Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East

Paperback | December 15, 2009

EditorMaria J. Stephan

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The Middle East, a region infamous for political violence and a democratic deficit, boasts a rich but little-known history of nonviolent civilian-led struggles for rights and freedoms. Ordinary Egyptians, Palestinians, Turks, Israelis, Iranians, Kuwaitis and other Middle Easterners have, over the past century, used "weapons" including boycotts, strikes, demonstrations, sit-ins, and other methods of civil disobedience and noncooperation to courageously challenge entrenched power and to advance democratic self-rule. This book challenges the oft-heard claim that nonviolent resistance "can't work" in the Middle East by chronicling some of the most significant nonviolent campaigns against colonialism, foreign occupation, authoritarianism, and structural injustice in the region. Other chapters examine the role of strategy, political humor, religion, Islamist movements, and external actors in advancing and impeding democratization and good governance. This volume, which includes scholarly and activist perspectives, will be of particular interest to academics, policymakers, journalists, and local civic leaders interested in the Middle East, nonviolent action, social movements, democratization, and war and peace studies – as well as educated general readers interested in understanding present convulsions in the Middle East. 

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The Middle East, a region infamous for political violence and a democratic deficit, boasts a rich but little-known history of nonviolent civilian-led struggles for rights and freedoms. Ordinary Egyptians, Palestinians, Turks, Israelis, Iranians, Kuwaitis and other Middle Easterners have, over the past century, used "weapons" including ...

Dr. Maria J. Stephan is Senior Director, Policy and Research at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.34 × 6.15 × 0.72 inPublished:December 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230621414

ISBN - 13:9780230621411

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Overview * 1 Theory and Dynamics of Nonviolent Action--Hardy Merriman * 2 Questions and Controversies about Nonviolent Struggle in the Middle East--Ralph E. Crow and Philip Grant * 3 No Silence, No Violence: A Post-Islamist Trajectory--Asef Bayat * 4 Humor and Resistance in the Arab World and Greater Middle East--Khalid Kishtainy * 5 Islamist and Nonviolent Action--Shadi Hamid  * 6 Free at Last! Free at Last! Allahu Akbar, We Are Free at Last! Parallels between Modern Arab and Islamic Activism and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement--Rami G. Khouri * 7 External Actors and Nonviolent Struggles in the Middle East--Stephen Zunes and Saad Eddin Ibrahim * Part 2 Case Studies: Challenging Foreign Occupation and Domination * 8 The Muslim Pashtun Movement of the North-West Frontier of India, 1930–1934--Mohammad Raqib * 9 Noncooperation in the Golan Heights: A Case of Nonviolent Resistance--R. Scott Kennedy * 10 Palestinian Popular Resistance against Israeli Military Occupation--Mary E. King * 11 The Nonviolent Struggle for Self-Determination in the Western Sahara--Salka Barca and Stephen Zunes * 12 Lebanon’s Independence Intifada: How Unarmed Insurrection Expelled Syrian Forces * Rudy Jaafar and Maria J. Stephan * Challenging Domestic Tyranny and Promoting Democratic Reform * 13 Iran's Islamic Revolution and Nonviolent Struggle--Mohsen Sazegara and Maria Stephan  * 14 Kefaya: The Egyptian Movement for Change--Sherif Mansour * 15 Kuwaiti 2005 “Orange Movement”--Faisal Alfahad and Hamad Albloshi  * Movements for Social and Political Rights  * 16 Hizbullah: Delimiting the Boundaries of Nonviolent Resistance?--Rola el-Husseini * 17 Realistic Nonviolence: Arba Imahot, The Four Mothers Movement in Israel--Tamar Hermann  * 18 Popular Resistance against Corruption in Turkey and Egypt--Shaazka Beyerle and Arwa Hassan * 19 The Iranian Women’s Movement: Repression versus Nonviolent Resolve--Fariba Davoudi Mohajer and Roya Tolouee, Shaazkaa Beyerle * Conclusion: Civil Resistance--Wave of the Future in the Middle East?

Editorial Reviews

“Despite the longevity of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, the countries of the region have also witnessed a strong desire for democratization. Civil society institutions have burgeoned and people in country after country have used non-violent means to stand up against autocratic governments. Civilian Jihad provides an excellent account of the encounter between these two forces. It is a fascinating book to read.”--Haleh Esfandiari: author of My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran and Director, Middle East Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington DC“In the prevailing view, the Middle East looms as a stagnant, anti-democratic backwater, torn by sectarian violence.  This timely volume provides an important corrective to this view, rending visible the many vibrant, non-violent movements that stand as a powerful rebuke not only to fundamentalist violence but anti-democratic practices in the region. Here’s hoping this book finds the wide readership it deserves among both scholars of social movements and revolutions and those concerned with democracy and civil society in the Middle East.”--Doug McAdam, Stanford University“Discussions of democracy in the Middle East often gloss over the important question of how and why people in that region organize to resist authority. Civilian Jihad is a timely and probing examination of this building block of democratic activism. Relying on numerous case studies this book provides fresh insights into Middle East politics, revealing its dynamism and grit in pursuit of freedom.”--Vali Nasr, author of Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World