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Center for Middle East Studies Books



New Book: The Syria Dilemma, Edited by Nader Hashemi & Danny Postel (MIT)


The Syria Dilemma The current conflict in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people and displaced five million, yet most observers predict that the worst is still to come. For two years the international community has failed to take action. World leaders have repeatedly resolved not to let atrocities happen in plain view, but the legacy of the bloody and costly intervention in Iraq has left policymakers with little appetite for more military operations. So we find ourselves in the grip of a double burden: the urge to stop the bleeding in Syria, and the fear that attempting to do so would be Iraq redux.

What should be done about the apparently intractable Syrian conflict? This book focuses on the ethical and political dilemmas at the heart of the debate about Syria and the possibility of humanitarian intervention in today's world. The contributors--Syria experts, international relations theorists, human rights activists, and scholars of humanitarian intervention--don't always agree, but together they represent the best political thinking on the issue. The Syria Dilemma includes original pieces from Michael Ignatieff, Mary Kaldor, Radwan Ziadeh, Thomas Pierret, Afra Jalabi, and others.


Hashemi-book Islam, Secularism, & Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies (Oxford)

Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, is the author of  Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies (Oxford University Press, 2009). The paperback edition, which contains a new preface reflecting on the Arab Spring, was published in August of 2012. Seyla Benhabib of Yale University called it a "thoughtful and erudite examination" of "some of the most difficult questions of our times." Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA called it a "masterful contribution" that "has succeeded in raising the bar and in setting a new standard of critical analysis in the field." 



The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran's Future (Melville House)

Hashemi and CMES Associate Director Danny Postel are the co-editors of  The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran's Future (Melville House, 2011), which Publishers Weekly called "a rich, consistently engaging anthology." Houchang Chehabi of Boston University called it a "timely collection" that is "of capital importance not only for all those who take an interest in Iranian affairs, but also for students of democratization and of social movements."