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Contrasting priorities
James W. Peterson

capabilities. Eventually, the Obama administration cancelled the plan in the fall of its first year in office, and the immediate crisis ended. While the Missile Shield proposal was a plan that American leaders developed to deal with the residue of the 9/11 attacks and fears, the explosion of the Arab Spring was unplanned and unexpected. Both Russian and American leaders paid careful attention to its evolution, but two of the affected nations generated questions that Russia and America answered in quite different ways. American intervention in the Libyan civil war was another

in Russian-American relations in the post-Cold War world
Author: Meir Hatina

Arab liberal thought in the modern age provides in-depth analysis of Arab liberalism, which, although lacking public appeal and a compelling political underpinning, sustained viability over time and remains a constant part of the Arab landscape. The study focuses on the second half of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century, a period that witnessed continuity as well as change in liberal thinking. Post-1967 liberals, like their predecessors, confronted old dilemmas, socioeconomic upheavals, political instability, and cultural disorientation, but also demonstrated ideological rejuvenation and provided liberal thought with new emphases and visions. Arab liberals contributed to public debate on cultural, social, and political issues, and triggered debates against their adversaries. Displaying such attributes as skepticism, ecumenism, and confidence in Arab advancement, they burst onto the public scene in questioning the Arab status quo and advocating alternative visions for their countries. Their struggle for freedom of religion, secularism, individualism, democracy, and human rights meant more than a rethinking of Islamic tradition and Arab political culture. It aimed rather at formulating a full-fledged liberal project to seek an Arab Enlightenment. This book fills a major gap in the research literature, which has tended to overlook Middle Eastern liberalism in favor of more powerful and assertive forces embodied by authoritarian regimes and Islamic movements. The book is essential reading for scholars and students in the fields of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, intellectual history, political ideologies, comparative religion, and cultural studies.

Plans and politics in Tunisia
Author: Mariam Salehi

Transitional Justice in Process is the first book to comprehensively study the Tunisian transitional justice process. After the fall of the Ben Ali regime in 2011, Tunisia started dealing with its authoritarian past very early on and initiated a comprehensive transitional justice process, with the Truth and Dignity Commission as its central institution. However, instead of bringing about peace and justice, transitional justice soon became an arena of contention. The book explores through a process lens how the transitional justice process evolved and why and explains how it relates to the political transition. Based on extensive field research in Tunisia and the United States, and interviews with a broad range of Tunisian and international stakeholders and decision-makers, the book provides an in-depth analysis of a crucial time period, beginning with the first initiatives to deal with the past and seek justice and accountability. It includes discussions of the development and design of the transitional justice mandate and, finally, looks at the performance of transitional justice institutions in practice. It examines the role of international justice professionals in different stages of the process, as well as the alliances and frictions between different actor groups that cut across the often-assumed local–international divide. The book therefore makes an essential contribution to literature on the domestic and international politics of transitional justice and in particular to our understanding of the Tunisian transitional justice process.

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Islamism and liberalism in the Arab world: some theoretical remarks
Uriya Shavit and Ofir Winter

approaches is to adopt an approach that does not ignore the uniqueness of different groups at the state and sub-state levels, or the existence of ideologies that traverse these borders. The revolutions and the attempts at revolutions, for which the term ‘Arab Spring’ was coined, represent a recent example of why the balanced approach is essential. Research that will examine the events as a whole will miss the unique contexts leading to the upheavals in different Arab countries; the motivations of the demonstrators in Tahrir Square were not the same as those of the rebels

in Zionism in Arab discourses
Paul Reilly

the evolving relationship between ICTs and contentious politics in the contemporary era. The role of digital media in social movements since 2011 is analysed, using exemplars such as Occupy Wall Street and the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa later labelled the ‘Arab Spring’. Third, the chapter explores the evolving role of digital media in contentious politics in Northern Ireland. Data from organisations such as Ofcom are used to empirically investigate the news consumption practices of citizens and levels of public trust in professional news

in Digital contention in a divided society
Paddy Hoey

, but merely the channels in which it is dispersed.76 Narratives of the Arab Spring of 2010–2011 became the apotheosis of the Westernized, libertarian potential of the Internet and alternative media to democratize the world and destabilize despotic regimes. They represented the conclusion of twenty years of Internet utopianism that presented the open and ‘democratizing’ spaces of cyberspace where the disenfranchised from the ‘broken’ political apparatuses of both the dictatorships and Western democracy could flourish. British centre-left commentators like the BBC

in Shinners, Dissos and Dissenters
François Burgat

al-Assad on his throne come hell or high water. Nor could anything have predicted the speed with which the false “Friends of Syria,” 4 after having loudly proclaimed their support for the revolution, would one by one come to betray their promises. In the midst of the Syrian uprising, legalist Islamists winning at the polls in Tunisia and Egypt also came to deeply transform—and not for the better—the Western imaginary concerning the Arab Spring that it had briefly idealized. Syria before the Storm

in Understanding Political Islam
Philip Proudfoot

, The Mask and the Flag ; Francesca Comunello and Giuseppe Anzera , “ Will the Revolution Be Tweeted? A Conceptual Framework for Understanding the Social Media and the Arab Spring ,” Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations 23 , no. 4 (October 2012 ): 453 – 70 ,

in Rebel populism
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Mariam Salehi

Importance of Being Earnest 2 Tunisia is often presented as a ‘poster child’ for the so-called Arab Spring. 3 It is the country where the region-wide uprisings against authoritarian leaders first started, in December 2010, with small protests following street-vendor Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation. These events snowballed

in Transitional justice in process
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Philip Proudfoot

entities, by 2011, spectacular “people-led mass political mobilisations” were accompanied by imagery that was likewise “bottom-up and people-led.” 18 Commenting on martyrdom phenomena during the Arab Spring, the anthropologist Farha Ghannam groups together these techniques under the rubric “technologies of immortality,” meaning any discourse or practice (“traditional” or “new

in Rebel populism