Dissertationsprojekte am Fachgebiet Politik des Nahen und Mittleren Ostens

Laufende Dissertationsprojekte

  • Hanna Al Taher: Imagining, Claiming and Resisting Belonging - Gendered Citizenship in Jordan

    Abstract folgt

  • Clara Easthill: A comparative case study of the influences on Afghan resistance movements between 1979 and 2004.

    C. Easthill
    C. Easthill

    Between 1979 and 2004, the Afghan central state underwent a number of noteworthy changes. After the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1979, several distinct phases of war impacted Afghanistan: From the initial fight, which saw many Afghans joining resistance movements against the Soviet forces and communist central state, to a civil war, to the Taliban regime, war defined the country’s development. After 9/11 and a renewed effort to drive out the Taliban, Afghanistan established a new governmental system with international (military and political) support. These decades of varying conflicts inflicted severe damages on the country and changed the political landscape within it, with political actors changing their roles and positions to adapt to the political context. Some of these actors, notably the Mujahideen, who had initially emerged as a resistance movement to the Soviet regime, mirror these changes:

    The Mujahideen had initially emerged as guerrilla forces fighting the central state. There were distinct and often oppositional factions of Mujahideen who received varying levels of support. After the fall of the Soviet-supported Communist regime, the Mujahideen briefly governed the country in a coalition, while civil and factional war continued. Mujahideen factions then positioned themselves in different, often changing, ways towards the Taliban regime, and finally many played a central role in the emergence of the new state post 2001. This thesis aims to present an analysis of Afghan resistance movements between 1979 and 2004.

    This thesis embeds the transformations of the state and the changing military-political role of the Mujahideen, into rentier theory. There are two main, connected, foci to this work: Firstly, the thesis aims to analyse the rent-seeking activities of the Mujahideen, showing which activities of the Mujahideen can be classified as rent-seeking and emphasising the effects thereof on the Afghan state and population. The second focus highlights the role of the international community within the conflict by analysing in which ways they incentivized and influenced these rent-seeking activities. By following these two research foci, the thesis aims to show the factors that contributed to Afghanistan’s fragmentation, the effects of which are noticeable until today. The underlying assumption is that the specific national and international context in which the wars arose, specifically the dominant rentierism, caused this fragmentation. The analysis will be carried out by comparing five case studies, i.e. five Mujahideen leaders who were active in the period under analysis. Their political and military activities, and changing roles, are analysed from a biographical and comparative perspective. Importantly, these activities include the relations of the Mujahideen to one another, with the central state and the (international) public.

    Theoretically, the thesis follows the rentier approach, and the main methodology includes the Biographic Method as well as a comparative approach.

    Kontakt: clara.easthill@uni-marburg.de

  • Alexander Lohse: Status-seeking strategies of a rising regional power: The United Arab Emirates’ foreign policy since 2004

    During the year 2020 alone, amid the global COVID-19 crisis, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent a probe to Mars, signed a peace deal with Israel and claimed to be the world's largest aid donor during the pandemic. All these publicized events indicate a foreign policy strategy aiming to improve the UAE's international reputation and status. Forming a central part of the UAE's foreign policy for about two decades, its status-seeking strategy is built around issue areas based on globalized 'Western' norms, such as women's rights, sustainability and renewable energy, technology and science, as well as humanitarianism and tolerance. In those areas, the UAE has been trying to project a global image as a role model for and leader of Arab and (less often) Muslim countries. As it portrays itself as a regional example of gender equality or advocate of climate action, the UAE's status-seeking strategies are mostly directed at a Western audience, with the United States as the main addressee, but also at major global powers and regional states. Thus, humanitarian diplomacy, the hosting of prestigious international events, the build-up of a Western-style education and culture sector, and the quest for a central role in international organizations have all become important pillars of the UAE's foreign policy.

    Building on previous International Relations research on international status and status-seeking strategies, my dissertation project will include approaches from Sociology and Social Psychology, such as Social Identity Theory and Bourdieu's field theory, to establish a comprehensive theoretical framework of rising regional powers' status-seeking strategies and the mechanisms of status recognition. This eclectic framework will form the basis for an in-depth case study of the UAE's foreign policy since 2004. Asking for the motives and driving forces behind the UAE's quest for status, this dissertation will consider a range of factors. For one thing, the domestic level seems to play an essential role in the UAE's international status-seeking behavior as the ruling elites try to protect their regime's stability and build national identity and pride for their relatively young and rapidly developing nation. For another, regional and international considerations are central dimensions of the Emirati ambitions to become a regional power. In so doing, this dissertation will focus on the social dimension of status-seeking and the relationship between international status on the one hand and national identity and self-image on the other.

    More information about Alexander Lohse and his research can be found on his staff website.
  • Katharina Siebert: Collective Identity in Social Movement Organizations

    This thesis focuses on the collective identity of social movement organizations (SMOs) and aims at discovering how the nature of a group’s collective identity affects the organization’s actions. By comparing the collective identities of case study organizations and tracing their development, this thesis tries to shed light on how variations of collective identity translate into differences with regard to their behavior, especially flexibility and change.
    As this question has not been sufficiently answered by the existing theoretical research on social movements and SMOs, this thesis will firstly discover how variations of collective identity in SMOs can be identified and made comparable. To this end, a theoretical instrument will be developed in order to systematically assess the collective identity of a SMO. Secondly, this study will explore how variance with regard to collective identity affects the behavior of SMOs.
  • Katrin Sold: Startup-Unternehmer als Triebkräfte Sozialen Wandels? Economic Agency und gesellschaftliche Transformation in Marokko und Tunesien

    Weitere Informationen zu Frau Sold und ihrer Forschung finden Sie auf ihrer Personenseite.

Abgeschlossene Dissertationsprojekte

Elyssa Jalloul: The Zeitouna Masters: Knowledge and the reconfiguration of the political field in Tunisia after 2011: The Zeitouna Mosque. (Disputation 25.01.2024)

Luíza Gimenez Cerioli: The Strategic Triangle in the Persian Gulf: dynamics of the relationship between United States, Iran and Saudi Arabia (Disputation 25.01.2022)

Nadia Abou Shady: The reconfigurations of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood post-2013 (Disputation 19.11.2021)

Christian Achrainer: Egypt’s External Alignments Post-2013: Regime Survival Amid Regional and Global Environments (Disputation 22.03.2021)

Thomas Jakob: Trade Unionism and the Institutional Equilibrium in MENA States. A Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) supported Study of the Arab Upheavals 2011 – 2013 in Twelve Countries (Disputation 18.03.2021) 

Manuel Sakmani: Interkommunitäre Kooperation in ethnisch-pluralen Gesellschaften: Schiitisch-maronitische Beziehungen und die Allianz zwischen Freier Patriotischer Bewegung und Hizbullah im Libanon (Disputation: 02.10.2020)

Taoufik Rached: Die politische Rolle der Mittelschichten in Marokko: Wandel oder Status Quo? (Disputation: 22.07.2020)

Julius Dihstelhoff: Handlungsstrategien deutscher Außenpolitik im Kontext der Umbruchprozesse in der MENA-Region seit 2011 mit Fokus auf moderat-islamistischen Akteuren - Fallbeispiel Tunesien (Disputation: 19.02.2020)

Christian Neugebauer: Economic liberalization and authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa: A comparative political economy of Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Morocco, 1950 - 2011 (Disputation: 20.01.2020)

Karolin Sengebusch: Die libanesische anti-konfessionelle Protestwelle 2010-2012: Formen, Strategien, Politikkonzepte. (abgeschlossen 11/2017)

Jens Heibach: Oppositional Cooperation under Authoritarianism – The Case of the Joint Meeting Parties in Yemen (abgeschlossen 12/2016)

Sabrina Bonsen: Eine politikwissenschaftliche Untersuchung zum Märtyrerkult im Libanon. (abgeschlossen 6/2016)

Ali Sonay: Being Young and Political in Egypt: The Case of the April 6 Movement. (abgeschlossen 1/2016)

Leandros Fischer: Der Israel-Palästina-Konflikt und die deutsche Linke am Beispiel der Partei DIE LINKE. (abgeschlossen 2015)

André Bank: Regionale Kriege und lokale Ordnungen im Nahen Osten: Irak, Palästina und neue Herrschaftsformen in Jordanien. (abgeschlossen 2010)