Dr. Ora Szekely will join POMEPS to discuss her new book, The Politics of Militant Group Survival in the Middle East: Resources, Relationships, and Resistance. This innovative book compares the performances of four key non-state actors in the Arab-Israeli conflict ecosystem: the PLO, Hamas, Hizbullah, and Amal. It argues that it is not the assets a militant group has, but rather how it acquired them that matters in explaining the variation in these actors’ abilities to militarily resist and politically recover from confrontations with far more powerful adversaries. Groups that rely on marketing campaigns to secure local support and regional patronage do far better than those that rely on coercion or even barter. The book develops a typology of organizations based on their foreign and domestic policies, which has interesting implications for other non-state actors, such as the Islamic State. It is based on field research in Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, and Syria, including interviews with members of a range of Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups, as well as politicians, UN staff, journalists, and members of the Jordanian and Israeli armies.
Szekely is an assistant professor of political science at Clark University and is affiliated with Clark’s programs in Peace Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. Her research focuses on the foreign and domestic policies of non-state and proto-state military actors in the Middle East, specifically, the ways these groups mobilize support from the public and their state sponsors, and how that support shapes their overall effectiveness both politically and militarily.
There will be limited copies of the books available for students.
A light lunch will be provided.
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