State University of New York Press

SUNY series in Middle Eastern Studies

Shahrough Akhavi

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series in Middle Eastern Studies

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Constitutions in a Nonconstitutional World

Arab Basic Laws and the Prospects for Accountable Government

Uses the Arab experience to explain the appeal of constitutional documents to authoritarian political regimes. The collapse of authoritarian regimes and the global resurgence of liberal democracy has led to a renewed interest in constitutions and constitutionalism among scholars and political activists alike. This book uses the Arab experience to explain the appeal of constitutional documents to authoritarian regimes and assesses the degree to which such constitutions can be used in the effort to make the regimes more accountable.

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Institutions and the Politics of Survival in Jordan

Domestic Responses to External Challenges, 1988-2001

Weaving together accounts of historical developments, cultural elements, economic factors, and regional and international dynamics, Russell E. Lucas explores how the monarchy in Jordan survived economic crisis and regional political instability during the 1990s. Lucas analyzes the factors behind the successful liberalization and deliberalization of laws regulating political parties, the parliament, and the press that helped preserve the monarchy. These institutional survival strategies co-opted the opposition, kept it divided, and reinforced the unity of the regime’s coalition of supporters. The author also compares survival strategies in Jordan with those of Morocco, Kuwait, Iran, and Egypt to explain the surprising durability of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.

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Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State

Evolving Identities, Competing Loyalties, and Shifting Boundaries

Kurdish nationalism remains one of the most critical and explosive problems of the Middle East. Despite its importance, the topic remains on the margins of Middle East Studies. Bringing the study of Kurdish nationalism into the mainstream of Middle East scholarship, Hakan Özogálu examines the issue in the context of the Ottoman Empire. Using a wealth of primary sources, including Ottoman and British archives, Ottoman Parliamentary minutes, memoirs, and interviews, he focuses on revealing the social, political, and historical forces behind the emergence and development of Kurdish nationalism. Contrary to the assumption that nationalist movements contribute to the collapse of empires, the book argues that Kurdish leaders remained loyal to the Ottoman state, and only after it became certain that the empire would not recover did Kurdish nationalism emerge and clash with the Kemalist brand of Turkish nationalism.

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