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Book
Being Arab: Arabism and the Politics of Recognition
(2010)
  • Christopher Wise, Western Washington University
  • Paul James
Abstract
Being Arab appears at a time of unprecedented historical crisis for nonsectarian Arabist thought and social movements. Events of the last decade, especially the US-led occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, have drawn many analysts to conclude that the era of Arab identity politics has passed. Some even assert that the ‘defunct’ category of ‘the Arab’ was little more than an ideological tool of Western imperial powers, one that never served the interests of the peoples of the Middle East and Africa. This volume rejects the assumption that the dream of a strong, unified Arab world was never more than a fantasy of out-of-touch academics, nor little more than a crude instrument of Arab elites and Western imperialists. It is clear that the embattled concept of ‘the Arab’ urgently requires investigation, analysis and rethinking. Some commentators even suggest that the resurrection of ‘the Arab’ and political Arabism is the pre-eminent issue. The theme of the historical meaning of Arab identity is pursued in this book in the hope of making a modest contribution towards strengthening viable, non-sectarian and democratic alternatives to Islamist fundamentalism in the Arab world. The question of what it means ‘to be Arab’ is deliberately oriented towards the future, while remaining attentive to the setbacks of the past.

Contributors include Gilbert Achcar, Ella Shohat, Ali Mazuri, Fallou Ngom, Ralph Coury, Hala Abu Taleb, Diana Abu-Jaber, and others.
Publication Date
2010
Editor
Christopher Wise and Paul James
Publisher
Arena Publications
Citation Information
Christopher Wise and Paul James. Being Arab: Arabism and the Politics of Recognition. Fitzroy, Australia(2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/christopher_wise/8/