The Monthly Digest is a resource provided by Security in Context that provides a list of recent publications, calls, conferences and other items relevant to the critical global, security, and international political economy studies audience. In addition to new items, our digest may contain relatively recent entries, so please double check dates on any calls or conferences. All descriptions taken from their original sources unless otherwise indicated. If we’ve missed something, or you have items you’d like to contribute for future digests, please email us at:


Oil Crisis in Iran: From Nationalism to Coup d'Etat

Ervand Abrahamian

Focusing on the turbulent twenty-eight months between April 1951 and August 1953, this book, based on recently declassified CIA and US State Department documents from the Mossadeq administration tell the story of the Iranian oil crisis, which would culminate in the coup of August 1953. Throwing fresh light on US involvement in Iran, Ervand Abrahamian reveals exactly how immersed the US was in internal Iranian politics long before the 1953 coup, in parliamentary politics and even in saving the monarchy in 1952. By weighing rival explanations for the coup, from internal discontent, a fear of communism and oil nationalization, Abrahamian shows how the Truman and Eisenhower administrations did not differ significantly in their policies towards Mossadeq, and how the surprising main obstacle to an earlier coup was the shah himself. In tracing the key involvement of the US and CIA in Iran, this study shows how the 1953 coup would eventually pave the way to the 1979 Iranian revolution, two of the most significant and widely studied episodes of modern Iranian history.

The Subjects of Ottoman International Law

Edited by Lâle Can, Michael Christopher Low, Kent F. Schull and Robert Zens

Contributions by Michael Christopher Low, Lâle Can, Julia Stephens, Faiz Ahmed, Jeffrey Dyer, David Gutman, Stacy D. Fahrenthold, Umut Özsu, Will Smiley, Aimee M. Genell and Will Hanley

The core of this edited volume originates from a special issue of the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association (JOTSA) that goes well beyond the special issue to incorporate the stimulating discussions and insights of two Middle East Studies Association conference roundtables and the important work of additional scholars in order to create a state-of-the-field volume on Ottoman sociolegal studies, particularly regarding Ottoman international law from the eighteenth century to the end of the empire. It makes several important contributions to Ottoman and Turkish studies, namely, by introducing these disciplines to the broader fields of trans-imperial studies, comparative international law, and legal history. Combining the best practices of diplomatic history and history from below to integrate the Ottoman Empire and its subjects into the broader debates of the nineteenth-century trans-imperial history this unique volume represents the exciting work and cutting-edge scholarship on these topics that will continue to shape the field in years to come.

Form and Flow:The Spatial Politics of Urban Resilience and Climate Justice

Kian Goh

Cities around the world are formulating plans to respond to climate change and adapt to its impact. Often, marginalized urban residents resist these plans, offering “counterplans” to protest unjust and exclusionary actions. In this book, Kian Goh examines climate change response strategies in three cities—New York, Jakarta, and Rotterdam—and the mobilization of community groups to fight the perceived injustices and oversights of these plans. Looking through the lenses of urban design and socioecological spatial politics, Goh reveals how contested visions of the future city are produced and gain power.

Goh describes, on the one hand, a growing global network of urban environmental planning organizations intertwined with capitalist urban development, and, on the other, social movements that themselves often harness the power of networks. She explores such initiatives as Rebuild By Design in New York, the Giant Sea Wall plan in Jakarta, and Rotterdam Climate Proof, and discovers competing narratives, including community resiliency in Brooklyn and grassroots activism in the informal “kampungs” of Jakarta. Drawing on participatory fieldwork and her own background in architecture and urban design, Goh offers both theoretical explanations and practical planning and design strategies. She reframes the critical concerns of urban climate change responses, presenting a sociospatial typology of urban adaptation and considering the notion of a “just” resilience. Finally, she proposes a theoretical framework for designing equitable and just urban climate futures.


George Mason University

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Closing Date: 07/26/2021
The George Mason University, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at (Mason) seeks a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Digital Military History who will work on research projects generated in collaboration with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). These projects will assist the DPAA’s mission to provide the fullest possible accounting for the nation’s missing personnel from past conflicts abroad. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.

A Decade of Arts | Research Papers about Syrian Artistic Production

Within the ‘Research: to Strengthen the Culture of Knowledge’ Programme, in partnership with AFAC - the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences

A Decade of Arts is an open invitation to researchers from Syria and the Arab region to contribute with research papers and studies on art production and projects related to the Syrian context during the past decade. The contributions will be released under a special edition of the Research to Strengthen the Culture of Knowledge Programme and as part of the programming for the tenth anniversary of Ettijahat, in partnership with AFAC - the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences.
The purpose of the invitation is to receive research papers from art researchers, artists and art curators from the Arab Region interested in artistic questions related to the Syrian Context. This will hopefully enable art practitioners and creators, to reflect on the major transformations in the Syrian ‘artistic project’ and to learn about some issues pertaining the role of arts and their presence in public life.

Articles/Journal Articles

New article by ACSS ECFP Fellow, Mai Abu Moghli

Abstract: Violent contexts are not “normal” research settings; they involve abuses, power disparities, and collective histories of violence that researchers should be alert to. Being unreflexive to these risks can cause harm in the form of objectifying people and context, normalizing violence, or silencing voices. Political reflexivity can equip researchers to better identify, understand and mitigate these harms, and where possible, challenge structures that do the marginalizing. We articulate political reflexivity through feminist standpoint theory, which asks researchers to critically examine their positionality and privilege in relation to the geopolitics of the research setting, epistemic privilege of marginalized participants, and political implications of their work. Practicing political reflexivity can help researchers situate their work along a “decoloniality continuum,” which includes research complicit with the maintenance of violence, a hybridity approach that aims to understand and challenge the (colonial) underpinnings of violence by centering marginalized knowledge, and research that seeks reparation or liberation, meaning redress and radical equality for marginalized peoples, ideas and histories. We conclude with a call for researchers to identify methods and paths to strengthen our understanding of political reflexivity, and to support efforts to decolonize knowledge.
For the full article:

Covid-19 Poses New Challenges for Social Scientists, Survey Finds

Amr EL-Tohamy 
Al-Fanar Media has published a report on the findings of the ACSS survey to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the social science and humanities community in the Arab region. To read El-Tohamy’s fully report: ACSS full report:


The ACSS 10th Anniversary Webinar series: 

The Arab Council for the Social Sciences celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2021. On this occasion, the ACSS has organized a series of webinars beginning on February 10 and ending on November 10, 2021. These webinars will take place on the 10th of every month from 5:00-7:00 pm (Beirut time), except for the September webinar, which will be part of the activities of the ACSS Fifth Conference. The sessions will be dynamic and interactive, creating an occasion of discussion among the speakers themselves as well as with the participants.

Find a complete list of webinars over the next 10 months here.

The ACSS will be sending monthly updates on the details related to each webinar and the zoom link for registration. All the webinars will be broadcast live on the ACSS Facebook page. 

Most of the sessions will be in Arabic with simultaneous translation to English (and vice versa) for participants registered over zoom.

On July 10th, the ACSS held Webinar titled "Fieldwork: Current Dilemmas and Future Directions."


Omar Dewachi l Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University - USA

Faten Mbarek l Assistant Professor and Chair of Department of Sociology, University of Gafsa - Tunisia

Jamil Mouawad l Lecturer in Politics at the American University of Beirut - Lebanon

Hania Sholkamy l Associate Research Professor, The Social Research Centre, American University in Cairo - Egypt 

Job Openings

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Middle East Studies

James A. Bellamy Professorship

Closing Date: 11/01/2021

The Department of Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan invites applications for the James A. Bellamy Professorship, with an anticipated start date of Fall 2023. We seek a professor or advanced associate professor with a substantial publication record in the fields of early Arabic language or literature, textual traditions and Islamic culture to fill the James A. Bellamy Professorship at the University of Michigan. The successful candidate is expected to teach a range of courses in Arabic and Islamic studies, from introductory undergraduate lecture courses through graduate seminars; to supervise doctoral dissertations; and to participate actively in the programs of the department as well as in area studies initiatives within a larger university community that encourages interdisciplinary efforts.

Please go to to apply. Candidates will be asked to upload a letter of application, CV, statement of current and future research plans, statement of teaching philosophy and experience, diversity statement, evidence of teaching excellence, and names and email addresses of potential reviewers. Questions about the application or materials may be directed to Patrice Whitney ( Applications must be received by November 1, 2021 to be assured of consideration.

The University of Michigan is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women and members of minority groups are especially encouraged to apply. The University is supportive of the needs of dual career couples. All applications will be acknowledged.


The Digital Occupation: Social Media Censorship of Palestinian Content

Palestinians are increasingly turning to social media to highlight what life is like under Israeli military rule. For example, weeks before Israel’s bombing campaign on Gaza, Palestinian activists in Jerusalem used social media to shine a spotlight on Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Sheikh Jarrah community using the hashtag #SaveSheikhJarrah. What happened next, was a global movement for Palestine never seen before across social media platforms. During Israel’s bombing campaign, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok were removing, censoring, or deleting accounts that posted Palestinian content.

7amleh, a Palestinian non-profit focused on social media, has documented more than 500 reports of Palestinian digital rights violations in May alone, marking a significant increase in the censorship of Palestinian political speech and narrative online. To help us better understand what is happening, we are joined today by Marwa Fatafta, a policy analyst with Al-Shabaka.

Host Diana Buttu spoke with MENA policy manager at Access Now and Policy Analyst

at Al-Shabaka, Marwa Fatafta, about the digital oppression and censorship, Palestinians are facing in Israel and across social media platforms.

Article or Event Link
Jul 26, 2021



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