Political Repression in Bahrain

Hosted by the Middle East Centre

Zoom (Online)


Marc Owen Jones

Marc Owen Jones

Hamad bin Khalifa University


Madawi Al-Rasheed

Madawi Al-Rasheed

LSE Middle East Centre

marc cover 800x600 

This event will be a discussion around Marc Owen Jones' latest book Political Repression in Bahrain.

Exploring Bahrain's modern history through the lens of repression, this concise and accessible account spans the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, looking at all forms of political repression from legal, statecraft, police brutality and informational controls. Considering several episodes of contention in Bahrain, from tribal resistance to the British reforms of the 1920s, the rise of the Higher Executive Committee in the 1950s, the leftist agitation of the 1970s, the 1990s Intifada and the 2011 Uprising, Marc Owen Jones offers never before seen insights into the British role in Bahrain, as well as the activities of the Al Khalifa Ruling Family. From the plundering of Bahrain's resources, to new information about the torture and murder of Bahrain civilians, this study reveals new facts about Bahrain's troubled political history. Using freedom of information requests, historical documents, interviews, and data from social media, this is a rich and original interdisciplinary history of Bahrain over one hundred years.

Marc Owen Jones is Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies and Digital Humanities at Hamad bin Khalifa University, Doha. Prior to this, he was a Lecturer in Gulf History at Exeter University, where he remains an Honorary Research Fellow. Before that, Jones won a Teach at Tuebingen award, and wrote and delivered an MA module in Gulf Politics at Tuebingen University’s Institute for Political Science. He recently completed his PhD (funded by the AHRC/ESRC) in 2016 at Durham University, where he wrote an interdisciplinary thesis on the history of political repression in Bahrain. The thesis won the 2016 dissertation prize from the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies. Driven by issues of social justice and a specific area interest in the Gulf, his research spans a number of topics, from historical revisions, postcolonialism, de-democratization and revolutionary cultural production, to policing, digital authoritarianism and human rights. At the moment, Jones is working a number of topics, including propaganda and Twitter bots, mapping sectarian hate speech, and archival work related to Bahrain and land appropriation.

Madawi Al-Rasheed is Visiting Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre. In January 2017, she returned to the MEC from a sabbatical year at the Middle East Institute, the National University of Singapore. Previously, she was Research Fellow at the Open Society Foundation. Between 1994–2013, she was Professor of Anthropology of Religion at King’s College London. She was also Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. Since joining the MEC, Madawi has been conducting research on mutations among Saudi Islamists after the 2011 Arab uprisings. This research focuses on the new reinterpretations of Islamic texts prevalent among a small minority of Saudi reformers and the activism in the pursuit of democratic governance and civil society.

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Image: © Cambridge University Press