Dietrich Jung. Ed. The Middle East and Palestine: Global Politics and Regional Conflict.

PositionBook review

Dietrich Jung. Ed. The Middle East and Palestine: Global Politics and Regional Conflict. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 2004. Hardback $59.95.

The work debunks the stereotype of "Middle Eastern exceptionalism." Beginning with the preface, the book asserts the interlacements between the global, regional and local developments in the making of the Middle East and the Palestine question. It argues "the regional patterns of conflict and violence have been deeply molded by international and transnational relations, rather than being the result of a peculiar Middle Eastern culture."

As a general thesis, the assertion of "integrating the micro-and macro- perspectives, tracing the interaction of global and regional environments with individuals pursuing political goals" to dismiss the myth of "Middle Eastern exceptionalism" might face little or no objection from scholars acquainted with Middle Eastern history and politics, as well as with the Palestine question. The collection, however, emphasizes certain relevant factors at the expense of others in defining the global, regional, and local. In particular, the global political-economic transformations that contributed to the making of the contemporary Middle East were de-emphasized, if not absent in favor of the national, cultural, and state building elements. At certain parts of the collection, the absence of global, regional, and local political-economic changes, other processes such as the rise of nationalism and state building seem to...

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