This book investigates how ecology and politics meet in the Middle East and how those interactions connect to the global political economy. Through region-wide analyses and case studies from the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf of Aden, the Levant and North Africa, the volume highlights the intimate connections of environmental activism, energy infrastructure and illicit commodity trading with the political economies of Central Asia, the Horn of Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
The book's nine chapters analyse how the exploitation and representation of the environment have shaped the history of the region--and determined its place in global politics. It argues that how the ecological is understood, instrumentalised and intervened upon is the product of political struggle: deconstructing ideas and practices of environmental change means unravelling claims of authority and legitimacy. This is particularly important in a region frequently seen through the prism of environmental determinism, where ruling elites have imposed authoritarian control as the corollary of 'environmental crisis'. This unique and urgent collection will question much of what we think we know about this pressing issue.
Harry Verhoeven is Assistant Professor at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University Qatar, and Associate Member of the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford. He is the author of Water, Civilisation and Power in Sudan and co-author of Why Comrades Go To War: Liberation Politics and the Outbreak of Africa's Deadliest Conflict, also published by Hurst.