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The politics of the Shi'a-Sunni divide in the Persian Gulf: power and group identification in Bahrain

Morse, Robyn (2015) The politics of the Shi'a-Sunni divide in the Persian Gulf: power and group identification in Bahrain. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research attempts to convey the importance of the political usage of the Shi’a-Sunni Divide. After demonstrating the motivations behind the Divide, this paper discusses the impact it has on the relationship between the al-Khalifah family and the citizens in Bahrain. In particular, the paper focuses on the formation of groups and their identity, and how group’s identification reacts with the majoritarian nationalism promoted by the state. Bahrain is a small island that can be examined in terms of how the image of the Shi’a-Sunni Divide gets manipulated by the state in order to maintain power. Nationalism, a central concern of the state, is the other -ing that has the ability to demonize the Shi’a-Sunni Divide in the attempt to form and retain certain networks of power. The goal of showing the fragility of the perceived Shi’a-Sunni Divide is to demonstrate the ability of Bahrain to move forward without sectarian images that have created a political stalemate in the process toward changing the application of the Shi’a-Sunni Divide. There are differences between the Shi’a and Sunni communities, but this paper describes how it is possible better understand them and begin to make them manageable.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Morse, Robynrmm98@pitt.eduRMM98
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMontgomery , DWM
Committee CoChairPeterson , Luke lup14@pitt.eduLUP14
Committee MemberChase, WCHASE
Date: 27 April 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 April 2015
Approval Date: 27 April 2015
Submission Date: 20 April 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 69
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, Anthropology, Middle East, Religion, Sectarian, Bahrain
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2015 14:13
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:27


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