Shifting Sands: Essays On Sports And Politics In The Middle East And North Africa


Authors : James M Dorsey (S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU, Singapore & University of Würzburg, Germany)

Publisher : World Scientific

ISBN : 978-981-4689-76-2

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The Middle East and North Africa are experiencing the most fundamental transition in their post-colonial history. It is a transition that is changing the borders of nation states as well as their political and social structures. Conflicting visions of what those structures should look like have ensured that transition will take years, and these deep-seated differences have ensured that the transition process is volatile, brutal and bloody. The balance of power shifts like quicksand.

Shifting Sands: Essays on Sports and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa is a compilation of essays that constitute a first stab at exploring the importance of sports in general and soccer in particular in the political, social and cultural development of the Middle East and North Africa since the beginning of the 20th century. In doing so, the book provides a new, fresh and unique perspective that contributes to understanding the turbulence sweeping the region that is fundamentally changing its geopolitics and political and social structures.
James M Dorsey is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies focused on the Middle East and North Africa and co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Wuerzburg. James publishes widely in peer-reviewed journals as well as non-academic publications. A veteran, award-winning foreign correspondent for four decades in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the United States for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Financial Times, James has met a multitude of the region's leaders. As a journalist, James covered primarily ethnic and religious conflict, including some of recent history's most dramatic events such as the 1973 Middle East war; the Lebanese civil war; the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the US-backed insurgency that ultimately led to the withdrawal of Soviet troops; the Palestinian intifadas; the Iranian revolution, US embassy hostage crisis and the Iran–Iraq war; the US invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein; the Israeli–Palestinian peace process; the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia; the armed struggles in Western Sahara, Algeria, the Philippines, Kashmir, Eritrea, Tigre, Ogaden, Chad, Niger, Chechnya, the Caucasus and Georgia; the Columbian drug cartels; the fall of Noriega in Panama; the wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador; the Kurdish insurgency in southeastern Turkey, post-revolution Iran and Saddam's Iraq; and the war on terror. James writes a widely-acclaimed blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, has a forthcoming book with the same title, and authors a syndicated column. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences, workshops and seminars and is consulted by governments, corporations and judicial authorities. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of Utrecht. James won the Dolf van den Broek prize in 2003 and was a two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 and 1988, as well as was a finalist for the 2012 European Press Prize, the Kurt Schork Award and the Amnesty International Media Award in 2002, and the Index on Censorship Award in 2012.
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