APSA-MENA Politics Newsletter 3(1) – Spring 2020

We are delighted to present the Spring 2020 of the APSA MENA Politics Newsletter. The MENA Politics Section continues to thrive in the second year since its creation, with a rapidly growing membership, a popular Twitter feed (@apsamena), a diverse array of panels at the APSA Annual Meeting, three Section Awards to be announced, and a robust set of programming to support Section members, such as the annual MENA Junior Scholars Research Workshop. We look forward to continuing to grow and evolve over the coming year, despite the challenges posed by the COVID- 19 pandemic.



This issue of the Newsletter features a fascinating glimpse at publication trends for Middle East research in top Political Science journals, and three special sections, each with its own guest editor. The first special section, organized and edited by Lisel Hintz, examines the intersection between domestic politics and foreign policy in Turkey. The second special section, organized and edited by Nadav Shelef, looks at the state of democracy in Israel. Finally, the third special section, organized and edited by me, presents papers from a workshop on Islamist movements at war.

We hope you enjoy the research and analysis presented in this edition of the MENA Politics Newsletter. We look forward to featuring a major symposium on Gender and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa in a coming issue, and welcome your suggestions and proposals for special sections in future issues. Over the coming year, the Section will elect new officers, rotate the Newsletter Editorial Board, and search for a new Newsletter Editor. We plan to continue to innovate with new ways to reach out to and support Section members grappling with the global pandemic and escalating challenges to academic research in the field.

Marc Lynch
Chair of the MENA Politics Section and Newsletter Editor

Prerna BalaEddy
Newsletter Assistant Editor




Marc Lynch, Message from the Section Chair and Editor

Ahmed Morsy and Andrew Stinson, Note from APSA


Melani Cammett and Isabel Kendall, The Middle East in Political Science Journals


Lisel Hintz (Special Section Editor), Introduction

Sinem Adar, Understanding Turkey’s Increasingly Militaristic Foreign Policy

Sercan Canbolat, Understanding Political Islamists’ Foreign Policy Rhetoric in Their Native Language: A Turkish Operational Code Analysis Approach

Sibel Oktay, Turkey’s Phantom Coalition: The AKP-MHP Partnership and Turkish Foreign Policy

Ferhat Zabun, Strategic Ambiguity: Explaining Foreign Policy Under the Erdogan Presidency


Nadav Shelef (Special Section Editor), Introduction

Lotem Bassan-Nygate and Chagai M. Weiss, It’s Us or Them: Partisan Polarization in Israel and Beyond

Michael Freedman, Religious Authority and Political Instability in Israel

Meirav Jones and Lihi Ben Shitrit, The Decline of Democracy in Israel’s Sovereignty Discourse

Tamar Hermann, How Many is One Too Many?: Israeli Elections 2018-2020


Marc Lynch (Special Section Editor), Introduction

Khalil Al-Anani, Prisons, Emotions and Ideology: Reflections on Egypt’s Cruel and Overcrowded Prisons

Steven Brooke, War, Displacement, and the Islamist Advantage

Nicholas J. Lotito, Islamism in Civil War

Elizabeth R. Nugent, Islamist Radicalization and Civil War

Morten Valbjorn and Jeroen Gunning, Islamist Identity Politics in Conflict Settings