Understanding 'Sectarianism': Sunni-Shi'a Relations in the Modern Arab World (Hardcover)

Understanding 'Sectarianism': Sunni-Shi'a Relations in the Modern Arab World Cover Image
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Description



Sectarianism is one of the most over-discussed yet under-analyzed concepts in debates about the Middle East. Despite the deluge of commentary, there is no agreement on what sectarianism is. Is it a social issue, one of dogmatic incompatibility, a historic one or one purely related to modern power politics? Is it something innately felt or politically imposed? Is it a product of modernity or its antithesis? Is it a function of the nation-state or its negation?

This book seeks to move the study of modern sectarian dynamics beyond these analytically paralyzing dichotomies by shifting the focus away from the meaningless '-ism' towards the root: sectarian identity. How are Sunni and Shi'a identities imagined, experienced and negotiated and how do they relate to and interact with other identities?

Looking at the modern history of the Arab world, Haddad seeks to understand sectarian identity not as a monochrome frame of identification but as a multi-layered concept that operates on several dimensions: religious, subnational, national and transnational. Far from a uniquely Middle Eastern, Arab, or Islamic phenomenon, a better understanding of sectarian identity reveals that the many facets of sectarian relations that are misleadingly labelled sectarianism are echoed in intergroup relations worldwide.

About the Author


Fanar Haddad is Senior Research Fellow at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore. He is the author of Sectarianism in Iraq, also available from Oxford University Press.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780197510629
ISBN-10: 0197510620
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: March 15th, 2020
Pages: 272
Language: English