September 11, 2020

Civil Society, Democracy, and the Middle East

    CIVIL SOCIETY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE MIDDLE EAST By Ali R. Abootalebi   The term 'civil society' has gained currency as an important factor correlating with democratization in developing countries (LDCs), including those in the Middle East. Civil society is used to label groups contrasted to the state, regardless of purpose or character. Their mere existence and function is thought somehow to deter the state's power and increase prospects for democratization. This … [Read more...]

The Geopolitics of Middle East Conflict and Crisis


    THE GEOPOLITICS OF MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT AND CRISIS By Barry Rubin   An especially neglected aspect is Middle East politics' geopolitical and realpolitik bedrock, including what might be called the regional system's more 'normal' rather than distinctive aspects. Properly understanding these factors--and integrating them with other features--helps us better grasp the present and more ably assess the future. Many Western experts, journalists, and politicians implicitly … [Read more...]

Palestinian Women’s Model Parliament

    PALESTINIAN WOMEN'S MODEL PARLIAMENT* By Dahlia Scheindlin   The Islamic community called the vote a 'slap in the face to the Koran,' according to the Palestinian daily, 'al-Ayyam.' The activists were denounced as 'devils, satans and demons,' accused of desecrating and disrespecting the Shari'ah (Islamic law). 'Everyone was against us, and they were totally irrational and emotional. They feared that we were trying to undermine the whole religious court system, and … [Read more...]

Freedom Under Wraps: Islamic Garb on Turkish Campuses

    FREEDOM UNDER WRAPS: ISLAMIC GARB ON TURKISH CAMPUSES* By Ustun Reinart   'Our faith requires that we cover ourselves. It's God's will.' Guler, the student who hands me a pamphlet, offers by way of explanation. 'We're not bothering anybody. All we're asking is not to be harassed. We should feel free to wear what we want. Instructors who send us to the disciplinary committee just because we cover our heads are violating our human rights, and our democratic … [Read more...]

U.S. Responses to Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East

      U.S. RESPONSES TO PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN THE MIDDLE EAST By Gerald Steinberg   In Washington, some policy makers have claimed that the state of relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are important factors in determining the U.S. ability to influence Iraqi and Iranian WMD acquisition. In this article, I argue that the causality is reversed. It is U.S. actions, or lack of action, with respect to WMD proliferation that … [Read more...]

The Gulf States and the End of Dual Containment

      THE GULF STATES AND THE END OF DUAL CONTAINMENT By Joshua Teitelbaum   Iraqi President Saddam Hussein himself, by invading Kuwait in 1990, inaugurated a five-to-six-year period of unfettered U.S. hegemony in the Gulf. Saddam's deed was unprecedented and entirely unforeseen by the leaderships of the Gulf region. With the support Saddam received in the Arab street, the Gulf countries' leaders were fearful for their regimes. While it was uncomfortable, to say the … [Read more...]

U.S.-Israeli Relations Since 1948

    U.S.-ISRAELI RELATIONS SINCE 1948 By Robert J. Lieber   These are countries with populations ten or more times the size of Israel's and with tumultuous and important twentieth century histories, yet most members of the informed public, and even many with a special interest in foreign affairs, are more likely to possess some degree of basic information about Israeli politics. As for the United State, despite the title of Richard Rosecrance book of some two decades ago, … [Read more...]

Iran: Understanding the Enigma: A Historian’s View

      Volume 2, No. 3 - September 1998 IRAN: UNDERSTANDING THE ENIGMA: A HISTORIAN'S VIEW* By Nikki Keddie   Some hope for easing relations began with the election of the moderate president, Muhammad Khatami, in 1997. His friendly 1998 talk to Americans on CNN, along with growing visits and athletic relations, have improved attitudes on both sides. The U.S. embargo and freezing of Iranian assets remain. The United States is blocking construction of an oil pipeline … [Read more...]