August 10, 2020

Pakistan on the Tightrope

      PAKISTAN ON THE TIGHTROPE Isaac Kfir* This article examines Pakistan following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the recent parliamentary elections within the confines of the challenges that arise from the need to embrace democracy. The article accepts that Pakistan must contend with a powerful military, rising Islamism, tribalism, an unstable political system, quarrelling leaders, and difficult foreign policy issues while it strives to continue to play its role … [Read more...]

The Relationship Between Traditional and Contemporary Islamist Political Thought

      THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY ISLAMIST POLITICAL THOUGHT Sherko Kirmanj* This article discusses links between the political theories and ideas of medieval and modern Islamists, showing how the latter is a continuation of the former's writings. It also shows how episodes of Islamist thought have coincided with both external conflicts with non-Muslim powers and internal ones with local regimes. Political Islamism has often, though not always, been … [Read more...]

Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi: Portrait of a Leading Islamist Cleric

           SHAYKH YUSUF AL-QARADAWI: PORTRAIT OF A LEADING ISLAMIST CLERIC Ana Belén Soage* Yusuf al-Qaradawi is one of the best known and more important contemporary Muslim clerics. He is widely read and heeded throughout the Muslim world. This article discusses al-Qaradawi's thought, his influence, his style of leadership and where he stands on the spectrum of Islamist political thought and activity. Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is the … [Read more...]

A Harsh Readjustment: The Sunnis and the Political Process in Contemporary Iraq

       A HARSH READJUSTMENT: THE SUNNIS AND THE POLITICAL PROCESS IN CONTEMPORARY IRAQ Ronen Zeidel* *The following article is an extract from Barry Rubin (ed.), Iraq After Saddam (Sharpe, forthcoming). This article is the first in-depth analysis of the situation of the Sunni Arabs in Iraq after April 2003. Beginning with the Sunni predicament before 2003, it goes on to show how the threat to Sunni identity contributed to the construction of a … [Read more...]

Impediments to Stability in Iraq: The Elusive Economic Dimension

          IMPEDIMENTS TO STABILITY IN IRAQ: THE ELUSIVE ECONOMIC DIMENSION Robert Looney* *The following article is an extract from Barry Rubin (ed.), Iraq After Saddam (Sharpe, forthcoming). Of the major contributors to stability in Iraq--military, political, and economic, the economic dimension has received the least attention from both the United States and the Iraqi authorities.  In turn, the country's failed economy has undermined efforts in the other … [Read more...]

Ignorance Cannot Be Realistic: A Critique of the Mearsheimer-Walt Thesis

        IGNORANCE CANNOT BE REALISTIC: A CRITIQUE OF THE MEARSHEIMER-WALT THESIS Ofira Seliktar* John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's assertion that the Israel lobby, acting as an agent of Israel, has turned American foreign policy into a tool of Zionism and hurt the national interest is based on their realist view of international relations mixed with ignorance about the politics of the Middle East. This account either misrepresents or glosses over the complex realities … [Read more...]

Lebanon 2006: Unfinished War


        LEBANON 2006: UNFINISHED WAR Jonathan Spyer* The Lebanon war of 2006 failed to resolve any of the issues over which it was fought. Ultimately, the  war may be understood as a single campaign within a broader Middle Eastern conflict--between pro-Western and democratic states on the one hand, and an alliance of Islamist and Arab nationalist forces on the other. The latter alignment has as one of its strategic goals the eventual demise of the State of Israel. … [Read more...]