Reimagining the Middle East and its place in the world
In Routledge Handbook of Middle East Politics. Edited by Larbi Sadiki, Routledge.
Students of the Middle East love to argue about where it is and what it means, but eventually they have to face the fact that it’s just another part of the wider world. That’s when things get really interesting. The ambiguity of the region’s geographic scope confounds all efforts to pin down its supposed uniqueness. There are too many overlaps with neighboring lands and cultures—too many fluid frontiers—to sustain credible assertions of Middle Eastern exceptionalism. Indeed, that shifting and multi-textured nature explains much of the region’s allure throughout history. It has motivated and sustained my fascination with the region over several decades.