The Transnational Middle East: People, Places, Borders
Leïla Vignal (editor)
The Middle East has been undergoing new crises since the powerful socio-political uprisings known as the Arab Spring took place in several countries in 2011. Some countries are experiencing a long-term collapse of their political and social structures out of internal conflicts and external interventions. The Transnational Middle East posits that, in the Middle East, the development of regional dynamics, of processes and circulations of all kinds, can be documented. In this regard, the approaches it develops — ‘bottom-up’ regionalisation, ‘globalisation from below’ — allow for a better understanding of the ways in which the Middle East is part of global transformations. The book analyses how, through their practices, Middle East societies elaborate a regional space which is not institutionalised. Based on fieldwork in the Middle East, the book provides venues for further theoretical elaboration on globalisation and contemporary societies, as well as on processes of regionalisation. It draws on the emergence of genuine regional spaces of culture, art, economic activity, human circulation — which supplement and do not contradict — and other infra-national, national, or global social processes. As in other areas of the world, these transformations are to a large extent the mode of the Middle East’s insertion into globalisation. In this respect, they go against standard narratives of the supposed ‘exceptionalism’ of the region.