author={Edith Szanto},
  journal={International Journal of Middle East Studies},
  pages={285 - 299}
  • Edith Szanto
  • Published 16 April 2012
  • Philosophy
  • International Journal of Middle East Studies
Abstract According to Giorgio Agamben, a “state of exception” is established by the sovereign's decision to suspend the law, and the archetypical state of exception is the Nazi concentration camp. At the same time, Agamben notes that boundaries have become blurred since then, such that even spaces like refugee camps can be thought of as states of exception because they are both inside and outside the law. This article draws on the notion of the state of exception in order to examine the Syrian… 
Following Sayyida Zaynab: Twelver Shi'ism in Contemporary Syria
Outsiders, such as Lebanese and Syrian Shi‘is often refer to Twelver Shi‘is in the Syrian shrine-town as ‘traditional,’ and even ‘backward.’ They are not the only ones. Both Saddam Hussein and
The Islamic State Attacks on Shia Holy Sites and the “Shrine Protection Narrative”: Threats to Sacred Space as a Mobilization Frame
ABSTRACT After conquering large swaths of Syria and Iraq, the IS undertook an aggressive sectarian campaign in which they not only enacted horrific violence against the Shia people, but also damaged
Beyond the Karbala Paradigm: Rethinking Revolution and Redemption in Twelver Shi‘a Mourning Rituals
In the mid-90s, Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and the Iranian Ayatollah Khamene’i both banned bloody forms of self-flagellation such as tatbir (cutting the forehead with a sword), calling them
Layers of religious and political iconoclasm under the Islamic State: symbolic sectarianism and pre-monotheistic iconoclasm
Abstract This article examines the heritage destruction undertaken by the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. To date, their iconoclasm has been mostly characterised either as acts of wanton
The Noble Sanctuary: Interpreting Islamic Traditions of Asylum in the Contemporary World
This study aims at deepening understanding of religion in the social and cultural lives of forced migrants. It considers how Iraqi refugees in Damascus mobilise religious traditions, networks and
The world is a garden: Nomos, sovereignty, and the (contested) ordering of life
  • Simon Mabon
  • Sociology
    Review of International Studies
  • 2019
Abstract Traditional approaches to questions about nomos in IR typically focus upon either its establishment and the formal structures that emerge through interaction within a clearly delineated
Creating a Diasporic Public Sphere in Britain: Twelver Shia Networks in London
ABSTRACT Since the 1980s, the Borough of Brent, in north-west London, has been a major global hub of transnational Twelver Shiism. With the influx of Iraqi refugees, many clerical leaders of Twelver
Relocating the Centers of Shīʿī Islam: Religious Authority, Sectarianism, and the Limits of the Transnational in Colonial India and Pakistan
This dissertation rethinks the common center-periphery perspective which frames the Middle East as the seat of authoritative religious reasoning vis-à-vis a marginal South Asian Islam. Drawing on 15
Remembering Karbala in the diaspora: religious rituals among Iraqi Shii women in Ireland
Memory studies have gained much popularity in the humanities and social sciences since the 1980s. Particularly after the seminal work of Danièle Hervieu-Léger on ‘religion as a chain of memory’,


Shia Lamentation Rituals and Reinterpretations of the Doctrine of Intercession: Two Cases from Modern India
Knowing my interest in forms of Shia popular piety, colleagues occasionally send me copies of polemical writings criticizing the more controversial manifestations of Shia devotionalism. One such text
The Pure and Powerful: Studies in Contemporary Muslim Society
The major part of this book is devoted to the study of the social life at the shrine of al-Sayyida Zaynab in Cairo. As granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad, al-Sayyida Zaynab is regarded by many as
Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf
The regime change in Baghdad in 2003 catapulted the Shi‘a to the forefront of the scholarly scene. Political developments in Iraq and the empowerment of the country’s numerical majority have led to a
The Heirs of the Prophet: Charisma and Religious Authority in Shi'ite Islam
This substantially revised version of a dissertation completed at the School of Oriental and African Studies in 1990 focuses on the disciples (rijal) of the Imams in the Twelver Shiite tradition,
Formations of the Secular
Opening with the provocative query "what might an anthropology of the secular look like?" this book explores the concepts, practices, and political formations of secularism, with emphasis on the
Ritual, Blood, and Shiite Identity: Ashura in Nabatiyya, Lebanon
Lebanon is a small country, roughly the size of Connecticut, but the venerable southern city of al-Nabatiyya seems a continent away from the fussy lifestyles, the bustling restaurants, and the Hard
Pilgrimage, Commodities, and Religious Objectification: The Making of Transnational Shiism between Iran and Syria
��� ny visitor to the pilgrimage sites of Lourdes in France, Mashhad in Iran, or Varanasi in India is surely impressed by the crowd of pilgrims coming from various places in order to express their
Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject
WOMEN Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, by Saba Mahmood. Princeton, NJ and Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press, 2004. xvi + 199 pages. Gloss, to p. 203. Refs. to p.
Redemptive Suffering in Islam: A Study of the Devotional Aspects of Ashura in Twelver Shi'ism
The series Religion and Society (RS) contributes to the exploration of religions as social systems both in Western and non-Western societies; in particular, it examines religions in their
Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty
Written in the intense political and intellectual ferment of the early years of the Weimar Republic, "Political Theology" develops the distinctive theory of sovereignty that marks Carl Schmitt as one