Minorities and the Modern Arab World

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Laura Robson
Middle East Studies Beyond Dominant Paradigms
  • Syracuse, NY: 
    Syracuse University Press
    , May
     336 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


In the wake of recent upheavals across the Arab world, a simplistic media portrayal of the region as essentially homogenous has given way to a new though equally shallow portrayal, casting it as deeply divided along ethnic, linguistic, and religious lines. The essays gathered in Minorities and the Modern Arab World seek to challenge this representation with a nuanced exploration of the ways in which ethnic, religious, and linguistic commitments have intersected to create “minority” communities in the modern era.

Bringing together the fields of history, political science, anthropology, sociology, and linguistics, contributors provide fresh analyses of the construction and evolution of minority identities around the region. They examine how the category of “minority” became meaningful only with the rise of the modern nation-state and find that Middle Eastern minority nationalisms owe much of their modern self-definition to developments within diaspora populations and other transnational frameworks.

The first volume to upend the conceptual frame of reference for studying Middle Eastern minority communities in nearly two decades, Minorities and the Modern Arab World represents a major intervention in modern Middle East studies.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Laura Robson is associate professor of history at Portland State University. She is the author of Colonialism and Christianity in Mandate Palestine.

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