This book examines the relationship between identity and political dissent in the context of the Arab and non-Arab Middle East by focusing on recent uprisings and protests in the region. The case studies here - Iran, Palestine, Israel, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan – highlight a number of dynamics and different forms of resistance. These examples show how political identities are multiple, not static and that they are too complex to be reduced to superficial dichotomies of Islamism vs. secularism or Sunnism vs. Shi’ism. Through examining the relationship between everyday grassroots politics and the question of identity, as well as elite identity discourses, this volume presents a textured analysis of the region’s dynamic political communities. This book explores how different identities must be navigated, negotiated and how they intersect at a time of dramatic change in the Middle East.
Philip Leech is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government at Ottawa University in Canada (2014-17) and a Visiting Fellow at the Kenyon Institute in Jerusalem (2014-15). He has a PhD from Exeter Universities Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies (2012). He is the author of The State of Palestine: A Critical Analysis (2016).