam and modernity—and therefore between cultural relativism and (hegemonic) universalism – continue to occupy the minds of scholars of contemporary/modern Islam and/or Muslim societies.  The book under review examines the thought and legacy of Ali Shari’ati ( d.1977), famously dubbed an  ‘ideologue of the Iranian Revolution’  and  what are broadly termed ‘neo-Shari’atis’ ( i.e. Shariati’s intellectual interlocutors)  through this broad theoretical lens. In essence in many ways the…

The Oxford Handbook of European Islam

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By: Jocelyne Cesari, Editor

Volume: 5 Issue: 7

July 2017

Review by:

Issa J. Boullata, PhD

McGill University

Montreal, Canada

This book is essential reading for all those interested in Islam and Muslims in Europe. Written by twenty-five impressively knowledgeable contributors, including the editor, it is divided into five parts. Part I (with five chapters) deals with Islam as a postcolonial, post-second world war religion in Europe; Part II (with four chapters) deals with the arrival of Islam in Europe as a post-1974 migration of Muslims; Part III (with four chapters) is a consideration of…

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