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  1. Aristotle in Maimonides' Guide For The Perplexed: An Analysis of Maimonidean Refutation Against The Jewish Kalam [Download]

    Title: Aristotle in Maimonides' Guide For The Perplexed: An Analysis of Maimonidean Refutation Against The Jewish Kalam
    Author: Dome, Garrett
    Description: Influenced by Islamic thought, Mutakallimun or Jewish Kalamists began to pervade Judaic philosophy during the 12th Century. 1 In Rambam Maimonides’ Guide For The Perplexed, crucial tenants of this newly developed sect are ridiculed and proven illogical from an Aristotelean perspective. More specifically, drawing heavily from both Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics, Maimonides refutes the Kalamic belief that God’s creation happened within time. After describing Maimonides’ understanding of Aristotle’s four causes, I will move into a deeper analysis of why Maimonides believed geometrical demonstration was invalid according to the Kalam and its subsequent temporal proofs. While this essay may not expand the readers knowledge of Aristotle or Maimonides respectfully, it will strengthen their understanding of how Aristotle’s ideological lineage has warped due to historical advancements surrounding philosophy.
    Keywords: I. Edward Kiev Judaica Collection, Kiev Research Fellowship, Philosophy, Maimonides, Aristotle
    Date Uploaded: 11/15/2017
  2. International Relations Theory and a Changing Middle East, POMEPS_Studies 16 [Download]

    Title: International Relations Theory and a Changing Middle East, POMEPS_Studies 16
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: The comparative politics literature on the uprisings has demonstrated real theoretical progress, sophisticated empirical analysis and useful—if too often ignored—policy advice. This comparative politics approach to the uprisings has always been problematic, though. The Arab uprisings began in transnational diffusion and ended in transnational repression and regional proxy wars. Put simply, there is not a single case in the Arab uprisings—with perhaps, as Monica Marks argues, the very partial exception of Tunisia—in which international factors were not decisive to the outcome. It is generally accepted that the uprisings themselves were very much a region-wide phenomenon. For all the accumulated grievances and internal politics that characterized the situation in each Arab country circa late 2010, it is difficult to conceive of each simultaneously erupting in protest without the highly publicized example of successful uprisings overthrowing long-entrenched dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. There is now abundant evidence and an increasingly sophisticated theoretical literature detailing the diffusion and demonstration mechanisms by which the Arab uprisings spread. The initial uprisings, then, clearly cannot be understood without an appreciation of their regional and international dynamics. The thoughtful essays in this outstanding collection only begin to scratch the surface of what international relations theory should contribute to the study of the Arab uprisings. Much remains to be done with the implications of a perceived decline in U.S. power and commitment in the region, the potential emergence of new alignments between Israel and Arab regimes, the role of transnational networks in a system still structured by states, the possibilities raised by joint Arab military action in Yemen, the long-term effects of population displacement and human trauma caused by the region’s wars and so much more.
    Keywords: Extremism, Terrorism, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Counterterrorims, National Security
    Date Uploaded: 11/15/2017
  3. From Mobilization to Counter-Revolution, POMEPS Studies 20 [Download]

    Title: From Mobilization to Counter-Revolution, POMEPS Studies 20
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: The essays collected in this volume range widely over the Middle East, surveying the methods and modalities of the autocratic backlash. Rory McCarthy shows how Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennahda adapted to the autocratic era by dividing party from movement. Courtney Freer explains how the Gulf states cracked down on Islamist movements. Reinoud Leenders traces the rhetorical and physical violence of the initial response to the Syrian uprisings. Walter Armbrust evokes the figure of the trickster in the capture of Egypt’s transition. Neil Ketchley shows how the Egyptian state engineered the June 30 protests. Amy Austin Holmes traces ongoing moments of popular resistance to autocracy in Egypt. Sune Haugbolle argues for the importance of ideology in understanding the post-uprising events. Lisel Hintz analyzes the rhetorical strategies of Turkey’s crackdown on the Gezi Park protests. Steffen Hertog details the political economy of the surviving regimes and the fate of their distributional bargains. These diverse and challenging essays show profoundly that the challenges which produced the Arab uprisings remains unresolved. How those grievances present themselves in the near future will be shaped by the political, institutional, economic and rhetorical choices now being made by the region’s resurgent autocrats.
    Keywords: Extremism, Terrorism, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Counterterrorism, National Security
    Date Uploaded: 11/15/2017
  4. Islam and International Order, POMEPS Studies 15 [Download]

    Title: Islam and International Order, POMEPS Studies 15
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: Islam has rarely been far from the center of the world’s political and security agenda in the decade and a half since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack against the United States. The range of issues to which Islam has been deemed central is staggering, from transnational terrorism and counterinsurgency in Iraq to the possibility of democracy in the Middle East. These long-running debates have been galvanized over the last few years by the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, shocking acts of terrorism from Paris to Tunisia, and the failure of the democratic experiment with Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt. In April 2015 the Project on Middle East Political Science and the Transatlantic Academy hosted a workshop for a sustained discussion of emerging questions on Islam and international order. The two-day workshop brought together a broad, interdisciplinary group of scholars, including area specialists and generalists, from the fields of political science, religious studies and history. The workshop, part of the POMEPS Islam in a Changing Middle East initiative, built on the Transatlantic Academy’s 2015 theme of religion and foreign policy.
    Keywords: Extremism, Terrorism, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Counterterrorism, National Security
    Date Uploaded: 11/15/2017
  5. Evolving Methodologies in the Study of Islamism, POMEPS Studies 17 [Download]

    Title: Evolving Methodologies in the Study of Islamism, POMEPS Studies 17
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: On January 29, 2016, scholars gathered for the Project on Middle East Political Science’s 3rd Annual workshop on Islamist politics as part of our Islam in a Changing Middle East initiative. This year’s workshop focused on the methodological and conceptual issues in the study of Islamism. What assumptions underlying our research need to be problematized? How should we deal with the vast outpouring of information and evidence about these movements now available on social media? What do we mean by the term “Islamist?” Papers in this series challenge the utility of core concepts such as “moderation” and “radical Islam.” They investigate the operation of specific causal mechanisms such as repression, identity, and organizational structure. They consider how newly available sources of survey and social media data can change our research approaches and remind us of all we have learned. While no one claims to have come up with a single answer, this collection is an important first step in grappling with the complex puzzle of “Islamism” today. This critical and reflective scholarship will be useful for the novice student and experienced analyst alike.
    Keywords: Extremism, Terrorism, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Counterterrorism, National Security
    Date Uploaded: 11/15/2017
  6. Rethinking Islamist Politics, POMEPS Studies 6 [Download]

    Title: Rethinking Islamist Politics, POMEPS Studies 6
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: In January 2014, the Project on Middle East Political Science therefore convened a workshop with fifteen leading academic specialists on Islamist movements in the Arab Middle East and charged them with rethinking key assumptions, arguments, evidence and research programs in light of these three tumultuous years. The workshop brought together European and American academics with specialties ranging from mainstream movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood to jihadists and non-violent Salafists, and with expertise on countries ranging from the Gulf through Egypt and the Levant to North Africa. This special POMEPS Briefing collects the memos prepared for the workshop. The short essays collected here touch on many of these issues, pointing towards a rich set of compelling new theoretical and empirical questions with which the field must now grapple.
    Keywords: Extremism, Terrorism, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Counterterrorism, National Security
    Date Uploaded: 11/10/2017
  7. Ethics of Research in the MIddle East, POMEPS Studies 8 [Download]

    Title: Ethics of Research in the MIddle East, POMEPS Studies 8
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: What are the ethical obligations of an academic studying today’s Middle East? Have the Arab uprisings changed how scholars must weigh ethical and moral concerns in their research? How should academics incorporate their ethical commitments into their social scientific research agendas or policy advice? How should they respond when faced with severe moral atrocities such as the human costs of the war in Syria? Is there an obligation to take sides? These are not the usual questions that are supposed to occupy the professional life of political scientists, who spend more time contemplating research design, replicability, and statistical significance. But, of course, they do. Ethical decisions underlie virtually everything we do. The challenge of incorporating ethics into academic political science was a major theme of this May’s [2014] annual conference of the Project on Middle East Political Science. The thoughts of 10 first-rate scholars on the subject have now been published as a symposium in this POMEPS Studies.
    Keywords: Extremism, Terrorism, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Counterterrorism, National Security
    Date Uploaded: 11/10/2017
  8. Visions of Gulf Security, POMEPS Studies 7 [Download]

    Title: Visions of Gulf Security, POMEPS Studies 7
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: How has the turbulence of the last three years affected security in the Gulf? Do new domestic, regional, or international trends fundamentally alter how the regimes, political movements, and people of the region grapple with challenges to their security? How new are these challenges, and how extraordinary the responses? What is gained, and what potentially distorted, by viewing these events through a security lens? Which assumptions in the academic literature about Gulf security have proven resilient, and which require rethinking? On March 9, 2014, POMEPS and Matteo Legrenzi at Ca’ Foscari University brought together more than a dozen scholars based in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to Venice, Italy to look closely at the new – or not so new – questions about Gulf security.
    Keywords: Extremism, Terrorism, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Counterterrorism, National Security
    Date Uploaded: 11/10/2017
  9. Politics of Sectarianism, POMEPS Studies 4 [Download]

    Title: Politics of Sectarianism, POMEPS Studies 4
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: The explosion of Sunni-Shiite conflict in recent years has very little do to with intrinsic religious differences or with 1,400 years of Islamic history. It should instead be understood as an entirely typical example of identity politics, one in which sectarian differences happen to be the most easily available to politicians hoping to exploit them for cynical purposes. It looks much the same as the ethnic and religious polarization that ripped apart the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. The sectarian polarization in Bahrain or Syria has followed very similar patterns to the Islamist-secularist polarization in Egypt and Tunisia. Responding to these sectarian tensions by embracing authoritarian states, focusing on religious authorities or exegesis, or promoting cross sectarian reconciliation will miss the point. Today’s sectarianism is political to the core — even ifit increasingly seems at risk of racing beyond the control of its cynical enablers. Interpreting Sunni-Shiite conflict as just another manifestation of a millennia-old conflict repeats a broadly essentialist position which tends to be the first resort every time ethnic or sectarian violence breaks out. The political approach to sectarianism makes painfully clear that it did not have to be like this. Sectarian conflict is not the natural response to the fall of a strongman. The Bahraini activists who demanded political reform and human rights did not have to be tarred as Iranian assets and smeared as Shiite separatists. Syrian non-violent activists could have developed and enforced a compelling vision of a non-sectarian post-Assad alternative. Gulf Islamists and regimes could have opted not to use sectarianism to generate support for the Syrian insurgency. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and its enemies could have opted for cooperation and inclusion rather than spiraling polarization and confrontation. But this approach also offers little optimism about the future. The painful reality is that sectarianism proved too useful to too many powerful actors, and too compelling a narrative in a violent, turbulent, and uncertain time, to be avoided.
    Keywords: Extremeism, Terrorism, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Counterterrorism, National Security
    Date Uploaded: 11/10/2017
  10. New Salafi Politics, POMEPS Studies 2 [Download]

    Title: New Salafi Politics, POMEPS Studies 2
    Author: Lynch, Marc
    Description: Who are these new Salafi movements? How should we interpret their rise? This collects more than a dozen recent ForeignPolicy.com essays on Salafis across the Arab world, including a detailed look at Salafi politics in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The picture that emerges is troubling — but also unexpectedly reassuring. These well-funded and well-entrenched subcultures will likely continue to thrive in the open, contentious new Arab political realm. But how they will behave, the response they will generate from other political trends and societal sectors, and how they will approach political institutions remains very much in question.
    Keywords: Extremism, Terrorism, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Counterterrorism, National Security
    Date Uploaded: 11/10/2017