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.
Routledge Handbook on Middle East Security provides the first comprehensive look at Middle East security issues that includes both traditional and emerging security threats. Taking a broad perspective on security, the volume offers both analysis grounded in the ‘hard’ military and state security discourse but also delves into the ‘soft’ aspects of security employing a human security perspective. As such the volume addresses imminent challenges to security, such as the ones relating directly to the war in Syria, but also the long-term challenges. The traditional security problems, which are deep-seated, are at risk of being exacerbated also by a lack of focus on emerging vulnerabilities in the region. While taking as a point of departure the prevalent security discourse, the volume also goes beyond the traditional focus on military or state security and consider non-traditional security challenges. This book provides a state-of-the-art review of research on the key challenges for security in the Middle East; it will be a key resource for students and scholars interested in Security Studies, International Relations, Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies.
This book discusses the rapid erosion of social pluralism and the concomitant “religious cleaning” of religious minorities in the Middle East. It focuses on five crucial years between the “Arab Spring” uprisings of 2011 and the U.S. government’s genocide determination in 2016 regarding religious minorities in the Middle East.