SUMMARY:In the Middle East, right-wing ideas and forms of organisation have been generally overlooked in favour of other frames of interpretation. From 1979 onwards, the Middle East and, with it, Middle Eastern Studies, shifted its attention from a politics as understood through the dialectics of left/right, in favour of other frames highlighting dichotomies of moderate/radical, religious/secular, modern/traditional, and other vague categories that seemed applicable only to the Middle East. Since then the scholarship of politics and society in the region has greatly evolved in its infatuation with Manichean dichotomies, it has progressively paid heed to many new questions, including the history and present of the Left; grassroots activism; the nuances of political Islam; just to mention a few. However, the politics of the right has remained one lacuna where Middle Eastern scholarship has vacillated to affirm the links and nexus between regional local developments and global processes of resurgence in right-wing politics. The roundtable is precisely an exercise in responding to this lacuna and to open up avenues for discussion, confrontation, exchange and disagreement over the politics of the right in the contemporary Middle East.
The participants come from different disciplinary background and regional expertise. Anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists and historians as well as social theorists and media scholars will discuss the following thematic interconnections in the Arab, Iranian, Turkish and Israeli lifeworld:
1) Can we understand the politics of the post-Arab Spring era as an expression of right-wing politics?
2) How can we connect the local experience of countries such as Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria to the global momentum of right-wing movements?
3) Is there a culture of the right? And if so what it is and how does it differ from other cultural formats, such as Islamist culture and Leftist culture?
4) What is the strategic and tactical use of digital media in the activation of right-wing networks, locally and transnationally?
By uncovering these and other issues, the roundtable expects to inform as much as to reflect and to formulate novel ways of configuring the Middle East’s local and global politics and society in a time when parallel trends seem to be materialising across the world, from the United States, Brazil, India, and France.
DISCIPLINES:Unknown; Unknown; Unknown; Unknown