Louër, Laurence 1972-

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Louër, Laurence 1972-


Born 1972. Education: University of Paris I: Pantheon-Sorbonne, M.A.; University of Paris X: Nanterre, M.A.; Institute of Political Studies, M.A., Ph.D.


Home—Paris, France. E-mail—[email protected]


Centre d'Études et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Paris, France, researcher; Centre d'Analyses et de Previsions (CAP), permanent consultant on Middle East affairs for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Les Citoyens Arabes d'Israël, Balland (Paris, France), 2003, revised edition published as To Be an Arab in Israel, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Chiisme et politique au Moyen-Orient: Iran, Irak, Liban, monarchies du Golfe, Autrement (Paris, France), 2008.

Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2008.


Laurence Louër holds degrees in philosophy, political science, and sociology, and her field of interest is the study of the Middle East. She has conducted her research while with CERI, one of France's research centers for the study of international issues. Her first book was the product of her thesis, and was later revised and published in English as To Be an Arab in Israel. In this volume, she examines the demographics, cultural identities, and politics of the Israeli Arabs who comprise approximately twenty percent of the population of Israel. Louër reached her conclusions after interviewing students and community and religious leaders.

Louër follows the history of Arabs living in Israel, the minority that in the 1980s, through their nationalist parties, was accepted as part of the political negotiations engaged in coalition building. The Israeli labor party courted the Arabs and their vote, and in the process of doing so, made promises of land and ownership. What Louër emphasizes is that, even when this relationship faltered, Arabs continued to embrace their Israeli citizenship, even as they celebrated "Palestinization." She writes that alliances have continued between Arab nationalists and the Israelis. She notes that Arab elites have attended Hebrew universities and that one result is that educated Arabs have been absorbed into the Israeli bureaucracy. Although little has been written about this aspect of Arab-Israeli relations, alliances are formed and compromises made. Louër also writes of the evolving culture of the Israeli Arab, including the changing sexual morality of the younger generation.

In reviewing To Be an Arab in Israel in Booklist, Brendan Driscoll noted: "This book assumes some background on Israeli history and politics but remains highly readable."

Louër told CA: "In 2003, I began new research dealing with the Shiite Islamic movements in Persian Gulf monarchies (Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia). The result of this work was published in 2008 in the form of two books respectively in French and English.

"Based on biographical interviews with Shiite Islamic militants collected during several research stays in the Gulf region, my book Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf analyzes the political transnational practices of the Shiite movements, from their foundation in Iraq at the end of the 1950s to the present period. I examined the process through which, thanks to their relations with the religious institution, the Iraqi Shiite movements spread to the Gulf monarchies in the 1970s, and then espoused the policy of exportation of the revolution promoted by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the 1980s. I then show that in the 1990s these movements underwent a profound revising of their ideology and agenda under the influence of the changing geopolitical context as well as the liberalization policies implemented by the Gulf monarchies. Today the Shiite Islamic movements are no longer transnational political movements, but rather national political parties integrated in the official political institutions. The fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 has only reinforced this trend.

"My second book on these issues, Chiisme et politique au Moyen-Orient: Iran, Irak, Liban, monarchies du Golfe, is an easily readable book for nonexperts that extends my conclusions drawn about the Gulf monarchies to Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon."



Booklist, March 15, 2007, Brendan Driscoll, review of To Be an Arab in Israel, p. 8.

Choice, August 2007, M. Curtis, review of To Be an Arab in Israel, p. 2173.

Times Literary Supplement, January 30, 2004, David Lehmann, review of Les Citoyens Arabes D'Israël, p. 23.