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Middle Eastern instability is manifest externally in many ways: by crises afflicting governing regimes, the rise of political Islam, terrorism, revolution, civil war, increased migration, and the collapse of many states. This book examines the roots of this instability using a theoretically original and empirically supported historical-sociological comparative analysis. Countering common interpretations of postcolonial Middle Eastern development, Instability in the Middle East focuses on the highly uneven and unsynchronized pace of change in individual sociodemographic, economic, and political dimensions of modernization. Drawing on the theory of multiple modernities, ?erný investigates the broader cultural, religious, and international political context of uneven modernization in the Middle East and tests his model using a time series of dozens of indicators over the past fifty years, revealing a long-term trend of cumulative change across the region.