Pluralism and Community in the Middle East
Scholars and policy makers, struggling to make sense of the ongoing chaos that is the Middle East, have been focusing their attention on the possible causes for the escalation of both inter-state and intra-state conflict. This region bears the legacy of multiple imperial excursions and has traditionally demonstrated pronounced ethno-linguistic richness, religious diversity, and a depth of cultural intermingling. The region has historically hosted multiple populations with distinctive ethnic and linguistic identities, preserved in previous eras under the loosely structured administrative bodies of different empires that were, as a result of their sprawling geography, multiethnic, multilingual, and multicultural. In order to explore some of these areas mentioned above, the CIRS research initiative “Pluralism and Community in the Middle East” will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach. Over the course of the year, a small number of scholars will be invited to take part in an in-depth, scholarly analysis aiming to address the critical gaps in the current literature. The final outcome of this project will be in the form of an edited volume.