CfP: Summer of Coups, A Jadaliyya Roundtable

Call for papers, deadline 15 June 2018

Jadaliyya is seeking contributions to its “Summer of Coups” series, which aims to provide historical and/or contemporary analysis of coups in the Middle East and North Africa region, whether through specific case studies or comparative perspectives. We are interested in the political, economic, social, and/or cultural dynamics of coups, as well as their aftermaths/consequences.

While the MENA region is currently witnessing a rising tide of militarized authoritarianism and new consolidations of power, coups d’etat play an important role in the history of the region, and therefore, they loom large in contemporary political, social, and cultural imaginaries. Yet coups, failed or aborted, have also had an important part to play in other countries less associated with or analyzed in relation to coups. More important, the aftermath of coups transforms the landscape of political parties as well as the coercive powers of various state institutions. We are thus seeking contributions that contribute to a critical, engaged, and scholarly understanding of coups. Possible lines of inquiry include, but are not limited to:

  • How do social, political, and economic forces nurture, promote, and/or resist coups?
  • In what ways have coups transformed existing and emerging regimes?
  • What has been the impact of coups on military and security policies?
  • How do coups affect opposition movements across the Middle East and North Africa?
  • What is the relationship of colonialism and imperialism to coups, how have political alliances emerged between regional and foreign powers as a consequence?
  • What kinds of cultural practices and products are engendered by coups and coup attempts?
  • How have historical and contemporary coups circulated regionally and transnationally?
  • How do civil and military politics get delineated, if at all? Where the lines between civilian and military politics are blurry, how have political and institutional cultures developed?
  • What is the political economy of coups and military regimes?
  • Since the nineteenth century, how have coups and civil wars been intertwined with the modernization of politics in the Middle East?

Understanding the causes, dynamics, and consequences of coups past and present thus offers a prism onto wider social, political, economic, religious, and cultural phenomena across the Middle East and North Africa. Examining these historical moments offers an opportunity to put forth a “critique of violence,” posing questions about the contours and boundaries of state violence, political leadership, and normative assumptions about both.

In this light, we seek articles, pedagogical resources, multimedia art, and other contributions that provide critical insights on coups and putsches, attempted or aborted, successful or not, past and present. We also welcome comparative perspectives from other regions of the world that seek to challenge the insularity of knowledge production on the MENA region and its alleged relationship to coup d’etat, highlighting the globality of modern political phenomena or investigating the historical connections within and across world regions. All submissions are subject to the Jadaliyya review process.

Please submit your contribution here by our early deadline of 15 June 2018. We are interested in finished contributions rather than abstracts or proposals. However, if you wish to develop a particular idea, individually or collectively, or if you wish to explore multimedia submission requirements, please email us at