Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

, creating intolerance, violence and instability. The impact of technology is also not necessarily benign, allowing easy communication, yes, but creating a megaphone for prejudice, propaganda, targeted character attacks and the erosion of trust. But these changes, while important, will not have the same far-reaching consequences as the change in the distribution of power in the system as a whole. The three options outlined above – renegotiated global norms, sectarian norms and a norm void – are not mutually exclusive, and we might pass through them

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Sovereignty, violence and revolution in the Middle East
Author: Simon Mabon

In events that have since become known as the Arab Uprisings or Arab Revolutions, people across the Middle East took to the streets to express their anger and frustration at political climates, demanding political and economic reform. In a number of cases, protest movements were repressed, often violently, with devastating repercussions for human security and peace across the region.

While a number of scholars have sought to understand how the protests occurred, this book looks at sovereignty and the relationship between rulers and ruled to identify and understand both the roots of this anger but also the mechanisms through which regimes were able to withstand seemingly existential pressures and maintain power.

Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

leads the extreme loyalist party, the Democratic Unionist party. As religious observance has declined, it might be thought that the so-called ‘sectarian’ divide in Northern Ireland might disappear. This has not been the case. Strict religious belief may be less significant, but religion still represents culture and the conflict is, to a great extent, cultural in nature. There is an old joke in Northern Ireland which illustrates the strange place of religion in the troubles. It runs like this: A Jew was walking along a Belfast street. He was stopped by a threatening

in Understanding British and European political issues
Open Access (free)
A reminder from the present
Pete Shirlow

how the ideological divisions between Irishness and Britishness continue to be reproduced, despite the supposed evaporation of such discursive constructions. In pinpointing the divisions that remain and those that may reappear, this chapter argues that the capacity exists for sectarian consciousness to spread throughout the Irish body politic. The Irish ‘problem’ remains one of territory, given the existence of a border that acts as a social, constitutional, political and cultural divide. However, the northern problem may become a southern reality. A fundamental

in The end of Irish history?
Open Access (free)
Simon Mabon

of nature is perhaps bleaker than Hobbes’, suggesting that there is a ‘natural’ transformation into this state of nature as a consequence of the increasingly repressive and sect-​based politics of survival that challenge the very existence of the Syrian people. This approach stems from regimes following their instincts, their neuroses and ‘their madness’. In such conditions, groups develop narratives of superiority and victimhood as a means of ensuring their survival. As a consequence, politics is reduced to a ‘sectarian war, in which murder leads to murder

in Houses built on sand
Open Access (free)
Simon Mabon

with sectarian schisms seen in the establishment of Hizballah10 and provision of support for other Shi’a groups across the region. Following such support, in the years that followed, the blame for domestic unrest in states with sectarian tensions was firmly placed on Iran. Later the same year, a group of Saudi tribesmen led by Juhayman Al Utaybi entered the Grand Mosque in Mecca and seized control of it by force. The group held the belief that modernisation strategies deployed by the Al Saud –​coupled with their ‘un-​Islamic’ behaviour  –​were contrary to Islam. Al

in Houses built on sand
Emigration and sectarian rivalry
Sarah Roddy

4 The battlefield against popery: emigration and sectarian rivalry ‘If each priest were to take a wife about four thousand children would be born within the year, forty thousand would be added to the birth rate in ten years. Ireland can be saved by her priesthood!’ George Moore, The Untilled Field (1903) Thus concluded the fictional Fr MacTurnan, so petrified that ‘Ireland would become a Protestant country if the Catholic emigration did not cease’, that he dispatched to Rome an heretical suggestion of rescinding clerical celibacy.1 This may have been a slice

in Population, providence and empire
Open Access (free)
Simon Mabon

sectarian violence. 2 2 Houses built on sand Lebanese politics has long been characterised by religious difference that is built into the very fabric of the state, embedded in a constitution that shares power along sectarian lines. This organisation of political life has left the state open to the geopolitical aspirations of others, leading to the penetration of Lebanese politics by Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel and others, resulting in the conflation of domestic and regional politics. Regulating life, a key part of a sovereign’s responsibilities, becomes

in Houses built on sand
Open Access (free)
The end of the dream
Simon Mabon

sectarian lines, where such difference becomes all consuming. In states such as Lebanon that have attempted to rectify societal divisions through democratic means, schisms within society have become embedded within political structures that have prevented the descent into all-​out violence. A survey conducted by the Arab Barometer found that 52% of Lebanese participants reported that no party is close to representing their political, social and economic aspirations.3 Additionally, only the army is seen as a trustworthy public institution, while only 8% of respondents

in Houses built on sand
Open Access (free)
Simon Mabon

homeless. That could be a description of today’s Middle East. In fact, it describes Europe in the first half of the seventeenth century.2 Although the parallels are obvious, this argument reveals a great deal about analysis of the region, drawing upon Eurocentric approaches and linear trajectories of development. Moreover, as Lorenzo Kamel suggests, this is part of a broader project of ‘medievalising’ the region, reducing identities to sectarian schisms that have their roots in what Barack Obama referred to as ‘ancient hatreds’ that have defined the history of 212 212

in Houses built on sand