New article on Techno-Orientalism, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse

Good Tidings for Saudi Women? Techno-Orientalism, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse

Author: Joel W. Abdelmoez (Lund University)

September, 2022

CyberOrient Journal of the Virtual Middle East and Islamic World

Abstract

Gender equality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still a contentious and hotly debated issue, both within the country and in global news media as well as social media. Not least has the government app “Absher” drawn attention and criticism, due to features that allow male guardians to track their female dependants, issue or withdraw travel permits, and file for divorce at the click of a button. This study aims to explore the campaigns and debates around the app, and how it has been represented in global media. Focusing mainly on social media campaigning by journalists, activists, as well as the Saudi government, I hope to shed light on the different sides of the debate, and what the representation of Saudi Vision 2030, the reforms and the app, particularly in European and American media discourse, tell us about popular imaginations of Islam, technology, and gender.

CMES Research Seminar: Techno-Islam, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse

Joel Abdelmoez gives a talk on “Techno-Islam, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse”.

When: 3 March 2022, 13:15 to 14:30 (CEST)
Where:  CMES Seminar room (Finngatan 16) and on Zoom

Registration: Follow this link to register for the event

Gender equality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still a contentious and hotly debated issue, both within the country and in global news media as well as social media. Not least has the government app “Absher” drawn attention and criticism, due to features that allow male guardians to track their female dependants, issue or withdraw travel permits, and file for divorce at the click of a button. This talk aims to explore the campaigns and debates around the app, and how it has been represented in global media. Focusing mainly on social media campaigning by journalists, activists, as well as the Saudi government, I hope to shed light on the different sides of the debate, and what the representation of Saudi Vision 2030, the reforms and the app, particularly in European and American media discourse, tell us about popular imagination of Islam, technology, and gender.

Joel W. Abdelmoez is a Doctoral Student at CMES and the Department of Political Science at Lund University. Joel works on feminist movements and activism, mediatized/performed gender and gender politics in the Middle East, with particular focus on Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He is a former adjunct lecturer and Director of Studies for Middle Eastern Studies at Stockholm University. He holds a BA and MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Stockholm University and an MPhil in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge.

UI Brief: Economic transition in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

Economic Diversification and the Youth Population in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia: Double Dividend or Double Jeopardy?

Author: Jeanine Schriemer (The Swedish Institute of International Affairs)
March, 2021

The Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Abstract

Oil has shaped the social contract between the state and its citizens, how will the transition to a more diverse economy affect state-society relations?

This UI Brief aim to explore the economic transitions of two monarchies facing urgent pressure to reform, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, in order to shed light on the main drivers of and obstacles to transition.

Article on Iran’s strategic interests in Yemen

What is in Yemen for Iran? A Realist Assessment of Tehran’s
Strategic Calculus in the Arabian Peninsula

Author: Maysam Behravesh
December, 2020

A chapter in “Navigating the Regional Chessboard” (Ed. Vogt, Achim & Schmid, Sarah), December 2020

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Abstract

This article addresses Iran’s involvement in Yemen from a realist perspective and in the wider framework of the geopolitical rivalry between the Islamic Republic on the one hand and Saudi Arabia and its allies, particularly the United States, on the other. Focusing on the “demand” side of the civil war, or motives and incentives for its perpetuation, it tries to delineate how Iranian leaders perceive Yemen and how Tehran uses this pivotal node of “strategic depth” in the Arabian Peninsula for deterrence, security provision as well as power projection purposes. The article concludes Iran is in Yemen for the long haul and therefore urges a holistic policy approach to conflict resolution that recognizes long-term interests and concerns of all major conflicting parties on the ground and seeks to make Iran’s intervention and involvement in Yemen less necessary rather than more costly.

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SIPRI Policy Brief on missile proliferation in the MENA

Addressing Missile Threats in the Middle East and North Africa

Authors: Dr. Tytti Erästö & Pieter D. Wezeman
November, 2020

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Abstract

This SIPRI Policy Brief contributes to the discussion on missile proliferation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by providing an overview of regional missile arsenals and by considering ways to address related risks. The paper makes policy recommendations, highlighting the need to move beyond the selective focus on certain types of missiles in the hands of certain states, towards a more comprehensive approach based on greater transparency, responsible arms exports and confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs).

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