Over the last decade or so, academic and non-academic observers have focussed mainly, if not exclusively on the institutions and places of formal power in the Greater Middle East, depicting politics in the region as a small area limited to local authoritarian rulers.

In contrast, this book aims to explore the ‘hidden geographies’ of power, i.e. the political dynamics developing inside, in parallel to, and beyond institutional forums; arguing that these hidden geographies play a crucial role, both in support of and in opposition to official power. By observing less frequented spaces of power, co-option, and negotiation, and particularly by focusing on the interplay between formal and informal power, this interdisciplinary collection provides new insights in the study of the intersection between policy-making and practical political dynamics in the Greater Middle East.

Contributing a fresh perspective to a much-discussed topic, Informal Power in the Greater Middle East will be an invaluable resource for students, scholars and those interested in the politics of the region.

chapter |7 pages


Crossing the Formal/Informal Boundary

part I|76 pages

Redistributing Power Relations through Informal Alliances

chapter 2|17 pages

Beyond the Party

The Shifting Structure of Syria's Power

chapter 4|16 pages

When Informal Powers Surface

Civic Activism and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution

chapter 5|14 pages

Informal Institutions in Turkish Politics

The Case of Proxy Leadership

part II|57 pages

Radicalization and Conflict

chapter 6|15 pages

Radicalism or Revolution?

Power and Resistance in Iran 1

chapter 7|15 pages

Beyond ‘Culture’ and ‘Tradition’ in Sudan

The Role of the State in Reinventing Darfur's Tribal Politics

chapter 8|12 pages

Protests and Public Power in Post-Saddam Iraq

The Case of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions

chapter 9|13 pages

Rebuilding the State from Below

NGO Networks and the Politics of Civil Society in Somalia

part III|77 pages

Resistance, Co-optation, Centralization

chapter 11|16 pages

An Invisible and Enduring Presence

Women in Egyptian Politics 1

chapter 12|15 pages

Feudal Control of Politics in Peripheral Turkey

The Example of the Şanlıurfa Province 1

chapter 13|17 pages

Authoritarian Informality

Élite Centralization in Turkmenistan

chapter 14|13 pages

Informality, Knowledge and Power

The Disciplinary Politics of Civil Society and Democracy