Congrès Mondial des Études sur le Moyen-Orient et l'Afrique du Nord

Barcelone du 19 au 24 Juillet 2010

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MEETING PLACE OF TWO OCEANS (MAJMA'AL-BA'RAYN): MULTI-DIMENSIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF MIDDLE EAST - 2/5: Multiple Identity of the Arab People based on the Results of Recent Poll Survey (031) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED institution: Hitotsubashi University (Japan)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Hiroshi Kato

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: This panel is organized to introduce the results of the following two poll survey projects that have been originally executed by Japanese researchers. The first is ‘The Middle East within Asia: Law and Economics’ (Need-Based Program for Area Studies sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), and the second is ‘Relation between Political Changes and Stereotypes in the Middle East’ (MEXT-Sponsored Research Project, ‘Promotion Project for Improvement of Collaborative Center of Excellence in Human Studies and Social Science’).
The panel is composed of four presentations and they deal with the three topics on: (1) What are the components of the multiple identities of the Arab people? (2) How do the national identities differ among the Arab countries? (3) How do socioeconomic factors affect the structuring of the Arab identities? (4) How do international relations affect the structuring of the Arab identities? The summaries of four presentations are as follows.

Chair: Hiroshi Kato (Hitotsubashi University)

Discussant: Abdelhamid Latif (Egyptian Research and Training Center)

Paper presenter: Shingo Hamanaka (Yamagata University), “A political perception map of the Palestinians”
Our research project team developed a method to illustrate a typical population’s perception of international relations in the Middle East. It is a Political Perception Map, which relies on public opinion data on the subjects of the contributions that their own government, other Arab states, and Western countries have made toward political stability in the Middle East. As a part of the project, our team conducted a poll in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and occupied Jerusalem, in May 2009, with the cooperation of the Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre. This presentation attempts to sketch a broad outline of how Palestinians regard the image of the ‘Middle Eastern regional system,’ based on their responses to our questions. The result is our ‘Political Perception Map of the Palestinians, which examines Palestinian responses to the international contribution of 23 nations that has been made to political stability in the Middle East. This Political Perception Map shows the relative positions of the Arab states, neighbouring non-Arab states (Turkey, Iran, and Israel), and the major powers outside the Middle East. The map shows us the relationship between Palestine and other countries, and gives us a visualization of Palestinians’ thoughts on Middle Eastern politics.

Paper presenter: Hiroshi Tomita (Keio University), “Political attitudes of urban dwellers in Egypt - Results of the two poll surveys in 2007 and 2008”
This presentation focuses on the urban dwellers in Egypt, and explores their political perceptions and attitudes based on the two poll surveys conducted in 2007 and 2008. The survey conducted in 2007 in Greater Cairo (Cairo, Qalyubiya, Giza governorates) demonstrates the low degree of political efficiency and estimations despite the high interest in politics in general. Majority of the people think that it is impossible for citizens to influence policies, and that there are no way to do so. The citizens who consider themselves as belonging to the Islamic community, on the other hand, demonstrate an active political attitude. The poor people do not support parties of neither governmental nor anti-governmental, and exhibit low rate of voting. The presentation will compare these results drawn from the 2007 Cairo Poll Survey with the newer 2008 Egypt Poll Survey to understand the contemporary attitudes of the Egyptians on politics.

Paper presenter: Erina Iwasaki (Kyoritsu Women's University), “Regional differences in social consciousness within Egypt: An analysis based on Egypt Poll Survey 2008”
Egypt is well known to be a hydrological society dependent on the Nile. In terms of political regime, Egypt has been characterized as a centralized state, given the powerful control of Cairo over the provinces, and has been discussed in the context of the problem of center province relations. In regard to its spatial formation, apart from the prominent urban center of Cairo, Egyptian society has been considered a homogeneous agricultural society because of its dependence on the Nile. One outcome of viewing Egypt as a centralized and homogeneous society is that spatial differences within Egyptian society tend to be neglected. However, Egyptian society is spatially diverse in its socioeconomic aspects. It is known that there are differences in terms of income and poverty, and employment structures, between and within Lower and Upper Egypt. Are these socioeconomic differences reflected in social consciousness? Studies of social class, civil society, gender, and of many other sociological phenomena tell us that social consciousness, defined as consciousness or awareness shared within a society differs according to the socioeconomic background of each individual. This presentation explores the spatial variation of social consciousness using the dataset obtained from a poll survey done in Egypt in 2008 ‘Egypt Poll Survey in 2008’, organized by our research project.

Paper presenter: Takeji Ino (Wayo Women's University), “Political and social perceptions and regional differences in Egypt using Egypt Poll Survey 2008”
Egyptian People have been making their lives under many transitions within Egypt since 1970s when the policy orientation changed toward a liberal one. Even for the years since 2000, the Egyptian people have experienced many incidents and changes. One of the trends that seem to be important for understanding the contemporary Egyptian society is the growing dissatisfactions that are becoming more visible all over Egypt. This presentation sheds light on these trends by examining the current situations of political and social perceptions and their regional differences, by looking at the data obtained from the Egypt Poll Survey 2008 and cross-tabulating them at governorate level. The presentation will further discuss either the results of the survey can be interpreted as a growing sense of blockade, and the differences compared to the conventional wisdoms on the Cairo-provinces relations.