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What the West Owes Syrians: US and European Arms Sales to the Middle East 2011-2014

The last two years have seen heated debates within Europe and the United States about the costs of hosting Syrian and other refugees. However, there has been almost complete silence about another aspect of their involvement in the conflict: the extent of arms sales to the Middle East. Between 2011 and 2014, and based on conservative estimates, Europe earned twenty-one billion euros from the arms trade to the Middle East while it spent nineteen billion euros on hosting ...

Migrant Worker Repression and Solidarity in Lebanon

In the weeks and months following the al-Qa` bombings that occurred near the Lebanese-Syrian border on 27 June 2016, the Lebanese government has intensified its repressive measures against Syrian refugees. This has taken place in the form of illegal curfews, political hate ...

Critical Readings in Political Economy

Welcome to the first installment of Critical Readings in Political Economy. This column will appear on a monthly basis and will discuss work—mostly new—in the discipline. It will address the disciplinary residue of Cold War post-colonial containment, the Middle East, including ...

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Political Economy Summer Institute: Call for Letters of Interest

Over the course of four days in June 2017, and in conjunction with the Arab Studies Institute and George Mason University, the Political Economy Project held its second Political Economy Summer Institute (PESI) at GMU. The summer institute brought together, for the second consecutive year, a diverse ...  Read More »

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Jadaliyya Launches New Political Economy Page

We are especially excited today to launch the new Political Economy Page on Jadaliyya. This page is co-produced with the Political Economy Project. It serves as a space for producing critical work in political economy, as well as a resource for researchers, educators, and students interested in the field. We will ...  Read More »

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War Economies Roundtable: Introduction

The concept of a war economy has varied considerably.  Historically, the term referred to a marshalling of national resources to support a state’s prosecution of war. Walter Oakes argued that “a war economy exists whenever the government’s expenditures for war (or ‘national defense’) become a legitimate and ...  Read More »

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Invisibility and the Toxic Economy of War in Iraq

In April 2008 a small US engineering firm—Stafford, Texas-based MKM Engineers—brought to a close almost two decades of toxic cleanup work on a former US military facility just west of Kuwait City. Seventeen years earlier, in July 1991, a defective heating unit on a military vehicle loaded with 155mm artillery shells ...  Read More »

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Follow the Money, Uncover the Power Dynamics: Understanding the Political Economy of Violence’

In the 1976 drama-documentary about the Watergate scandal, All the President’s Men, the informant, “Deepthroat,” tells the journalists from The Washington Post to “follow the money.” This is also good advice when it comes to the political economy of violence. Follow the money: some people lose it; some people gain ...  Read More »

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Jordan’s Long War Economy

At dawn on 17 September 1970 two divisions of the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF), plus newly formed internal security units from the Government Intelligence Directorate (GID), attacked the capital Amman. Over the previous year, sporadic violence flared between JAF units and the Palestinian fida’iyyun as multiple efforts ...  Read More »

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Israel’s Big Business of War

The Arab revolutions of 2011 turned violent conflicts have renewed scholarly interest in exploring the role political economy may have played in their causes, dynamics, and consequences. Of great significance within those broad lines of inquiry is the phenomenon of “war economy,” and its multiple manifestations, as a ...  Read More »

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Critical Readings in Political Economy: 1967

Guy Laron, The Six-Day War (Yale University Press, 2017). Amidst the forest-felling libraries of literature on the question of Palestine, Israel’s 1967 war of aggression is perhaps responsible for the largest clear-cuts. So much is manufactured. Yet so little is useful or new. Part of the problem is the massive ...  Read More »

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الهَدم والبناء الاستعماري في الجولان

افتتاحية في السابع من أيلول من العام المُنصرم، داهمت سلطات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي قرية مجدل شمس السورية، ونفّذت أمام أعين عشرات السكّان، مُستخدمةً جرّافاتها الثقيلة، أمر هدم منزل السيّد بسام جميل إبراهيم وزوجته داليا بدعوى تشييده دون ترخيص بناء، معلنةً بذلك نيّتها عن هدم عشرات المنازل التابعة للسكان السوريين في قرى ...  Read More »

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Caught Between Two Fires: Sudanese Refugees in Jordan

Ahmad is poised as a journalist from Kutum, a town that lies 120 kilm away from El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur in Sudan. His towering figure and wide shoulders sway slowly with each calculated step he takes around his home’s uneven floor, leaning on his aluminum cane for support. He is among the many Darfuris ...  Read More »

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جزيرة اللجوء المؤجل: قبرص

مزّق محمد، اللاجئ السوري، ورقة قبول العمل التي مُنحت له بعد مقابلات عدة في مهن أرسل إليها من قبل "مكتب التشغيل والتأمين" في مدينة لارنكا القبرصية، كانت الفرصة الممنوحة له "عاملاً لفرز المعادن في معمل خردوات وقمامة يبعد عن بيته أكثر من 25 كيلومتراً" يقول محمد.ح (25 عاماً)، المتخرج من كلية الإعلام ...  Read More »

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Corruption et réforme en Tunisie: les dangers d'une analyse élitiste

Le 24 mai, une série d'arrestations de personnalités de haut rang a secoué la Tunisie. Un groupe d'hommes d'affaires éminents, des entrepreneurs dans l'économie parallèle, ainsi que des hauts fonctionnaires des services douaniers ont été arrêtés dans le cadre de ce que le chef du gouvernement Youssef Chahed a décrit ...  Read More »

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Political Economy Summer Institute: Two Public Events | GMU

This weekend, the Political Economy Project is holding its second annual Political Economy Summer Institute (PESI) at George Mason University. The summer institute brings together some two dozen participants (both graduate students/researchers and instructors) for four intense days of instruction and ...  Read More »

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Corruption and Reform in Tunisia: The Dangers of an Elitist Analysis

On May 24th, a wave of high-profile arrests rocked Tunisia. A range of prominent businessmen, entrepreneurs in the parallel economy, as well as high-ranking officials in the customs services were arrested in what the Head of the Government Youssef Chahed described as the beginning of a new crack-down on corruption in ...  Read More »

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The Master Plans of Baghdad: Notes on GIS-Based Spatial History

In 1967 the state planning office Miastoprojekt Krakow from socialist Poland delivered the master plan of Baghdad which, together with its amendment that followed in 1973, provided the legal framework for the development of the Iraqi capital during the oil-boom era. With the 1973 plan about to be replaced by a new ...  Read More »

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Diyarbakir: The Heart of this City Beats in Suriçi

One day in Suriçi, 1 March 2017: from Melik Ahmet Avenue to Balıkçılar, from there to Dağkapı, we follow the destruction and reconstruction. From Melik Ahmet Avenue, we are moving on to Balıkçılar. There are several police and task forces ahead on one of the narrow streets to the right. Mostly female police, wearing ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Toufoul Abou-Hodeib, A Taste for Home: The Modern Middle Class in Ottoman Beirut

Toufoul Abou-Hodeib, A Taste for Home: The Modern Middle Class in Ottoman Beirut. Stanford University Press, 2017. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Toufoul Abou-Hodeib (TAH): The book started with the idea of using extant homes as a material archive, which grew out of my experience as an architecture ...  Read More »

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Arabian Tragedy, or Noir?

The first page of the preface to Farah Al-Nakib’s Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life (Stanford University Press, 2016) begins with the author sitting in a community garden in Kuwait. She is chatting with one Maryam, who is explaining the garden’s origins by recalling that some years ago she wondered ...  Read More »

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Political Economy Project Book Prize Competition: Call For Books Published in 2016

2017 BOOK PRIZE COMPETITION The Political Economy Project (PEP) is pleased to invite nominations for our 2017 Middle East Political Economy Book Prize. PEP aims to recognize and disseminate exceptional critical work on the political economy of the Middle East. While the book must ...  Read More »

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Changing Ecologies of War and Humanitarianism - A STATUS/الوضع Interview with Omar Dewachi and Jonathan Whittall

In this interview for STATUS/الوضع, host Mohamad Ali Nayel speaks with Omar Dewachi and Jonathan Whittall about the changing nature of humanitarianism from an academic and a practitioner’s perspectives. Omar Dewachi is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Global Health at American University of Beirut (AUB). ...  Read More »

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The World in the City and the City in the World: Reading the Janet Abu-Lughod Library

For a young scholar, a figure like Janet Abu-Lughod can seem almost impossibly prolific. Among the fields to which Abu-Lughod made celebrated contributions, we find urban sociology, world systems theory, studies of colonialism, and racial injustice (from Palestine, to the United States, to Morocco!), the history of ...  Read More »

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Dark Beirut: The (In)Visibility of Electricity

As filmmakers and researchers working on electricity in Beirut, it is tempting to become too attached to the visible, namely electricity wires that drape the city like garlands, dangerously gaping down at pedestrians, changing their paths, forcing detours. The ubiquity of wires stretching like lianas from rooftops, or ...  Read More »

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Announcing the 2016 Middle East Political Economy Book Prize Winners

The Political Economy Project (PEP) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Middle East Political Economy Book Prize. With this prize, PEP aims to recognize and disseminate exceptional critical work on the political economy of the Middle East. For its inaugural award, the selection ...  Read More »

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Critical Readings in Political Economy: Apartheid

Andy Clarno, Neoliberal Apartheid (University of Chicago Press, 2017). In some of the earliest editions of Al-Hadaf, the journal of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, there is explicit mention of the myriad similarities between the “racist, settler colonial regimes” occupying the antipodes of ...  Read More »

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The Precarity of Youth: Entrepreneurship is not the Solution

In 2011, the year people across the Arab world poured into the streets demanding bread, dignity and social justice, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, by labor economist Guy Standing, hit the stands. Though Standing’s work wasn’t informed by events in the region, his book on labor and life ...  Read More »

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Six Years: Roundtable on Arab Uprisings

The Arab world has been fundamentally transformed in the past six years, as part of ongoing processes that are certain to continue for some time to come. Throughout this period Jadaliyya has been providing analysis of the Arab uprisings, in their varied manifestations and in all their dimensions. This has included the ...  Read More »

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Why Space Matters in the Arab Uprisings (and Beyond)

Many non-scholarly and scholarly accounts on the societies, culture, and political economy of the Middle East post-“Arab Uprisings/Spring” still deal with cities and regions as mere repositories of social, cultural, political, and economic action—despite the spatial turn that has informed social sciences and ...  Read More »

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A Preface to A Critique of Instant Analysis and Scholarship on the Arab Uprisings

Much of the writing on the Arab uprisings continues to suffer from the new think-tank-ish, self-important, semi-casual, sloppy-analysis syndromes. It is as if having a platform and a mandate are sufficient to produce sound knowledge. For the most part, the proof is in the pudding. Follow platforms and individuals ...  Read More »

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Doubling Down: Jordan Six Years into the Arab Uprisings

The political economy of Jordan today is characterized by greater degrees of authoritarianism and neoliberalism than was the case in 2010. Yet two trends in knowledge production on Jordan seem to claim otherwise. The first of these trends privileges narrowly defined security concerns. The second assumes the best of ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar, eds. Gaza as Metaphor

Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar, editors. Gaza As Metaphor (London: Hurst, 2016).  Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar (HTS and DM): During and in the immediate aftermath of the Israeli attacks against Gaza in July 2014, we shared a sense of anger and a ...  Read More »

Political Economy Project

This page is co-produced with the Political Economy Project​The Political Economy Project (PEP) is an evolving focus of the Arab Studies Institute, with research, pedagogic, and advocacy objectives. Our founding workshop took place in April 2015 at the Arab Studies Institute in Virginia and was followed by several workshops, conferences, research projects, resource building efforts, and other activities. The workshop and preparations for it spawned an initial membership of more than sixty researchers and scholars of political economy from the Middle East and beyond. PEP’s evolving cluster of activities revolve around research, pedagogy, training, network-building, and advocacy. Our network grows through nominations by existing members. A cornerstone of PEP is to provide opportunities and training for students and emerging researchers both from the region and beyond. READ MORE HERE.

Political Economy Summer Institute

Each year, the Political Economy Project hosts the Political Economy Summer Institute. The goal of the Summer Institute is to foster and support critical scholarship on the political economy of the Middle East and beyond. It brings together faculty leaders and student participants for four days of immersive study. Faculty members lead sessions on themes such as state formation, imperialism, and labor, while students present their research and workshop their papers. To date the Political Economy Project has hosted two summer institutes at George Mason University in 2016 and 2017. More information can be found here.

Political Economy Book Prize

The Political Economy Project just closed the doors for our 2017 Middle East Political Economy Book Prize. The book prize aims to recognize and disseminate exceptional critical work on the political economy of the Middle East. While the book must have a political economy theme, we welcome nominations from across academic disciplines. Submissions will be read and judged by a committee drawn from PEP’s membership. Eligible texts must have been published in the year prior, and can be either Arabic or English language. The book must make an original contribution to critical political economy research. The author(s) of the winning book will receive a prize of US$1000 and will be invited to give a talk at a PEP affiliated University. The author(s) will also be interviewed by the Arab Studies Institute’s Audio Magazine, Status/الوضع. For more information, contact us at bookprize@politicaleconomyproject.org.

Resources

JADMAG Issue 4.2 "What is Political Economy?" is out!

 

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