Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East

03/20/2017 08:05 pm ET

My longtime collaborator Nader Hashemi and I have a new edited book out examining what we call the sectarianization of Middle East politics. This video trailer for the book provides a concise overview of the argument:

At the core of the book is a series of case studies: Fanar Haddad on Iraq; Paulo Gabriel Hilu Pinto on Syria; Madawi Al-Rasheed on Saudi Arabia; Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi on Iran; Stacey Philbrick Yadav on Yemen; Toby Matthiesen on Bahrain; Bassel Salloukh on Lebanon; Madeleine Wells on Kuwait; Vali Nasr on Pakistan.

Another section of the book places the sectarianization process in historical (Ussama Makdisi and Yezid Sayigh), geopolitical (Bassel Salloukh) and theoretical (Adam Gaiser) perspective. The provocative concluding chapter, by Timothy Sisk, explores the prospects of de-sectarianization by looking to other parts of the world that have been racked by religious and ethnic conflict and asking what lessons those cases might offer for the Middle East.

In this video, part of the University of Denver’s Book Chat series, Hashemi and I discuss some of the essential elements of the book:

As both videos suggest, we aim to stir a vigorous debate with Sectarianization by challenging the lazy assumptions of the new conventional wisdom about the causes of the present turmoil in the Middle East, and by offering a dramatically different frame of analysis.

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