A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, February 20, 2017

Bassam Haddad on Instant Analysis of the Arab Uprisings

I wanted to call your attention to a provocative piece by Bassam Haddad at Jadaliyya: A Preface to A Critique of Instant Analysis and Scholarship on the Arab Uprisings. 

The opening paragraph is a good summary, but read rhe whole thing:
Much of the writing on the Arab uprisings continues to suffer from the new think-tank-ish, self-important, semi-casual, sloppy-analysis syndromes. It is as if having a platform and a mandate are sufficient to produce sound knowledge. For the most part, the proof is in the pudding. Follow platforms and individuals across time and space and this becomes clear: zig-zagging and pendulum-swing judgements and analysis, driven more by events and politics than by historical and analytical depth. Worse still, this sloppiness has extended to scholars who frequently opine on social media and electronic publication platforms that seek content quantity over quality in a mutually beneficial exercise. Rigorous analysis that stands the test of time suffers.

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