Sectarianism from the Top Down or Bottom Up? Explaining the Middle East’s Unlikely De-sectarianization after the Arab Spring
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Sectarian politics has retreated across the Middle East in the years after the Arab Spring, even as conflict between the region’s two main sectarian actors—Iran and Saudi Arabia—has intensified. This essay explores this incongruence as a way of better understanding the nature and drivers of sectarianism and de-sectarianization in MENA states, supported by public opinion and other data that substantiate the post-2011 decline in Arabs’ concern over sectarianism. It contends that the close correspondence between the rise and demise of the Arab Spring on the one hand, and that of sectarianism on the other, supports an instrumentalist interpretation of sectarian politics in the region.
- Social & Economic Survey Research Institute Research [219 items ]