Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Just published by IISBU: A new occasional paper by Eric Davis who takes democracy seriously in Iraq.

Davis is the author of the superb Memories of State and Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University.

A special note thanks to Jaime Jarvis, a superb professional editor, for her help in bringing this publication to life.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Youth Politics in the Contemporary Middle East," Sept. 5, 2015, at the annual meeting of the APSA, San Francisco

For more than 30 years, the Conference Group on the Middle East has met in conjunction with annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.  This year's panel on youth politics promises to be excellent.  Put the panel on your calendar for 10:15-12:00 Noon, September 5.


Chair: Augustus Richard Norton, Boston University and Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS)
Discussants: Denis J. Sullivan, Northeastern University and Emily Cury, Northeastern University

In Continued Denial: Youth Dissatisfaction in the Post-Arab Awakening World
Mary Chloe Mulderig, Boston Universiy

A Crisis of National Identity: How Youth Fuel Political Entropy in Libya
Ayman Grada, Boston University School of Medicine

Unusual Suspects: Soccer Fans as Key Political Actors
James Dorsey, Nanyang Technological University

Youth and the Allure of the Islamic State: Identity, Recruitment, Political Economy
Eric M. Davis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Background on the CGME.

Info on the APSA annual meeting.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fourth edition (May 2014): Hezbollah: A Short History

New Prologue and Expanded Afterword.

"Best introduction....succeeds in rising above the passions of the debate."--As'ad AbuKhalil (Journal of Palestine Studies).  Jimmy Carter reading Hezbollah.  "Best recent study on Hezbollah"--Fareed Zakaria (Newsweek). "Norton has pulled off a noteworthy feat by producing an accessible yet nuanced study of Hizbollah--a rare achievement in academic research."—Melani Cammett (MESA Bulletin). "[T]he most authoritative, up-to-date analysis of this enigmantic group....Piquant anecdotes and richly textured details make the book enjoyable reading."--Kristian P. Alexander (Middle East Policy). "A series of related essays, each concise and provocative, this is an excellent introduction for the novice."--Joel Gordon (Journal of Military History). “A cogent analysis of [Hezbollah's] emergence and impact on Lebanese politics”—Sheldon Kirsher (Canadian Jewish News). "Norton deserves praise for writing an insightful and multilayered work accessible to a wide...readership."—Rula Abisaab (Journal of Palestine Studies). "...thorough study of Hezbollah, updated with a new afterword in 2008, retraces Hezbollah’s history, from its emergence to its recent struggle against Israel in 2006."—Lina Zuhour (Arab Reform Initiative). "It's wonderful, the best I've read in English"--Anthony Shadid (2007 post). "For first time readers on Lebanon and Hizbullah I highly recommend..."—Sami Hermez (International Journal of Middle East Studies). “This short, authoritative book, based on first-hand experience, efficiently analyses [Hezbollah's] status"—Iain Fianalayson (The Times). "America's leading scholar on Hezbollah"—Joshua M. Landis. “Highly informative, jargon-free book...An objective account of the genesis and development of Hezbollah....Highly recommended.”—N. Entessar (Choice). “A good, concise survey by a perceptive student of the Lebanese Shia”—David Gardner (Financial Times). “Thorough, articulate portrait of Hezbollah”—Publishers Weekly. “Norton's timely Hezbollah chronicles that dramatic evolution and its sweeping implications for the region and beyond”—Jonathan Finer (Washington Post Book World). "Everyone who wants to understand the complexities of the Middle East . . . should read this book”—Bruce Elder (Sydney Morning Herald). “Recommended”—Harvard Bookstore. “Norton elucidates . . . domestic and international complexities in Hezbollah”—Allen McDuffee (In These Times). "He ends on a tentative note, voicing hope that Hezbollah will play a "constructive" role in Lebanon. One can only hope he's right."—David Rosenberg (Bloomberg News). “Short personal anecdotes from his time in Lebanon add both color and authority to the book”—Beryl C.D. Lipton (Harvard Crimson). “An excellent summary that ends with a dramatic question: ‘What next?’"—Kail C. Ellis (Middle East Journal). "An excellent primer"—(The Colby File). "Most fluent survey of Hezbollah to date_covers the Lebanese resistance group from its inception to the current Lebanese political crisis”—Margeret Hall (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs). : “In an easily read, easily comprehended book, Norton traces the origins and history of Hezbollah”—Suzi Brozman (Atlanta Jewish Times) “The many complex and often changing dimensions of Hezbollah are presented in the book in a clear, concise manner”—Rami G. Khouri (Daily Star). "Suggested reading"--(NPR). "There is no better person to address these questions…than Norton, who has been studying Lebanon, and especially the Lebanese Shiites, for longer than Hezbollah has been in existence. He offers here a brisk and balanced history"—L. Carl Brown (Foreign Affairs).  

Kindle version.
iTunes book.
Google Play.
Barnes and Noble.
Kno ebook.
Kobo ebook.

Monday, March 16, 2015

"The Turkish Complex" is the topic of the 2015 Campagna-Kerven Lecture on Modern Turkey at Boston University

Reserve your seat for the 20th annual CKLS lecture.

This years lecture is delivered by Professor Jenny White from the Department of Anthropology at Boston University.  Those who follow Turkey will be well-acquainted with her writings (and her blog Kamil Pasha), not least her most recent book: Muslim Natonalism and the New Turks.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Leaked conversation between then soon-to-be-president al-Sisi and high ranking collaborators about shaking down the Gulf Shaykhs and stashing billions in the Army banks accounts

Borzou Daragahi offers an excellent report on the leaked tapes.

The plotters' ridicule of and obvious disdain for the Gulf "half-states" will not play well in Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Leaked conversations in Arabic (with subtitles)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Saturday, December 06, 2014

31st Annual Meeting of the Conference Group on the Middle East: Call for Papers for 2015

The Conference Group on the Middle East (CGME) meets in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.  The 2015 meeting convenes in San Francisco, September 2-6.

Young people represent a gigantic majority of the Arab population.  While the proportions obviously vary, in places like Iraq, Gaza, Syria and Egypt, upwards of three quarters of the population are young than 30 years.  In one case after another, young people face a future of "adulthood denied" to quote the title of a topical monograph, in the sense that they lack the ability to get a decent job, have their own place to live, marry and reproduce the family.  
Youths played significant, often leading roles in the demonstrations that marked the first stage of the Arab Awakenings that began in late 2010.  The cases of Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen come to mind, but also Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan and certainly Syria, among other instances.  Many of the youthful political activists and mobilizers were later marginalized as better organized, more experienced and more brutal actors displaced them and state elites clawed back power.  Today in repressive Egypt, for example, many of the key youth actors are in jail serving long terms for disobedience, organizing protests or a variety of trumped up charges.  
The CGME will address youth politics after the Arab Awakenings: Is there a "youth politics", are there organized political forces devoted to youth causes, and what has been the enduring impact of formal or informal associational life on the texture and content of politics in the Middle East; has something important changed? The welcomes empirically informed papers that rigorously address single cases, including studies of single associations, parties or interest groups, country studies, or comparative studies. Theoretically oriented papers are welcome as well.

CGME:  three decades ago, little serious attention was paid to the Middle East at the annual meetings of the leading disciplinary associations, including the American Political Science Association (APSA). Professor Louis J. Cantori and a small group of colleagues, including this writer, decided in 1983 to create the Conference Group the Middle East (CGME), which convened for the first time in 1984 and has continued ever since.

Friday, November 28, 2014

AR Norton, "Obama's Middle East Headaches", Current History, December 2014

"To describe the Middle East as in tumult would be an understatement. Four countries—Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen—are in some semblance of civil war, and a discourse of violence infects much of the region. Just four years after the mass demonstrations that signaled a popular Arab political awakening, not only haveeconomic and social conditions failed to improve, but forces of the old order are clawing back power."

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Thursday, November 27, 2014