POMEPS Middle East Political Science Podcast

Marc Lynch

Discussing news and innovations in the Middle East.

All Episodes

Shamiran Mako of Boston University and Valentine Moghadam of Northeastern University discuss their latest book, After the Arab Uprisings: Progress and Stagnation in the Middle East and North Africa, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book examines the key elements in explaining the divergent outcomes of the Arab Spring uprisings. (Starts at 0:51). Salma Moussa of Yale University and William Marble of Princeton University speak about their new article entitled, "Can Exposure to Celebrities Reduce Prejudice? The Effect of Mohamed Salah on Islamophobic Behaviors and Attitudes," published at Yale University. (Starts at 32:21). Mai Hassan of the University of Michigan talks about Sudan's civil resistance. (Starts at 48:32). Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Dec 2

1 hr 6 min

Nils Hagerdal of Tufts University discusses his latest book, Friend or Foe: Militia Intelligence and Ethnic Violence in the Lebanese Civil War, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book examines the Lebanese civil war to offer a new theory that highlights the interplay of ethnicity and intelligence gathering. (Starts at 0:42). Emily Scott of McGill University speaks about her new article entitled, "Compromising Aid to Protect International Staff: The Politics of Humanitarian Threat Perception after the Arab Uprisings," published in the Journal of Global Security Studies. (Starts at 32:30). Esfandyar Batmanghelidj of the European Council on Foreign Relations talks about the Iranian economy under sanctions and the possible return of the JCPOA. (Starts at 50:09). Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Nov 18

1 hr 7 min

Nathan Brown of The George Washington University discusses his latest book (co-authored with Shimaa Hatab and Amr Adly), Lumbering State, Restless Society: Egypt in the Modern Era, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book highlights ways in which Egypt resembles other societies around the world, drawing from and contributing to broader debates in political science. (Starts at 0:41). Daniel Neep of Brandeis University speaks about his new article entitled, "‘What have the Ottomans ever done for us?’ Why history matters for politics in the Arab Middle East," published in International Affairs. (Starts at 26:24). Wolfram Lacher of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs talks about Libya's upcoming elections. (Starts at 44:28). Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Nov 11

1 hr

Western Privilege, Subverting Peace, and After al-Bayda (S. 11, Ep. 9) by Marc Lynch

Nov 4

59 min 59 sec

Dana Moss of University of Notre Dame discusses her latest book, The Arab Spring Abroad: Diaspora Activism against Authoritarian Regimes, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book presents a new framework for understanding the transnational dynamics of contention and the social forces that either enable or suppress transnational activism, examining Libyan, Syrian, and Yemeni mobilization from the US and Great Britain before and during the revolutions. (Starts at 0:42). Wendy Pearlman of Northwestern University speaks about her new article entitled, "Mobilizing From Scratch: Large-Scale Collective Action Without Preexisting Organization in the Syrian Uprising," published in Comparative Political Studies. (Starts at 30:23). Salah Ben Hammou of University of Central Florida talks about the crisis unfolding in Sudan following the military coup. (Starts at 47:17). Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Oct 28

1 hr 2 min

Nicholas Danforth of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy  discusses his latest book, The Remaking of Republican Turkey: Memory and Modernity since the Fall of the Ottoman Empire, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book demonstrates how transformations such as the birth of a multi-party democracy and NATO membership helped consolidate a consensus on the nature of Turkish modernity that continues to shape current political and cultural debates. (Starts at 0:47). Lucy Abbott of the University of Edinburgh and Vincent Keating of the University of Southern Denmark discuss their latest article, "Entrusted norms: security, trust, and betrayal in the Gulf Cooperation Council crisis," published in the European Journal of International Affairs. (Starts at 33:16). Kristian Ulrichsen of Rice University talks about the GCC reconciliation. (Starts at 49:00).  Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Oct 21

1 hr 3 min

Raphael Lefevre of University of Oxford discusses his latest book, Jihad in the City: Militant Islam and Contentious Politics in Tripoli, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book shows how militant Islamist groups are impacted by their grand ideology as much as by local contexts – with crucial lessons for understanding social movements, rebel groups and terrorist organizations elsewhere too. (Starts at 0:34). Sarah Parkinson of Johns Hopkins University speaks about her new article entitled, "(Dis)courtesy Bias: “Methodological Cognates,” Data Validity, and Ethics in Violence-Adjacent Research," published in Comparative Political Studies. (Starts at 29:07). Mohamed Daadaoui of Oklahoma City University talks about Morocco's election and the PJD. (Starts at 46:38). Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel. You can listen to this week’s podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, or SoundCloud:

Oct 14

1 hr 2 min

Benjamin Smith of University of Florida & David Waldner of University of Virginia discuss their latest book, Rethinking the Resource Curse: Elements in the Politics of Development, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book includes results of the authors' own research, showing that a set of historically contingent events in the Middle East and North Africa are at the root of what has been mistaken for a global political resource curse. (Starts at 0:36). Kevan Harris of UCLA & Rasmus Elling of University of Copenhagen speak about their new article entitled, "Difference in difference: language, geography, and ethno-racial identity in contemporary Iran," published in Ethnic and Racial Studies. (Starts at 38:54). Marsin Alshamary of the Brookings Institution talks about the upcoming Iraqi election. (Starts at 58:31). Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Oct 7

1 hr 14 min

Raffaella Del Sarto of Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe talks about her latest book, Borderlands: Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book proposes a profound rethink of the complex relationship between Europe-defined here as the European Union and its members-and the states of the Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Europe's 'southern neighbours'. (Starts at 0:49). Lucia Ardovini of Swedish Institute of International Affairs speaks about her latest article, "Re-Thinking the Tanzim: Tensions between Individual Identities and Organizational Structures in the Muslim Brotherhood after 2013," published in the Middle East Law and Governance Journal. (Starts at 29:01). Toby Dodge of The London School of Economics discusses the upcoming Iraqi elections.  (Starts at 44:36). Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Sep 30

1 hr 2 min

Zaid al-Ali of Princeton University talks about his latest book, Arab Constitutionalism: The Coming Revolution, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. He deconstructs the popular demands that were made in 2011 and translates them into a series of specific actions that would have led to freer societies and a better functioning state. (Starts at 0:43). Marsin Alshamary of the Brookings Institution speaks about her new article entitled, "Religious Peacebuilding in Iraq: Prospects and Challenges from the Hawza," published in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. (Starts at 30:11). James Shires, of Leiden University, talks about his work on digital authoritarianism. (Starts at 42:43). Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Sep 23

59 min 47 sec

Kevin Mazur, a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University, talks about his latest book, Revolution in Syria: Identity, Networks, and Repression, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book shows that the challenge to the Syrian regime did not erupt neatly along ethnic boundaries, and that lines of access to state-controlled resources played a critical structuring role; the ethnicization of conflict resulted from failed incumbent efforts to shore up network ties and the violence that the Asad regime used to crush dissent by challengers excluded from those networks. (Starts at 0:48). Faten Ghosn of the University of Arizona joins the podcast to discuss her article, "The Journey Home: Violence, Anchoring, and Refugee Decisions to Return" (co-authored by Tiffany Chu, Miranda Simon, Alex Braithwaite, Michael Frith, and Joanna Jandali), published by Cambridge University Press. (Starts at 30:32). Heiko Wimmen of the International Crisis group discusses Lebanon's banking crisis. (Starts at 45:43).  Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade (playing Ney) and Farah Kaddour (on Buzuq). You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Sep 16

1 hr 3 min

Mona El Ghobashy of New York University talks about her latest book, Bread and Freedom: Egypt's Revolutionary Situation, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book is a multivocal account of why Egypt's defeated revolution remains a watershed in the country's political history. (Starts at 1:28). Killian Clarke of Georgetown University speaks about his new article entitled, "Which protests count? Coverage bias in Middle East event datasets," published by Mediterranean Politics. (Starts at 31:48). Laryssa Chomiak, the Director of Centre d'Etudes Maghrébines à Tunis, to talk about recent political developments in Tunisia. (Starts at 47:05). Music for this season's podcast was created by Bashir Saade playing Ney, along with Farah Kaddour on Buzuq. You can find more of Bashir's work on his YouTube Channel.

Sep 9

1 hr 6 min

POMEPS 12th Annual Conference Part 2 (S. 10, Ep. 24) by Marc Lynch

Jun 24

1 hr 16 min

This special episode features a round-table discussion from the POMEPS 12th Annual Conference, which was held on June 9-10, 2021. The panel, "Confronting Old and New Obstacles to Political Science Research," features five scholars: Nermin Allam, Assistant Professor of Politics at Rutgers University Mert Arslanalp, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bogazici University Laryssa Chomiak, Director of the Centre d'Etudes Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) Jannis Julien Grimm, Freie Universität Berlin, Member of the Executive Board and Associated Researcher at the Institute for Protest and Social Movement Studies in Berlin (ipb) Sarah Parkinson, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Johns Hopkins University Music for this season’s podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Jun 17

55 min 18 sec

Maha Nassar of the University of Arizona talks about her book, Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book is the first book to reveal how Palestinian intellectuals forged transnational connections through written texts and engaged with contemporaneous decolonization movements throughout the Arab world, challenging both Israeli policies and their own cultural isolation. Nassar reexamines these intellectuals as the subjects, not objects, of their own history and brings to life their perspectives on a fraught political environment. (Starts at 0:40). Also, Ian Lustick of the University of Pennsylvania talks about his book, Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality, with Marc Lynch. The book argues that negotiations for a two-state solution between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River are doomed and counterproductive. Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs can enjoy the democracy they deserve but only after decades of struggle amid the unintended but powerful consequences of today's one-state reality. (Starts at 29:37). Music for this season’s podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Jun 3

1 hr 2 min

Omar Ashour of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies talks about his latest book, How ISIS Fights: Military Tactics in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book analyses the military and tactical innovations of ISIS and their predecessors in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt. Ashour shows how their capacity to mix conventional military tactics with innovative guerrilla warfare and urban terrorism strategies allowed ISIS to expand and endure beyond expectations. (Starts at 30:52). Max Gallien of the University of Sussex talks about his article, "Informal Institutions and the Regulation of Smuggling in North Africa." (Starts at 0:45). Aytuğ Şaşmaz of the Harvard Kennedy School Middle East Initiative talks about his article, "Navigating welfare regimes in divided societies: Diversity and the quality of service delivery in Lebanon" (co-authored by Melani Cammett). (Starts at 16:22).

May 20

1 hr 7 min

This is a special edition of the POMEPS Middle East Political Science Podcast. Our program typically hosts conversations with scholars about recent books and academic publications. But the ongoing war in Gaza and the broader political crisis among Israelis and Palestinians impacts so many members of our scholarly field and the people and communities we study that we felt both an intellectual and a moral obligation to put together something different: a special edition of the podcast featuring short research based conversations with a wide range of scholars from within the POMEPS network. Marc Lynch The podcast includes contributions from the following scholars. For more from these scholars, see below: Yousef Munayyer, University of Maryland and Arab Center Washington – “There Will Be a One-State Solution But What Kind of State Will It Be?” Dana el-Kurd, University of Richmond – Polarized and Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine Nadav Shelef, University of Wisconsin –Evolving Nationalism: Homeland, Identity, and Religion in Israel, 1925–2005 and Homelands: Shifting Borders and Territorial Disputes Maha Nassar, University of Arizona – Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World Nathan Brown, George Washington University – The Old Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Is Dead—Long Live the Emerging Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Tariq Baconi, International Crisis Group and University of Western Cape – “Gaza and the One-State Reality” and Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance Imad Alsoos, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology – “What explains the resilience of Muslim Brotherhood movements? An analysis of Hamas’ organizing strategies” and “From jihad to resistance: the evolution of Hamas’s discourse in the framework of mobilization” Abdalhadi Alijla, Orient Institute in Beirut – “Gazzawi as bare life? An auto-ethnography of borders, siege, and statelessness” and “Palestine and the Habeas Viscus: An Auto-ethnography of Travel, Visa Violence, and Borders” Diana Greenwald, City College of New York – “Military Rule in the West Bank” Yael Berda, Harvard Kennedy School Middle East Initiative – Living Emergency: Israel’s Permit Regime in the Occupied West Bank Noura Erekat, Rutgers University – Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine Nadya Hajj, Wellesley College – Protection Amid Chaos: The Creation of Property Rights in Palestinian Refugee Camps and “Networked Refugees: Palestinian Reciprocity and Remittances in the Digital Age“ Marwa Fatfafta, Access Now Gershon Shafir, University of California, San Diego – A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict and Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship Michael Barnett, George Washington University – The Star and the Stripes: A History of the Foreign Policies of American Jews Shibley Telhami, University of Maryland – “Here’s how experts on the Middle East see the region’s key issues, our new survey finds” (with Marc Lynch) and “Changing American Public Attitudes On Israel/Palestine: Does It Matter For Politics?“

May 20

2 hr 33 min

Nicola Pratt of the University of Warwick talks about her latest book, Embodying Geopolitics: Generations of Women’s Activism in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book demonstrates how the production and regulation of gender are integrally bound up with the exercise and organization of geopolitical power, with consequences for women’s activism and its effects. (Starts at 25:11). André Bank of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies and Jan Busse Bundeswehr University Munich talk about their special issue, "MENA political science research a decade after the Arab uprisings: Facing the facts on tremulous grounds," published in Mediterranean Politics. (Starts at 0:44). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

May 13

57 min 20 sec

Paola Rivetti of Dublin City University talks about her latest book Political Participation in Iran from Khatami to the Green Movement, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book examines the unintended consequences of top-down reforms in Iran, analyzing how the Iranian reformist governments (1997–2005) sought to utilize gradual reforms to control independent activism, and how citizens responded to such disciplinary action. (Starts at 31:48). Alexandra Siegel of the University of Colorado, Boulder talks about her article, “Tweeting Beyond Tahrir: Ideological Diversity and Political Intolerance in Egyptian Twitter Networks,” co-authored with Jonathan Nagler, Richard Bonneau, and Joshua A. Tucker, and published in World Politics. (Starts at 0:52). Konstantin Ash of the University of Central Florida talks about his latest article, “How did Tunisians react to Ennahdha’s 2016 reforms? Evidence from a survey experiment,” published in Mediterranean Politics. (Starts at 17:35). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

May 6

1 hr 4 min

Ewan Stein of University of Edinburgh talks about his latest book, International Relations in the Middle East: Hegemonic Strategies and Regional Order, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book demonstrates how the sources of regional antagonisms and solidarities are to be found not in the geopolitical chessboard, but in the hegemonic strategies of the region's pivotal powers.  (Starts at 35:11). Steven Schaaf of George Washington University speaks about his new article entitled, "Contentious Politics in the Courthouse: Law as a Tool for Resisting Authoritarian States in the Middle East," published by Law and Society Review. (Starts at 0:53). Zahra Ali of Rutgers University discusses her new article, "From Recognition to Redistribution? Protest Movements in Iraq in the Age of ‘New Civil Society," published in Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. (Starts at 19:23). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Apr 29

1 hr 4 min

Jesse Wozniak of West Virginia University talks about his latest book, Policing Iraq: Legitimacy, Democracy, and Empire in a Developing State, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast.  The book demonstrates how police are integral to the modern state’s ability to effectively rule and how the failure to recognize this directly contributed to the destabilization of Iraq and the rise of the Islamic State. (Starts at 32:51). Alexei Abrahams of Harvard University speaks about his new article entitled, "Hard traveling: unemployment and road infrastructure in the shadow of political conflict," published by Cambridge University Press. (Starts at 0:53). Adam Lichtenheld of Yale University discusses his new article, "The consequences of internal displacement on civil war violence: Evidence from Syria," (co-authored with Justin Schon of University of Virginia) published in Political Geography. (Starts at 18:24). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Apr 22

1 hr 2 min

John Waterbury of Princeton University talks about his latest book, Missions Impossible: Higher Education and Policymaking in the Arab World, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book seeks to explain the process of policymaking in higher education in the Arab world, a process that is shaped by the region’s politics of autocratic rule. (Starts at 33:42). Irene Weipert-Fenner of the Peace Research Institute of Frankfurt talks about her article, "Go local, go global: Studying popular protests in the MENA post-2011," published in Mediterranean Politics. (Starts at 0:59). Mariam Salehi of Berlin Social Science Center discusses her new article, "Trying Just Enough or Promising Too Much? The Problem-Capacity-Nexus in Tunisia’s Transitional Justice Process," published in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. (Starts at 20:24). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Apr 15

1 hr 6 min

Stephanie Dornschneider of University College Dublin talks about her latest book, Hot Contention, Cool Abstention: Positive Emotions and Protest Behavior During the Arab Spring, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast.  The book traces how decisions about participating in the Arab Spring were made, using psychology literature on reasoning and political science literature on protest. (Starts at 29:47). Matthew Lacouture of Wayne State University speaks about his new article entitled, "Privatizing the Commons: Protest and the Moral Economy of National Resources in Jordan," published by Cambridge University Press. (Starts at 0:54). Maria Josua of the German Institute of Global Affairs and Mirjam Edel of University of Tubingen discuss their new article, "The Arab uprisings and the return of repression," published in Mediterranean Politics. (Starts at 15:11). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Apr 8

57 min 44 sec

Emy Matesan of Wesleyan University talks about her latest book, The Violence Pendulum: Tactical Change in Islamist Groups in Egypt and Indonesia, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. In the book, she argues that Islamist groups alter their tactics in response to the perceived need for activism, shifts in the cost of violent versus nonviolent resistance, and internal or external pressures on the organization. (Starts at 31:05). Giulia Cimini of University of Bologna speaks about her new article entitled, "Learning mechanisms within an Islamist party: Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement between domestic and regional balances," published in Contemporary Politics. (Starts at 0:50). Jana Belschner of University of Bergen discusses her new article, "Electoral Engineering in New Democracies: Strong Quotas and Weak Parties in Tunisia," published in Government and Opposition, an International Journal of Comparative Politics. (Starts at 15:11). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Apr 1

1 hr

Somdeep Sen of Roskilde University talks about his latest book, Decolonizing Palestine: Hamas between the Anticolonial and the Postcolonial, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book considers the case of the Palestinian struggle for liberation from its settler colonial condition as a complex psychological and empirical mix of the colonial and the postcolonial. (Starts at 27:13). Lisel Hintz of Johns Hopkins University discusses her new article, "The empire’s opposition strikes back: popular culture as creative resistance tool under Turkey’s AKP," published in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. (Starts at 0:54). Also, Michaelle Browers joins the podcast to discuss her article "Beginnings, Continuities and Revivals: An Inventory of the New Arab Left and an Ongoing Arab Left Tradition," published in Middle East Critique. (Starts at 14:50). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page. You can listen to this week’s podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or SoundCloud

Mar 25

57 min 10 sec

Justin Schon of the University of Virginia talks about his latest book, Surviving the War in Syria: Survival Strategies in a Time of Conflict, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. In the book, he emphasizes that civilian behavior in conflict zones includes repertoires of survival strategies, instead of migration alone; he utilizes a microanalysis of civilian self-protection strategies during armed conflict in Syria. (Starts at 32:01). Tarek Masoud of the Harvard Kennedy School and the Director of the Middle East Initiative speaks about his new article entitled, "The Arab Spring at 10: Kings or People?," published in the Journal of Democracy. (Starts at 1:03). Justin Gengler of Qatar University discusses his new article (co-authored with Mark Tessler of University of Michigan, Russell Lucas of Michigan State University and Jonathan Forney of the George Washington University), "Why Do You Ask?’ The Nature and Impacts of Attitudes towards Public Opinion Surveys in the Arab World," published in the British Journal of Political Science. (Starts at 16:20). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Mar 18

58 min 55 sec

Marc Owen Jones of Hamad bin Khalifa University talks about his latest book, Political Repression in Bahrain, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book explores Bahrain's modern history through the lens of repression, and spans the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, looking at all forms of political repression from legal, statecraft, police brutality and informational controls. (Starts at 26:28). Drew Kinney of Tulane University discusses his article, "Sharing Saddles: Oligarchs and Officers on Horseback in Egypt and Tunisia," published in International Studies Quarterly. (Starts at 0:47). Chad Raymond of Salve Regina University talks about his article, "Old Wine in a New Bottle: How to Teach the Comparative Politics of the Middle East with Fiction," published in the Journal of Political Science Education. (Starts at 14:36) Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Mar 11

57 min 52 sec

Devorah Manekin of Hebrew University of Jerusalem talks about her latest book, Regular Soldiers, Irregular War: Violence and Restraint in the Second Intifada, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book presents a theoretical framework for understanding the various forms of behavior in which soldiers engage during counterinsurgency campaigns—compliance and shirking, abuse and restraint, as well as the creation of new violent practices. (Starts at 32:41). Jeannie Sowers of University of Hampshire and Erika Weinthal of Duke University speak about their new article entitled, "Humanitarian challenges and the targeting of civilian infrastructure in the Yemen war," published in International Affairs. (Starts at 0:54). Joshua Freedman of Oberlin College discusses his new article, "The Recognition Dilemma: Negotiating Identity in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," published in International Studies Quarterly. (Starts at 18:17). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Mar 4

1 hr 1 min

Dara Conduit of Deakin University talks about her book, The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book explores the Muslim Brotherhood's history to understand why it failed to capitalize on its advantage as the most prominent opposition group in Syria as the conflict unfolded, addressing significant gaps in accounts of the group's past to assess whether its reputation for violence and dogmatism is justified. (Starts at 29:05). Marwa Shalaby of the University of Wisconsin joins to talk about her article, "Women in Legislative Committees in Arab Parliaments" (co-authored by Leila Elimam), published in Comparative Politics. (Starts at 0:47). Bozena Welborne of Smith College discusses her article, "On Their Own? Women Running as Independent Candidates in the Middle East," published in Middle East Law and Governance. (Starts at 15:35).  Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Feb 25

1 hr 1 min

Robert Springborg of the Naval Postgraduate School talks about his latest book, Political Economies of the Middle East and North Africa, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. In the book, he discusses the economic future of the [MENA] region by examining the national and regional political causes of its contemporary underperformance.  (Starts at 37:19). May Darwich of the University of Birmingham, Waleed Hazbun of University of Alabama, Adham Saouli of University of St. Andrews, and Karim Makdisi of the American University of Beirut speak about their new collection of essays entitled, "The Politics of Teaching International Relations in the Arab World: Reading Walt in Beirut, Wendt in Doha, and Abul-Fadl in Cairo," published in International Studies Perspectives. The collection also includes pieces by Morten Valbjorn of Aarhus University, Bassel Salloukh of the Lebanese American University, Amira Abu Samra of Cairo University, Said Saddiki of University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, and Hamad Albloshi of Kuwait University. (Starts at 0:55). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Feb 18

1 hr 6 min

Avital Livny of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne talks about her latest book, Trust and the Islamic Advantage: Religious-Based Movements in Turkey and the Muslim World, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast.  The book shows that the Islamic advantage is rooted in feelings of trust among individuals with a shared, religious group-identity, and presents a new argument for conceptualizing religion as both a personal belief system and collective identity. (Starts at 27:01). Ala' Alrababa'h discusses the article, Attitudes Toward Migrants in a Highly Impacted Economy: Evidence From the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan (co-authored by Andrea Dillon, Scott Williamson, Jens Hainmueller, Dominik Hangartner, Jeremy M. Weinstein) published in Comparative Political Studies. (Starts at 0:58). Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl of Leiden University talks about his article, On-Side fighting in civil war: The logic of mortal alignment in Syria, published in the Rationality and Society journal. (Starts at 12:58). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Feb 11

53 min 12 sec

Glenn Robinson of the Naval Postgraduate School talks about his latest book, Global Jihad: A Brief History, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book tells the story of four distinct jihadi waves, each with its own program for achieving a global end: whether a Jihadi International to liberate Muslim lands from foreign occupation; al-Qa'ida's call to drive the United States out of the Muslim world; ISIS using "jihadi cool" to recruit followers; or leaderless efforts of stochastic terror to "keep the dream alive." (Starts at 24:22). Dina Bishara of Cornell University discusses her new article, "Precarious Collective Action: Unemployed Graduates Associations in the Middle East and North Africa." (Starts at 0:50). Sarah Parkinson of Johns Hopkins University talks about "Practical Ideology in Militant Organizations." (Starts at 10:17). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Feb 4

54 min 38 sec

Ahmed Khanani of Earlham College talks about his latest book, All Politics are God’s Politics: Moroccan Islamism and the Sacralization of Democracy, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book enables readers to understand and appreciate the significance of dimuqrāṭiyya [democracy] as a concept alongside new prospects for Islam and democracy in the Arab Middle East and North Africa (MENA) (Starts at 22:49). Kaoutar Ghilani of Oxford University speaks about her new article, "The legitimate’ after the uprisings: justice, equity, and language politics in Morocco," published in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. (Starts at 0:56). Chantal Berman of Georgetown University discusses her new article, "Policing the Organizational Threat in Morocco: Protest and Public Violence in Liberal Autocracies," published in the American Journal of Political Science. (Starts at 11:41). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Jan 28

51 min 7 sec

Aaron Rock-Singer of University of Wisconsin-Madison talks about his latest book, Practicing Islam in Egypt: Print Media and Islamic Revival, with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book shows how Islamic activists and institutions across the political spectrum reshaped daily practices [in Egypt] in an effort to persuade followers to adopt novel models of religiosity. (Starts at 27:42). Bassel Salloukh of Lebanese-American University speaks about his new special issue article, "Consociational Power‐Sharing in the Arab World: A Critical Stocktaking," published in the Journal of Studies of in Ethnicity and Nationalism. (Starts at 1:13). Carolyn Barnett, graduate student at Princeton University, and Steve Monroe of Yale-NUS College discuss their new piece (co-authored with Amaney Jamal of Princeton University), "Earned Income and Women’s Segmented Empowerment: Experimental Evidence from Jordan," published in the American Journal of Political Science. You can also read their piece on Remote work and women’s employment in MENA: opportunity or pitfall?" posted in the Economic Research Forum. (Starts at 11:36). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page. You can listen to this week’s podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud:

Jan 21

56 min 56 sec

Alex Thurston of the University of Cincinnati talks about his latest book, Jihadists of North Africa and the Sahel: Local Politics and Rebel Groups with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book studies cases of jihadist movements in North Africa and the Sahel, examining them from the inside, uncovering their activities and internal struggles over the past three decades. (Starts at 19:50). Michael Robbins, Director of the Arab Barometer, introduces the Arab Barometer and discusses recent polling work on themes including the normalization of Arab states with Israel, and the effects of COVID-19. (Starts at 1:14). Christiana Parreira of Stanford University discusses her recent article, "Power politics: Armed non-state actors and the capture of public electricity in post-invasion Baghdad," published in the Journal of Peace Research. (Starts at 10:10).

Jan 14

49 min 18 sec

Kelsey Norman of Rice University talks about her latest book, Reluctant Reception: Refugees, Migration and Governance in the Middle East and North Africa with Marc Lynch on this week's podcast. The book proposes the concept of 'strategic indifference', where states [such as Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey] proclaim to be indifferent toward migrants and refugees, thereby inviting international organizations and local NGOs to step in and provide services on the state's behalf. (Starts at 28:27). Gail Buttorff of University of Houston speaks about her new report, "COVID-19 Pandemic Compounds Challenges Facing MENA Research," (co-authored with Nermin Allam of Rutgers University and Marwa Shalaby of University of Wisconsin-Madison) published in the American Political Science Association Fall 2020 MENA Politics Newsletter. You can also read their pieces: "A Survey Reveals How the Pandemic Has Hurt MENA Research" and "Gender, COVID and Faculty Service." (Starts at 1:40). Samer Abboud of Villanova University discusses his piece, "Syria, Crisis Ecologies, and Enduring Insecurities in the MENA," published in POMEPS Studies 42: MENA's Frozen Conflicts. You can also read his latest pieces: "Reconciling fighters, settling civilians: the making of post-conflict citizenship in Syria" and "Imagining Localism in Post-Conflict Syria: Prefigurative Reconstruction Plans and the Clash Between Liberal Epistemology and Illiberal Conflict." (Starts at 14:05). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi.

Jan 7

55 min 58 sec

Aaron Jakes talks about his latest book, Egypt’s Occupation: Colonial Economism and the Crises of Capitalism, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book offers a sweeping reinterpretation of both the historical geography of capitalism in Egypt and the role of political-economic thought in the struggles that raged over the occupation. Jakes explains, “In the broadest sense, the book, it is a history of the period of British rule in Egypt after the occupation of 1882. And it makes three broad arguments: first, that this particular form of colonial rule was organized around the discourse that I call colonial economist…the second major argument of the book is that under these conditions, Egypt became a crucial laboratory and target for financial investment in the worldwide financial expansion that was characteristic of global capitalism at the end of the 19th century. And finally, I'm sort of interested in the interplay between the discursive claims of the British regime and these dramatic transformations that were taking place…” He goes on to say, “You have people who, by the early 1900s, are articulating critiques of imperial finance that look logically quite similar to arguments that were more familiar with from people like Lenin...You have people who start to articulate things that look like early instances of dependency theory and those people are all at the same time trying to think through what the implications of these dramatic economic transformations were for the possibilities of different kinds of politics in the country.” “It was certainly the case that by the early 1900s, the British could, in their annual reports and other modes of publicity around what they were doing in Egypt, claim that they had delivered unprecedented prosperity to the country, and those claims, which had a power to circulate globally, that was much greater than that of most of the people that were contesting them, have a really significant resonance in other places…it's quite interesting that the government of the United States at the moment, which is beginning to think through what American forms of colonial rule in places like the Philippines might look like, looks to Egypt as a possible model for what they might do there,” said Jakes. Aaron Jakes is an Assistant Professor of History at The New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College, where he teaches courses on the modern Middle East and South Asia, global environmental history, and the historical geography of capitalism. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

Nov 2020

29 min 59 sec

Joas Wagemakers talks about his new book, The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book explores the Muslim Brotherhood’s long history and complex relationship with Jordan, its parliament and society. “In Jordan [the Muslim Brotherhood] basically had Royal support from the very start, and the reason for that was that the King did not really have a lot of authority within the country of Transjordan, as it was still called in the 1920s and 30s and 40s, and sought sources of authority that would help him gain the status of King or ruler in this new nation” explains Wagemakers. Wagemakers says, “After 1989, when decisions had to be made about: are we going to participate in elections, are we going to participate in the government if the government asked us to, are we going to be responsible for the decisions that we make. [The Muslim Brotherhood] really had to make political decisions. The existing divisions within the Muslim Brotherhood became clearer and clearer.” “The brotherhood did radicalize under pressure, let's say in the 1990s, but only by resorting to the means of boycotting the election. It was in the 2010s, so the past few years, when there was quite a bit of repression that the Brotherhood had moderated further simply because they saw in Saudi Arabia, in The United Arab Emirates, in Egypt and in other countries as well, that the Brotherhood was increasingly coming under the fire, was being labeled a terrorist organization… the Islamic Action Front really had only one way left to remain relevant and to remain legal, which was to engage in parliamentary elections,” notes Wagemakers. Joas Wagemakers is an Associate Professor of Islam and Arabic at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht University. He obtained his PhD in Nijmegen, received the Erasmus Research Prize in 2011 for his dissertation, was a researcher at Clingendael and a visiting research fellow at Princeton University. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/) page.

Nov 2020

30 min 4 sec

Sherine Hafez talks about her latest book, Women of the Midan: Untold Stories of Egypt’s Revolutionaries, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. In her book, she demonstrates how women were a central part of the revolutionary process of the Arab Spring; not only protesting in the streets of Cairo, but also demanding democracy, social justice, and renegotiation of a variety of sociocultural structures that repressed and disciplined them. Hafez explains, “I just wanted to make sure that the contributions of women in the Midan during the uprisings, and specifically in Egypt, were documented so that…the activism cannot be written off as just part of the revolution…And I wanted so much to make sure that this is a record that can be read by future young activists of all genders, so that they can look back and know that there is a record of their contributions to politics in the Middle East.” Hafez goes on, “When I decided to write the book, the revolution was in its hey-day…The revolutionaries felt that things can change; they had hope…and everybody was very optimistic, including myself. And it was really easy to talk to women who are in the Midan who were involved in all kinds of activism…It was just very exciting…and then gradually, as you know, the revolution took a shift and the things don't become so easy. It was very difficult to actually find women activists who would like to talk about their experience in Midan, many of them found it very painful; some were even suffering from PTSD…So I realized that this sort of development in the way that I access my interviewees reflected the political scene in Egypt.” “I was trying to find something more than memory [in my book], because when I was speaking to many of the women who were involved in the uprising, who found themselves for the very first time face-to-face with state violence…I felt that there was something there that was happening during the interview, it wasn't simply that people are sitting here reminiscing or re-telling stories of the past…I could view how their bodies actually changed, their voices changed, the expressions and their eyes changed, the whole demeanor changed as they were re-telling the stories, and some of them always pointed out, you're making us remember what it was like, and it was almost as if they were reliving these experiences, so it wasn't simply just retelling a memory, it was “rememory,” actually, physically experiencing the events that took place,” said Hafez. Sherine Hafez is Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at University of California Riverside. She is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (JMEWS) and served as President for the Association of Middle East Anthropologists (AMEA). Hafez’s research focuses on Islamic movements and gender studies in Arab and Middle Eastern cultures. Hafez lectures on gender studies in the Middle East and Muslim majority countries, Islamic movements, and women’s Islamic activism in the uprisings in the Arab World. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Nov 2020

29 min 50 sec

Elizabeth Nugent talks about her new book, After Repression: How Polarization Derails Democratic Transition with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book explores how polarization and repression led to different political outcomes in Tunisia and Egypt. Nugent explains, “When I started my fieldwork in Tunisia, it was clear to me again coming from Egypt with that kind of as my baseline how differently people spoke about each other and so the more I dug in the more that repression - the way in which the Ben Ali regime and the Mubarak regime repressed these different opposition groups - was very key for why these two different places ended up very differently polarized.” “It’s possible that as repression has come to touch a number of different groups in Egypt in the current moment it’s softening some of these identity politics that have been problematic in the past,” says Nugent. Nugent says, “What I find is that there are higher levels of both affective and preference polarization, here meaning negative affect in a targeted repressive environment, and lower levels of both in a widespread repressive environment. Elizabeth Nugent is an assistant professor of political science at Yale University. Her research explores the psychology of political behavior in the Middle East, with a focus on the effects of religion and repression. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Oct 2020

31 min 45 sec

Anne Marie Baylouny talks about her latest book, When Blame Backfires: Syrian Refugees and Citizen Grievances in Jordan and Lebanon, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book explains how the recent influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan and Lebanon has stimulated domestic political action against these countries' governments. Baylouny explains, “So usually these governments use all kinds of groups…to blame for their faults. Oh we can't provide this. We have water shortage because of the Iraqis. This problem with the government is because of another group and they blame them for all their lack of state capacity. So here you have an overwhelming number of Syrians over a quarter of Lebanon's population and at least 10 percent of Jordan's, probably their first and second in the world for refugees per capita. And they're foreigners and a lot of them are poor and they came in in masses…So you have they have all the elements that you would expect states to be able to successfully deflect blame from themselves on to that minority or foreign group.” She goes on to say, “They [the Syrians] were welcomed very well by the Lebanese and Jordanians in the beginning. Then the honeymoon period ran out and the numbers got very large. And the Jordanians and Lebanese universally started to blame things on the Syrians…They're using too much water etc. but they didn't do the second part of scapegoating. The second part of scapegoating is when you basically dissolve responsibility from the state or government for that problem. So you blame Syrians and you go back to your couch…Instead they blamed the government said you need to provide us housing, you need to provide us better schools, you need to provide us water, electricity, you need to fix the problem. The Syrians may have caused them but you need to fix them. And they mobilized. They began mobilizing against the government.” She argues, “They [the Jordanians] needed housing…And they demanded from the government that it provide them housing. So here you have people who are clear that the fault is the Syrians…but the Syrians can't provide them housing. And later on the Syrians can't provide them water. They can't provide electricity…Because deflecting blame onto the Syrians away from the government—people can see right through that because they still need those goods to be provided. So they [the Jordanians] prioritize solutions over the psychological satisfaction of scapegoating and blaming somebody else for all your problems.” Anne Marie Baylouny is associate professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, specializing in Middle East politics, grassroots organizing, and Islam. Baylouny received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.  Her recent work includes publications on militia governments in the Lebanese civil war, Hezbollah’s media messages, and authority in ungoverned spaces. Baylouny has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards—Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council, and the Mellon Foundation, among others. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Oct 2020

32 min 38 sec

Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl talks about his latest book, Quagmire in Civil War, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. His book explains he explains how quagmire can emerge from domestic-international interactions and strategic choices and draws upon field research on Lebanon's sixteen-year civil war, structured comparisons with civil wars in Chad and Yemen, and rigorous statistical analyses of all civil wars worldwide fought between 1944 and 2006. Schulhofer-Wohl explains, “I was very interested in digging into an idea of how it was that the groups that are fighting in civil wars can become trapped in a war…There are some wars in which it looks like for whatever reason the armed groups that are fighting in them are unable to win the war. They're unable to negotiate to make a settlement and the war just drags on. But there's something about that that's different from just a war that lasts for a very long time.” He goes on to say, “The book makes the point that we kind of have a default view of entrapment and civil war that it's based on underlying characteristics of a country or a war. So the Obama administration, for example, had a view that current conflicts in the Middle East are just incredibly complicated…And these are conflicts the United States shouldn't get involved in because they're going to be overly complicated and then they're going to be something that will entrap everyone. And by taking this strategic decision making perspective, the book actually outlines an argument that's the opposite of that, which is to say it's based on the choices that are being made by the foreign states, by the armed groups fighting the war. And it's these choices that lead to quagmire—not anything particular about the nature of the country or the kind of war that's being fought.” “I'm also trying to outline an argument for quagmire that's different from what you might hear normally about foreign interference and civil wars, which is that a country is trapped in conflict because that's what the foreign backers want. You'll hear some people argue that what regional powers in the Middle East want is just to keep Libya in a permanent state of warfare or to keep Yemen in a permanent state of warfare to keep Syria like that…And what I'm saying is that that's one possibility…But I also want to understand, is it possible that through taking rational decisions based on their self-interests—that don't have to do with wanting to keep a country in a state of conflict—it might nevertheless end up that way,” said Schulhofer-Wohl . Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Leiden University. His research agenda, on the conduct of civil wars, includes an empirical focus on the Middle East, but addresses questions about civil wars as a general matter, and draws on comparisons across diverse countries. Before joining the faculty at Leiden, Schulhofer-Wohl taught at the University of Virginia and as a visiting assistant professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Oct 2020

32 min 4 sec

Hiba Bou Akar talks about her latest book, For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book examines urban planning in three neighborhoods of Beirut's southeastern peripheries, revealing how these areas have been developed into frontiers of a continuing sectarian order. Bou Akar explains, “So I start looking at the planning and how these residential complexes ended up mushrooming in an agricultural area but also next to inductees and eventually like a whole world starts opening to me about how… war displacement has shaped the housing market. There are political organizations that are fighting over territory after the war. And how planning is a tool in that conflict. It would sometimes be of negotiation and sometimes of contestation.” She goes on to say, “So the [idea of], For The War Yet to Come ends up being like this expectation of war that is either going to be like an Arab-Israeli war…or sectarian war, a regional war or whatever; that ends up shaping how people make decisions about where they live. Religious political organizations end up using this idea to keep people in strongholds. They intervene in the housing market…access to, for example, airports or to the waterfront etc...As a person who grew up in the Civil War and was personally displaced six times, I think I was haunted by the idea: What does it mean to live in a place where we were always expecting something disastrous to happen in the future?” “It was interesting to me because if you want to take a theoretical l lens I was like, people don't talk about when they think about land as Christian land you know like thinking about for example New York or other places in the world. And the fact that the land is talked about in…a religious terminology was interesting to me. And then when you map religion and sectarianism to land then anyone who is trying to just secure housing becomes like oh what is your religion, oh you're taking over , you’re Islamizing. And then you go from Islamizing for example the neighborhood to Islamizing the Middle East...It goes from one apartment or building blocks to becoming, on TV, Islamization of Lebanon…And so I got fascinated by the idea how people, without even blinking, assigned religion to land,” said Bou Akar. Hiba Bou Akar is an Assistant Professor in the Urban Planning program at Columbia GSAPP. Her research focuses on planning in conflict and post-conflict cities, the question of urban security and violence, and the role of religious political organizations in the making of cities. Bou Akar’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Wenner- Gren Foundation, and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). Bou Akar received her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning with a designated emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and Master in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Oct 2020

29 min 59 sec

Aili Tripp talks about her latest book, Seeking Legitimacy: Why Arab Autocracies Adopt Women’s Rights, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book explores why autocratic leaders in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria embraced more legal reforms of women’s rights than their Middle Eastern counterparts, and how women’s rights were used to advance the political goals of these authoritarian regimes. Tripp explains, “I was interested in the fact that you have this growing divergence within the MENA region itself in terms of the adoption of women’s rights, yet people keep talking about the region as one monolith when it came to women’s rights. “The fact that women’s rights are such a central theme in north African politics. I mean nothing happens without the issue of women’s rights coming to the floor somehow as we saw at the time of independence in Algeria, as we saw after the Arab Spring in Tunisia with the debates over the constitution in 2011,” notes Tripp. Tripp says, “Why are autocrats adopting women’s rights legislation and making constitutional provisions and promoting women as leaders? In a nutshell, my argument has to do with some of the strategic interaction that goes on between the ruling parties, which in the case of Tunisia and Morocco for the time period I’m looking at are Islamist parties. Between the regime and these Islamist parties and the various Islamist movements in these countries and the interaction with women’s movements this interaction between these various actors has resulted in an unprecedented advancement in women’s rights.” Aili Mari Tripp is Wangari Maathai Professor of Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies and Chair of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. Tripp’s research has focused on women and politics in Africa, women’s movements in Africa, women and peacebuilding, transnational feminism, African politics (with particular reference to Uganda and Tanzania), and on the informal economy in Africa. Her current research involves a comparative study of women and legal reform in North Africa. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Sep 2020

30 min 59 sec

Amr Adly talks about his latest book, Cleft Capitalism: The Social Origins of Failed Market Making in Egypt, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book explores why market-based economic development failed to meet expectations in Egypt. “The main argument is that we have three business systems in Egypt in reference to rules formal as well as informal and mixes of the two, according to which different business establishments have been operating. And the crucial thing really is how their access to physical and financial capital has been regulated.” “The main point here is that the vast majority of private establishments, the ones that are strictly owned by private individuals, have suffered from a chronic under structuring under capitalization when it comes to access to back credit given of course the structure of the financial system in Egypt, which is very much bank-based, as well as access to land.” "One of the problems here is that you have a banking system in Egypt that is still very much controlled by the state. You have very large state-owned banks that still hold up something between one-third and forty percent of the total assets of the banking system. Despite rounds of privatization and liberalization and even without this crucial factor of the direct state ownership of the big banks, you have state regulation that is both formal as well as informal. All of these networks that have historically tied state-owned enterprises and then later on private businesses that are like crony businessmen that have been related to the successive ruling regimes in Egypt, all of these have created a regulatory environment that made it extremely hard for those who lack either initial capital or political and social capital.  Amr Adly is an assistant professor in the department of political science at The American University in Cairo. He worked as a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center. He has also worked as a project manager at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, where he was a postdoctoral fellow. Adly received his Ph.D. from the European University Institute in Florence. He is also the author of State Reform and Development in the Middle East: The Cases of Turkey and Egypt (Routledge, 2012). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Sep 2020

30 min 38 sec

Pascal Menoret talks about his latest book, Graveyard of Clerics: Everyday Activism in Saudi Arabia, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. In the book, he tells the stories of the people actively countering the Saudi state and highlights how people can organize and protest even amid increasingly intense police repression. Menoret explains, “Basically what happens in the suburbs is that it's a fixed place where people could congregate and create mass movements by the presence or the co presence of their bodies. On the street what you have is moving entities-moving devices-moving tools, automobiles that can be used to reconstitute movements to protest sometimes and to create that effect of mass that might change the political dynamic in the country.” “I was interested in looking at…what activists call Islamic action…in everyday spaces. And these big figures indeed become parts of much more grounded conversations about the meaning of, for instance, what it means to read books…what it means to read novels for young activists who gather in a high school and some of whom are interested in reading Harry Potter. That's a great challenge because they decide that you know first of all reading is a training and it's trains you to use the language to think, to speak, but it's also a way for you to get exposed to other ways to look at the world and therefore you can only make your own you know self-construction as a reader but also as an activist stronger; you become more articulate,” he explains. Menoret goes on to say, “Muslim Brothers will tend to use many more spaces to organize and to create conversations and to create numbers and to create an atmosphere in which you can actually talk about social issues. You can talk about intellectual issues, you can talk about political issues, they will use sports to do that, they would use leisure spaces…they will use the suburbs actually. They will really have a whole thinking about what it means to be living in the suburbs and to organize in suburban environments whereas the Salafis…tend to be much closer to the religious sciences right into a space that is much more exclusive in many ways…” Pascal Menoret is the Renee and Lester Crown Professor of Modern Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. He is the author of The Saudi Enigma: A History (2005) and Joyriding in Riyadh: Oil, Urbanism, and Road Revolt (2014), Joyriding in Riyadh: Oil, Urbanism, and Road Revolt (Cambridge University Press 2014), Arabia, from the Incense Road to the Oil Era (Gallimard 2010, in French), and The Saudi Enigma: A History (Zed Books 2005). An ethnographer and historian, he conducted four years of fieldwork in Saudi Arabia and has also lived in France, Yemen, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Paris 1 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University and Harvard University. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Sep 2020

33 min 17 sec

Nadav Shelef talks about his latest book, Homelands: Shifting Borders and Territorial Disputes, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book explores the idea of homelands and nationalism and articulates an analogous theory for how and why the places that people think of as their homelands stop being part of their homeland around the world. Shelef explains, “One of the things that I did was to look at how domestic media around the world talked about territory that they had lost. And when you do that, you can actually see territory drop from the discourse in particular cases. In Pakistan, they stopped talking about East Pakistan very, very quickly and they switched the terminology and started talking about Bangladesh in ways that are very difficult to imagine Palestinians stop talking about Jaffa.” “For these changes to spread and become real they need to be reinforced politically. And what we see - in fact, what we see going on right now among Palestinians - is something of a withdrawal from the idea of but the acceptance of partition and the redefinition of the territory in which Palestinians can achieve their national aspirations because it’s not working. And so to the extent that ideas consistent with partition lose politically, we’re not going to see them spread and we’re going to see other kinds of solutions,” says Shelef. Shelef says, “I think we have two main lessons. One is that homelands matter. That is simply claiming or talking about a piece of territory as part of the homeland greatly increases the likelihood of international conflict between neighbors that would share that territory… The second is that homelands can change. Even though they matter they are a variable and as a variable, they can vary over time. And that implies that the impact that they have or that their loss has on conflict could also vary. Once you no longer consider a territory part of the homeland, you should see a reduction in conflict over that territory.” Nadav Shelef is the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Israel Studies and Professor of Political Science. Professor Shelef teaches and studies nationalism, religion and politics, Israeli politics and society, and middle east politics. His current projects focus on understanding how homelands change and the conditions under which religious parties moderate their positions. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Sep 2020

31 min 16 sec

Laleh Khalili talks about her latest book, Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book explores what the making of new ports and shipping infrastructures has meant for the Arabian Peninsula and beyond.   Khalili explains, “Whenever you look at the list of the Journal of Commerce’s top 10 container ports in the world, the only port that is not either in East Asia or Southeast Asia in that top 10 list is Dubai, Jebel Ali in Dubai. And to me, that was also really interesting. Why is it that Jebel Ali, which does not have a very large hinterland, which is a city-state, why would it end up being such a significant port for container transport?” Khalili continues, “What is interesting is that there is very little actually about the role of trade and the transformation of the peninsula beyond the trade in oil once oil becomes the commodity that starts defining the political economy of these countries.” “I wanted to zoom out to a more regional Indian ocean and global trade. But I also wanted to zoom in and focus on the kind of stories that emerge in the context of these forms of global trade and to locate Arabian Peninsula not as some sort of hermetically sealed exceptional kind of object of study but rather as one node in the large vast network of global trade and developing and transforming constantly as this kind of nodes,” says Khalili. Laleh Khalili is a professor of international politics at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge 2007) and Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies  (Stanford 2013). Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Sep 2020

27 min 38 sec

Marc Lynch speaks with Marwa Shalaby of Rice University about the status of women in politics in the Middle East.

Jun 2020

14 min 43 sec

Catherine Herrold talks about her latest book, Delta Democracy: Pathways to Incremental Civic Revolution in Egypt and Beyond, with Marc Lynch on this week’s podcast. The book uncovers the strategies that Egyptian NGOs have used to advance the aims of the country’s 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. “What the book argues is that, in fact, many development NGOs and local grant making foundations did promote democracy. But they did so in ways that went unrecognized by the Western democracy promotion establishment and, far more importantly, by successive ruling regimes in Egypt. And they did so, number one, by masking their democracy promotion work...And number two, instead of focusing on the procedural form of democracy, they sought to build substantive democracy through participation, free expression, and rights claiming at grassroots levels,” explains Herrold. She goes on to say, “these development NGO and foundations really focused on the grassroots and they created spaces for collective action for discussion, for debate, for problem solving…They created spaces for free expression through arts and culture and other means in which citizens could come together and express their views for the future of Egypt. And they coached grassroots communities on their basic human rights as citizens and on claiming those rights from local government officials...” Herrold argues, “There are three to four primary weaknesses of U.S. democracy assistance. Number one, it focuses almost exclusively on a procedural form of democracy. It seeks to reform national political institutions often in the shape of U.S. democratic institutions which are not necessarily the types of institutions that…might be best in the target country. Number two, it is expressly political. So it's separate from aid for socioeconomic development or humanitarian assistance. [Number three], it's also highly technical. Democracy aid produces outputs such as reports trainings et cetera that often fail to result in the desired outcome of democracy…And finally it tends to be elite…It tends to circulate in a relatively elite militia of highly trained, highly educated professionals…” Catherine Herrold is an Assistant Professor at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and a Faculty Affiliate of the Indiana University Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She has also served as a Visiting Scholar at the American University in Cairo (Egypt) and Birzeit University (Palestine). She has conducted fieldwork in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Qatar. Music for this season's podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ferasarrabimusic)and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/feras.arrabi/)page.

Jun 2020

25 min 44 sec