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Minority Rights in the Middle East$
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Joshua Castellino and Kathleen A. Cavanaugh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679492

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679492.001.0001

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Minority Identities in the Middle East

Minority Identities in the Middle East

Ethno-national and Other Minorities

(p.141) 3 Minority Identities in the Middle East
Minority Rights in the Middle East

Joshua Castellino

Kathleen A. Cavanaugh

Oxford University Press

Although religion and ethnicity are the primary categories under which we examine minority communities, this chapter adds three additional categories: majoritarian minorities, political minorities, and trapped minorities. Majoritarian majorities are those who are numerically larger but excluded from sites of power, e.g. the Shi?a in Bahrain. Relative size distinguishes what we refer to as political minorities. Like ‘majoritarian’ groups, political minorities are excluded from power but are also a minority in terms of relative numbers; these include Shi?a in Saudi Arabia and Sunnis in Iran. ‘Trapped’ minorities, distinct from ethno-national minorities, are defined as a segment from a larger group spread across two or more states and marginalized, or as we discuss in the case of Palestinian-Israelis, doubly marginalized, subject to hegemonic control by others within these states and, as such, excluded from access to sociopolitical and economic decision-making institutions. In addition to Israeli Arabs, we include Palestinians, Baluchis, and Kurds in this category.

Keywords:   ethno-national minorities, majoritarian minorities, political minorities, trapped minorities, Palestinians, Kurds, Baluchis

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