Most commentators would argue that Tunisia has been the only success story of the so-called Arab spring. The validity of such a statement would depend on the definition of success.

The success that most people might have in mind could mean transition to representative governance without civil war and violence. To some extent, that is true; however, there are other countries in the region who managed to make critical political change without armed rebellion and violence. In every other aspect that matters, however, Tunisia is less of a success story. By most measures, the social and economic conditions of the…


About six months after the inauguration of the Biden administration nearly 90% of the US fighting troops are pulled out of Afghanistan. The vacuum was filled immediately by Taliban forces who claimed that they now control 85% of the country. After having spent nearly three trillion dollars on the invasion of that country 20 years ago, the Biden administration declared that the US “did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build” and asked its ally, Turkey, to stay there and secure Kabul airport. …


Abstract: Social labels and categories are exercise in control. They help us learn and compartmentalize information. However, labels also describe opponents, create boundaries, exclude social groups, justify discrimination, and promote persecution. They are imbued with sociopolitical power. Muslims used labels, internally for the first time, during the formative period of the community to privilege the elite and marginalize dissenters. They called those who challenged the established order, Khawarij [Outsiders]. Today, Muslims living in Western societies are often labeled radical Islamic extremists. But aside from this politically charged phrase, even common adjectives, such as Islamic and Muslim, are misused. …


Since the start of this century alone, and since the Israeli government withdrew from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military has fought four wars involving Gaza, with the most recent one culminating in an apparent ceasefire on May 21, 2021. The Oslo Accord, the U.S.-backed peace deal brokered more than a quarter-century ago between the Israelis and the Palestinians, was supposed to prevent these conflicts. Given that the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Accord created the framework for the two-state solution, a solution which the global community — represented by the United Nations, the two 20th century superpowers the U.S…


Abstract:

In nearly three decades, the Internet has evolved from being an innovation in communication technologies into an economic addon then into a instrument of radical social and economic transformation. By the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the Internet, now dominated by social media platforms, wielded material and political power that surpassed that of many of the most developed nation-states. At one point in 2019, the wealth, in terms of market capitalization, controlled by some of the top technology companies, like Apple, was larger than the national GDP of 181 nations out of 195. For this…


Abstract:

With the war on Yemen going against Saudi stated goals, three years ago, (5 June 2017), Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed isolating sanctions. Three years later, none of their conditions, which included, primarily, shutting down Aljazeera, ending Qatar’s support to the Muslim Brotherhood, and severing diplomatic relations with Iran, is realized. That decision essentially broke down the GCC. Now, United Arab Emirates, under the leader of an ambitious and aggressive emir, compared to his father, is normalizing relations with Israel. What will UAE receive in return?

_____________

Since…


Abstract:

Echoing the ideals of many Enlightenment thinkers and their struggle against the encroachment of the Crown and the Cross on individual rights, John Locke penned that the proper function of government is to ensure men’s rights to “life, liberty, and property.” In 1776, the drafters of the U.S. Declaration of Independence adopted an edited version of that ubiquitous statement substituting “property” with “the pursuit of happiness,” a right derived Locke’s writings, still. Nearly two hundred years later, representative of about 58 nation-states drafted the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which reaffirmed the same rights in its third article…


The Unintended Consequences of Saudi rulers’ recklessness: a True GCC called PGC

During the last of week of November, the Emir of Kuwait sent out formal invitations to all leaders of member states of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, originally and still commonly known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to attend the 38th summit (December 5, 2017). The rulers of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates, declined, sending instead political appointees of the 3rd order to represent them, which must have been seen as a personal insult to the elder Emir of Kuwait…


To assume that Trump, and Trump alone, to the exclusion of all other politicians, has authoritarian tendencies is as naïve as believing that a progressive president will pursue a human rights centered agenda to the exclusion of all that stand against that agenda. All politicians, once they experience the power that comes with the executive office, are prone to be or to becoming authoritarians. The need for term-limits, separation of branches of government, freedom of the press, freedom of expressions, rule of law, and safeguards against government overreach and abuse of power is premised on that universal politicians’ instinct to…


Trump said many things that offended many people. Muslim Americans were among those offended by many of his comments. Now that he is elected to be the 45th president of the United States, should Muslims freak out?

To answer this question, I will include this essay I drafted in June of this year, when some of my colleagues approached me to apologize for the offensive comments then candidate Trump had made. I said that this is not a passing moment: Trump will be president. Here he is: President-Elect Trump and in about two months he will lead this country… to somewhere. I did not publish the essay then because it could have been seen as an attempt to influence young voters, like the ones I have in my classes. Now that the elections are over, I thought…

AHMED E. SOUAIAIA

Prof. SOUAIAIA teaches at University of Iowa. He writes about human rights, international affairs, political economy. Contact info @ https://ahmed.souaiaia.com/

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