- Editor's Note
The first issue of our new volume, our 64th, offers a range of articles across the region and across multiple disciplines: history, political science, anthropology, and international relations among them.
Kurdish issues are a frequent subject of the Journal's authors, but we hear most frequently about the Kurdish problem in Turkey and Iraq. Much less scholarly attention has been paid to the Kurdish population of Iran, especially in the 30 years since the Islamic Revolution. Hashem Ahmadzadeh and Gareth Stansfield of the University of Exeter go a long way toward rectifying that omission in the first article of this issue, which makes considerable use of Kurdish sources.
Though the Bedouin still play a role in many Western stereotypes of the region (and in the Arab poetic imagination), the tribes are in decline in many core Middle Eastern countries. Dawn Chatty, an anthropologist at Oxford, provides a useful overview of the current status of the tribes in secular, Arab nationalist Syria.
Relations between the United States and Turkey —NATO allies —have experienced a rough patch in recent years, particularly since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Professor Ioannis N. Grigoriadis of Bilkent University offers a survey of the issues dividing the two longtime allies in the third article of this issue.
While studies of civil society in the Arab world are increasingly frequent, studies of Saudi Arabia's civil society raise many challenges for the researcher, though such studies are growing in frequency. Caroline Montagu attempts to provide an overview of Saudi civil society, and particularly some of the social aspects thereof, in our fourth article.
Every student of modern Middle Eastern history is aware of the turning point created by the US decision not to fund the Aswan High Dam during the Eisenhower Administration. Sylvia Borzutzky and David Berger take a political theorist's approach to analyzing the decision in the final article.
Returning to Turkish issues, our Book Review Article for this issue examines six books on various aspects of nationalism, democracy, and Islam in Turkey. It is by William Hale, a former professor at SOAS.
I hope you enjoy the issue, whether you are reading the traditional print version or subscribe to our electronic-only edition. I also would remind you that the Middle East Institute has a rich library of online publications at our website (www.mei.edu) and invite you to join us there. [End Page 9]