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International Relations *

A guide to databases and scholarly online sources that support conducting research in international relations and comparative politics.

Country Handbooks


These handbooks provide background information about contemporary issues, events, or topics concerning countries throughout the Middle East regardless of the subject area. They are available either electronically and/or located on the book shelves in the Medicine Crow Center Library for International and Public Affairs.

Abdelhady, Dalia and Ramy M. K. Aly, editors. Routledge Handbook on Middle Eastern Diasporas. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2022.
Bringing together different strands of research on Middle Eastern Diasporas, this handbook sheds light on diverse approaches to investigating diaspora groups in different national contexts. Asking how diasporans forge connections and means of belonging, the analyses examines the multiple forms of belonging to both peoples and places. Rather than seeing diasporans as marginalized groups of people longing to return to a homeland, analysis in this volume demonstrates that Middle East diasporans, like other diasporas and citizens alike, are people who respond to major social change and transformations. Chapters included cover how diasporas have been formed, the ways that diasporans make and remake homes, the expressive terrains where diasporas are contested, how class, livelihoods and mobility inflect diasporic practices, the emergence of diasporic sensibilities and finally, scholarship that draws our attention to the plurilocality of Middle East diasporas.

Akbarzadeh, Shahram, editor. Routledge Handbook of International Relations in the Middle East. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2019.
This handbook book examines the regional and international dynamics of the Middle East. It challenges the state society dichotomy to make sense of decision making and behavior by ruling regimes. The chapters Although the region attracts significant scholarly interest, IR theory has rarely been used as a tool to understand events. The constructivist approach in IR highlights the significance of state identity, shaped by history and culture, in making sense of international relations. The authors of this volume consider how IR theory can elucidate the patterns and principles that shape the region, in order to provide a rigorous account of the contemporary challenges of the Middle East.

Bouris, Dimitris, Daniela Huber, and Michelle Pace, editors. Routledge Handbook of EU-Middle East Relations. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2022.
This Handbook provides an entry point for an informed exploration of the multiple themes, actors, structures, policies and processes that influence EU-Middle East relations by covering these relations from a broad perspective that captures continuities, ruptures and entanglements, this handbook provides a clear understanding of trends concerning the intricate entanglements in EU-Middle East relations. The volume offers original reflections on historical constructions, theoretical approaches, multilateralism and geopolitical perspectives, contemporary issues, peace, security and conflict and development, economics, trade and society.

Cammett, Melani Claire, and Pauline Jones, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies. New York: Oxford University Press, 2022.
This volume utilizes real-world events and newly available data to more fully integrate the study of politics in Muslim societies into mainstream comparative analytical frameworks. Moreover, it explores the extent to which theories about core topics of inquiry in political science apply to Muslim societies. The aim is to interrogate rather than presume both whether and how Islam and Muslims are distinct from other religions and religious communities. Through forty chapters by leading specialists, the book examines a wide range of topics concerning regimes and regime change, electoral politics, political attitudes and behavior beyond voting, social mobilization, economic performance and development outcomes, and social welfare and governance. It also shifts focus away from the Arab world as the barometer of politics in the Muslim world, recognizing that the Islamic world spans several regions, including Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia, enabling a thorough investigation of which relationships, if any, hold across Muslim majority states in different regions of the world.

Cavatorta, Francesco and Valeria Resta, editors. Routledge Handbook on Elections in the Middle East and North Africa. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2023.
This handbook analyzes elections in the Middle East and North Africa and seeks to overcome normative assumptions about the linkage between democracy and elections. Structured using five thematic sections, contributors provide chapters detailing how their case studies speak to this broad theme. Authors disentangle the various aspects informing elections as process in the Middle East through taking into account the different contexts where the electoral contest occurs and placing these into a broader comparative context. The findings from this handbook connect with global electoral developments, empirically demonstrating that there is very little that is exceptional about the Middle East and North Africa when it comes to electoral contests.

Cohen, Stuart and Aaron S. Klieman, editors. Routledge Handbook on Israeli Security. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2019.
Following an introduction setting out its principal themes, this work comprises chapters analyze the impact of security challenges not just on Israel's diplomatic and military postures (nuclear as well as conventional) but also on its cultural life and societal behavior. Specifically, it aims to fulfil three principal needs. The first is to illustrate the dynamic nature of Israel's security concerns and the ways in which they have evolved in response to changes in the country's diplomatic and geo-strategic environment, changes that have been further fueled by technological, economic and demographic transformations. Second, the book aims to examine how the evolving character of Israel's security challenges has generated multiple, and sometimes conflicting, interpretations of the very concept of 'security', resulting in a series of dialogues both within Israeli society and between Israelis and their friends and allies abroad. Finally, it also discusses areas of private and public life elsewhere considered inherently 'civilian' and unrelated to security, such as artistic and cultural institutions, nevertheless do mirror the broader legal, economic and cultural consequences of this Israeli preoccupation with national security.

Fulton, Jonathan, editor. The Routledge Handbook of China-Middle East Relations. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2022.
As the largest extra-regional economic actor in the Middle East, China is the biggest source of and the largest trading partner for most Middle Eastern states. This portends a larger role in political and security affairs, as the value of Chinese assets combined with a growing expatriate population in the region demand a more proactive role in contributing to regional order. Exploring the effect of  intra-regional development, trade, security, and diplomacy throughout the region, contributors also consider the reverberations in great power politics, as the U.S., Russia, India, Japan, and the European Union also have considerable interests in the region.

Hinnebusch, Raymond A. and J. K. Gani, editors. The Routledge Handbook to the Middle East and North African State and States System. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2020.
Conflict and instability are built into the very fabric of the Middle East and North African (MENA) state and states system; yet both states and states system have displayed remarkable resilience. How can we explain this? This handbook explores the main debates, theoretical approaches and accumulated empirical research concerning how conflict and instability are built into the very fabric of the Middle East and North African state and states system. Contributions are grouped into four key themes: historical contexts, state-building and politics in MENA; state actors, societal context and popular activism; trans-state politics, the political economy, and identity contexts; and, the international politics of MENA. The chapters examine the evolution of the state and states system, before and after independence, and take the 2011 Arab uprisings as a pivotal moment that intensified trends already embedded in the system.

Jagerskog, Anders, Michael Schulz, and Ashok Swain, editors. Routledge Handbook on Middle East Security. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2019.
This volume provides a comprehensive look at Middle East security issues that includes both traditional and emerging security threats and provides a thorough review of research on the key challenges for security in the Middle East. Taking a broad perspective on security, the volume offers both analysis grounded in the 'hard' military and state security discourse but also delve into the 'soft' aspects of security employing a human security perspective. As such, the volume addresses imminent challenges to security, such as the ones relating directly to the war in Syria, but also the long-term challenges. While taking as a point of departure the prevalent security discourse, the volume also goes beyond the traditional focus on military or state security and consider non-traditional security challenges.

Joseph, Suad and Zeina Zaatari, editors. Routledge Handbook on Women in the Middle East. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2023.
This volume provides an overview of the key historical, social, economic, political, religious, and cultural issues which have shaped the conditions and status of women in the Middle East. The book is divided into eleven thematic sections: The importance of historical context including pre-Islamic through post-colonial histories, the importance of politics and the state in understanding women in the Middle East, women's roles in political and social movements, the impacts of the formal and informal economies and education on women of the region, women's spaces and the creation of publics and counter publics, the effects of war, displacement, and other forms of gendered violence, women, family, and the state, discourses and practices of religion, women and health, practices, bodies, and sexualities, and women and sites of cultural productions.

Kamrava, Mehran, editor. Routledge Handbook of Persian Gulf Politics. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2020.
This work provides a comprehensive analysis of Persian Gulf politics, history, economics, and society. The volume begins its examination of Ottoman rule in the Arabian Peninsula, exploring other dimensions of the region's history up until and after independence in 1970. The book demonstrates how the Persian Gulf's current, complex politics is a product of interwoven dynamics rooted in historical developments and memories, profound social, cultural, and economic changes underway since the 1980s and the 1990s, and inter-state and international relations among both regional actors and between them and the rest of the world. The book is divided into the following six sections: Historical Context, Society and Culture, Economic Development, Domestic Politics, Regional Security Dynamics, The Persian Gulf and the World.

Kumaraswamy, P. R., editor. The Palgrave International Handbook of Israel. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2021.
This handbook on Israel seeks to provide a holistic understanding of Israel as a state and society in its political, economic, security, social, and cultural manifestations. Israel as a state and society is central to Middle East politics and is vital for understanding the region better and it is imperative to understand Israel, its domestic politics, foreign and security policies, economy, society, culture and scientific advancements. The book aims to be a comprehensive and holistic guide on Israel. The book has following subdivisions: Politics and Government; Foreign Policy and International Relations; Security and Defense; Economy; Society and Culture; Science and Technology; and Environment.

Meijer, Roel, James N. Sater, and Zahra Babar, editors. Routledge Handbook on Citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa. New York: Routledge, 2020.
This work gives an overview of the political, social, economic, and legal dimensions of citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa from the nineteenth century to the present. This volume focuses on five themes that cover the crucial dimensions of citizenship in the region: historical trajectory of citizenship since the nineteenth century until independence creation of citizenship from above by the state different discourses of rights and forms of contestation developed by social movements and society mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion politics of citizenship, nationality and migration.

Rowe, Paul S., editor. Routledge Handbook of Minorities in the Middle East. London: Routledge, 2019.
This volume provides unique expertise into the status and prospects of minority populations in the region. The dramatic events of the 21st century, from the Arab Spring protests, the rise of the Islamic state, and the overturn of various long-term autocratic governments in states such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, and the ongoing threat to government stability in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon have all contributed to a new assertion of majoritarian politics amid demands for democratization and regime change. Framed in relation to issues of citizenship and governance, this handbook addresses the following set of research questions: What are the unique challenges of minority populations in the Middle East? How do minority populations integrate into their host societies, both as a function of their own internal choices, and as a response to majoritarian consensus on their status? Finally, given their inherent challenges, and the vast, sweeping changes that have taken place in the region over the past decade, what is the future of these minority populations? What impact have minority populations had on their societies, and to what extent will they remain prominent actors in their respective settings?

Sadiki, Larbi, editor. Routledge Handbook of Middle East Politics. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2020.
Drawing on various perspectives and analysis, the handbook addresses political, social, and historical questions around themes that include secularity and religion, gender, democracy, authoritarianism, and new "borderline" politics of the Middle East. Contributions by forty-four scholars rethink knowledge frames, conceptual categories, and fieldwork praxis around themes that include secularity and religion, gender, democracy, authoritarianism, and new "borderline" politics placed in cultural, spatial, and temporal contexts.

Yacobi, Haim , editor. Routledge Handbook on Middle East Cities. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2020.
This book explores urban planning and policy, migration, gender and identity as well as politics and economics of urban settings in the region. Moving beyond essentialist and reductive analysis of identity, urban politics, planning, and development in cities in the Middle East, and instead offers critical engagement with both historical and contemporary urban processes in the region. Approaching "Cities" as multi-dimensional sites, products of political processes, knowledge production and exchange, and local and global visions as well as spatial artefacts. Importantly, in the different case studies and theoretical approaches, there is no attempt to idealize urban politics, planning, and everyday life in the Middle East, but rather to highlight how cities in the region, and especially those which are understudied, revolve around issues of housing, infrastructure, participation and identity, amongst other concerns.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.