BOOKS (2016-2017)

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The Political Theology of ISIS: Prophets, Messiahs, & "the Extinction of the Grayzone"

By Ahmad Dallal

More than any other actor on the contemporary Arab political landscape, ISIS represents the most expansive and potent threat to the territoriality of the modern Arab nation states, and it has exceeded the expectations of all observers in its expansiveness and resilience. While it is true that the rise of ISIS was enabled by a confluence of interests, it is now abundantly clear that ISIS has a dynamic project of its own and is not a mere proxy for such interests. ISIS entirely rejects the current order and its beneficiaries, and as such, it claims to carry the revolutionary project to its conclusion. The ISIS alternative to the failed Arab states is not just a normative Islamic cultural identity that guides the actions of the state, but an Islamic State that is itself the embodiment of the imagined new order. By examining the political theology of ISIS, this essay aims to understand the challenge posed by ISIS to the struggle for justice in the contemporary Arab and Muslim World. 

الصراع على السلطة الدستورية: دور المحكمة الدستورية العليا في السياسة المصرية

[ستصدر النسخة الورقية من هذا الكتاب قريباً في بيروت عن دار تدوين للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع]

نُشر هذا الكتاب للمرة الأولى في العام 2007 باللغة الإنجليزية بقلم الدكتور تامر مصطفى، أستاذ الدراسات الدولية في جامعة سايمون فريزر في كندا، وهو يقدم تحليلًا مفصلًا لتقاطع القانون والسياسة في مصر، مع تركيز خاص على المحكمة الدستورية العليا.

بالنسبة إلى العديد من القراء اليوم، قد تكون المحكمة الدستورية العليا معروفة أكثر للدور الذي لعبته في توجيه النتائج السياسية بعد سقوط الرئيس المصري السابق حسني مبارك في العام 2011، مع الأحكام المثيرة للجدل بإبطال مجلس الشعب ومجلس الشورى والجمعية التأسيسية فضلًا عن أحكام أخرى. بيد أن تحليل تلك الأحداث، التي ساعدت على رسم مصير جماعة "الإخوان المسلمين" واتجاه عملية الانتقال السياسي في مصر، يقع خارج نطاق هذه الدراسة. لكن هذه الأحكام تؤكد على الدور المركزي الذي لا تزال المحكمة الدستورية العليا تلعبه في تشكيل المشهد السياسي المصري. لذا، تقدم ترجمة كتاب تامر مصطفى للعام 2007 هذه تقريرًا من أكثر التقارير تفصيلًا، باللغتين العربية أو الإنجليزية، حول السياسة المحيطة بالمحكمة الدستورية العليا على مدى العقود الثلاثة الأولى من العملية.

نبذة عن الكاتب: تامر مصطفى هو أستاذ الدراسات الدولية في جامعة سايمون فريزر في فانكوفر، كندا. يدرّس ويكتب في مجالات القانون والمجتمع المقارن، والدين والسياسة في مصر والشرق الأوسط بشكل عام.

ملاحظة حول النص الأصلي: تم نشر هذا الكتاب للمرة الأولى في العام 2007 باللغة الإنجليزية تحت عنوان الصراع على السلطة الدستورية: القانون والسياسة والتنمية الاقتصادية في مصر، مطبعة جامعة كامبريدج (نيويورك).


Roger Owen: A Life in Middle East Studies

By Roger Owen

Roger Owen’s first encounter with the Middle East was as a young soldier during his national military service in Cyprus from 1955-6. During this time, he visited Cairo, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beirut before deciding to spend the rest of his academic and professional life at Oxford and Harvard Universities, where he taught, studied, made friends and tried to understand the region via its politics, economic life, history and popular culture. Providentially, he also decided to keep an almost daily journal recording his thoughts and feelings, as well as being fortunate to be asked to write a regular op-ed column for the London- and then Beirut-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat beginning in 1986. Hence this Memoir, an attempt to record and to make sense of a life spent studying a culture very different from that of his own.


NGOs in the Arab World Post-Arab Uprisings: Domestic and International Politics of Funding and Regulation

Edited by Noura Erakat and Nizar Sagheih

NGOs in the Arab World Post-Arab Uprising is a collection of field-based research that contributes to the literature on the impact of the Arab Uprisings on civil society throughout the Middle East. It does so by examining the development of non-governmental organizations in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Palestine.

Purpose of Study 

The Arab uprisings that began in December 2011 in Tunisia have created a series of ongoing processes throughout the Arab world. Massive popular movements led to the removal of long-standing autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen. International intervention and an armed rebel movement also led to the removal of Libya’s head of state. Today, the uprisings in Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria have become consumed by civil war driven by proxy regional interests. While revolutions, and counterrevolutions, continue in nearly all of these countries, until late 2011 they were sites of unfettered optimism and euphoria.  

Whatever could be said about the varied meanings of these movements, Arab populations have successfully asserted themselves as active subjects constitutive of the state rather than its indistinguishable and expendable objects. In this context, civil society within the Arab world became very “sexy” among scholars, donors, and governments alike. This piqued interest generated new funding opportunities, new exchanges of expertise, new studies, and hundreds of conferences all eager to explore and explain what had happened, what was happening, and what was going to happen next.  

The creation of new organizations, non-profit corporations, and non-governmental organizations alike, were among the primary consequences of such international interest. Despite their salient role, the precise status of these organizations (i.e., number, origins, funding sources), and their implications has received little scrutiny. The dearth of such research has left a gaping hole in the analysis of transformative social change and ongoing conflict throughout the region.  

This research initiative seeks to contribute to this scarce literature in four contexts: Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Palestine. While foreign funding led to the creation of new opportunities for otherwise marginalized communities in Tunisia, in Egypt new regimes targeted non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as sources of national discord and instability. Meanwhile, in Palestine, where NGOs have proliferated since the early nineties, professional activism has supplanted popular mobilization and helped to contain, rather than resolve, the conflict. In Yemen, the uprisings marked a regression for NGO development and intensified sectarian divisions between them. The aim of this research initiative is to explore these dynamics more thoroughly.  


Gardens Speak

By Tania El Khoury

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protestors who adorned the streets during the early periods of the uprising. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead. The dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the regime. The living protect the dead by conserving their identities, telling their stories, and not allowing their deaths to become instruments of the regime.

Gardens Speak is an interactive sound installation that toured around the world. It contains the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves would have recounted it. This book contains the narrative text of those ten oral histories in both English and spoken Arabic. It includes an acknowledgement and introduction by the artist, and illustrations of the audience experience in Gardens Speak

Books are also available on tour. For information about upcoming shows of Gardens Speaks, please visit taniaelkhoury.com

في سوريا، تخفي الكثير من الحدائق جثث القتلى من الناشطين والمعتصمين الذين ملأوا الشوارع في الفترات الأولى من الانتفاضة الشعبية. في تلك المدافن المنزلية، ثمّة تعاون مستمر بين الأحياء والأموات. الأموات يحمون الأحياء من خلال عدم تعريضهم للمزيد من الخطر على يد الدولة، والأحياء يرعون أمواتهم ويحفظون هوياتهم وقصصهم في باطن الأرض، رافضين أن يتحوّل موتُهم جزءاً من أدوات النظام في التلاعب بالتاريخ.
"الحدائق تحكي" هو عرض فني تفاعلي يجول العالم، ليروي التاريخ الشفوي لعشرة أشخاص دفنوا في حدائق سورية. رُكِّبت هذه الحكايات بعناية مع أصدقاء القتلى وأفراد أسرهم، لنروي قصصهم كما كانوا ليرووها بأنفسهم. يحتوي هذا الكتاب على الروايات العشر باللغتين الإنكليزية والعربية المحكية، مع مقدّمة للفنانة ورسوم تصوّر تجربة العرض الحيّ.

الكتب متوفرة أيضاً خلال جولة العرض. للمعلومات حول العروض القادمة لمشروع "الحدائق تحكي"، يرجى زيارة هذا الموقع: taniaelkhoury.com

 Critical Voices

Edited by Ziad Abu-Rish and Bassam Haddad

Comprised of twenty-seven interviews with leading researchers, intellectuals, artists, and activists, Critical Voices explores the ways in which power and popular mobilizations manifest in the contemporary region, as well as the representation of key dynamics, experiences, and figures. Through their own unique perspectives and possibilities, the interviewees and interviewers challenge the ways in which the region is studied, discussed, and represented.

Contributors: Awad Abdel Fattah, Sarah Al Abdali, Talal Asad, George Azar, Asli Bali, Nar Photos Collective, Angela Davis, Wael Gamal, Justin Gengler, Nigel Gibson, Nile Green, Ahmad Habib, Bassam Haddad, David Harvey, Jim House, Sonallah Ibrahim, Matan Kaminer, Leila Khaled, Nancy Kricorian, Driss Ksikes, Haytham Manna', Nabeel Rajab, Eastern Province Revolution, Ella Shohat, Zaid Shuaibi, Tariq Tell


Too Big to Fail

By Khalil Bendib

Whatever happened to the United States’ much-vaunted post-Cold War “unipolar moment,” when it was not only supposed to be the only superpower left standing, but also one in a position to impose its every whim on the rest of the planet?

  • The economic meltdown of 2008, during which US citizens discovered that they were not too big to fail, but their banks were.
  • The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, in which the nuclear industry was also too big to fail--let the nuclear chips fall where they may.
  • The melting of the icebergs: the planet is not too big to fail but oil, coal, and automobile corporations are.
  • The so-called “Arab Spring,” in which Arab dictators--most of them vassals of the United States--realized, to their utter consternation, that they were not too big to fail after all, falling like dominoes.

A collection of cartoons by Algerian-American political cartoonist, Khalil Bendib, Too Big To Fail celebrates the epochal paradigm shift that has unfolded over the past few years--beginning with the US economic meltdown of 2008 and ending with the current instability in the Middle East and beyond since the 2011 uprisings--pointing out the absurdity of it all and heralding the light at the end of the tunnel for the oppressed 99% worldwide.


Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle In Iraq

By Ali Issa

Collected from dozens of interviews with, and reports from, Iraqi feminists, labor organizers, environmentalists, and protest movement leaders, Against All Odds presents the unique voices of progressive Iraqi organizing on the ground. Dating back to 2003, with an emphasis on the 2011 upsurge in mobilization and hope as well as the subsequent embattled years, these voices belong to Iraqis asserting themselves as agents against multiple local, regional, and global forces of oppression. As Vijay Prashad notes in the foreword: "Other histories had been possible for Iraq, and indeed might yet be possible. The social basis for the Popular Movement to Save Iraq remains, even if in the shadows. It is the only force that could provide an alternative to the history of blood that stands before Iraq, the nest of bones, the sky of death."


Workers’ justice, gender liberation, anti-imperialism, and global solidarity have been on the agendas of many Iraqi organizations, in contrast to almost all media and scholarly representations—even those that are sympathetic to popular Iraqi struggles. Media and scholarship instead focus on geopolitics, mass violence, and sectarianism to the exclusion of attempts at independent political action and imagination in Iraq. With the legacy of wars since 1980, followed by the brutal sanctions of the 1990s and the 2003 US invasion and occupation, not to mention the recent emergence of the threatening forces of the Islamic State, understanding and acting in solidarity with these struggles is more crucial than ever. 


Jil Oslo: Palestinian Hip Hop, Youth Culture, and the Youth Movement 

By Sunaina Maira

The Palestinian youth movement and the protests of 2011-12 brought renewed attention to youth as a force of political change. Palestinian youth were, and continue to be, engaging in political mobilization, applying new strategies against colonial dispossession and displacement. Meanwhile, young Palestinian artists are using various media to engage with important questions of national identity and nationhood. Yet the specter of youth still retains its association with rebelliousness, activism “without ideology,” malleability, irrational violence, and unruliness. Jil Oslo: Palestinian Hip Hop, Youth Culture, and the Youth Movement situates Palestinian youth within the political and material realities that generated what had been glossed over as “alienation,” which propelled them to take to the streets. The post-Oslo moment heightened the contradictions of living in a state without sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza for all Palestinians, including youth. The Oslo-generation youth, particularly those who are in their late teens to mid-twenties today, have come of age in a very different political reality than the previous generation. The supposed political withdrawal of youth has to be understood in a historical context in which youth are not represented in the “leadership and decision-making” of the Palestinian national movement.


Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures 

Edited by Noura Erakat and Mouin Rabbani

As the 1993 Oslo Agreement approaches its twentieth anniversary, it has failed, even as an interim arrangement, to affect Israeli occupation, Palestinian statehood, or Israeli-Palestinian peace. Twenty years since the handshake on the White House lawn consecrated this agreement, the prospect of ending Israel’s colonial domination of the Palestinian people appears exponentially more remote than it did in 1993. Driven to despair by Israel and the Americans and feeling the pressure to act before others act against them, the Palestinian leadership turned to the United Nations. What some denounced as a tactical ploy to revive rather than replace the Oslo process, others lauded for its potential to internationalize the question of Palestine and see off the formula of fruitless bilateralism and destructive US diplomatic hegemony that had prevailed since the early 1990s.  Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures is a collection of essays comprising commentary and analysis published in Jadaliyya during 2011-2012 as the Palestinian bid at the United Nations unfolded. This book examines the UN initiative from the key perspectives of strategy and leadership; international law and statehood; US foreign policy; and representation. It also includes more recent material from the 2012 sequel to the 2011 initiative and relevant appendices.

Reading Ibn Khaldun in Kampala  (forthcoming) 

By Mahmood Mamdani

Eurocentrism offers a universal history of reason that is anchored in ancient Greek society. Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, on the other hand, offers a discourse on human reason while calling on us to de-center Greece-focused Eurocentrism. In Reading Ibn Khaldun in Kampala, Mahmoud Mamdani invites us to reflect on alternatives to Eurocentrism by exploring the study of Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah in a contemporary university in Kampala, Uganda. He poses a simple question: why would a reading of a fourteenth century North African text be of interest to academics in twenty-first century Kampala? In this short study, Mamdani uses the medieval text to pose questions about Afrocentrism and how to historicize Africa prior to the Atlantic slave trade. The book also touches on the use of oral tradition as a resource in writing African and regional histories, and on thinking about difference in today’s Africa. Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah helps us think beyond conventional post-Enlightenment binaries such as religion and reason and has the potential to foster reflection on the pre-modern (religion/ethnicity) and the modern (nation).

Too Big To Fail (forthcoming)

By Khalil Bendib

Starting with corruption, winding past the ongoing Arab uprisings, and ending at race and racism in the United States, political cartoonist Khalil Bendib offers his sharp visual critique on the most important contemporary issues. Too Big To Fail presents the cartoonist’s social and political commentary about a broad range of issues, united in their importance and controversy. The visual elements of this book of political cartoons are paired with introductions written by Bendib that explain both his own creative process in thinking about and producing these cartoons, while exploring the issue he draws about. The visual critique combined with the textual explication is a creative and exciting pedagogical tool for educators. Too Big To Fail will maintain its appeal for a long time to come, as Bendib has looked beyond the most controversial, but also chose the most persistent social issues of our time.



Theorizing the Arabian Peninsula

Edited by Rosie Bsheer and John Warner


Despite the sophisticated, critical, and oft-politically engaged literature emerging from and about the Arabian Peninsula the region remains marginalized, in multiple ways, within academic and popular analyses. Theorizing the Arabian Peninsula addresses the ways in which frameworks of knowledge production have not only obscured social realities there, but also contributed to their construction. While our roundtable contributors--activists, journalists, artists, and scholars such as Toby Jones, Adam Hanieh, Neha Vora, and others--approach this project from a number of different disciplinary perspectives and theoretical standpoints, several key themes surface from their critical engagements. The challenge for us, here, is to reconceptualize our objects of analysis to illuminate these power relations and the multiple ways in which they have effected far-reaching transformations of the political, cultural, and material infrastructures of everyday life in the Arabian Peninsula. Approaching knowledge, space, identity, economy, and the political as contested and historically constituted—as the contributors to this roundtable urge us to—thus serves to relocate the peninsula within broader circuits of power, capital, labor, migration, and religion, from which they have long been analytically severed.

Beyond Dominant Narratives on the Western Sahara

Edited by Samia Errazzouki and Allison L. McManus

Since the mid-twentieth century, the Western Sahara conflict has witnessed the brutal repression of activists and numerous other human rights violations against the Sahrawi people. As a result, it has caused the disruption of untold families while incurring extremely high costs for the UN in attempts to maintain stability through humanitarian aid, peace-keeping missions, and facilitating numerous failed dialogues between the parties. To make better sense of the long, complex, and largely marginalized conflict, this pedagogy publication offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary view of the Western Saharan conflict and the discourses surrounding it. Contributors include Stephen Zunes who sheds light on Morocco’s policies towards the territory and its people, including human rights abuses and policies of settlement; John Entelis who explores the Western Sahara’s significance for the region; Aboubakr Jamaï and Ali Anouzla who underscore the intensification of the call for self-determination; Allison L. McManus who places the conflict in a global context, examining the role of the United Nations;  Samia Errazzouki who examines the discourse surrounding the conflict as a political tool that comes at the expense of the Sahrawi population; and Andrew McConnell whose photo-essay offers a unique perspective of  life in the refugee camps.

Gaza Revisited

Edited by Noura Erakat

In November 2012, Israel began an aerial bombing campaign against the Gaza Strip that lasted eight gruesome days. Even in its first hours, and before its full magnitude was known, the military campaign sparked urgency amongst observers because of the memory it evoked. In the winter 2008/09, Israel conducted a twenty-two day military offensive against the besieged territory. The offensive, infamously known as Operation Cast Lead, killed some 1,300 Palestinians including 280 children, and destroyed twenty-nine schools, sixty police stations, thirty mosques, and 2,400 homes. Thirteen Israelis were killed during the offensive including three civilians, and four soldiers who were killed by friendly fire. Israel’s military attack unleashed an unprecedented amount of lethal force that raised a slew of moral, political, and legal controversies. Four years later, observers braced themselves for a similar campaign. Operation Pillar of Cloud was not as devastating or long-lasting as its most recent predecessor, but it marked an equally significant juncture in the history of the Palestinian-Israel Conflict. This pedagogy publication examines the November 2012 military offensive and unpacks historical legacies, legal questions, media portrayals, and political considerations. In doing so, the publication helps create a context for the attack and considers possibilities for the future of the conflict and the balance of power in the Middle East more generally. 

“Resistance Everywhere”: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey

Edited by Anthony Alessandrini, Nazan Üstündağ, and Emrah Yildiz 

This collection focuses on the Gezi Park protests, which erupted in late May and led to ongoing nation-wide resistance in opposition to the majority government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This volume, designed specifically for use in the classroom, features articles from Jadaliyya’s coverage of the events of summer 2013 in Turkey, plus a selection of pieces from the previous three years that provide background and context. It provides an introduction to recent events in Turkey, which have already made history. It also works to situate these events in their global and local contexts, contributing to ongoing debates about state-citizen relations, regimes of state control, and forms of dissident and collective political action that continue to generate tectonic transformations throughout the region.

The Afterlives of the Algerian Revolution 

Edited by Muriam Haleh Davis

In July 2012, Algeria celebrated its fiftieth anniversary of independence, which signaled the victory of the FLN (National Liberation Front) over the French army. Despite five decades of Algerian independence, much of the work done on Algeria continues to focus on the colonial period. This pedagogical publication seeks to interrogate Algerian history since 1962 and considers how the revolution unleashed multiple socio-political dynamics that continue to mark contemporary Algeria. These articles demonstrate that the revolution was not merely a historical bookmark, but rather produced repertoires of contestations, ideas about a “social contract,” and served as the basis for legitimacy that could be later “confiscated.” As Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika runs for a controversial fourth term in April 2014, these articles offer a timely view into the historical construction of the Algerian state since 1962.
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