The Dilemma of Popular Sovereignty in the Middle East: Power from or to the People?

Kingshuk Chatterjee and Priya Singh

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The ongoing political turmoil in the Middle East as a whole would seem to be essentially a contest between the minimalist and maximalist positions on popular sovereignty: should power merely come from, and be exercised in the name of, the people? Or, should those in power be fully accountable to the people? The dilemma warrants a closer look. The present volume comes out of an international conference held in Calcutta, India organised by the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies and the Centre for Pakistan and West Asian Studies, University of Calcutta in March 2013. This volume aims not at a definitive analysis of why what happened did happen; it aims instead at getting a sense of what was actually happening, and what is at issue.

Kingshuk Chatterjee and Priya Singh Kingshuk Chatterjee is an Associate Professor at the Department of History, Calcutta University and is the Deputy Director, Centre for Pakistan and West Asian Studies. He is associated with the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies of the Calcutta University, and looks after its West Asia programme. Chatterjee specialises in the politics of the Middle East and Political Islam in the modern world. He is the author of Ali Shariati and the Shaping of Political Islam in Iran.

Priya Singh is a Fellow at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, India. She works on Israel in particular with an interest in the Middle East in general. Her research areas include the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Middle East peace process, Israeli society and politics, comparative ethnic relations in the region, nationalism and post nationalism and comparative politics and democracy. She has authored, edited and co-edited publications on Israel and the Middle East. Her e-mail is



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