Modernity and its Discontents: On the Durability of Nationalism in the Arab Middle East



Abstract. Because many area experts studying the Arab Middle East commonly credit assumptions about nationalism that have, for the most part, been abandoned by their colleagues working in other parts of the globe, they assert that nationalist sentiment in the region has declined, either as a result of a series of political shocks or as the result of competition from other ideologies (such as Islamism). However, popular forms of nationalism not only have strong roots in the region, they have been continually reinforced over time. As a result, the current popular support for Islamism cannot be taken as a sign that nationalist sentiments are on the decline, particularly in light of the fact that Islamic movements share with nationalism a number of significant attributes.