The summer 2022 issue of Middle East Report, “Currencies of Power,” examines the contemporary global economy to highlight how the tightening noose of global capital is suffocating the region’s working classes. MERIP has always been dedicated to issues of justice in the Middle East and North Africa—in Palestine, for gay and trans people and for victims of US imperialism and its dependent dictatorial regimes. But when it began in 1971 MERIP was also committed to a materialist political economy perspective and Marxist frames of analysis. Articles covered regional relations with the Soviet bloc and the (often largely symbolic) socialist features of the postcolonial Arab governments.
The spring 2022 issue of Middle East Report, “Settler Colonialism’s Enduring Entanglements,” brings together a wide range of geographic and disciplinary perspectives on settler colonialism from the Middle East, North Africa and the metropole. While there are rich literatures that deal with the two most well-known instances of settler colonialism in the region, French Algeria and Israel and Palestine, these cases have been surprisingly peripheral to the field of settler colonial studies as well as to broader definitions of settler colonialism and understandings of how its legacies shape politics and social life today. We recognize from the outset that settler colonialism is an inherently messy thing to pin down. It is both a process and a concept. In practice, settler colonialism often operates in conjunction with other processes that can effectively mask it, such as nationalism, Indigeneity and sovereignty, to name a few. This issue seeks to pull apart some of those entanglements and to show how settler colonialism in the Middle East has a long past, continues to shape the present and is likely to continue into the future.
Instead of approaching the decade since the start of the Arab uprisings as an appraisal of an outcome, MERIP’s issue 301 reflects on an unfolding set of political struggles that are necessarily incomplete and spill across different scales – local, national, regional and global. “Revolutionary Afterlives” takes stock of lessons learned and unlearned. It considers hopes, dislocations and counterrevolutionary coalitions that speak as much to the power of revolutionary coalitions as to their shortfalls. The issue brings together analysts, revolutionaries, activists and cultural producers to reflect on how the protest movements and reactions to them have left a lasting imprint on the region and on the possibilities for solidarity.