Book Reviews

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    Book Review – ‘Changing Saudi Arabia: Art, Culture, and Society in the Kingdom’ by Sean Foley

Book Review – ‘Changing Saudi Arabia: Art, Culture, and Society in the Kingdom’ by Sean Foley

by Courtney Freer
As Saudi Arabia grapples with changes both external and internal, Sean Foley’s ‘systematic’ study demonstrates the role of culture and art in driving societal shifts. Furthermore, he ‘explains that art and cultural production should no longer be considered separate from ‘real politics’ in the Muslim world’.

With Mohammad bin Salman’s rise to power in Saudi Arabia and his […]

April 29th, 2019|Book Reviews, Saudi|0 Comments|
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    Book Review – ‘Patriotic Ayatollahs: Nationalism in Post-Saddam Iraq’ by Caroleen Sayej

Book Review – ‘Patriotic Ayatollahs: Nationalism in Post-Saddam Iraq’ by Caroleen Sayej

by Geneive Abdo
Caroleen Marji Sayej’s meticulously chronicled study examines Ali al-Sistani’s immense influence upon Iraqi politics, all the more potent against the backdrop of the fractured state that emerged after the 2003 American invasion. Well-researched and persuasively argued, Sayej’s book avoids the pitfalls of much literature on the topic, which often misunderstands the place of religion in Arab societies […]

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    Book Review – ‘Cold War in the Islamic World’ by Dilip Hiro

Book Review – ‘Cold War in the Islamic World’ by Dilip Hiro

by Simon Mabon
As the rivalry between these regional superpowers grows ever more fractious, a new book by the prolific Indian journalist Dilip Hiro seeks to explain this new cold war in its historical context. Simon Mabon finds much to admire in Hiro’s rich analysis and engrossing writing, though there is lack of engagement with the scholarly literature, depriving the reader of […]

December 19th, 2018|Book Reviews, Iran, Saudi|0 Comments|
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    Book Review – ‘AngloArabia: Why Gulf Wealth Matters to Britain’ by David Wearing

Book Review – ‘AngloArabia: Why Gulf Wealth Matters to Britain’ by David Wearing

by Courtney Freer
The UK’s close relationship with the Gulf, and particularly the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, stems from both a long history of engagement and Britain’s enduring need to project power on the global stage even as its military and economic clout wanes. David Wearing has traced this relationship in a new book, which, though thin on […]

November 20th, 2018|Book Reviews, GCC, Saudi, Yemen|1 Comment|
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    Book Review – ‘Islamists and the Politics of the Arab Uprisings: Governance, Pluralisation and Contention’

Book Review – ‘Islamists and the Politics of the Arab Uprisings: Governance, Pluralisation and Contention’

by Abdullah Al-Arian
Long suppressed by Arab regimes and kept on the margins of their societies, Islamist groups stood to benefit the most from the uprisings that have since been labelled the ‘Arab Spring’. Hendrik Kraetzchmar and Paola Rivetti’s new edited collection sketches the heterodox nature of these groups – complex actors inspired by as many intellectual, moral, cultural, political and socioeconomic commitments as any other […]

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