Richard Whittall:

The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer


Middle East Eye: "

The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer is one of the weightiest, most revelatory, original and important books written about sport"

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”


Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach: "James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport: “Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”
Play the Game: "Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal: "No one is better at this kind of work than James Dorsey"
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated: "Essential Reading"
Change FIFA: "A fantastic new blog'

Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life:
"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"

Christopher Ahl, Play the Game: "An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football


Saturday, December 1, 2018

JMD on NBN: Aasim Sajjad Akhtar's The Politics of Common Sense


AASIM SAJJAD AKHTAR
State, Society and Culture in Pakistan
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 2018
November 29, 2018 
James M. Dorsey


Aasim Sajjad Akhtar’s The Politics of Common Sense: State, Society and Culture in Pakistan (Cambridge University Press, 2018) is an incisive study of continuity as well as change in Pakistan that has moved the country towards religious conservatism and increased authoritarianism. Akhtar, a political scientist and self-confessed left-wing activist, documents the development of political power in Pakistan that with the military dictatorship in the 1980s of General Zia ul-Haq ended an era of more liberal and left-wing politics and put the country on a path of right-wing religious ultra-conservatism from which it has yet to deviate. In tracking that development, Akhtar’s book makes a significant contribution by focussing not only on its ideological but also its economic aspects as well as the religious right’s appeal to urban shopkeepers and traders. He projects the religious right as a vehicle for subordinate classes to access the state and claim a stake in status quo politics. Akhtar’s contribution with this book is also his analysis of the waning of counter-hegemonic and transformative politics in Pakistan. Akhtar notes that the perceived benefits of carving out a stake in a patronage-based system far outstrip the cost and risk of efforts to transform the system. It is that cost-benefit analysis that has given Pakistan politics resilience and undergird a system in which religion is the ultimate source of legitimacy at the expense of any opposition to class and state power. In looking at how subordinate classes cope through the politics of common sense, Akhtar’s book represents a significant and innovative addition to the study not only of Pakistan but of an era in which religious, nationalist and populist forces are on the rise.
To listen to the podcast, please click here

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

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