The Fate of Third Worldism in the Middle East: Iran, Palestine and Beyond

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In the latter half of the twentieth century, a revolutionary idea promised to upend the global order. Anti-imperialist militancy, bolstered by international solidarity, would lead to not only the national liberation of oppressed peoples but universal emancipation, shattering the division between the prosperous nations of the capitalist West and the poorer countries of the Global South.

The idea was Third Worldism, and among others it inspired struggles in Iran and Palestine. By the early 1980s, however, progressive visions of independence and freedom had fallen to the reality of an oppressive Islamic theocracy in Iran, while the Palestinian Revolution had been eclipsed by civil war in Lebanon, Israeli aggression and intra-Arab conflict.

This thought-provoking volume explores the dramatic decline of Third Worldism in the Middle East. It reveals the lived realities of the time by focusing on the key protagonists – from student activists to guerrilla fighters, and from volunteer nurses to militant intellectuals – and juxtaposes the Iranian and Palestinian cases to offer a riveting re-examination of this defining era. Ultimately, it challenges us to reassess how we view the end of the long 1960s, prompting us to reconsider perennial questions concerning self-determination, emancipation, change and solidarity.



Introduction: The Transformation of Third Worldism in the Middle East

Sune Haugbolle and Rasmus Elling

1 Demystifying Third World Solidarity: Cuba and the Palestinian Revolution in the Seventies

Sorcha Thomson

2 Nursing the Revolution: Norwegian Medical Support in Lebanon as Solidarity, 1976–1983

Pelle Valentin Olsen

3 Searching for Friends Across the Global South: Classified Documents, Iran, and the Export of the Revolution in 1983

Simon Wolfgang Fuchs

4 The Gendered Politics of Dead Bodies: Obituaries, Revolutionaries, and Martyrs between the Iranian, Palestinian, and Dhufar Revolutions

Marral Shamshiri

5 Brothers, Comrades, and the Quest for the Islamist International: The First Gathering of Liberation Movements in Revolutionary Iran

Mohammad Ataie

6 Abu Jubran and Jabal ʿAmil Between the Palestinian and Iranian Revolutions

Nathaniel George

7 The Islamic Republic Party and the Palestinian Cause, 1979–80: A Discursive Transformation of the Third Worldist Agenda

Maryam Alemzadeh

8 Translation, Revolutionary Praxis, and the Enigma of Manuchehr Hezarkhani

Nasser Mohajer and Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi

9 The Front of our Friends: Shu’un Falastiniyya as an Archive of Palestinian Third Worldism

Klaudia Wieser

10 Fragile Solidarity: The Iranian Left and the Kurdish National Question in the 1979 Revolution

Rasmus C. Elling and Jahangir Mahmoudi

11 The ‘Ends’ of the Palestinian Revolution in the Fakhani Republic

Sune Haugbolle

Afterword: Towards a Praxis-Centred Historiography of Middle East Third Worldism

Toufoul Abou-Hodeib and Naghmeh Sohrabi

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£30.00  £28.50
Oneworld Publications
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