Black flags on the horizon : reconceptualizing abnormality in the Middle East
Alden D. Glass
May 9, 2018
Department or Program
Mainstream political science approaches political abnormality through what scholar Mahmood Mamdani has termed "Culture Talk." I argue that due to Culture Talk’s tendency to promote colonial and imperial violence, political science ought to re-imagine abnormality as an opportunity to re-evaluate and critique the methodologies and tools of political analysis. Through a comparison of the United Arab Republic and the Islamic State, I argue that political abnormality ought not be viewed as the result of innate cultural characteristics, but rather seen as a the result of a complicated anti-colonial process of constructing local autonomy through imitation and subversion of Western political and economic institutions.