Introduction to Special Section: The Un-Exceptional Middle Eastern City
This special section of City and Society is dedicated to de-exceptionalizing the study of Middle Eastern cities. The introduction argues that the study of Middle Eastern cities has been constrained in its analytical and methodological focus by a genealogy shaped by a triad of regional exceptions-Islam, oil, and authoritarianism-and that the three pieces curated for this special section move beyond those constraints in important ways. Focusing on geographical places and time periods that have remained peripheral to the study of Middle Eastern cities, the three articles ethnographically historicize the planned and unplanned processes through which cities in the region transform to transcend a genealogy of exceptionalism and the constraints it has created. They highlight the global and local connections that shape these processes to offer new perspectives on the study of scale, verticality and sensoriums in the shaping of urban transformation around the globe. The section developed from a conference on Middle Eastern cities convened at Princeton University in May 2013.
El-Kazaz, Sarah, and Kevin Mazur. 2017. "Introduction to Special Section: The Un-Exceptional Middle Eastern City." City & Society 29(1): 148-161.
City & Society
Middle East and North Africa Studies
Politics, Neighborhood, Scale, Space