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The emergence of the modern Middle East has been accompanied by a concentration of coercive power in the state. Although the region has encompassed numerous Mukhabarat (secret police) states, extensive policing and carceral regimes, and widespread use of torture and spectacular punishments, and although its prisons and policing practices are regularly condemned by human rights organisations, surprisingly few analyses explore the emergence of these grim institutions. This volume is the first to examine systematically practices of policing and incarceration in the modern Middle East, the emergence of modern policing and prisons and their continued predominance. It offers a useful lens through which the complexity of state power and the contours of popular contentious politics can be read.