Iraqi history does not begin with the modern Iraqi state, but my research interests and constraints of time and space force me to restrict my contribution to the modern national era and its immediate antecedents. Given its decades of inaccessibility, it is ironic that Iraq today offers scholars one of the most researcher-friendly environments in the region–at least where political repression and censorship are concerned.
If the Arab uprisings initially seemed to herald the end of tyrannies and a move toward liberal democratic governments, their defeat not only marks a reversal but is of a piece with new forms of authoritarianism worldwide. Scholars have begun wondering, with some urgency, why citizens themselves seem so often to be attracted to autocracy.
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We are writing to solicit applications from doctoral students and other researchers for our fourth Political Economy Summer Institute to be held in 6-10 June 2019 at George Mason University on the political economy of the Middle East (6 June is arrival day). The aim of the Political Economy Summer Institute (PESI) is both to provide graduate level engagement and instruction as well as to connect doctoral students and independent researchers with mid-career and senior scholars working in the field of critical political economy.
During the Egyptian uprising of 2011, I was interested not only in participating in the demonstrations, but as a political scientist, I was also interested in understanding the motives behind why people turned out and mobilized against Mubarak. A few months after the uprisings, Oliver Schlumberger proposed that I participate in a research project on youth in the region in cooperation with him and Saloua Zerhouni.
The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the fifth in a series of "Peer-Reviewed Article Reviews" in which we present a collection of journals and their articles concerned with the Middle East and Arab world. This series will be published seasonally. Each issue will comprise one-to-three parts, depending on the number of articles included.