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Political, Social and Cultural Polarization and its Backgrounds in the Middle East and the Muslim World


Term: 2016.4 –
Leader: Hidemitsu KUROKI
Members: Masato IIZUKA, Kota KARIYA, Nobuaki KONDO, Wakako KUMAKURA, Jin NODA, Yoichi TAKAMATSU, Ikuya TOKORO, Emi GOTO


This research program explores the various backgrounds of “polarization” that has been recently observed in areas of the Middle East and the Muslim world, including Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. There are various axes of confrontation that paradoxically overlap and twist into one another: Sunnis vs Shiites, Muslims vs non-Muslims, Islamism vs secularism, conservatives vs reformists, military regime vs civil society, national integration vs separatism, etc. In every case, the majority of society that was formed during the age of empires, colonial rules, and nation-states, is now torn apart between the extremes. This project will tackle diverse subjects concerning the dynamism of polarization by integrating research projects conducted at ILCAA. In collaboration with the “Middle East and Islamic Studies” group, a variety of seminars, workshops, and educational programs for post-doc researchers, Ph.D. candidates, and MA students will be held at ILCAA, JaCMES, and the Kota Kinabalu Liaison Office. Another objective of our program is to digitalize historical sources such as ancient maps, travelogues, pictures, and periodicals.

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