Everyday Middle Easts

Authored by: Ali Bilgic

Routledge Handbook of EU–Middle East Relations

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367330767
eBook ISBN: 9780429317873
Adobe ISBN:


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The main objective of this chapter is to demonstrate the power of naming a geographical space. Naming privileges a certain understanding of space at the expense of erasing others, both epistemologically and politically. Historically, defining the Middle East has been Western/Eurocentric. It serves (neo)colonial interests to geographically reify the Middle East and marginalise its peoples and politics. The Middle East as a geopolitical “truth” is a discursive regime, which essentialises and instrumentalises a certain Middle East for Euro/Western geopolitical interests. This chapter argues in favour of articulating the Middle East conceptually along the lines of “everyday politics” in order to challenge the latter’s political and epistemological practice. The discussion will set an agenda for a critical engagement with the geographical space referred to as the Middle East. This, it is argued, can be done through a sustained commitment to unravelling the workings of power in multiple discourses on the Middle East(s). Such critical engagement will enable scholars to examine how political practices at the “elite” level are lived and challenged by allegedly “apolitical” common people.

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