The Politics and International Relations of the Middle East: Crisis Zone

Scholarly books
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Kylie Baxter
Routledge: London.
Publication year: 2018

The contemporary Middle East has been defined by political crises and conflict. The interplay of internal and external factors have set the region on a path of turmoil and crisis with devastating outcomes for its people. The absence of political accountability and representation, and policies pursued by the United States to keep US-friendly regimes in power have been two key factors that have contributed to the seemingly insoluble Middle East politics.

This book provides a detailed exploration of the forces, internal and external, that have shaped today’s Middle East. The book follows a chronological order and provides context to major political milestones.

Topics explored include:

• Imperialism in the Middle East

• The formation of the State of Israel

• The Arab–Israeli wars

• Palestinian politics and the failure of the ‘peace process’

• The Iranian Revolution and pan-Shi’ism

• Superpowers in the Middle East

• The US-led ‘War on Terror’

• The Arab uprisings

• The Syrian War and the rise of the ‘Islamic State’

• US–Iran relations

This study puts recent developments in historical context, and will serve as a core reference tool for students and researchers of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations.

Muslim Active Citizenship in the West

Scholarly books
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Mario Peucker
London: Routledge
Publication year: 2014

Muslim Active Citizenship in the West investigates the emergence and nature of Muslims’ struggle for recognition as full members of society in Australia, Great Britain and Germany. What actions have been taken by Muslims to achieve equal civic standing? How do socio-political and socio-economic factors impact on these processes? And how do Muslims negotiate their place in a society that is often regarded as sceptical – if not hostile – towards Muslims’ desire to belong?

This book sheds new light on Muslims’ path towards citizenship in Australia, Great Britain and Germany. Existing research and statistics on Muslims’ socio-economic status, community formation, claim-making and political responses, and the public portrayal of Islam are systematically examined. These insights are tested ‘through the eyes of Muslims’, based on in-depth interviews with Muslim community leaders and other experts in all three countries. The findings offer unique perspectives on Muslim resilience to be recognised as equal citizens of Islamic faith in very different socio-political national settings.

Pursuing an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, this book examines the country-specific interplay of historical, institutional, political, and identity dimensions of Muslims’ active citizenship and will be invaluable for students and researchers with an interest in Sociology, Religious Studies and Political Science.

US Foreign Policy in the Middle East - The Roots of Anti-Americanism

Scholarly books
Kylie Baxter, Shahram Akbarzadeh
Baxter, K., Akbarzadeh, S. (2008). US Foreign Policy in the Middle East. London: Routledge.
Publication year: 2008

Over the last sixty years, Washington has been a major player in the politics of the Middle East. From Iran in the 1950s, to the Gulf War of 1991, to the devastation of contemporary Iraq, US policy has had a profound impact on the domestic affairs of the region. Anti-Americanism is a pervasive feature of modern Middle East public opinion. But far from being intrinsic to ‘Muslim political culture’, scepticism of the US agenda is directly linked to the regional policies pursued by Washington.

By exploring critical points of regional crisis, Kylie Baxter and Shahram Akbarzadeh elaborate on the links between US policy and popular distrust of the United States. The book also examines the interconnected nature of events in this geo-strategically vital region. Accessible and easy to follow, it is designed to provide a clear and concise overview of complex historical and political material. Key features include:

  • maps illustrating key events and areas of discontent
  • text boxes on topics of interest related to the Arab/Israeli Wars, Iranian politics, foreign interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the wars of the Persian Gulf, September 11 and the rise of Islamist movements
  • further reading lists and a selection of suggested study questions at the end of each chapter.

Uzbekistan and the United States: Authoritarianism, Islamism and Washington's Security Agenda

Scholarly books
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh (2005). Uzbekistan and the United States: Authoritarianism, Islamism and Washington's Security Agenda. Zed Books Ltd., London.
Publication year: 2005

Uzbekistan, the most strategically situated Central Asian country, has exhibited the most appalling record on human rights and democratic reforms. Yet, post-September 11, a transformation in US policy has suddenly taken place: US troops are now stationed there; Washington has put the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan on its list of terrorist organizations; and the Bush administration has promised to triple aid to President Karimov‘s highly authoritarian regime. This unique study explores the central question from a longer-term Uzbek point of view: to what extent are closer ties between Washington and Tashkent contributing to political reforms inside Uzbekistan? Dr Akbarzadeh describes political events since independence, including the emergence of a radical Islamic opposition. He analyses how September 11 has catalysed a transformation in Washington‘s attitude as it perceived a common Islamic enemy, and he examines the possible beginnings of a retreat from Soviet-style politics

Historical Dictionary of Tajikistan

Scholarly books
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Kamoludin Abdullaev
Akbarzadeh, S.,Abdullaev, K (2002).Historical Dictionary of Tajikistan. United States: Scarecrow Press.
Publication year: 2002

The emergence of the independent Republic of Tajikistan (Jumhurii Tojikiston) was one of the most painful state building attempts in post-Soviet history. Since 1990, this country has experienced a rise in political activism, freedom of speech, sharp political debates, collapse of state institutions, civic disorder, civil war, an internationally led peace process, return of exiled opposition and their militias, and redistribution of power. As of 2009, Tajikistan continues its gradual shift from the fragile, postwar recovery period towards a more stable, peaceful, conventional and transparent political order and an era of steady economic development. The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Tajikistan examines this country through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 600 cross-referenced dictionary entries on important persons, places, events, and institutions, as well as significant political, economic, social, and cultural aspects. It is an extremely useful aid in understanding the current situation in Tajikistan.