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The conclusion synthesizes and reflects upon the case studies and comparative and theoretical contributions in the book. The cases are organized around three categories: first, relatively conventional decentralization initiatives in which reforms were adopted to improve governance; second, contexts in which decentralization has been contemplated as a framework for self-determination for the region’s stateless communities; and finally, decentralization initiatives undertaken in the shadow of conflict and state fragmentation. This concluding chapter develops theoretical insights drawn from the rich terrain for qualitative comparison across these three contexts. It offers reflections on key characteristics of the shared regional context and a typology of factors driving decentralization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It argues that an important contribution of the volume lies in identifying a broader array of motivations for, and actors driving, decentralization than currently reflected in the scholarly literature and in parsing the implications for the institutional design of decentralized government. The chapter concludes by distilling patterns from the cases to identify distinct trajectories of decentralization that are evidenced in the MENA region and their entailments.
The highly centralized character of governance in Syria obscures the state’s long history of experimentation with decentralization. This chapter traces the origins of administrative decentralization and the state of governance in Syria, covering the situation prior to the uprising of 2011, and continuing through 2017, a period of fragmentation of authority between the Bashar al-Assad government, the Arab opposition, and Kurdish parties. The chapter describes how each of these three systems reviewed have adapted and responded to the others, creating a set of complex dynamics that will likely continue to echo into Syria’s political future. Even as opposition areas face collapse, and the future of Kurdish Rojava is increasingly uncertain, local governance modalities developed in these areas continue to operate even in regions retaken by the government. The continued experimentation and local decision-making taking place within these local bodies may well have implications for Syria, and the broader Middle East, for decades to come.
Since the emergence of the Islamic State (ISIS) as one of the leading insurgent forces in Syria and Iraq in the 2010s, the academic literature has increasingly focused on the phenomenon of foreign fighters. Most studies have analyzed transnational insurgents joining the ISIS; however, research on non-jihadi foreign fighters remains underdeveloped. The article sheds much-needed light on the factors motivating non-jihadi fighters to join conflicts abroad. Specifically, it presents the findings of an in-depth analysis of the factors leading Italian nationals to join the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG/YPJ)1 after 2011, their military contribution on the battlefield, and their reasons for returning to Italy. The contributions of the paper are twofold. First, it enriches our general understanding of the motivations of non-jihadi foreign fighters through detailed qualitative analysis, including first-hand accounts and an analysis of fighters' biographies. Second, it offers a more complete picture of the specific factors informing the Italian experience of transnational non-jihadi fighters in recent years. The qualitative data highlight the role of non-material factors in triggering the armed mobilization of foreign fighters. The findings indicate that the Italian foreign fighters contingent within the YPG/YPJ and the SDF has been highly committed, made up mostly of young males with no military experience, and had little to no impact on the battlefield.
Since the uprisings of 2010 and 2011, it has often been assumed that the politics of the Arab-speaking world is dominated, and will continue to be dominated, by orthodox Islamic thought and authoritarian politics. Challenging these assumptions, Line Khatib explores the current liberal movement in the region, examining its activists and intellectuals, their work, and the strengths and weaknesses of the movement as a whole. By investigating the underground and overlooked actors and activists of liberal activism, Khatib problematizes the ways in which Arab liberalism has been dismissed as an insignificant sociopolitical force, or a mere reaction to Western formulations of liberal politics. Instead, she demonstrates how Arab liberalism is a homegrown phenomenon that has influenced the politics of the region since the nineteenth century. Shedding new light on an understudied movement, Khatib provokes a re-evaluation of the existing literature and offers new ways of conceptualizing the future of liberalism and democracy in the modern Arab world.
This study explores the identity dynamics of the Arabic-speaking Greek Orthodox community of the Hatay province of Turkey. Citizens of Turkey, members of the Greek Orthodox church and Arabic speakers, members of this small but historic community stood at the crossroads of three nationalisms: Greek, Syrian and Turkish. Following the urbanization waves that swept through the Turkish countryside since the 1950s, thousands of Hatay Greek Orthodox moved to Istanbul and were given the chance to integrate with the Greek minority there. The case of the Hatay Greek Orthodox community points to the resilience of millet-based identities, more than a century after the demise of the Ottoman Empire.
This chapter examines processes of hydraulic development and state-building. It explores the ways in which modern ‘hydraulic missions’, and the new waterscapes and patterns of water use and supply resulting from them, reflect and have helped consolidate specific state-building and national development agendas. Building on this, the chapter shows that these hydraulic projects have also repeatedly involved dispossession, displacement, conflict and violence, and everywhere created new forms of insecurity for some alongside ‘water security’ for others; and as corollaries of this, that water-related conflicts have been more closely associated with development than its dearth, and more with resource abundance than scarcity. Lastly, the chapter argues that the spectre of climate change has already led to a resurgence of hydraulic development and associated conflicts – and that more will surely follow. Empirically, the chapter focuses on Israel, Cyprus, Syria and Sudan, providing illustrative examples of the range of hydraulic conflicts and insecurities which have ensued across these cases, associated especially with dam building, land-grabbing and agricultural modernisation.
This chapter explores the consequences of war for water security and insecurity. It maps out and analyses four main ways in which war matters for water: through infrastructure destruction; through population displacement; through the expropriation of resources and infrastructures; and through war’s profound if mostly indirect ramifications for state-building and development. Empirically, the chapter draws on evidence from across the divided environments considered in this book, including the ongoing wars in South Sudan, Syria and Lake Chad, the 2003–5 Darfur war, recent Israeli wars on Gaza and key historical conflagrations such as the 1948–9 Arab-Israeli war. The chapter argues through all of this that war is deeply contradictory, being simultaneously highly destructive and highly productive in its water security consequences. And it argues that this is likely to remain the case in an era of climate disruption: while, for some, war is likely is have sharply negative climate vulnerability consequences, it is nonetheless also the case, the chapter shows, that adaptive capacities are often founded on infrastructures and hierarchies of political violence.
This chapter serves as a companion to the previous one, focusing on the second main plank of eco-determinist climate and water security reasoning: drought. The chapter argues that the evidence on drought and conflict is weak and misleading; that today droughts have far more limited economic and political consequences than is usually imagined; and that we should not expect accelerating global climate change to fundamentally alter this. These arguments are developed via analysis of the first supposed ‘climate wars’ – the Darfur war of 2003–5, the ongoing Syrian civil war and the ongoing Lake Chad basin crisis – as well as consideration of the history of drought impacts and climate change projections. On each of these counts the chapter shows that the evidence, and thus the grounds for concluding that climate change–induced droughts will trigger ever-more conflict in future, is remarkably thin. Picking up on the previous chapter, the chapter also explores the politics of drought–conflict discourse, showing that ‘drought’ is often an exercise in deflecting state responsibility and obscuring political agency which does little for the security of the rural poor.
This chapter is a companion to the previous one and extends many of its themes, but this time in relation to territorial frontiers. ‘Frontiers’, as understand here, are simultaneously geographically peripheral to existing centres of political and economic power, objects of outward expansion and colonisation, and home to both abundant resources and local populations who are routinely marginalised, excluded and sometimes expelled in the name of development. The chapter explores such frontier dynamics in relation to ‘water frontiers’ within Sudan, the Palestinian territories, the Lake Chad region and north-eastern Syria. It shows that frontiers are sites of extreme levels and forms of appropriation, inequality, degradation, conflict and insecurity, as well as resilience and resistance, both in general and in relation to water specifically. And the chapter closes, in line with previous ones, by turning to climate change, noting that frontiers are widely misunderstood within climate crisis discourse – and by reflecting on how they are actually likely to fare as the planet warms.
Chapter 6 presents the second of the three case studies: Protecting the Individual Human Being from Mass Atrocities. The case study offers a critical discussion of the literature and the development of R2P. The chapter then analyses the discourse on Libya and Syria concerning actions to protect civilians and the potential use of force to do so. The analysis focuses mainly on UN Security Council deliberations. Finally, the chapter demonstrates how the individual human being appears in the discourse on protection as innocent civilians or guilty perpetrators or terrorists. As will be demonstrated, this matters for enabling a politics of protection. By analysing the debate on the intervention in Libya in 2011 and dealing with the conflict in Syria, mainly focusing on the years 2011 to 2015, respectively, I demonstrate how these politics of protection play out
By November 1940, les forces françaises libres had swelled to 19,679 soldiers. Arguably the setback at Dakar became a benefit, because it hardened and focused the French exile movement, forced it to adjust to a long-war strategy, and obliged de Gaulle to initiate the transition from a military organization with a political agenda into a political movement with an, albeit constricted, armed wing. With the creation on 27 October 1940 of a Conseil de la défense de l’Empire, the external resistance was now a legitimate territorial power. In the BCRA, la France libre had an organization with the potential to structure and operationalize an as yet diminutive but inevitable internal resistance. On the debit side, la France libre remained an insecure movement with a narrow and underdeveloped African base, factionalized between soldiers and civilians, between the various branches of the movement, torn between its civil war with Vichy and the compulsion to fight the Germans. The BCRA was inexperienced in clandestine mobilization, without a strategy, and dependent on the British for resources. While de Gaulle exhibited many noble qualities, even elements of true greatness, and had stamped his personality on his organization, his attributes were offset by an autocratic temperament and imperious behavior that exasperated allies and alienated potential supporters. Furthermore, Vichy still commanded its High Seas Fleet and controlled the strategically important Levant, Dakar, and AFN. Pétain also enjoyed patriotic prestige and credibility with a French population disoriented by defeat, eager to secure the release of French POWs, and convinced that he was plotting “la revanche” against Germany. British policy continued to recognize Vichy while supporting de Gaulle. With the United States poised to enter the conflict, relations among the three allies would grow more complex.
The Arab-Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan) has long been at the center of cultural, social, and geopolitical changes in the region, which have been central in shaping the development of psychological practice and science in the region. The region has been at the cross section of multiple foreign influences (French, British, US, Arab), all of whom have impacted academia. This resulted not only in multiple ideologies and schools of psychological thought that remain until today, but also in a trilingual academic system that further deepens the disconnect among psychologists and test-takers in the region. Additionally, the Levant’s experience of occupation, trauma, diaspora, and political instability has led to an increased need and interest in mental health services and displaced populations, and hence the measurement of related constructs. More recently, with increased funding for research on such populations, non-Arab researchers have gained a renewed interest in the region, which has led the way to increased collaborative efforts in the development of psychometric tools. This chapter discusses how these contemporary historical developments have impacted testing-related practices academia, research, and practice in clinical, educational, and industrial/organizational practice.
The conquest of Egypt and Asia, leading to new urban and fiscal infrastructures and new forms and levels of elite consumption, increased the scale of trade and exchange in the Hellenistic economy. Complex institutional changes that were spurred by both fiscal-military demand and local responses to this demand changed agrarian and commercial patterns, with likely positive effects on local markets. This chapter argues that the Hellenistic period was one of moderate economic growth both in the Greek poleis of the Aegean and in the core regions of Hellenistic Asia and Egypt. The greater presence of Roman traders in the Hellenistic East from the second century onwards is also likely to have had positive effects on market exchange and monetary circulation. Yet there is reason to assume that in the final decades of the Hellenistic period, all Hellenistic regions to some extent, but particularly the Aegean and Asia Minor, suffered from the destructive forces of the Roman military presence and subsequent tributary exploitation. Only after the Roman civil wars came to an end and fiscal practices were better regulated did the economies of the East begin to recover and to expand along the pathways that had developed in the Hellenistic period.
One of the most significant sources of Anglo-Gaullist tension throughout this period was the future independence of the French mandated Levant territories (Syria and Lebanon). Operation Exporter (June-July 1941) was the first protracted battle fought by Anglo-Free French forces to secure French territory loyal to Vichy. It also marked a resurgence of imperial rivalry that escalated over the next four years.
This chapter introduces another complicating factor into the Anglo-Free French relationship: anti-imperial nationalist movements and their demands for independence. It explores Britain’s policy of pressuring de Gaulle to endorse full independence for both states. British policy-makers attempted to manage the rhetoric of Arab nationalism in order to preserve Britain’s regional influence. They removed references to an inherent Franco-Levantine bond from official Free French statements. They also directed the British press to avoid any mention of the Anglo-Egyptian treaty due to its broad unpopularity. The Free French, reliant upon British monetary and military support, had to acquiesce to British demands to preserve their outward legitimacy.
The voluntary digestible organic matter intake (DOMI) of mature barley crops (Hordeum spp.) for sheep depends largely on straw quality. Direct measurement of DOMI is laborious; consequently, the research reported here evaluated indicator traits for improving barley straw DOMI by crop breeding. It hypothesized that some indicator traits for straw quality are heritable, facilitate genetic gain in DOMI, and reveal straw properties that constrain genetic gain. In 4 years, 32 genotypes of barley were grown at ICARDA, northern Syria, with no fertilizer in one year and supplementary irrigation in another. Indicator traits for predicting DOMI included in situ straw dry matter losses (DML) at nine incubation times (0–120 h), four parameters of the DML curve, seven laboratory tests, grain yield and straw yield. Heritability (h2) was highest for traits associated with indigestible cell wall constituents, including potential DML (h2 = 0.61), DML at 48–120 h of incubation (h2 = 0.48–0.58), and acid detergent fibre (ADF) (h2 = 0.41). Heritability was lower for DOMI itself (h2 = 0.24), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) (h2 = 0.20), and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (h2 = 0.17), and was lowest for DML at 6–18 h (h2 = 0.08–0.09) and the in situ parameters Lag and relative loss rate of slowly degradable DM (h2 ≤ 0.03). Correlations between indicator traits and DOMI tended to increase with heritability. Grain and straw yields were not correlated with DOMI; of these, only grain yield was heritable. In conclusion, genetic gain in barley straw nutritive value can be achieved by crop breeding under diverse growing conditions, using indicator traits associated with indigestible cell wall constituents.
Chapter 1 immerses the reader into the Za'atari refugee camp. Situated in Jordan just seven and a half miles south of the Syrian border, the camp – a two-square-mile rectangle divided into twelve districts – is nestled in the very heart of the Middle East. Here, in the desert heat, a community was born in the swell of crisis. The reader is immediately introduced to the book's three featured Syrian women entrepreneurs – Yasmina, Asma, and Malak – in their elements. Yasmina, a salon and wedding dress shop owner, is relaxing in the salon with her family as her client celebrates a beautiful wedding a couple of districts away. Asma, a social entrepreneur and teacher, is reading a story to a group of children – including three of her own – in her trailer, which she has converted into a magical hideout for the children. Malak, an artist, is putting the finishing touches on a series of drawings for an event at a youth center that is meant to encourage the girls in Za'atari to push against the harmful practice of child marriage.
Chapter 7 focuses on the two entities most often considered instances of revolutionary state formation after 2011 and which came into conflict with one another: the ISIS caliphate founded across Syria and Iraq, on the one hand, and the autonomous cantons ruled by the Kurdish PYD party in ‘Rojava’, or the Kurdish areas of north-eastern Syria, on the other. The chapter acknowledges that in attempting to create new forms of state – ‘democratic confederalism’ in the case of Rojava, and a Sunni Caliphate in the case of ISIS – these instances do resemble previous cases of revolutionary transformation. Yet their relationship with the revolutionary uprisings of 2011 is more complicated. In the case of ISIS, the chapter demonstrates that the caliphate is better thought of as a form of counter-revolution against that uprising, while in Rojava the PYD maintained an ambiguous relationship with the regime against which it was directed. For both the PYD and ISIS, international intervention proved decisive as the former were able to ally with the United States to defeat the latter – only then to suffer Turkish invasion once US support was withdrawn.
Chapter 12 features the three entrepreneurs discussing their hopes for the future. Despite its progress, Za'atari still faces significant challenges in terms of basic resources and opportunities. So each entrepreneur represents a different hope. Yasmina, as the oldest of the group, discusses the ultimate hope within residents: that there will be lasting peace in Syria and they can return home. Asma considers another hope many have: resettlement to new communities. She talks about her potential resettlement to Canada after recently being interviewed at the embassy in Amman, and what it would mean for her children to have more consistent, higher quality education. Malak discusses the hope that, even if she is to remain in Za'atari for long, it will be better resourced so all children will have the opportunity to realize their God-given gifts. Her most recent painting of a woman, covered in vibrant colors and looking upward, represents this hope – as she accepts her life in Za'atari for now and sees her purpose as living out her gifts boldly as a role model for the children around her. In this spirit, the book ends with a poem by Asma about the hopes and dreams of Za'atari.
Chapter 4 provides an overview of today’s global refugee crisis, driven by perspectives of refugees around the world. The Syrian war has displaced a stunning half of Syria’s prewar population, with nearly 80,000 of those Syrians having fled to nearby Za'atari; the UN calls it “the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time.” But it is only a part of a broader global crisis: today, more people than at any other time in history have been forcibly displaced from their homes. More than twenty-six million refugees, over half of whom are children, have fled their home countries entirely. This chapter provides a brief exploration of the major crises causing displacement, from instability in Central America and Afghanistan, to the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar, to wars in South Sudan and Yemen. And it considers where most refugees end up: in host cities, in refugee camps, and – unfortunately only on rare occurences – resettled permanently in adoptive cities. It discusses how, due to continuing conflicts and tightening restrictions on acceptance of refugees, refugee camps are increasingly becoming like permanent settlements, despite their intended role as temporary safe havens.
Chapter 9 is about the present impact of the three entrepreneurs’ ventures, alongside many others, on the Za'atari community. A far cry from its makeshift origins, Za'atari is now much like a city. The Shams-Élysées, the Saudi Market, and other areas are buzzing as more than 3,000 businesses generate about $13 million in revenue a month and serve community members. These include bird shops, a cinema, sustainable farming solutions, and, of course, the ventures launched by Yasmina, Asma, and Malak. Yasmina is bringing profound joy into the lives of women across Za'atari. She helps brides feel special, valued, and beautiful, sometimes after a long period of feeling forgotten. Asma is uplifting Za'atari's children to reach for their highest aspirations. Much to her delight, her apprentice Nawara creates her own version of the storytelling initiative that is widely attended. In addition to running her studio with Treza, Malak repeatedly uses her art to empower the children around her, especially on the issue of child marriage. She designs twenty powerful drawings that are presented to girls during a workshop, empowering them to push back against such arrangements.