Working Papers are article-length scholarly works in progress by Crown Center researchers. They aim to reflect the wide range of scholarship conducted by various faculty, senior, and junior fellows during their stay at the Crown Center. These articles have not undergone peer-review and may only be downloaded for personal use. Permission for attribution lies solely with the Working Paper’s author.
Working Paper 5 — In June 2013, in a surprise election result, Hasan Rouhani, a pragmatic cleric succeeded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran’s president. During his eight year presidency Ahmadinejad’s radical foreign policy statements received considerable attention in the international media. Inside Iran, however, it was his economic policies that engendered the most contentious debates. In this Working Paper, Prof. Nader Habibi evaluates the legacy of Ahmadinejad’s presidency through a detailed examination of his economic policies and ideology. Specifically, he examines how powerful centers of authority, such as the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards, influenced the allocation of economic resources and led to considerable economic redistribution and opportunities. Nonetheless, Prof. Habibi concludes, Ahmadinejad’s economic legacy is also tainted by mismanagement and contradiction, due in part to his misunderstanding of key fundamental economic concepts.
Working Paper 4 — Contemporary scholarship on the Arab world generally concentrates on the largest and most high-profile regional sources of state largess, oil revenues and foreign aid. This Working Paper focuses on a less visible source of state patronage — the international arms trade. Dr. Shana Marshall identifies some of the interests and institutions involved in the arms trade between the United States and the Arab world with the aim of exploring how the variation in the design of defence contract requirements reflects the unique patronage strategies adopted by ruling elites in the Arab world. To this end, Dr. Marshall examines two pairs of contrasting cases: Egypt and Jordan, where the defense contracts have buttressed the resources and capacities of state-run military producers, versus Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where defense dollars have financed a range of commercial enterprises owned by private sector businessmen.
August 2012 – Between National Liberation and Anti-Colonial Struggle: The National Liberation League in Palestine
Working Paper 3 — In discussing the 1947 partition of the Palestine mandate, the dominant narrative posits that the Palestinians uniformly rejected the idea of partition. In this Working Paper, Dr. Abigail Jacobson demonstrates how in 1943 a small but avant-garde Palestinian movement — the leftist National Liberation League — had already embraced these ideas. The paper focuses on the NLL and examines its short-lived history with the aim of offering a more complex perspective of both mandatory Palestine and the Palestinian rejection of partition itself. Dr. Jacobson also reveals the ways in which the NLL, though forgotten in history, anticipated many of the arguments that decades later led Palestinian nationalists to embrace partition. Additionally, the paper explores the ways in which concepts of identity, nationalism, class, and ethnicity were conceptualized, debated, and contested during a time of national conflict and anti-imperialist struggle, and highlights tensions between ideology and practice, and between nationalism and internationalism.
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The opinions and findings expressed in these essays are those of the author(s) exclusively, and do not reflect the official positions or policies of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies or Brandeis University.