Identities, Nationalism, and the State: The Politics of Ethnicity and Minority Regimes in the Middle East, calls attention to the question of how minorities position and represent themselves during and after regime transitions and the dilemmas that minorities pose to regime change and how social cleavages shape minority preferences for regime type. It traces the path of ethnic and religious identities of minority regimes using the theories of modernization and nationalism to find that ethnic nationalism can be—and often is—incompatible with nation-building. The author examines ethnic identity and ethnic conflict in the Middle East, exploring the process of identity formation within the context of colonial politics and postcolonial Arab nationalism. By considering Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Bahrain, all significant regional actors, Identities, Nationalism, and the State tries to answer questions of legitimacy and inclusivity of minority rule, focusing not only on the outcomes of minority and majority rule but also on examples of where minorities find communal representation better than modern state governance.
Miaad Hassan is assistant professor at the American University of Kurdistan.
Chapter One: Understanding the Middle East: Theoretical Approaches
Chapter Two: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the State
Chapter Three: Precursors to Ethnic Conflict
Chapter Four: State Formation and the Search for Identity
Chapter Five: Majorities under Minority Regimes
About the Author
From ethno-religious frays to authoritarian fires, Miaad Hassan’s debut not only presents an engrossing and informative canvas of the Middle East. It delivers a compelling and comparative narrative of the region's complex regimes by telling how and why these regimes engage with the issues of legitimacy and modernity in a postcolonial world. It is a book appealing to both scholars and readers.