The politicization of the demos in the Middle East : citizenship between membership and participation in the state
Appears in the following Collection
- Institutt for statsvitenskap 
AbstractThe four articles that constitute the thesis are qualitative case-oriented comparative studies of the politics of citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). The ‘politics of citizenship’ refers to the relationship between forms of membership in the state and patterns of participation in the polity, as reflected in six Arab states. Two articles are case studies on Lebanon and Syria respectively. Two articles are comparative studies. One compares the politics of citizenship in Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon. The other compares female citizenship in light of family law reform in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Syria.
The thesis looks into the process of state formation and analyzes the political impact of the organization and distribution of power along gendered and religious lines in Arab states. The emphasis on the state’s demos, the Greek word for ‘population’, seeks to highlight how ‘the people’ is constituted upon which kratos, the Greek word for governance, is carried out. A theoretical and analytical focus on the constitution of the demos challenges democratization theories and analytical approaches that do not account for degrees of exclusiveness or inclusiveness of those who constitute members of contemporary Arab polities (citizens and denizens), and residents in territorial states (stateless, refugees, noncitizen workforce). Hence, the ‘politicization of the demos’ reflects that individuals and groups are included or excluded from the citizenry, as well as from full membership in the polity, in ways that are continuously addressed, reframed and sought settled within contemporary Arab states since the establishment of territoriality as organizing principle in MENA after 1920.
Among the main conclusions of the thesis is that the legal status of women as full members of the polity in MENA is a political cursor that reflects the comprehensive democratization of society. Female civil rights are not only ‘women’s issues’. The use of state power in institutionalizing and distributing civil rights among and between citizens in society reflects central issues of consent and dissent pertaining to how, and in which ways, power is organized and allocated within the polity. Seen from a state formation perspective, female citizens are ‘the masses’ in present-day Arab polities. The thesis provides analytical and theoretical tools that enable researchers and observers to understand and explore further political development in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings.
List of chapters (papers). Chapter 2, 3, 4 and 5 are removed from the thesis due to copyright restrictions.
Chapter 2 (Paper 1): Maktabi, Rania The Lebanese Census of 1932 Revisited. Who are the Lebanese? British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 26, no. 2 (1999) doi:10.1080/13530199908705684
Chapter 3 (Paper 2): Maktabi, Rania Tune in Religion, Turn on Pluralism, Drop Out Citizenship? Membership and Political Participation in Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon. in The Middle East in a Globalized World, ed. Bjørn Olav Utvik and Knut Vikør (Bergen: C. Hurst & Co and Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies), 2000
Chapter 4 (Paper 3): Maktabi, Rania Gender, family law and citizenship in Syria. Citizenship Studies 14, no. 5 (2010) doi:10.1080/13621025.2010.506714
Chapter 5 (Paper 4): Female citizenship in the Middle East: Comparing family law reform in Morocco, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon 1990-2010. forthcoming in Middle East Law and Governance, Spring 2013.