The Mythology of the Sectarian Middle East

  • Citation: Makdisi, Ussama. “The Mythology of the Sectarian Middle East.” Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy, February 2017.
    • Topics:
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • Middle East
    • sectarianism
    • religion
    • diversity
    • West

The invocation of sectarianism as a category of analysis for understanding the Middle East is misleading. It conflates a religious identification with a political one, and it ignores the kinship, class and national and regional networks within which sectarian self-expression has invariably been enmeshed. What is urgently needed is a new research agenda to study the dialectic — the complex, constant and unequal relationship between local and foreign — that makes up the modern Middle East.

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