Modern Middle East Authoritarianism: Roots, Ramifications, and Crisis

Overview

The volume seeks to understand the role of Islamists, among other actors, in challenging authoritarian rule, addressing why they and other opposition forces failed to challenge existing regimes before 2011. Modern Middle East Authoritarianism also discusses how ruling elites adapted to international processes of economic neoliberalism in order to forge close relationships with the West, as well as how Arab autocrats used the United States’ and other Western powers’ (supposed) passionate support of democracy in ...

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Modern Middle East Authoritarianism: Roots, Ramifications, and Crisis

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Overview

The volume seeks to understand the role of Islamists, among other actors, in challenging authoritarian rule, addressing why they and other opposition forces failed to challenge existing regimes before 2011. Modern Middle East Authoritarianism also discusses how ruling elites adapted to international processes of economic neoliberalism in order to forge close relationships with the West, as well as how Arab autocrats used the United States’ and other Western powers’ (supposed) passionate support of democracy in the period after September 11 to entrench their rule.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Arab uprisings of 2011 have forced scholars of the region to rethink arguments about the durability of authoritarianism and the prospects for democratic change in the Middle East. This volume is an important contribution to this necessary rethinking. Its chapters offer valuable insight into the complex and evolving political landscape that is taking shape in the Middle East today following the mass protests that forced four Arab autocrats from power, and left their counterparts elsewhere in region uneasy about their own survival."

Steven Heydemann, Special Adviser for Middle East Initiatives, United States Institute of Peace

"This fine collection, nicely introduced by Noureddine Jebnoun, features timely analyses by seasoned scholars, including several with a wealth of recent field experience in the Middle East. Particularly impressive are sage assessments by Clement M. Henry, Michael C. Hudson and Eric Davis, but case studies by a number of the authors are also of high quality. This is an indispensable volume for understanding the authoritarian political context in which the Arab Awakening began in late 2010.  In addition, three noteworthy contributions on Iran expand the substantive canvas. At a time when on-the-fly books on the "Arab Spring" vie for attention, this volume offers more durable scholarship."

Professor Augustus Richard Norton, Boston University, USA

"Modern Middle East Authoritarianism: Roots, Ramifications, and Crisis is an exceptional addition to the existing body of scholarship on authoritarianism in the Middle East, and in general. It accurately reflects the various dynamics that animate authoritarian governments in the region and offers an astute set of observations about the origins and persistence of this phenomenon. Its relevance and rigor make it a useful tool for students of Middle Eastern politics and history, while its clear assessments of policy render it a necessary resource for policy makers. Many have come close to producing a book of this caliber, but few have patiently labored through analyses of a region swirling in change and delivered a product that may well become a staple of its discipline. The editors and contributors of this volume have done just that."

Nathan Lean, writer and scholar on the Middle East

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Noureddine Jebnoun is Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University.
Mehrdad Kia is Director of the central and Southwest Asia Center, Associate Provost for International Programs, and Professor of History at the University of Montana.
Mimi Kirk is editor for the Middle East institute, National University of Singapore.

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Jebnoun Part I: An Historical Snapshot 1 Bumpy Democratic Routes to Dictatorial Ends? – Nathan J. Brown 2 The Longevity of Arab Regimes – As’ad AbuKhalil Part II: Authoritarianism’s Coercive Mechanisms 3 The Vanishing intermediary Bodies of Authoritarian Regimes – Clement M. Henry 4 Ben Ali’s Tunisia – Noureddine Jebnoun 5 Libya’s Authoritarian Tradition – Ronald Bruce St. John 6 Conditioned Participation – Joshua Stacher 7 Political Control in Saudi Arabia – Jean-Francois Seznec Part III: trajectories of Iranian Authoritarianism 8 The making of Modern Authoritarianism in Contemporary Iran – Mehrdad Kia 9 Constitutional and Ideological Barriers to reform in Iran – Shireen Hunter 10 The Islamic republic of Iran and the Crisis of Legitimacy – Ali Ansari Part IV: Prospects of Democratization 11 explaining variations in islamist Politics in Egypt and Iraq – Eric Davis 12 Institutionalizing Revolution – Tarek Masoud 13 After the Arab Spring – Michael C. Hudson

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