Middle East Studies: International Perspectives on the State of the Art

Middle East Studies: International Perspectives on the State of the Art

Middle East Studies: International Perspectives on the State of the Art

Middle East Studies: International Perspectives on the State of the Art

Synopsis

This pioneering volume examines the condition of Middle East studies in nine major countries across three continents. Designed as a state of the art assessment of the field, the book also explores the institutional bases of Middle East studies across cultural and ideological boundaries. The contributors identify a number of emerging trends in Middle East studies, particularly a new emphasis on relevance which has shifted research approaches away from the "exotic peoples and places" perspectives of the colonial and postcolonial world view to the problem-oriented perspectives that characterize current efforts to conduct policy-relevant research.

Excerpt

"The state of the art" is a popular expression in high-tech culture for the most modern, up-to-date innovations in technology. a state-of-the-art model, then, is the culmination of all relevant scientific research and technological development to that point in time; and a state-of-the-art review is an assessment of the research condition and potential for technological development in a particular area of scientific endeavor. So in academia a state-of-the-art review has come to mean an assessment of the state, status, and progress of a field or discipline.

As a state-of-the-art review, this volume provides a comparative assessment, examining the condition of Middle East studies in nine major countries across three continents. Unlike the relatively high degree of international academic and professional cooperation and exchange in scientific and technological fields, there is a dearth of international cooperation and exchange in the social sciences. One result of this, and perhaps also one of the contributing factors, is the very limited information about the state of studies in a particular field or discipline available across countries to students, scholars, educators, college administrators, policy analysts -- anyone with an academic or professional interest in a field who could benefit from a knowledge of what's going on in other countries, and where to go to find out. Given the geopolitical and economic significance of the Middle East in international affairs, a state-of-the-art review of this field seems particularly appropriate and important. Like the fundamental issues of peace, prosperity, and progress, or any issues relevant to these matters (and we are painfully aware that the Middle East is relevant to these matters), our understanding of the state of the Middle East is intimately related to what we know about it. Hence this state-of-the-art assessment of Middle . . .

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