The Odyssey of Iranian Sociologists Under Pressure

US sanctions on Iran, along with the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic political restrictions, are shrinking the public sphere in Iran, including sociological research and study. The Iranian Sociological Association, a large organization working all across the country, is a research hub that engages the public and the government in tackling society’s problems. Shahrokni explains how its important role is, however, being undermined by immense internal and external pressures.

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Anti-Racism and Political Contagion From Save Darfur to Black Lives Matter

Fifteen years after his classic essay for Middle East Report, “Slavery, Genocide and the Politics of Outrage: Understanding the New Racial Olympics” Hisham Aïdi reflects on what has changed, and what has not, in the intertwined dynamics of Islamophobia, solidarity movements and anti-racism in the United States and the Middle East.

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Palestine on the Brink of Crisis

Palestine is heading into a disastrous recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic’s paralysis of economic life combined with structural factors specific to the Palestinian economy. Colin Powers explains why the Palestinian Authority is unable to generate the necessary level of revenue to support its citizens, including the pernicious role of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the PA’s misguided choice to hand economic management to Palestinian business elites.

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Mourning the Loss of the Berber Troubadour Idir

For nearly 50 years, Idir’s music has resonated deeply with his Kabyle listeners: His lyrics not only recall the power of their ancestral traditions, they also serve as a reminder that Kabyle resilience transcends the ages. His music and his novel musicality completely revolutionized Kabyle song, breathing a fresh modernity into the old songs that were sung for centuries in mountain villages.

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Looking Beyond the Struggle for Palestinian Statehood

t is difficult to overstate the crisis in which Palestinians find themselves over 100 years after the Balfour Declaration and over 70 years after the Nakba. Palestinians are living as refugees without civil rights in places like Lebanon. Refugees who had lived in relative stability in Syria have now been besieged and displaced multiple times, […]

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Consequences of US Financial Warfare in the Middle East

hen the COVID-19 pandemic spiked in Iran in March 2020, calls for lifting financial restrictions to allow the import of much needed medical supplies fell on deaf ears in President Donald Trump’s administration. The White House had no intention of putting the brakes on an increasingly forceful tool of twenty-first century US foreign policy—financial warfare. […]

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The Enduring Lessons of the Iraq Sanctions

he economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations Security Council, from 1990 to 2003, may well lay claim to be the worst humanitarian catastrophe ever imposed in the name of global governance. The unconscionable human damage done by those sanctions is routinely dismissed as the unintended consequence of a well-intentioned policy from the […]

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The Tragedies and Dilemmas of US Intervention in Northeast Syria

t the very beginning of the Syrian uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Asad in 2011, and during the early stages of the slide into civil war, Washington made the serious miscalculation that the Asad regime would fall quickly. When the regime failed to collapse, it appeared that President Barack Obama’s administration took the […]

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Six Steps to Reform US Agricultural Policy in the Arab Region

eople in the Arab region have long been hungry—for dignity, but also for food. Hunger is a social phenomenon: the “biological manifestation of underdevelopment,” in the words of Brazilian geographer Josué de Castro.[1] Underdevelopment is the reverse coin of development. Each are made by global class relations and tied to how social structure and state […]

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A Not-So-Modest Proposal to Nationalize the Defense Industry

hifting the course of catastrophic American policy in the Middle East requires bolder steps than changes in doctrine and grand strategy. A substantially less militarized foreign policy necessitates altering the structural political economies that have justified, nurtured and rewarded the carnage. Ending taxpayers’ support for defense industry profits would threaten little of the dynamism and […]

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