Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East
As the Middle East descends ever deeper into violence and chaos, 'sectarianism' has become a catch-all explanation for the region's troubles. The turmoil is attributed to 'ancient sectarian differences', putatively primordial forces that make violent conflict intractable. In media and policy discussions, sectarianism has come to possess trans-historical causal power.
This book trenchantly challenges the lazy use of 'sectarianism' as a magic-bullet explanation for the region's ills, focusing on how various conflicts in the Middle East have morphed from non-sectarian (or cross-sectarian) and nonviolent movements into sectarian wars. Through multiple case studies -- including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and Kuwait -- this book maps the dynamics of sectarianisation, exploring not only how but also why it has taken hold. The contributors examine the constellation of forces -- from those within societies to external factors such as the Saudi-Iran rivalry -- that drive the sectarianisation process and explore how the region's politics can be de-sectarianised.
Featuring leading scholars -- and including historians, anthropologists, political scientists and international relations theorists -- this book will redefine the terms of debate on one of the most critical issues in international affairs today.
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activists actors Alawi alliance allies Arab Spring Arab world Assad regime authoritarian Bahrain Bashar Bashar al-Assad Bassel F Christian civil co-optation context country’s cross-sectarian cultural Damascus discourse domestic dynamics economic elite ethnic forces foreign geopolitical groups Gulf Hezbollah Houthi identity mobilization ideological institutions International Iran Iran’s Iranian Iranian revolution Iraq Iraq’s Iraqi ISIS Islah Islamic Republic Islamist Kuwait leaders Lebanese Lebanon Madawi Al-Rasheed Maronite ment Middle East military militias minister mosques movement Muslim Muslim Brotherhood narrative identity opposition organizations Ottoman Pakistan parliament party Peace peacebuilding postwar protests reform regime’s regional religious Riyadh role Sabah Salafi Salloukh Saudi Arabia sect sect-centric sectar sectarian conflict sectarian identities Sectarian Politics sectarian relations securitization Shaykh Shi‘a Shi‘ism social society state’s strategy Sunni and Shi‘a Sunni Islamist Sunni-Shi‘a Syria tarian Tehran tensions threat tion Toby Matthiesen tribal uprising Vali Nasr violence Yemen York Zaydi