New Books in Political Science

interpreting women's rights pakistanNEW October 2014

Interpreting Islam, Modernity, and Women’s Rights in Pakistan

by Anita M. Weiss

(Palgrave Macmillan; 204 pages; Oct 2014).

This book analyzes the Government of Pakistan’s construction of an understanding of what constitutes women’s rights, moves on to address traditional views and contemporary popular opinion on women’s rights, and then focuses on three very different groups’ perceptions of women’s rights, from the progressive group Shirkat Gah to the Swat Taliban.

Democracy and Islam in Indonesia edited by Mirjam Künkler and Alfred Stepan (Columbia University Press; 272 pages; Sept. 2013). Political scientists, religious scholars, legal theorists, and anthropologists examine the theory and practice of Indonesia’s democratic transition and its ability to serve as a model for other Muslim countries, comparing it to imilar scenarios in Chile, Spain, India, and Tunisia, as well as Yugoslavia, Egypt, and Iran.

Egypt on the Brink: From Nasser to the Muslim Brotherhood by Tarek Osman (Yale egypt on the brinkUniversity Press; 328 pages; 2nd ed. Sept. 2013). Osman explores what has happened to the biggest Arab nation since President Nasser took control of the country in 1954. This new edition takes events up to summer 2013, looking at how Egypt has become increasingly divided under its new Islamist government.

europe bookEurope in Its Own Eyes, Europe in the Eyes of the Other edited by David B. MacDonald and Mary-Michelle DeCoste (Wilfrid Laurier University Press; 312 pages; April 2014). Essays on internal and external perspectives in politics, history, geography, literature, visual culture, and other realms; topics include discourse on Turkish EU membership.

German Jihad: On the Internationalization of Islamist Terrorism by Guido W. Sternberg (Columbia University Press; 320 pages; June 2013). Examines the radicalization and recruitment of German- born Islamist militants and considers their significance in global terrorism.

Global Salafism: Islam’s New Religious Movement edited by Roel Meijer (Oxford University Press; 400 pages; Oct. 2013). The contributors to Global Salafism carefully outline not only the differences in the Salafi schools but the broader currents of Islamic thought that constitute this trend as well.

Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God by Matthew Levitt (Georgetown University Press; 426 pages; Sept. 2013).islam, sharia, dispute resolutionDraws on declassified material in a study of the group’s activities beyond Lebanon and its networks of support.

Imagining Iran: The Tragedy of Subaltern Nationalism by Majid Sharifi (Lexington Books; 359 pages; Aug. 2013). Links the failure of successive Iranian regimes since the constitutional revolution of 1905-6 to a failure to nationalize those regimes’ concepts of Iranian identity.

The Institutionalisation of Political Parties in Post-authoritarian Indonesia: From the Grass-roots Up by Ulla Fionna (Amsterdam University Press, distributed by University of Chicago Press; 252 pages; Aug. 2013). Discusses the institutionalization of East Java branches of four parties—Golkar, Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan, Amanat Nasional, and Keadilan Sejahtera—since the fall
of Suharto.

Islam, Sharia, and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mechanisms for Legal Redress in the Muslim Community by Mohamed M. Keshavjee (I.B. Tauris, distributed by Palgrave Macmillan; 237 pages; July 2013). Mohamed Keshavjee examines both Sunni and Shi’a applications of Islamic law, demonstrating how political, cultural and other factors have influenced the practice of fiqh and Shari’a in the West.

Islamist Parties and Political Normalization in the Muslim World edited by Quinn Mecham and Julie Chernov Hwang (University of Pennsylvania Press; 232 pages; June 2014). Essays on the electoral and strategic behavior of Islamist parties in Turkey, Morocco, Yemen, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh.

Malaysian Islamic PartyThe Malaysian Islamic Party, 1951-2013: Islamism in a Mottled Nation by Farish A. Noor (Amsterdam University Press, distributed by University of Chicago Press; 260 pages; Sept. 2014). Noor traces the shifting politics of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, the country’s largest opposition party, focusing on the different ideological postures—from anticolonialism to postrevolutionary Islamism—that it has adopted over the years.

paradoxesofliberaldemocracyParadoxes of Liberal Democracy: Islam, Western Europe, and the Danish Cartoon Crisis by Paul M. Sniderman, Michael Bang Petersen, Rune Slothuus & Rune Stubager (Princeton University Press; 200 pages; Aug. 2014). Demonstrates how the moral covenant underpinning the welfare state simultaneously promotes equal treatment for some Muslim immigrants and opens the door to discrimination against others.

Peacebuilding in Practice: Local Experience in Two Bosnian Towns by Adam Moore (Cornell University Press; 240 pages; July 2013). Contrasts the favorable experience of Brcko with the continued tensions in Mostar.

Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam by Asef Bayat (Oxford University Press; 368 pages; June 2013). These essays bring together young and established scholars and activists to discuss their research on Post-Islamism, which emphasizes rights rather than merely obligation, plurality instead of singular authoritative qatarvoice, historicity rather than fixed scriptures, and the future instead of the past.

Qatar: Small State, Big Politics by Mehran Kamrava (Cornell University Press; 232 pages; July 2013). Discusses the Gulf emirate as an “experimental country” and considers its widening clout in and beyond the region.


Roots of the Arab Spring: Contested Authority and Political Change in the Middle East by Dafna Hochman Rand (University of Pennsylvania Press; 171 pages; June 2013). Draws on three years of field research conducted before the protests began, in December 2010.

Saddam Husayn and Islam, 1968-2003: Ba`thi Iraq from Secularism to Faith by Amatzia Baram (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, distributed by Johns Hopkins University Press; 432 pages; 2014). An intellectual history of the Ba’ath Party that examines its shift from secular ideology to Islamization.

Shi’i Islam and Identity: Religion, Politics, and Change in the Global Muslim Community edited by Lloyd Ridgedon (I.B. Tauris, distributed by Palgrave Macmillan; April 2013). Writings that document the diversity of Shi’ite identity, including in communities in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Senegal, as well as in the Western diaspora.

The Struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland and Global Politics by Ayesha Jalal (Harvard University Press; 448 pages; Sept. 2014). Attentive to Pakistan’s external relations as well as its internal dynamics, Jalal shows how the vexed relationship with the United States, border disputes with Afghanistan in the west, and the conflict with India over Kashmir in the east have played into the hands of the generals who purchased security at the cost of strong democratic institutions.

The Syria-Iran Axis: Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations in the Middle East by Nadia von Maltzahn (I.B. Tauris, distributed by Palgrave Macmillan; 272 pages; July 2013). Extends discussion of the two countries’ relations beyond political and military ties to such cultural links as the presence of key Shi’ite shrines in Syria.Taliban book

The Taliban Revival: Violence and Extremism on the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier by Hassan Abbas (Yale University Press; 280 pages; June 2014). Analyzes the survival and revival of the Taliban, including how they have benefited from actions by the West and corruption in Kabul.

Understanding Ethnopolitical Conflict: Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia Wars Reconsidered understandingby Emil Souleimanov (Palgrave Macmillan; 250 pages; $90). A study of three South Caucasus conflicts of the 1980s and 90s.

Vying for Allah’s Vote: Understanding Islamic Parties, Political Violence, and Extremism in Pakistan by Haroon K. Ullah (Georgetown University Press; 272 pages; Dec. 2013). Develops a new typology documenting the range of Islamic parties.

Whatever Happened to the Egyptian Revolution? by Gamal Amin, translated by Jonathan Wright (American University in Cairo Press, distributed by Oxford University Press; 360 pages pages; June 2013). In his latest exploration of the Egyptian malaise, Amin first looks at the events of the months preceding the Revolution of 25 January 2011. He then follows the ups and downs of the Revolution, concluding with an outline of a possible brighter future for Egypt.

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