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Preface by Abiodun Williams
Policymakers and activists in the United States, Europe, and the Muslim world today face a growing challenge of how to prevent disputes now woven into the fabric of Western-Muslim relations from splintering destabilizing political communities. Conflict, Identity, and Reform in the Muslim World highlights the challenges that escalating identity conflicts within Muslim-majority states pose for both the Muslim world and for the West, an issue that has received scant attention in policy and academic circles.
This reader, which includes commissioned essays as well as work previously published or sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), gathers in one place the latest thinking and contending analyses from a talented group of contributors. These international scholar-activists bring diverse normative, analytical, and disciplinary interests to their work. A product of USIP’s Muslim World Initiative, this volume embraces that pluralism while identifying points of convergence and difference that together point to innovative ways to improve U.S.-Muslim relations and promote Muslim-world peacebuilding.
Contributors include: Mohammed Abu-Nimer • Judy Barsalou • Dorina A. Bekoe • Daniel Brumberg • Iris Glosemeyer • Pierre Hazan • Steven Heydemann • Qamar-ul Huda • Thomas H. Johnson • John W. Limbert • Abdeslam Maghraoui • Jonathan Morrow • Ahmad S. Moussalli • Hesham Sallam • Dina Shehata • David R. Smock • Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai • Annette Weber • Mona Yacoubian
In the face of overwhelming attention to extremist movements and the fundamentalist Islam they often espouse, exploration of peacemaking and conflict resolution in Muslim communities is especially timely. Crescent and Dove looks at the relationship between contemporary Islam and peacemaking by tackling the diverse interpretations, concepts, and problems in the field of Islamic peacemaking.
Although Islamic law requires followers to preserve and protect life, and peacemaking efforts arise in Muslim communities everywhere, those who advocate for Islamic principles of nonviolence and peacebuilding, as well as traditional methods of conflict resolution, face serious challenges. Writing from their perspective as Muslim scholars and peacebuilding practitioners, the contributors offer critical perspectives on what works, what opportunities exist, and what areas are fertile for effective peacebuilding efforts. Their experience and analysis demonstrate that fostering a culture of peace in Muslim communities and building effective conflict resolution practices must occur within an Islamic framework and must engage Muslim leaders.
Crescent and Dove addresses both theory and practice by delving into the intellectual heritage of Islam to discuss historical examples of addressing conflict in Islam and exploring the practical challenges of contemporary peacemaking in Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and Indonesia. These groundbreaking essays offer possibilities for nonviolent interventions, peacemaking, the implementation of human rights, the reinterpretation of texts, peace education instruction, and employing successful mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills in an Islamic context.
As the most populous country in Africa and a major oil producer, Nigeria has long been recognized as the dominant force in West Africa. But its standing within the broader international arena, especially its comparative position within the Muslim world, has been less well understood. Indeed, does Nigeria's influence extend beyond the region?
In this concise volume, John N. Paden answers this very question, contending that Nigeria is globally significant for a multitude of reasons, not least of which for the political resiliency it has demonstrated despite its complex ethnolinguistic and religious diversity. He argues that Nigeria, with a population that is almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians, could serve uniquely as a model for interreligious political accommodation and as a bridging actor in global politics between the West and the Muslim world. He concludes by calling on the United States to formulate better engagement strategies in the region and to support Nigeria’s political resilience by strengthening social, cultural, and economic ties, and by showing greater understanding and diplomatic tolerance toward the country.
Faith and Politics in Nigeria offers timely, clear, and astute analysis that will be valued by students and scholars of Islamic and African studies and provides keen recommendations for policymakers and conflict-management practitioners.
The relationship between human rights and conflict is dynamic, complex, and powerful, constantly shaping and reshaping the course of both peace and war. Yet, despite its importance, our understanding of this relationship has long been fragmentary, chiefly because three different schools of thought—human rights, conflict resolution, and international law—have offered three different and often contradictory perspectives.
This much-needed volume brings these perspectives together to create a composite picture of the relationship between human rights and conflict. The book’s distinguished contributors do not disguise the differences among them—indeed, some chapters are followed by commentaries offering an alternative view of the same subject—but they also explore the numerous ways in which human rights advocates, negotiators, peacebuilders, and relief agencies can advance and reinforce each other’s work.
Human Rights and Conflict is divided into three parts, each capturing the role played by human rights at a different stage in the conflict cycle. From human rights abuses that precipitate violence, through third-party interventions and humanitarian relief efforts, to the negotiation of peace agreements and the building of peace, the volume lays out the actors and issues involved and analyzes the attendant dynamics and dilemmas.
Comprehensive, authoritative, and highly readable, this volume is an invaluable resource for professors and their students. With its cutting-edge analyses and timely coverage (of Iraq and counterterrorism measures, for instance), it also offers considerable food for thought for seasoned practitioners and advocates.
Julie Mertus, a former senior fellow at the Institute, is an associate professor at American University. Jeffrey W. Helsing is Dean of Curriculum, at USIP's Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding.
A diplomatic memoir unlike any other, this volume takes the reader behind the scenes on both sides of the Cold War as two men form an unlikely partnership to help transform Soviet-American relations.
When U.S. assistant secretary of state Richard Schifter first met Soviet deputy foreign minister Anatoly Adamishin to discuss human rights, the Reagan administration was still skeptical of Gorbachev’s reformist credentials. But skepticism soon gave way not just to belief but to active support. Like their immediate superiors George Shultz and Eduard Shevardnadze, Schifter and Adamishin became partners in the process of rapprochement. Together, they helped free political prisoners, spur Jewish emigration, support perestroika against its domestic enemies, and contribute to the mutual trust that allowed the Cold War to end swiftly and peacefully.
Each chapter consists of two parts, one by each author, that offer complementary perspectives on the same events. The result is a volume that reveals much about the policymaking process during a historic era and exemplifies the power of diplomatic negotiation. It also argues provocatively that once the Cold War had ended, U.S. assistance to the Soviet Union could have helped prevent Gorbachev’s fall from power, which ultimately damaged the democratic cause in Russia.
Since the 1970s, the promotion of human rights has been an explicit goal of U.S. foreign policy. Successive presidents have joined with senators and representatives, hundreds of NGOs, and millions of ordinary citizens in deploring human rights abuses and urging that American power and influence be used to right such wrongs. Vigorous debates, bold declarations, and well-crafted legislation have shaped numerous policies designed to counter abuses and promote U.S. values across the globe.
But have such policies actually worked?
This incomparable volume answers that question by spotlighting no fewer than 14 cases spanning four continents and 25 years. In each case, a distinguished author charts efforts to implement U.S. policy and highlights the problems encountered. The chapters explore the interaction between competing moral, economic, and security considerations; examine the different challenges facing policymakers in Washington and practitioners in-country; and assess what worked, what did not work, and why. Throughout, the emphasis is on discovering useful lessons and offering practical advice to those considering new initiatives or trying to improve existing efforts.
Packed with insights, Implementing U.S. Human Rights Policy offers an even-handed and highly readable synopsis of the major human rights challenges of our times.
When the Israeli prime minister and the PLO chairman shook hands on the White House lawn in 1993, Israeli peace activists had good reason to celebrate this major step on the long road to peace.
This book tells the story of the Israeli peace movement and the role it played in that pursuit of peace. It is an eloquent, fascinating account of a remarkably diverse and determined cast of activists: from war-weary soldiers to hard-headed politicians, careful scholars to impassioned artists.
Drawing on his experience in the peace movement, Bar-On provides intimate portraits of groups like Peace Now, Yesh Gvul, and the Women in Black, he also provides a sweeping historical synthesis of the course of the Israeli-Arab conflict, especially between 1967 and 1993.
As the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish contributors to this volume have discovered firsthand, religion is better at fostering peace than at fueling war. Rarely, conclude the authors, is religion the principal cause of international conflict, even though some adversaries may argue differently. But religion can often be invaluable in promoting understanding and reconciliation-and the need to exploit that potential has never been greater.
Drawing on their extensive experience in organizing interaction and cooperation across religious boundaries in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Northern Ireland, and the Balkans, the contributors explore the formidable potential of interfaith dialogue. The first part of the volume analyzes the concept and its varied application; the second focuses on its practice in specific zones of conflict; and the third assesses the experiences and approaches of particular organizations.
When organized creatively, interfaith dialogue can nurture deep engagement at all levels of the religious hierarchy, including the community level. It draws strength from the peacemaking traditions shared by many faiths and from the power of religious ritual and symbolism. Yet, as the authors also make plain, it also has its limitations and carries great risks.
By virtue of its size, history, resources, and strategic location, Iran under any circumstances would pose particular relevance for American policy, but the 1979 revolution and the political system that it wrought placed Iran squarely at the heart of U.S. security challenges.
As the third book in the series from the Institute’s Muslim World Initiative on pivotal states in the Muslim world, this lucid and timely volume sheds much-needed light on Iran’s strikingly complex political system and foreign policy and its central role in the region. Suzanne Maloney systematically outlines Iran’s sources of influence in the Muslim world, including its strategic ambitions and dynamism, political innovations, economic clout, religiocultural institutions, and historical and cultural linkages. Maloney argues that although its leadership and rhetoric often appear stagnant, Iran is in reality one of the least static societies in the Muslim world.
Iran today is fraught with pressures and tensions as a result of a disproportionately young population, an economy subject to considerable external pressures and cyclical fluctuation, and the massive transformations occurring along its borders in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maloney analyzes the social, economic, and regional forces that are driving Iran toward change and asks what these factors mean for U.S. foreign policy. She concludes that despite historical, legal, and practical constraints, the United States must ultimately engage Iran on a range of issues.
Insightful and balanced, this volume presents a realistic, precise, and objective assessment of Iran for policymakers, academics, as well as the interested public.
This volume explores the relationship between religion and politics generally, as well as the global wave of democratization in the late twentieth century, as background to different interpretations of political Islam. It analyzes the role of these movements in Iran, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, the Persian Gulf (especially Saudi Arabia), and the Palestinian community.