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Tormented Births

Tormented Births

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This is a radically new explanation of the processes of social, political and economic development in the Middle East over the past two centuries. In a broadside attack on the existing literature, al-Khafaji shows that the stress on the cultural distinctiveness of the Middle East vis-à-vis Europe is misguided, and that the experience of colonialism and imperialism has not irrevocably distorted the region's natural development. On the contrary, there are striking similarities in the formation and evolution of power structures, social groups and rural-urban spaces in the Middle East and Europe. Based on the most interdisciplinary of approaches which combines political science, development economics, history, sociology and cultural studies, the book concludes by presenting a novel explanation of the persistence of authoritarian regimes in the region.