The Routledge Handbook of Minorities in the Middle East gathers a diverse team of international scholars, each of whom provides unique expertise into the status and prospects of minority populations in the region. The dramatic events of the past decade, from the Arab Spring protests to the rise of the Islamic state, have brought the status of these populations onto centre stage. The overturn of various long-term autocratic governments in states such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, and the ongoing threat to government stability in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon have all contributed to a new assertion of majoritarian politics amid demands for democratization and regime change. In the midst of the dramatic changes and latent armed conflict, minority populations have been targeted, marginalized, and victimized. Calls for social and political change have led many to contemplate the ways in which citizenship and governance may be changed to accommodate minorities – or indeed if such change is possible.

At a time when the survival of minority populations and the utility of the label minority has been challenged, this handbook answers the following set of research questions.What are the unique challenges of minority populations in the Middle East? How do minority populations integrate into their host societies, both as a function of their own internal choices, and as a response to majoritarian consensus on their status? Finally, given their inherent challenges, and the vast, sweeping changes that have taken place in the region over the past decade, what is the future of these minority populations? What impact have minority populations had on their societies, and to what extent will they remain prominent actors in their respective settings?

This handbook presents leading-edge research on a wide variety of religious, ethnic, and other minority populations. By reclaiming the notion of minorities in Middle Eastern settings, we seek to highlight the agency of minority communities in defining their past, present, and future.

chapter 1|16 pages


Reclaiming “minorities” in the Middle East
ByPaul S. Rowe

section Section I|60 pages

Majority-minority relations in the Middle East

chapter 2|16 pages

Religious minorities in the diversity of Islamic thought

ByDavid D. Grafton

chapter 3|11 pages

Balancing identities

Minorities and Arab nationalism
ByNoah Haiduc-Dale

chapter 4|14 pages

The praxis of Islamist models of citizenship in a post-Arab revolt Middle East

Implications for religious pluralism
ByMariz Tadros

chapter 5|17 pages

Minorities, civil society, and the state in the contemporary Middle East

A framework for analysis
ByPaul Kingston

section Section II|176 pages

Religious and ethnoreligious minorities

chapter 6|12 pages

Tracing the Coptic Question in contemporary Egypt

ByVivian Ibrahim

chapter 7|11 pages

The Maronites

ByAlexander D.M. Henley

chapter 8|15 pages

Palestinian Christians

Situating selves in a dislocated present 1
ByMark Daniel Calder

chapter 9|17 pages

Persistent perseverance

A trajectory of Assyrian history in the modern age 1
BySargon George Donabed

chapter 10|14 pages

Christians from a Muslim background in the Middle East

ByDuane Alexander Miller

chapter 11|13 pages

The Yezidis

An ancient people, tragedy, and struggle for survival
ByBirgül Açıkyıldız-Şengül

chapter 12|11 pages

The Mandaeans in Iraq

ByShak Hanish

chapter 13|15 pages

Bahá’ís in the Middle East

ByGeoffrey Cameron, Nazila Ghanea

chapter 14|12 pages

The Alawites of Syria

The costs of minority rule
ByLeon T. Goldsmith

chapter 15|15 pages

Particularism versus integration

The Druze communities in the modern Middle East
ByYusri Hazran

chapter 16|13 pages

Alevis in Turkey

ByAli Çarkoğlu, Ezgi Elçi

chapter 17|15 pages

The Samaritans

ByMonika Schreiber

chapter 18|13 pages

Shi’i minorities in the Arab world

ByLaurence Louër

section Section III|74 pages

Ethnic minorities

chapter 19|19 pages

The Kurds in the Middle East

ByDavid Romano

chapter 20|15 pages

Armenians in the Middle East

From marginalization to the everyday
ByTsolin Nalbantian

chapter 21|14 pages

The Palestinian minority IN the state of Israel

Challenging Jewish hegemony in difficult times
ByAviad Rubin

chapter 22|12 pages

The Bedouin in the Middle East

BySarab Abu-Rabia-Queder

chapter 23|13 pages

The Berbers (Amazigh)

ByBruce Maddy-Weitzman

section Section IV|70 pages

Emerging issues and minorities in the Middle East

chapter 24|12 pages

Sitting at the crossroads

Sexual minorities in the Middle East
ByMerouan Mekouar, Jean Zaganiaris

chapter 25|12 pages

Minorities and armed conflict in the Middle East

ByPaul S. Rowe

chapter 26|19 pages

Middle Eastern minorities in diaspora

ByAndreas Schmoller

chapter 27|12 pages

Middle Eastern minorities and the media

ByElizabeth Monier

chapter 28|14 pages

Western advocacy on behalf of religious minorities

Practical reflections
ByChris Seiple, Andrew Doran