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Lillian C. Frost and Musa M. Shteiwi

This chapter applies the lens of citizenship and non-citizenship to host state decisions about how to treat refugees, both legally and in practice, by examining Jordan’s and Lebanon’s policies toward Syrian refugees from 2012 to 2016. This lens situates refugee policies within the larger context of state-society relations and highlights the specific types of rights refugees can access. The chapter starts by defining citizenship and non-citizenship as well as the content of these relationships. The next section analyses Jordan’s and Lebanon’s citizenship regimes since independence and assesses these states’ non-citizenship regimes toward Syrian refugees, excluding Palestine refugees from Syria. The following section digs into the content of Syrian non-citizenship in these countries by looking at their formal and informal civil, political, social, and economic rights. The chapter concludes by highlighting the similarities in how states treat citizen and non-citizen groups as well as the utility of engaging non-citizenship as a concept.

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Basak Ince

This chapter scrutinises the evolution of the legal, identity and civic virtue aspects of citizenship in Turkey from 1980 to 2014. The chapter addresses the issue how citizenship, as defined during the single-party period on the basis of a one religion (Sunni Islam) and one language (Turkish) – withstood the various changes that Turkey has undergone, especially as a result of internal factors such as 1980 military intervention, 28 February 1997 and 27 April 2007 memorandums, and the increasing resistance against Prime Minister Erdo_an. It also delves into the way it might be affected by more recent external factors such as the impact of globalisation and the possibility of being drawn into the European Union. Because citizenship is so complex an issue in a society as ethnically diverse as Turkey, this chapter, by examining the shifting meaning of citizenship between the period 1980–2014, will help bring to the fore theoretical and historical issues at stake in contemporary notions of citizenship as such in the Middle East.

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Roel Meijer

The chapter deals with the opinions Islamic thinkers have developed on the relationship between politics, the political, and citizenship since the end of the Ottoman Empire. The assumption is that political citizenship can only be founded on the recognition of politics as an independent field and the political as a ‘void’. The chapter shows that in most Islamic political thinking politics has been completely absorbed by religion. It is only during the last thirty years with revival of Islamic modernism that politics has been recognised as a field that must be open in order not to end in a totalitarian state. Partly this is the result of the rise of Islamic political parties, partly the result of the development of notions such as the ‘purposes of the sharia’ (maqasid al-shari‘a). With the recognition of the political as the ‘radically undetermined’ also recognition of the citizen and equal citizenship came about.

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The Middle East in Transition

The Centrality of Citizenship

Edited by Nils A. Butenschøn and Roel Meijer

The violent transitions that have dominated developments since the Arab Uprisings demonstrate deep-seated divisions in the conceptions of state authority and citizen rights and responsibilities. Analysing the Middle East through the lens of the ‘citizenship approach’, this book argues that the current diversity of crisis in the region can be ascribed primarily to the crisis in the relations between state and citizen. The volume includes theoretical discussions and case studies, and covers both Arab and non-Arab countries.
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Nils A. Butenschøn

Presenting main academic discourses on Israel as an ‘ethnic’ state, ‘democratic’ state, and ‘Jewish’ state, Nils Butenschøn maintains that whereas the legal and institutional fabric of the State of Israel is ethnocratic in distribution of rights and resources, the state itself, just like Palestine, is still a state in the making, an unfinished state. He argues that the citizenship approach is sufficiently open in its theoretical orientation and precise enough as an analytical tool to capture the complexities of Israel as a state formation, and yet identify the distinct challenges this state poses in its relations with the various demographic groups that have claims to the territories under its current rule or control. The nature of these challenges can only be fully comprehended with a view to the extent, content, and depth of citizenship as premised by Zionism, the state ideology, and the historic conditions of the unfolding Palestine conflict.

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Shirin Saeidi

This chapter moves into the ambit of citizenship and politics among pro-state Hezbollah affiliates in post-2009 Iran to make the counterintuitive argument that the legislation of religion is not necessarily a fruitless effort for the state even when it fails to uniformly produce its ideal religious citizen. The contradictions and ambiguities of hybrid regimes work in different ways to produce particular types of citizens. In the Iranian case, there exists a disconnection between how autonomy and equality of Muslim citizens are legislated in Hezbollah’s cultural institutions, how autonomy and equality are theorised by the Islamic Republic’s founding fathers, and how the Muslim citizen emerged from the post-1979 Constitution. The interaction between these three different centres of power results in unpredictable citizens in quotidian life.

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Edited by Nils A. Butenschøn and Roel Meijer

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Ruth Hanau Santini

The chapter investigates how conceptual models of state-society relations are formulated and translated into practice by the EU in its bilateral relations with the southern Mediterranean countries. It looks at the evolution of European foreign policy since the 2011 uprisings, empirically attesting the degree to which EU policies have been inspired by the new EU strategies. Different visions of democracy and citizenship can be extrapolated from EU documents, which are only partially then translated into practice. Among the different possible models the EU could have adopted in its democracy and citizenship approaches, rather than shifting from protective to developmentalist models, the EU has continued to focus on elections, procedural democracy, rule of law, civil society, restraining the more egalitarian and participatory aspects of democracy, and sacrificing the empowerment of both political and socio-economic rights on the altar of minimum advances in its human rights and procedural democracy agenda.

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Zahra Babar

Serving as a means of determining who belongs to the nation, and equally importantly who does not belong, citizenship is an integral part of modern state-citizen relations. Citizenship in the GCC states, however, has long been viewed as largely devoid of political meaning. Instead, it is often seen through a socio-economic lens that sees state-citizen relations as solely based on resource rents exchanged for citizens’ allegiance, despite the limited political rights accrued to them. This chapter will challenge this perception and argue that negotiations of citizenship arrangement in Gulf nations have always been political and a site of contestation for regimes and residents alike. In support of this argument, the chapter will examine the recent surge in citizenship revocations in the aftermath of the 2011 Uprisings, which served to revitalise and strengthen old arenas of contestation over the politics of belonging to the nation.

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Sylvia I. Bergh and Salima Ahmadou

Since October 2016 and starting in the northern Rif region, Morocco has witnessed popular protests fuelled by a widespread sense of hogra, i.e. deprivation of dignity due to nepotism, corruption and marginalisation. These protests can be considered a revival of the spirit of the February 20 Movement (F20M) of 2011, which led to the adoption of a new Constitution. Based on interviews with activists in Rabat, Casablanca and Tangier, this chapter addresses the following questions: How did these activists keep the spirit of the F20M alive? How are their ‘acts of citizenship’ (Engin Isin) helping them to claim public spaces? How do they understand the concept of citizenship as compared to how it is used in the state’s discourse? What are the state’s reactions to their activities, and how do the groups in turn respond to them? Finally, what, if anything, does the 2011 Constitution mean to these activists?