The Middle East today is characterized by an astonishingly bloody civil war in Syria, an ever more highly racialized and militarized approach to the concept of a Jewish state in Israel and the Palestinian territories, an Iraqi state paralyzed by the emergence of class- and region-inflected sectarian identifications, a Lebanon teetering on the edge of collapse from the pressures of its huge numbers of refugees and its sect-bound political system, and the rise of a
wide variety of Islamist paramilitary organizations seeking to operate outside all these states.
The region's emergence as a 'zone of violence', characterized by a viciously dystopian politics of identity, is a relatively recent phenomenon, developing only over the past century; but despite these shallow historical roots, the mass violence and dispossession now characterizing Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Iraq have emerged as some of the twenty-first century's most intractable problems. In this study, Laura Robson uses a framework of mass violence - encompassing the concepts of
genocide, ethnic cleansing, forced migration, appropriation of resources, mass deportation, and forcible denationalization - to explain the emergence of a dystopian politics of identity across the Eastern Mediterranean in the modern era and to illuminate the contemporary breakdown of the state from
Syria to Iraq to Israel.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 240
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm