Contemporary West Asia: Perspectives on Change and Continuity

Sujata Ashwarya and Mujib Alam

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This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the complexities of change and continuity in West Asia, its society, religion and politics. An overview of the region’s political, social and economic characteristics brought into sharper relief with the on-going turmoil in the region constitutes the introduction of the book. While the subsequent two chapters, along with the introductory text, constitute the thematic overview and orientation of the book, the different chapters dedicated to specific countries explore the recent transformative developments in the region. These chapters chart the emergence of Islamist and post Islamist politics in Iran and Lebanon, elaborate upon the prevailing civil war conditions in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya, examine the impact of the Arab uprisings that began in 2011 on Egypt, Jordan and the Arab Gulf countries, and explore the intricate interplay between Islam and democracy in the present-day politics of Turkey. While highlighting politics, the texts of the chapters also delve into history, religion and foreign policy. This book will be as useful for the students of West Asian affairs as it will be for policymakers and any interested reader.

Sujata Ashwarya and Mujib Alam SUJATA ASHWARYA is Assistant Professor at the Centre for West Asian Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She received her MPhil and PhD degrees in West Asian Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She was awarded fellowships for research at the Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) and Centre d’Etudes et des Recherches Internationales (CERI), Paris; and the Schusterman Centre for Israel Studies, Brandeis University, USA. She was also affiliated as a researcher at the Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran, Iran. Her research interests include India’s West Asia policy, politics and foreign policy of Iran, Iraq and Israel, politics of energy, and issues relating to democratisation in the region. Her books, Civil Society, Democracy and State in West Asia (edited), Essays on Iran and Israel: An Indian Perspective and India-Iran Relations: Progress, Problems and Prospects were published in 2010, 2014 and 2016 respectively.

MUJIB ALAM is Assistant Professor at the Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He holds MPhil and PhD degrees in West Asian studies, specializing in Turkish studies, from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University. Previously he completed his bachelor’s and master’s in Political Science from Utkal University and Aligarh’s Muslim University respectively. He has worked as an HERMES Post-doctoral fellow (2005-06) at the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI) and Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH), Paris, France. His research specializations include contemporary Turkish politics and foreign policy, the role of military and Islam in Turkish politics and society, West Asian Politics and IR, and conflict & peace studies of West Asia. His publications include Turkey’s Multi-Regional Role in the 21st Century (edited; 2015), Turkey’s Role in Central Asia and the Caucasus (Monograph, 2005) and Global Politics of the Iraq Crises and India’s Options (co-edited; 2004).




1. Introduction: Change and Continuity in West Asia Sujata Ashwarya and Mujib Alam

2. Islamism and Democracy in the Arab World Post-Arab Spring
Talmiz Ahmad

3. The Sunni-Shia Split: Changing Faces of Religious Schism and its Modern Political Implications for the Arab World
Fouad J. Kadhem

4. Islamism and Post-Islamism in Iran
K. N. Tennyson

5. Hizbullah’s Islamist and Post-Islamist Politics
Joseph Alagha

6. Sectarianism in Iraq Post-2003 and the Challenge of ISIS
Sujata Ashwarya

7. Syria: From Uprising to Jihad
Shweta Desai

8. The New Cold War in Syria
Sukalpa Chakrabarti

9. Impact of the Arab Spring on Jordan
Indrani Talukdar

10. The Arab Uprisings: Prospects and Challenges for the Persian Gulf Countries
Priyamvada A. Sawant

11. King is Dead, Long Live the King: The Royal Succession in Saudi Arabia
Gulshan Dietl

12. Turbulence in Yemen and the Changing Geopolitics in the Region
Prasanta Kumar Pradhan

13. The Changing Face of Islamism in Turkey
Alper Y. Dede

14. Democracy in Turkish Foreign Policy towards the Middle East in the AK Party Era
Ismail Yaylaci

15. Contesting the Arab Revolts: The ‘New’ Egypt
Priya Singh

16. Tribal Conflict and Political Stability in Libya
Azeemah Saleem

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