The Inward Turn and Its Vicissitudes: Culture, Society, and Politics in Post-1967 Arab Leftist Critiques
The popular uprisings that have swept over the Arab world in the past two years are in the process of shedding the stifling inheritance of authoritarian regimes, which have siphoned all resources and hope off their societies for decades.1 These major transformations, toppling certain regimes and making others waver, have also called into question certain conceptual lenses undergirding the analysis of Arab polities. This volume’s conceptual approach seeks to complicate disciplinary conceptual binaries such as state/society, public/private and formal/informal, through ethnographically grounded, micro-political approaches which examine politics beyond the center in Arab countries. The discourses of, and debates between, contemporary Arab intellectuals have, in a similar vein to the analytical languages of political science, also revolved, for the most part, around a number of dichotomies, such as modernity/asāla (authenticity), reason/religion and nation/community. Having said that, the questions these public intellectuals seek to answer and the ideological and theoretical stakes of the fields they are intervening in, as well as their loci of enunciation, revealed in their normative stances, distinguish the tenor of their debates from disciplinary ones.
KeywordsAuthoritarian Regime Arab World Economic Exploitation National Liberation Conceptual Contribution
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