The Middle East in Transition

The Centrality of Citizenship

Edited by Nils A. Butenschøn, Professor, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, Norway and Roel Meijer, Associate Professor, Radboud University, Faculty of Religion, Theology and Religious Studies, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

The violent transitions that have dominated developments since the Arab Uprisings demonstrate deep-seated divisions in the conceptions of state authority and citizen rights and responsibilities. Analysing the Middle East through the lens of the ‘citizenship approach’, this book argues that the current diversity of crisis in the region can be ascribed primarily to the crisis in the relations between state and citizen. The volume includes theoretical discussions and case studies, and covers both Arab and non-Arab countries.

‘This work has come at an important time in the wake of the so-called Arab spring when the fluctuating patterns of state-citizen relations were rethought with varying success. Looking at citizenship in the region from multi-disciplinary and content related perspectives, this collection of essays discusses the variety of ways in which citizenship operates – and is thought about – in the contemporary Middle East and beyond. In looking at the contested dimensions of citizenship, this book is an important and timely work for anyone interested in the processes by which what it means to be a citizen is made and remade.’
– Rachel M. Scott, Virginia Tech, US

‘Citizenship is the vital missing link between rulers and ruled in the Middle East. Precisely because it has been inadequately developed in the region’s constitutions, laws and practices, it has been afforded insufficient scholarly attention. This volume brilliantly addresses that deficiency by contextualizing Middle Eastern citizenship theoretically, historically, in contemporary socio-political and religious settings across the region, and as regards the Middle East’s relationships with external actors. One of its general findings is that never having been adequately established, citizenship in the Middle East has come under renewed threat in the wake of the Arab uprisings of 2011. This impressive work merits wide readership.’
– Robert Springborg, the Italian Institute of International Affairs, Italy

‘This timely book makes a strong case for how our analyses of such critical issues as political Islam, the impact of neoliberalism, and authoritarian resilience may be significantly enhanced through a careful focus on the changing definitions, roles and practices of citizenship in the Middle East. Whether wrested as the result of struggles from below or decreed from above, the forms of inclusion and exclusion explored in this welcome addition to the literature will continue to define critical aspects of the region's socio-economic and political trajectories for the foreseeable future.’
– Laurie A. Brand, University of Southern California, US

‘This collection of chapters on changes in the post-Arab Spring is not just another book on the transformative forces unleashed since 2011. Butenschøn and Meijer need to be commended for bringing together convincing arguments about the centrality of citizenship in understanding these changes, and the concerns and the struggles of the people in the Middle East. This is a powerful, analytically groundbreaking, and vast collection of works in a constantly evolving field of study.’
– James N. Sater, American University of Sharjah, UAE

2018 368 pp Hardback 978 1 78811 112 6 £116.00 £104.40 $168.00 $151.20

Elgaronline 978 1 78811 113 3

Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. is registered in the UK at: The Lypiatts, 15 Lansdown Road,
Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2JA. Registered number: 2041703

How To Order


Get up to 20% discount when you order online

By Email

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]

By Phone

UK/ROW: +44 (0) 1243 843291

N/S America: (800) 390-3149

Connect With Us

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

For news, views and offers


Read our Blog

For news, views and debate from our authors and readers.

For More Information

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]