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Center for Middle East Studies


Center for Middle East Studies


We are thrilled to announce that our latest book publication,  Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East is now available through Hurst Publishers


book chat with the co-editors

media attention around sectarianization

Muftah, January 10, 2018
Co-editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel sat down with Muftah's Riad Alarian for an in-depth and thoughtful interview on their book. Read the interview here.

Rising Up with Sanali, January 5, 2018
CMES Director Nader Hashemi joined Sonali Kolhatkar, host and executive producer of Rising Up with Sonali, for a discussion on Sectarianization.  Watch the interview here.

Boulder Weekly, November 30, 2017
Dave Anderson writes that Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel's book is "crucial" for those wanting to understand what is happening in the Middle East today. Read the review here.

Jadaliyya's 'New Texts Out Now', August 8, 2017
Co-editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel discuss Sectarianization in an interview for Jadaliyya's 'New Texts Out Now' series. Listen here.

New Books Network, July 16, 2017
Co-editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel discuss Sectarianization on the New Books Network's Middle Eastern Studies podcast. Listen here.

WBEZ 91.5 Chicago, July 6, 2017
Co-editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel discuss their book with Worldview host Jerome McDonnell on WBEZ in Chicago. Listen here.

Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online, July 5, 2017
Feras Klenk, PhD candidate in the School of Middle Eastern and North Africa Studies at the University of Arizona, praises Sectarianization as an "empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated volume." Read the review here

Hurriyet Daily News, May 30, 2017
William Armstrong agrees with Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel that ancient sectarian hatreds are irrelevant to today's conflicts in the Middle East. Read here.

Chatham House, May 10, 2017
In this panel, co-editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel join book contributor Madawi Al-Rasheed to discuss the core tenants of their book. Listen here. 

Oxford Department of International Development, May 9, 2017
Editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel discuss their latest publication at the Oxford Department of International Development. Listen here.

LSE Middle East Centre, May 8, 2017
Editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel join book contributors Madawi Al-Rasheed, Toby Matthiesen and Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi in a panel discussion to combat the use of "sectarianism" as a catch all phrase to define politics in the Middle East today. Listen here.

E-International Relations, April 28, 2017
Ibrahim Halawi praises editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel's attempts to understand the Middle East in a more nuanced light. Read the review here.

Chatham House, April 2017
Alex Spillius agrees that seeing the Middle East as Sunni v Shia is too simple. Read the review here.

Catskill Review of Books, March 31, 2017
Editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel discuss the book in this Soundcloud interview. Listen here.  

Muftah, March 30, 2017
Television and radio producer Usman Butt reviews the book here.


"The master narrative that everything in the Middle East is explained by religious fanaticism has a long history in the West. Paradoxically, in our own era it has, if anything, become more inescapable than it was in the day of Martin Luther, despite the proliferation of social science about the region in the Western academy. Hashemi and Postel do an enormous service by bringing together in one volume a mass of research knocking down the "sectarianism thesis." It is essential for anyone who wants truly to understand this crucial region."

— Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan

"Why has sectarianism become such an urgent, destructive force in today's Middle East? This collection brings together a diverse group of scholars to advance a distinctively political explanation for the rise of sectarian conflict across the region. Rather than resort to essentialised identities, these essays expertly dissect the historical, political and instititutional contexts within which cynical political and social actors have mobilised sectarianism for their own ends. Every student of Middle East politics will benefit from reading and thinking hard about the implications of this collection."

— Marc Lynch, Professor of Political Science, George Washington University, Director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, and author of The New Arab Wars: Anarchy and Uprising in the Middle East

"Sectarianization brings together a group of fine scholars to interrogate what has become a new Orientalist orthodoxy vis-à-vis the Middle East. The rigorous historical and socio-political analyses in the book make it clear that the astonishing sectarian conflicts in today's Middle East have little to do with any ancient primordial loyalties, but are rooted in the contemporary geopolitics of the region. Sectarianization is an indispensable read for these bleak times."

— Asef Bayat, Catherine & Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies and Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign