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  • KIENLE Eberhard (2)
  • BONNEFOY Laurent (2)
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Article du dossier "Moyen-Orient : des guerres sans fin" : Depuis de longues décennies, le Moyen-Orient est en proie aux conflits, aux tensions et aux divisions. Des religions vouées à la paix et à l’amour s’y transforment en doctrines de haine et de guerre. Des sources immenses de richesse, notamment pétrolière, y coexistent avec la pauvreté de la grande majorité des populations. Nulle part au monde, on ne trouve dans un espace aussi réduit tant de rivalités et de violence portant sur la maîtrise de territoires (Irak, Syrie, Yémen, Palestine...). Récurrence des affrontements, stagnation économique, absence de démocratie, inertie politique, interventions extérieures multiples et non coordonnées…, le numéro 103-104 de Questions internationales dresse un panorama complet de cette région conflictuelle.

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics Sous la direction de THOMPSON William R Publié en 2020-11-01
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In contrast with some of its Gulf neighbors, Bahrain cannot develop a more socially embedded military institution that would be the engine of an inclusive nation-building process. This is because of the peculiar nature of its state–society relations, which are plagued by mutual distrust between the ruling Al Khalifa family, who hail from the country’s Sunni minority, and a great part of the Shia majoritarian population. As a result, the security apparatus, and the army in particular, recruits almost exclusively from the ruling family, its Sunni tribal allies, and foreigners. Totally insulated from the Shia society, the militaries never participated, nor will ever participate, in mass politics, which have been mostly driven by Shia-dominated protests. The noncompromise option taken by the incumbents following the mass protest of 2011 has entailed a shift toward a hard form of authoritarianism in which the security apparatus has emerged as a key actor of political control. The regime is increasingly militarized as the Al Khalifa militaries have acquired a growing weight in the politics of dynastic factionalism, with the militaries now being in crucial positions to influence not only the kingdom’s policies but also the internal balances within the ruling dynasty.

in Routledge Handbook of Persian Gulf Politics Sous la direction de KAMRAVA Mehran Publié en 2020-09
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Sectarianism has recently been the object of attempts of definitional consolidations with the aim to make the word a workable social science concept. Echoing those about ethnic conflicts, the debates about sectarianism in the Middle East have revolved around the process by which sectarian identities shift on a continuum from “banal” sectarian identities to radical forms of politicized sectarianism. In most countries that include Shiʿa, the question of the Shiʿa’s transnational loyalties has marred relations between the Sunni rulers and their Shiʿi citizens. In the Gulf, relations between Sunnis and Shiʿa have been highly impacted by the vagaries of Iran’s bilateral relations with its Gulf neighbors.

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Laurence Louër is the author of recently published Sunnis and Shi‘a. A Political History, with Princeton University Press. A great specialist of Shia Islam and politics as well as identity politics in the Middle East, Laurence answers our questions and helps us better understand the – mimetic – rivalry between Shi‘a and Sunni and its relation to other identities and political objectives. Interview by Miriam Perier, CERI.

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When Muhammad died in 632 without a male heir, Sunnis contended that the choice of a successor should fall to his closest companions, but Shi’a believed that God had inspired the Prophet to appoint his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, as leader. So began a schism that is nearly as old as Islam itself. Laurence Louër tells the story of this ancient rivalry, taking readers from the last days of Muhammad to the political and doctrinal clashes of Sunnis and Shi’a today. In a sweeping historical narrative spanning the Islamic world, Louër shows how the Sunni-Shi’a divide was never just a dispute over succession—at issue are questions about the very nature of Islamic political authority. She challenges the widespread perception of Sunnis and Shi’a as bitter enemies who are perpetually at war with each other, demonstrating how they have coexisted peacefully at various periods throughout the history of Islam. Louër traces how sectarian tensions have been inflamed or calmed depending on the political contingencies of the moment, whether to consolidate the rule of elites, assert clerical control over the state, or defy the powers that be. Timely and provocative, Sunnis and Shi’a provides needed perspective on the historical roots of today’s conflicts and reveals how both branches of Islam have influenced and emulated each other in unexpected ways. This compelling and accessible book also examines the diverse regional contexts of the Sunni-Shi’a divide, examining how it has shaped societies and politics in countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, and Lebanon.

in Routledge Handbook of Minorities in the Middle East Sous la direction de ROWE Paul Publié en 2018-11
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Even when they are a numeric majority, as in Iraq and Bahrain, most of the time Shi’is in the Arab world are not part of the highest strata of the social hierarchy, be it in terms of status and/or class position. They generally express deep-seated feelings of being discriminated against, and the rhetoric of Shi’i Islamic movements often refers to the Shi’is as the “deprived” (al-mahrumin) or the “oppressed” (al-musta’dafin). This way of experiencing themselves as victims echoes the historical marginalization of the Shi’is in the power struggles that followed the death of Prophet Mohammed. The origin of the Sunni/Shi’i divide indeed lies in the two main factions that contested for the succession to Muhammad: the Shi’is thought that the latter should have been followed by a line of imams recruited into the lineage of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Prophet’s cousin and trusted companion, and Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter. According to the Shi’is, the Imams have access to hidden meanings of the divine message and have been entrusted by God to reveal them to an elite. While Ali became the fourth caliph, his descendants never ruled after his death, and the imams were only religious and community leaders. Their line died away in 874 with the disappearance of the twelfth imam. The majority of Shi’is (known as ithna’shari, or “Twelvers”) think he has been occulted by God to protect him against plots of the caliphs and that he shall return at the End of Time to install truth and justice.

in Archives de sciences sociales des religions Publié en 2018-06
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Le mouvement de protestation qui a eu lieu au Bahreïn en 2011 a été caractérisé par une dynamique de confessionnalisation qui a marqué autant les mobilisations elles-mêmes que leur cadre d'interprétation par certains acteurs extérieurs.

in Pan-Islamic Connections. Transnational Networks Between South Asia and the Gulf Sous la direction de JAFFRELOT Christophe, LOUER Laurence, JAFFRELOT Christophe, LOUER Laurence Publié en 2017-12
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South Asia and the Gulf countries are often seen as belonging to two different universes. Indeed, the contemporary geopolitical division of the world situates the former in Asia and the latter in the Middle East. This geographical slicing matches part of the dynamics that shape contemporary world politics, in which the Gulf, in great part because of the oil wealth, has emerged as a new economic, political and religious hub but also as an area of tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two states that struggle to impose themselves as representing 'true Islam' ands to lead the Muslim world. South Asia, for its part, tends to be seen from the Middle East mainly as a supplier of cheap labour to the Gulf and, as far as religion is concerned, as a recipient of 'orthodox' Islamic religious influences from the Gulf - be they Sunni or Shi'a - which rework the Indian Islamic civilization that developed in close relation with Sufism and Hinduism over several centuries...

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South Asia is today the region inhabited by the largest number of Muslims—roughly 500 million. In the course of its Islamisation process, which began in the eighth century, it developed a distinct Indo-Islamic civilisation that culminated in the Mughal Empire. While paying lip service to the power centres of Islam in the Gulf, including Mecca and Medina, this civilisation has cultivated its own variety of Islam, based on Sufism. Over the last fifty years, pan-Islamic ties have intensified between these two regions. Gathering together some of the best specialists on the subject, this volume explores these ideological, educational and spiritual networks, which have gained momentum due to political strategies, migration flows and increased communications. At stake are both the resilience of the civilisation that imbued South Asia with a specific identity, and the relations between Sunnis and Shias in a region where Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a cultural proxy war, as evident in the foreign ramifications of sectarianism in Pakistan. (Publisher's abstract)

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Entretien avec Laurence Louër et Christophe Jaffrelot par Miriam Périer dans le cadre de la parution de l’ouvrage qu’ils ont dirigé, chez Hurst Publisher, intitulé Pan Islamic Connections. Transnational Networks between South Asia and the Gulf.

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