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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.
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 timely work explores how, after a long period of isolation, Turkey is becoming a major player in Middle Eastern politics once again. In fact, by acting independently and attempting to reconcile its constitutionally secular form of governance and vibrant traditional culture, it is now for the first time becoming positively viewed by others in the Muslim world as a state worth watching—and maybe even emulating. As a result, Turkey’s dynamic political scene and new search for independence in its foreign policy, however complicating or irritating for the United States today, will nonetheless ultimately serve the best interests of Turkey, the Middle East, and even the West.
Drawing heavily on a range of Turkish and Western sources, this multidimensional, lively, and nuanced volume provides an excellent introduction to one of the region’s most fascinating and complex countries and makes a highly valuable contribution to the current debate about Turkey and its place in the world.