Introduction: The Sectarianization Thesis - Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel
PART I - SECTARIANIZATION IN HISTORICAL, GEOPOLITICAL AND THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE
1. The Problem of Sectarianism in the Middle East in an Age of Western Hegemony - Ussama Makdisi
2. The Sectarianization of Geopolitics in the Middle East - Bassel Salloukh
3. The Arab Region at a Tipping Point: Why Sectarianism Fails to Explain the Turmoil - Yezid Sayigh
4. A Narrative Identity Approach to Islamic Sectarianism - Adam Gaiser
PART II - HOW SECTARIANIZATION WORKS: CASE STUDIES
5. International Politics, Domestic Imperatives, and Identity Mobilization: Sectarianism in Pakistan, 1979-1998 - Vali Nasr
6. Sectarian Relations before "Sectarianization" in pre-2003 Iraq - Fanar Haddad
7. The Shattered Nation: The Sectarianization of the Syrian Conflict - Paulo Gabriel Hilu Pinto
8. Sectarianism as Counter-Revolution: Saudi Responses to the Arab Spring - Madawi Al-Rasheed
9. Strategic Depth, Counterinsurgency, and the Logic of Sectarianization: The Islamic Republic of Iran's Security Doctrine and its Regional Implications - Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi
10. Sectarianization, Islamist Republicanism, and International Misrecognition in Yemen - Stacey Philbrick Yadav
11. Sectarianization as Securitization: Identity Politics and Counter-Revolution in Bahrain - Toby Matthiesen
12. The Architecture of Sectarianization in Lebanon - Bassel Salloukh
13. Sectarianism, Authoritarianism, and Opposition in Kuwait - Madeleine Wells
14. Conclusion: Peacebuilding in Sectarianized Conflicts: Findings and Implications for Theory and Practice - Timothy D. Sisk
As the Middle East descends ever deeper into violence and chaos, 'sectarianism' has become a catch-all explanation for the region's troubles. The turmoil is attributed to 'ancient sectarian differences', putatively primordial forces that make violent conflict intractable. In media and policy discussions, sectarianism has come to possess trans-historical causal power.
This book trenchantly challenges the lazy use of 'sectarianism' as a magic-bullet explanation for the region's ills, focusing on how various conflicts in the Middle East have morphed from non-sectarian (or cross-sectarian) and nonviolent movements into sectarian wars. Through multiple case studies -- including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and Kuwait -- this book maps the dynamics of sectarianisation, exploring not only how but also why it has taken hold. The contributors examine the constellation of forces -- from those within societies to external factors such as the Saudi-Iran rivalry -- that drive the sectarianisation process and explore how the region's politics can be de-sectarianised.
Featuring leading scholars -- and including historians, anthropologists, political scientists and international relations theorists -- this book will redefine the terms of debate on one of the most critical issues in international affairs today.