May 15 at 11:24 AM Minky Worden is director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch and oversees the organization’s work on human rights and sports. In 2010, when FIFA announced that the 2022 World Cup would be held in Qatar, there was an outcry over that country’s human rights record.
Special issue of Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism (19/1, April, 2019) on the ‘Nexus between Sectarianism and Regime Formation in a New Middle East’.
Edited by Morten Valbjørn and Raymond Hinnebusch
This special issue of Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism (vol 19,1) explores the nexus between sectarianism and regime formation in a ‘new Middle East.’
More specifically, it examines a) how sectarianism impacts on the trajectories of different types of regime over time (with the main – but not exclusive – focus being on their location along the authoritarian/democratic continuum), b) whether different kinds of regime dilute or inflame sectarian identities and animosities, c) whether the study of regime formation in a sectarian context requires distinct analytical tools, or whether we can stick to the already existing approaches from the (post)democratization tradition.
All articles of the special issues examine how sectarianism and regime formation/type might be inter-related, though in different ways: they cover different regime types (authoritarian republics, monarchies, and semi-democracies), both Shia- and Sunni-majority countries, countries with and without a Shia/Sunni schism at home, and geographical areas ranging from the Gulf to the Levant, and in addition to these intra-regional comparisons the Middle East is moreover compared with other regions. The studies also differ in their methodology, ranging from a large-N study to comparative snapshots of similar dynamics in several country cases in order to test and demonstrate issues such as the relative power of sectarianism, and longitudinal case studies showing the interaction of sectarian configurations and regime change over time.
The special issue is linked to the interdisciplinary research project SWAR: Sectarianism in the Wake of the Arab Revolts at Aarhus University (www.ps.au.dk/swar).
Morten Valbjørn and Raymond Hinnebusch Exploring the Nexus between Sectarianism and Regime Formation in a New Middle East: Theoretical Points of Departure
Lasse Lykke Rørbæk Religion, Political Power, and the ‘Sectarian Surge’: Middle Eastern Identity Politics in Comparative Perspective
Raymond Hinnebusch Sectarianism and Governance in Syria
Adham Saouli Sectarianism and Political Order in Iraq and Lebanon
Courtney Freer The Symbiosis of Sectarianism, Authoritarianism, and Rentierism in the Saudi State
Hasan Hafidh and Thomas Fibiger Civic Space and Sectarianism in the Gulf States: The Dynamics of Informal Civil Society in Kuwait and Bahrain beyond State Institutions
Morten Valbjørn What’s so Sectarian about Sectarian Politics? Identity Politics and Authoritarianism in a New Middle East
28 January 2019 – Today, on 28 January 2019, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation rejected the appeal of prominent al-Wefaq opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, therefore upholding his sentence of life in prison. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) strongly rejects the court’s decision to confirm Sheikh Ali Salman’s life sentence and the political nature of the case.
Sectarian Non-Entrepreneurs: The Experience of Everyday Sectarianism in Bahrain and Kuwait
Middle East Critique, Volume 27, Issue 3, September 2018
In this interview for the FRONTLINE documentary “Bitter Rivals: Iran and Saudi Arabia,” Middle East scholar Vali Nasr talks about the history driving today’s wars in the Middle East, whether these conflicts can be solved, and the parallels between ISIS and the nightwalkers from “Game of Thrones.”
The February 2018 PBS documentary ‘Bitter Rivals: Iran and Saudi Arabia’, for which this interview was conducted, can be accessed here.
Sectarian conflict and polarisation has become a key feature of Middle East politics in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings of 2011. This workshop looked at some of the key drivers of this, such as the troubled legacy of foreign intervention, state failure, regional rivalries between Saudi Arabia, Iran and others, ruling strategies of authoritarian regimes as well as the spread of identity and sect-based political movements.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow women to attend sporting events in three of the country’s stadiums raises as many questions as it provide answers that go to the core of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms and the kingdom’s sports policy.
The Edinburgh workshop addressed Shii perceptions about being Shii in Scotland, the UK and elsewhere in the Western diaspora. The workshop was held in Edinburgh over 5-7 May, 2017 and included academic presentations and discussions by representatives of the faith community itself.