Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Arab Society in Revolt: The West's Mediterranean Challenge

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Arab Society in Revolt: The West's Mediterranean Challenge

Article excerpt

Arab Society in Revolt: The West's Mediterranean Challenge. Edited by Cesare Merlini and Olivier Roy. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 20 12. 268 pp. $28.95, paper.

The misleading title of this already outdated work is the first clue to the disappointing and trite conclusions found inside. Arab Society in Revolt, which actually focuses on North Africa, is largely concerned with migrant-sending countries and the issues growing out of the attendant societal transformations. It is evident that the editors and contributors began to compose the book before the beginning of the Arab uprisings because the issues they raise such as demography, economics, migration, Islamic revival, democracy, and gender antedate the revolutions.

Thus they include hopeful observations not necessarily borne out by shifting facts on the ground. In the introduction, the authors advance the controversial claim that although the Islamists are very conservative, they "have to respond in one way or another to the people who voted for them and want results, progress." The jury is still out on this one while the modern history of the Middle East is filled with rulers who did not give a fig for what the people wanted. Editor Roy claims that in Tunisia and Egypt the ongoing stress "is on individual belief, individual faith, [and] not on collective belonging to the ummah [Islamic nation]. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.