This work provides an understanding of the structure, the functioning and the mutation of tribes in the Middle East today. A contemporary view holds that modernity will inevitably lead to the extinction of pre-modern social organizations. However, the 1990s have shown that the tribal factor in some Middle Eastern countries has not only been strengthened but has become decisive. But tribes are not "passive" entities for they have a life of their own - they flexibly mutate, producing various new forms of tribalism in the process, and providing a platform for social, economic and political action. The theoretical part of this work scrutinizes the complexities of kinship structures in view of the Islamic and Arab culture; the case studies cover Iraq, Iran, Lybia, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
Faleh A. Jabar is the Director of the Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies in Beirut, Lebanon. He has published widely on Iraq and the Middle East, including 'The Shi'ite Movement in Iraq'; 'Post-Marxism and the Middle East' (ed.); and 'Ayatollahs, Sufis and Ideologues' (ed.), all published by Saqi Books. Hosham Dawod is a researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France. He has published numerous studies on Middle Eastern societies, including Ethnicite et pouvoirs au Moyen-Orient: le cas kurde; La societe traditionalle kurde and Tribalisme et pouvoir en Irak.
Pierre Bonte is Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. He holds two PhDs for his work on Saharan societies. He is author and co-author of several works relating to the Arab and Muslim world. These include La Tribu (1991), Le Mariage (1994), Le Sacrifice (1999) and La Politique (2001). He was also co-author of the Dictionnaire de l'anthropologie et de l'ethnologie (1991).
Kenneth Brown was born in 1936, and earned his PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He was a Fellow of the Committee for the Comparative Study of New Nations at the University of Chicago and is currently editor of Mediterranees, a bi-annual review published in Paris. His publications include People of Sale, The Social History of a Moroccan City (1830-1930), and various articles on Berber poetry, Muslim cities, social change in Tunisia and the Israel-Palestine region.
Martin van Bruinessen is Professor of Comparative Religious Studies at Utrecht University and the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) in Leiden. He is the author of Agha, Shaikh and State: Social and Political Structures of Kurdistan, and has written numerous articles on the Kurds.
Edouard Conte is Research Professor of Anthropology at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a member of the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale at the Coll?ge de France in Paris. His publications in the field of Arab studies include al-Ansab, La qu?te des origines: Anthropologie historique de la societe tribale arabe (Paris, MSH, 1991), Emirs et presidents and Figures de la parente et politique dans le monde arabe.
Toby Dodge taught Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in London, where he is working on the effects of war and sanctions on Iraqi society. He is completing a PhD at SOAS on the concerns of state-society relations in Iraq from 1914-1932.
Nelida Fuccaro is a lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. She is the author of The Other Kurds: Yazidis in Colonial Iraq (London, IB Tauris, 1999). She is currently researching the urban history of the Persian Gulf.
Thair Karim earned his PhD in Economic History from Moscow University. He teaches History and Social Science at Vilunda Gymnasium, Stockholm. His publications include a host of essays for An-Nahj, al-Tariq and al-Thaqafa al-Jadida.
Madhawi al-Rasheed is a senior lecturer in social anthropology at King's College, London. Her current research looks at Arab migration to Britain and issues concerning ethnic and religious minorities in London. She writes widely on Saudi Arabia and is the author of Politics in an Arabian Oasis (1991), and The Construction of Ethnicity: Iraqi Assyrian Christians in London (1998).
Farian Sabahi is a Visiting Fellow at the Graduate Institute for International Studies in Geneva. After earning her Ph.D. from London University's School of Oriental and African Studies, she spent one year as a post-doctoral Fellow for Iranian Studies at Bologna University. She has published a book on the Shahsevan tribes (in Italian) as well as several articles in English and Italian journals. Her PhD dissertation will be published in Switzerland in 2001.
Keiko Sakai is a researcher at the Institute of Developing Economies at the University of Durham. Her publications include Ten Years with Sanctions (S. Fukuda ed.), Politics, Economy and Sanctions in Persian Gulf States in a Changing Environment, (IDE, Chiba, 2001); and (in Japanese) Nationalism and Islam (IDE, 2001).