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This chapter makes use of data from fieldwork carried out in Iraq to explore how competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia is experienced on the ground in that country. The chapter starts by contextualising the importance of Iraq to regional security, along with the efforts of Iran to capitalise on the favourable conditions created for it by the fall of Saddam Hussein, and subsequent Saudi fears of Iran’s growing role there. The chapter homes in on the largely Sunni province of Anbar, and highlights the role of the Iran-aligned factions of the Popular Mobilisation Units in economic and political life there, as well as Saudi efforts to enhance its relations with sympathetic actors in the country.
This chapter examines the ever-complex roles of Iran and Saudi Arabia in Lebanon. In this contribution, Lebanon is presented as the ‘irreplaceable piece’ in the foreign policy chessboard of competing Saudi–Iranian geostrategic ambitions in the Middle East. In a regional country where sectarian politics is arguably at its most overt, the chapter details how the Sunni and Shia political landscapes have been cultivated by Saudi Arabia and Iran, respectively. This is shown as contributing to the continued political paralysis with the tutelary model of competition exercised by Iran and Saudi Arabia leading to a pronounced diminution of sovereignty.
Some chapters in this volume explore how stereotypes served heuristic functions in political and religious spheres. This chapter complements these by considering how stereotypes conditioned the formation of identity more broadly during the long eighteenth century. At its heart lies the centrality of stereotypes in shaping identities: subjectivity depends on our being cast in gendered, raced, classed and sexual roles from our entry into the world. Admittedly, late Stuart and Georgian theatre, depending on stock characters, is often considered aesthetically inferior to early modern counterparts populated by characters like Hamlet. Yet the theatre of the long eighteenth century is important because it was a ‘laboratory of subjectification’; dependence on stock types was used to model the differentiation from norms by which individuality is achieved. The chapter shows that the commercial stage of the period did much more than produce and circulate new stereotypes (as indicated in Chapters 2 to 4). On the stage the audience found struggles with social, political, racial and gender stereotypes; heightened comic and moralised versions of their own experience, anxieties and aspirations. Thus, the theatre continued to attract diverse audiences while playing a pivotal role in developing new stock characters and even national and racial identities.
This chapter presents the ‘view from Tehran’ regarding Iran–Saudi relations. The focus in this chapter is very much on the official, academic and policy discourses emanating from Iran about the relationship between the two regional powers. In doing so, it presents a range of under-explored Iranian narratives and debates around Saudi Arabia’s regional polices and its stance towards the Islamic Republic, showing how the battle for regional influence is articulated through competing narratives as much as it is through material means. This covers Iranian elite views and discourses from Iran on Saudi–Iran relations, the role of religion in the relationship, Iranian perspectives on Saudi Arabia’s regional security policies and Tehran’s own security outlook for the region.
This chapter seeks to redate the entry of the anti-puritan stereotype into printed discourse to the early 1580s, in the work of George Gifford. Rather than the work of some hack polemicist replying to Martin Marprelate in the early 1590s, the stereotype first appeared, pretty much fully formed, almost ten years earlier, in the work of a leading puritan divine. The chapter then examines the dialectical exchanges between the godly and their critics that Gifford was seeking to capture in his work, as he sought, in effect, to re-appropriate the term ‘puritan’ for the godly themselves in part by rendering its use an insult, an identifying characteristic of the wicked. The chapter then associates Gifford’s take on the puritan stereotype with his use of the neologism ‘church papist’, using that juxtaposition to address the problem of stereotyping and identity formation in post-Reformation England, and recent work by a range of historians on what one might term the ‘religious condition of England’ problem. The chapter thus essays a novel take on the origins and dynamics of one of the major stereotypes used by contemporaries to make sense of the religio-political scene in post-Reformation England.
As radical antinomian sects, Ranters and Quakers were subjected to vivid, often hostile stereotyping in print in the 1650s, frequently through shared stereotypes of apocalyptic license and libertarian disorder. Stereotyping has continued to feature in their historical treatment: Colin Davis famously argued that contemporaries and historians had been duped; that Ranters ‘did not exist’ beyond the moral panic about them generated in print. Simultaneously, and paradoxically, the Quakers are seen as a homogeneous group, identifiable precisely through their own, careful, deployment in print of their status as Quakers. This chapter draws on recent scholarship arguing for stereotyping as a ubiquitous and meaningful process of political mobilisation and debate. It reveals that different authors, including those stereotyped as Ranters, used the stereotype for a variety of polemical and ideological purposes ranging from discipline and persecution to inclusion, persuasion and debate. Quaker ministers for their part deployed several ‘coping strategies’ to discuss and contest their religious identity with opponents and followers. As agents of their own stereotyping, Ranter and Quaker authors engaged rhetorically to appropriate and subvert key stereotypes in ways that fortified their religious identities, and sustained long-established and ideological disputes with opponents and putative supporters.
This chapter explores the socio-psychological dynamics of stereotyping in early modern England. It begins with some broader conceptual and methodological questions, relating to the nature of our sources and how they can be interpreted. It considers the various ways in which national and religious stereotypes became embedded in early modern English society, the functions they served and how they were reproduced and re-cast over time, reflecting on the emotional versus the intellectual dimensions of prejudice, the role of humour in stereotyping and the construction of ‘false composites’. It concludes by examining how seventeenth-century controversialists and polemicists sought to mobilise and manipulate popular stereotypes and prejudices for partisan ends, focusing in particular on Scotophobia, anti-puritanism and anti-popery. These phobias were not straightforward prejudices but instead multivalent and complex cultural phenomena. They were rarely unambiguous, and were frequently contested, capable of being used for radically different ideological purposes at different times and even for competing ideological purposes at the same time.
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The struggle to shape the Middle East provides a detailed exploration of the rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran across the Middle East. As one of the most compelling rivalries in international politics, the Saudi–Iranian competition for regional influence has impacted on a number of different locales. After the onset of the Arab Uprisings and the fragmentation of regime–society relations, communal relations have continued to degenerate, as societal actors retreat into sub-state identities, whilst difference becomes increasingly violent, spilling out beyond state borders. The power of religion – and the trans-state nature of religious linkages – thus provides the means for actors, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, to exert influence over a number of groups across the region. Given these issues, the contributions to this volume, and the collection as a whole, have two main aims: firstly, to explore the nature of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran within the contemporary Middle East; and secondly, to consider the impact of this rivalry upon regional and domestic politics across the Middle East. This volume examines how the rivalry is perceived in both Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as in the contestation over religious legitimacy. It also offers in-depth explorations of the impact of this rivalry upon five regional states: Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon and Yemen, all sites of contestation between Riyadh and Tehran, albeit in different guises. In doing so, it highlights how the rivalry is shaped by the contingencies of time and space.
Early modern London consumed a vast amount of mineral coal, which created a uniquely dirty, smoky, urban atmosphere. The phrase ‘sin and sea coal’, used in plays, essays and private letters, came to stand for this physical environment and its moral meaning, but in ways that were complex and variable. By about 1700 it represented the medical and moral dangers of the urban environment, but also inhabitants’ self-aware choices to endure or even to enjoy those dangers. Such uses show how perceptions of the city, rather than shifting from negative to positive, could remain unresolved across the early modern period. It was a metaphor for urban life that could be either serious or playful, earnest or mocking, moralising or libertine. London as smoky and sinful was a stereotype, but one that did not contribute to increasing social tension or political division, nor cause people to fight their neighbours or kill their enemies. Instead, it contributed to a nagging and persistent sense that urban growth and economic improvement had regrettable but perhaps inevitable costs, environmental as well as social and moral.
Early modern stereotypes are often studied as evidence of popular belief, something mired with prejudices and commonly held assumptions. This volume of essays goes beyond this approach, and explores practices of stereotyping as contested processes. To do so the volume draws on recent works on social psychology and sociology. The volume thereby brings together early modern case studies, and explores how stereotypes and their mobilisation shaped various negotiations of power, in spheres of life such as politics, religion, everyday life and knowledge production. The volume highlights early modern men’s and women’s remarkable creativity and agency: godly reformers used the ‘puritan’ stereotype to understand popular aversion to religious discipline; Ben Jonson developed the characters of the puritan and the projector in ways that helped diffuse anxieties about fundamental problems in early modern church and state; playful allusions to London’s ‘sin and sea coal’ permitted a knowing acceptance of urban growth and its moral and environmental costs; Tory polemics accused of ‘popery’ returned the same accusations to Whig Protestants; humanists projected related Christian stereotypes outwards to make sense of Islam and Hinduism in the age of Enlightenment. Case studies collectively point to a paradox: stereotyping was so pervasive and foundational to social life and yet so liable to escalation that collective engagements with it often ended up perpetuating the very processes of stereotyping. By highlighting these dialectics of stereotyping, the volume invites readers to make fresh connections between the early modern past and the present without being anachronistic.