From Bullets to Ballots

Middle East in Transition

Book 1
Transaction Publishers
3
Free sample

From Bullets to Ballots considers non-state Muslim organizations at different stages of abandoning violence and pursuing their goals through a political process. Some have successfully made the transition. Others are in mid-stream. Some have tried but backtracked, splintered, or simply abandoned such efforts, reverting to pathological violence. Many groups could be case studies, but Phillips has selected the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Kurdistan Workers Party, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, and the Free Aceh Movement, because they cover the spectrum. This book deals with political strategies for moderating violent Muslim movements by engaging them in the political process. In strong criticism of the Bush administration, Phillips notes that the push for democracy may have increased conflict by giving violent groups "the ballot" which they use to gain power. Focusing on non-state Muslim organizations, From Bullets to Ballots considers the relationship between ideology and policy. Phillips discusses their origin, ideology, structure, and leadership and examines financing, activities, and communications. He assesses the groups' commitment to elections and its acceptance of the responsibility that comes with governance. From Bullets to Ballots draws on twenty years of Phillips' experience working democratization and conflict prevention in the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and South Asia. His recommendations are primarily directed to the United States because he believes the United States should be a leader in promoting democracy around the world. At the same time, he is convinced that the United States must tread softly, or run the risk of fomenting further violence, undermining future democratic development, and setting back its own national interests. This is a provocative, informed, and balanced analysis of the theories behind current policies.
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About the author

"David L. Phillips" is a visiting scholar at Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. Over more than two decades, he has been a proponent of democracy, human rights, and humanitarian action. Phillips has worked as a senior adviser to the United Nations Secretariat and to the U.S. Department of State. He has held academic positions at Harvard University's Center for Middle East Studies, Columbia University's International Conflict Resolution Program, the American University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Published on
Dec 31, 2011
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Pages
312
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ISBN
9781412812016
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Middle East / General
Political Science / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Over the past decade, the political ground beneath the Middle East has shifted. Arab nationalism the political orthodoxy for most of this century has lost its grip on the imagination and allegiance of a new generation. At the same time, Islam as an ideology has spread across the region, and "Islamists" bid to capture the center of politics. Most Western scholars and experts once hailed the redemptive power of Arabism. Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival is a critical assessment of the contradictions of Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism, and the misrepresentation of both in the West. The first part of the book argues that Arab nationalism--the so-called Arab awakening--bore within it the seeds of its own failure. Arabism as an idea drew upon foreign sources and resources. Even as it claimed to liberate the Arabs from imperialism it deepened intellectual dependence upon the West's own romanticism and radicalism. Ultimately, Arab nationalism became a force of oppression rather than liberation, and a mirror image of the imperialism it defied. Kramer's essays together form the only chronological telling and the at fully documented postmortem of Arabism. The second part of the book examines the similar failings of Islamism, whose ideas are Islamic reworkings of Western ideological radicalism. Its effect has been to give new life to old rationales for oppression, authoritarianism, and sectarian division. Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival provides an alternative view of a century of Middle Eastern history. As the region moves fitfully past ideology, Kramer's perspective is more compelling than at any time in the past-in Western academe no less than among many in the Middle. This book will be of interest to sociologists, political scientists, economists, and Middle East specialists.
In 1989, Francis Fukuyama famously announced the "end of history." The Berlin Wall had fallen; liberal democracy had won out. But what of illiberal democracy--the idea that popular majorities, working through the democratic process, might reject gender equality, religious freedoms, and other norms that Western democracies take for granted? Nowhere have such considerations become more relevant than in the Middle East, where the uprisings of 2011 swept the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups to power. In Temptations of Power, Shadi Hamid draws on hundreds of interviews with leaders and activists from across the region to advance a new understanding of how Islamist movements change over time. He puts forward the bold thesis that repression "forced" Islamists to moderate their politics, work in coalitions, de-emphasize Islamic law, and set aside the dream of an Islamic state. Meanwhile, democratic openings in the 1980s--and again during the Arab Spring--pushed Islamists back toward their original conservatism. With the uprisings of 2011, Islamists found themselves in an enviable position, but one for which they were unprepared. Groups like the Brotherhood combine the features of both political parties and religious movements, leading to an inherent tension they have struggled to resolve. However pragmatic they may be, their ultimate goal remains the Islamization of society. When the electorate they represent is conservative as well, they can push their own form of illiberal democracy while insisting they are carrying out the popular will. This can lead to overreach and significant backlash. Yet, while the Egyptian coup and the subsequent crackdown were a devastating blow for the Islamist "project," obituaries of political Islam are premature. As long as the battle over the role of religion in public life continues, Islamist parties in countries as diverse as Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan will remain an important force whether in the ranks of opposition or the halls of power. But what are the key factors driving their evolution? A timely and provocative reassessment, Hamid's account serves as an essential compass for those trying to understand where the region's varied Islamist groups have come from and where they might be headed.
In a brilliant and revealing book destined to drive debate about the future of American power, Vali Nasr questions America’s dangerous choice to engage less and matter less in the world.

Vali Nasr, author of the groundbreaking The Shia Revival, worked closely with Hillary Clinton at the State Department on Afghan and Pakistani affairs. In The Dispensable Nation, he takes us behind the scenes to show how Secretary Clinton and her ally, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, were thwarted in their efforts to guide an ambitious policy in South Asia and the Middle East. Instead, four years of presidential leadership and billions of dollars of U.S. spending failed to advance democracy and development, producing mainly rage at the United States for its perceived indifference to the fate of the region.

After taking office in 2009, the Obama administration had an opportunity to fundamentally reshape American foreign policy, Nasr argues, but its fear of political backlash and the specter of terrorism drove it to pursue the same questionable strategies as its predecessor. Meanwhile, the true economic threats to U.S. power, China and Russia, were quietly expanding their influence in places where America has long held sway.  

Nasr makes a compelling case that behind specific flawed decisions lurked a desire by the White House to pivot away from the complex problems of the Muslim world. Drawing on his unrivaled expertise in Middle East affairs and firsthand experience in diplomacy, Nasr demonstrates why turning our backs is dangerous and, what’s more, sells short American power. The United States has secured stability, promoted prosperity, and built democracy in region after region since the end of the Second World War, he reminds us, and The Dispensable Nation offers a striking vision of what it can achieve when it reclaims its bold leadership in the world.
The recent revolution in Egypt has shaken the Arab world to its roots. The most populous Arab country and the historical center of Arab intellectual life, Egypt is a linchpin of the US's Middle East strategy, receiving more aid than any nation except Israel. This is not the first time that the world and has turned its gaze to Egypt, however. A half century ago, Egypt under Nasser became the putative leader of the Arab world and a beacon for all developing nations. Yet in the decades prior to the 2011 revolution, it was ruled over by a sclerotic regime plagued by nepotism and corruption. During that time, its economy declined into near shambles, a severely overpopulated Cairo fell into disrepair, and it produced scores of violent Islamic extremists such as Ayman al-Zawahiri and Mohammed Atta. In The Struggle for Egypt, Steven Cook--a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations--explains how this parlous state of affairs came to be, why the revolution occurred, and where Egypt might be headed next. A sweeping account of Egypt in the modern era, it incisively chronicles all of the nation's central historical episodes: the decline of British rule, the rise of Nasser and his quest to become a pan-Arab leader, Egypt's decision to make peace with Israel and ally with the United States, the assassination of Sadat, the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood, and--finally--the demonstrations that convulsed Tahrir Square and overthrew an entrenched regime. Throughout Egypt's history, there has been an intense debate to define what Egypt is, what it stands for, and its relation to the world. Egyptians now have an opportunity to finally answer these questions. Doing so in a way that appeals to the vast majority of Egyptians, Cook notes, will be difficult but ultimately necessary if Egypt is to become an economically dynamic and politically vibrant society.
Over the past decade, the political ground beneath the Middle East has shifted. Arab nationalism the political orthodoxy for most of this century has lost its grip on the imagination and allegiance of a new generation. At the same time, Islam as an ideology has spread across the region, and "Islamists" bid to capture the center of politics. Most Western scholars and experts once hailed the redemptive power of Arabism. Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival is a critical assessment of the contradictions of Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism, and the misrepresentation of both in the West. The first part of the book argues that Arab nationalism--the so-called Arab awakening--bore within it the seeds of its own failure. Arabism as an idea drew upon foreign sources and resources. Even as it claimed to liberate the Arabs from imperialism it deepened intellectual dependence upon the West's own romanticism and radicalism. Ultimately, Arab nationalism became a force of oppression rather than liberation, and a mirror image of the imperialism it defied. Kramer's essays together form the only chronological telling and the at fully documented postmortem of Arabism. The second part of the book examines the similar failings of Islamism, whose ideas are Islamic reworkings of Western ideological radicalism. Its effect has been to give new life to old rationales for oppression, authoritarianism, and sectarian division. Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival provides an alternative view of a century of Middle Eastern history. As the region moves fitfully past ideology, Kramer's perspective is more compelling than at any time in the past-in Western academe no less than among many in the Middle. This book will be of interest to sociologists, political scientists, economists, and Middle East specialists.
From leadership expert, former Navy SEAL, "American Grit" feature player, and author of Worth Dying For: A Navy SEAL's Call to a Nation, Rorke Denver, the bestselling account of how he helped create the U.S. Navy SEALS of today. Rorke Denver trains the men who become Navy SEALs--the most creative problem solvers on the modern battlefield, ideal warriors for the kinds of wars America is fighting now. With his years of action-packed mission experience and a top training role, Lieutenant Commander Denver understands exactly how tomorrow's soldiers are recruited, sculpted, motivated, and deployed.

Now, Denver takes you inside his personal story and the fascinating, demanding SEAL training program he now oversees. He recounts his experience evolving from a young SEAL hopeful pushing his way through Hell Week, into a warrior engaging in dangerous stealth missions across the globe, and finally into a lieutenant commander directing the indoctrination, requalification programs, and the "Hero or Zero" missions his SEALs undertake.

From his own SEAL training and missions overseas, Denver details how the SEALs' creative operations became front and center in America's War on Terror-and how they are altering warfare everywhere. In fourteen years as a SEAL officer, Rorke Denver tangled with drug lords in Latin America, stood up to violent mobs in Liberia, and battled terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. Leading 200 commando missions, he earned the Bronze Star with V for valor. He has also served as flag aide to the admiral in charge and spent the past four years as executive officer of the Navy Special Warfare Center's Advanced Training Command in Coronado, California, directing all phases of the basic and advanced training that prepare men for war in SEAL teams. He recently starred in the film Act of Valor. He is married and has two daughters.

Ellis Henican is a columnist at Newsday and an on-air commentator at the Fox News Channel. He has written two recent New York Times bestsellers, Home Team with New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and In the Blink of an Eye with NASCAR legend Michael Waltrip.

With all the SEALs' recent successes, we have been getting a level of acclaim we're not used to. But something important has been missing in this warm burst of publicity . Correcting that is my mission here.
My own SEAL dream was launched by a book. My hope is that this one teaches lessons that go far beyond the battlefield, inspiring a fresh generation of warriors to carry on that dream.
-Lieutenant Commander Rorke Denver
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