Considering its relatively small size, MEI’s research output has been quite significant. In terms of publications, MEI has published (in print and online) over 150 articles, policy briefs, book chapters and books, averaging approximately one major publication per week.
It is with great pleasure that MEI announces the release of Converging Regions: Global Perspectives on Asia and the Middle East (Ashgate). Edited by MEI’s Deputy Director Dr Charlotte Schriwer and Editor Dr Nele Lenze, this compilation of essays ranging from maritime politics to patterns of labour migration offers a comprehensive view of the diverse connections between Asia and the Middle East. It also explores the shifts in power between East and West, and the resulting consequences for global dynamics.
The Arab Uprisings: Catalysts, Dynamics, and Trajectories (Rowman and Littlefield) is the latest book to be published by MEI. Addressing a broad range of issues, the nuances of the Arab revolts are effectively explored in this book. Edited by Dr. Fahed Al-Sumait, MEI’s former director Professor Michael C. Hudson and MEI’s editor Dr. Nele Lenze, it offers a range of interdisciplinary interpretations of a much discussed topic.
MEI’s former director Professor Michael Hudson and Research Director for the Middle East Institute in Washington, Mimi Kirk, have published an edited volume entitled Gulf Politics and Economics in a Changing World (World Scientific; May 2014). The volume features contributions from leading scholars in the field of Gulf studies in the United States, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. It addresses the many facets of political and economic life in the GCC, Iran, and Iraq since the Arab Uprisings of 2011. It also offers analysis and predictions of potential future developments in this important region of the Middle East.
In February Yale University Press published Visiting Professor Ali Allawi’s detailed biography, Faisal I of Iraq. This revisionist history of modern Iraq’s first king (r. 1921-33) is the first to give a proper evaluation of Faisal’s contributions to Middle Eastern history. It is the first contemporary biography of a figure who had played a seminal role in the founding of the state of Iraq and the making of the modern Middle East, Allawi hopes that his book will provide ‘a better understanding of the fall of the Ottoman empire, World War I and the establishment of the modern Arab states of the Middle East’. Allawi rejects the conventional portrayal of Faisal as a British puppet, and sees him as a statesman and nation-builder. He argues that Faisal was the real maker of modern Iraq and portrays him as a convincing multi-dimensional figure, although he became more autocratic towards the end of his reign.
Ali Kadri’s Arab Development Denied (Anthem Press, London) takes a detailed look at issues of development and political economy in the Arab world. Ali Kadri examines how over the last three decades the Arab world has undergone a process of developmental descent, or de-development. He defines de-development as the purposeful deconstruction of developing entities. The Arab world has lost its wars and its society restructured to absorb the terms of defeat masquerading as development policies under neoliberalism. Foremost in this process of de-development are the policies of de-industrialisation that have laid to waste the production of knowledge, created a fully compradorial ruling class that relies on commerce and international finance for its reproduction, as opposed to nationally based production, and halted the primary engine of job creation. The Arab mode of accumulation has come to be based on commerce in a manner similar to that of the pre-capitalist age along with its cultural decay. Kadri attributes the Arab world’s developmental failure not only to imperialist hegemony over oil, but also to the rising role of financialisation, which goes hand in hand with the wars of encroachment that were already stripping the Arab world of its resources. War for war’s sake has become a tributary to the world economy, argues Kadri, and like oil, there is neither a shortage of war nor a shortage of the conditions to make new war in the Arab world
Professor Sluglett and cartographer Andrew Currie have spent more than twenty years working on An Atlas of Islamic History, published by Routledge in 2014; an Arabic translation will be published in Beirut in 2015. The atlas covers the spread of Islam from its inception in seventh century Arabia through the early twentieth century, and it includes coverage of states and religious movements throughout the Islamic world.