According to Aksikas (159), the failure and insurgence of political, socio-economical and cultural ideologies in the Arab countries have contributed tremendously to the formation of these states. He points out that the age of ideology which primarily started after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire widely accelerated in momentous manner. He notes that this period was characterized by actual realization of ideological formation due to rapid socio-economic, political, and cultural diversity. For instance, he points out that the dominance of liberal nationalist ideologies like the Egyptian nationalism and conservative Arab nationalism during the fall of the Ottoman Empire actualized the real formation of ideologies in Arab state building. Moreover, he notes that both the dominance of radical Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism resulted into the formation of new political and economic environment during Arab state building.
However, Aksikas (159) points out that the failure of ideological formation which played the major role in population mobilization and overthrowing of traditional monarchies resulted into new ideological and political framework. The new ideological concepts were incorporated to transform and modernize the general perception of the Arab World. However, contrary to the believed positive impact of the new ideologies on Arab political life, the political culture in the Arab countries is still on disarray of political economic instability. He notes that most of the Arab countries have no real political legitimacy which would effectively advocate for the primary basis of political rights and the mandated duties. The Arab protest is still raging as Arab population are crying foul on the negative impact of political and economic instability on their democratization and resource distribution processes. Furthermore, he points out that Arab population contest the ideological thrust that has made most of the Arab leaders create and enhance powerful authoritarian Arab states.
The write up in looking at the political and State formation of the Arabs states provides answers to key fundamental questions that are associated with the Arab region.
The Main Political Systems that Emerged in the Arab Region after World War II
Ottaway and Vizoso (2) note that after the World War II, the colonial empires disappeared. This was followed by the Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism, which became key manifestos of the Arab political systems. They point out that while Arab nationalists used their political influence to envisage dictatorship in the region, the Islamic fundamentalists bitterly fought their imperialistic and authoritarian ruling system. They note that most of the Islamic fundamentalists perceived the Arab political systems as having emulated the West political structures which were undermining the democratization process in the Arab region. They point out that most of the political leaders in the Arab region established military based governing structure that primarily allowed them to envisage their dictatorship ruling which was evident in Egypt.
For instance, Ottaway and Vizoso (2) point out that upon seizing power after the World War II in 1952, Egypt President Gamal Nasser gradually established authoritarian political system that controlled the Egyptian State. They note that Nasser used his imperialistic and authoritarian approach in establishing military Egyptian state that not only banned all political parties, but also banned Muslim Brotherhood organizations. They point out that Muslim activists who advocated for democratic rights were either assassinated or jailed. According to them, Nasser did not only consolidate the authority of the Egyptian state over political and economic spheres, but he also established the Arab Socialist Union in 1962 that would in which Egypt would represent the political elite in the Arab region. However, following his death in 1970 and assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981 by Islamists who were opposed to their authoritarian power ruling; liberation effort started emerging not only in Egypt, but also in the other countries throughout the Arab region. Ottaway and Vizoso (3) note that democracy and transparent resource distribution still play a major role in political systems in the Arab region.
Sources of Legitimacy of Arab Sates
As pointed out by Taqi (1), Islamic religion, social capital, and political culture have been the basic sources of legitimacy of Arab states. He points out that the fear of Islamic radical movement by various Arab states has been the main reason why the Arab regimes continue to exist. He notes that Islamist groups in Arab states tend to search for solutions to social and economic problems that their main political figures have envisaged in these states. Moreover, he points out that the social capital and political culture which voluntarily mobilized human rights activism in enhancing democracy and civil rights have been the foundation over which Arab states exist.
According to Taqi (1), most of the Arab states have established powerful military states that not only organize efficient forces, but also organically interact with the Arab communities. Moreover, the military insurgence in legitimizing Arab states has a task to not only struggle for Arab country’s independence, but also to devise nationalistic approach in enhancing political systems. For instance, the radical Islamic movement in Egypt led to fall of west political culture and authoritarian ruling by Nasser and Sadat. This, in turn, legitimized the formation of democratic Egypt state.
How Arab Republics Attempted to Solve the Problem of Late Industrialization
Toffolo (2) points out that most of the Arab republics attempted to form the League of Arab States that would promote cooperation among member republics in enhancing socio-economic development and foreign policy in addressing late industrialization problems. He notes that under initial membership of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the Arab league provided coordination of members on education, finance, law, trade and foreign policy frameworks. He points out that due to the negative impact of late industrialization in Arab market, the Arab League established a common market agreement that abolished custom duties on the natural resources and agricultural products of the member states. Moreover, he points out that the Arab League established the free movement of capital and human labor across the Arab member states.
However, Toffolo (10) points out that the suspension of Egypt from Arab League in 1979, disjointed the primary role of the organization. He notes that there was eruption of political disunity among the militant Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists, which primarily affected the process of industrialization among the Arab republics.
Impact of 1973 and 1976 Arab-Israeli Wars on the Arab Regional Power Balance
According to Cordesman (2), the 1973 and 1976 Arab-Israeli Wars demonstrated the scramble for the regional power balance in the Arab region. He points out that Egypt authority who had been humiliated by Israel defeat in 1967 war wanted to redeem its regional powerful image in the 1973 and 1979 Arab-Israeli war. On the other hand, he notes that Syria and Iraq which also wanted their regional power status to be felt, engaged themselves in the battles as well. However, the Arab-Israeli Wars led to the establishment of Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1979, which did not go well with other Arab countries as it led to their dissociation with Egypt. These affected their inter-Arab relations. With the Arab League, under which the Arab countries collaborated and adapted the Palestinian Liberation Organization plan, Egypt was disjointed even more.
Why Gulf Countries do not Provide Nationalization Policy for Foreign Residents
Aksikas (160) notes that Gulf countries have oil rich reserves which play an important role in their economic and political stability. He points out that foreigners form major work forces in both their industrial and business sectors. This is why Gulf countries are weary of initiating any national policy on foreigners, because they feel that such policy framework might jeopardize their oil explorations. Moreover, he points out that the Gulf countries see the establishment of any nationalization policy for foreign residents as a move that might affect their Islamic dominance in the region. This may hinder their Islamic fundamentalism which dictates their political, social and economic well being.
Common Features of Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Libya
According to Soames & Morris (2), Syria, Yemen, Egypt, and Libya have experienced common revolutionary movements against the countries’ ruling political systems that have undermined democracy. They note that civil protests emanating from these countries have common objectives of opposing the governments’ use of its powers in suppressing human rights while enhancing corruption. For instance, revolutionary wave forced Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Syria’s Bashar Assad to grudgingly accede to political transition (Soames & Morris, 10). Additionally, they point out that these countries have been characterized by military loyalty to at least an authoritative leader in preventing revolutionary protestors from their liberation process.
Why it is Easier to Contain Social Protest in Monarchies than in Arab Republics
Soames & Morris (13) point out that Arab monarchies provide safest path for autocratic perpetual that enhances social mobilization and protest as opposed to Arab Republics. They note that Arab monarchial ruling normally inhibits special traits such as cultural legitimacy, which enhance stable dictatorship ruling among the populations, as compared to republican Arab states. They point out that the Arab monarchies have special cultural authenticity with Arab Muslims, better than Arab Presidents and general, and this gives them a military advantage over social protest. For instance, the monarchy of Morocco normally claims to descend from Prophet Muhammad. He is believed to give the Islamic and military authorities victory in containing any social protest.
Main Challenges for Arab Countries in Post-Arab Spring Era
According to Soames & Morris (43), the Arab countries have to counter the marginalization of Islamic ideologies and political appeal which associate them with global terrorism. They point out that Arab countries face the challenge of demonstrating the liberal and non-violent aspect of Islamic teachings and traditions to the world. This adamantly stipulates their involvement in enhancing international security and relation. They note that Arab countries have to encounter the challenge of establishing democracy that is neither under the control of economic influence nor military forces. Moreover, they note that Arab countries have to encounter geopolitical differences that characterized Arab-Israeli conflict, especially in enhancing transparent democracy that is free from social oppression and corruption.
Yes, Democracy in Form of Political Representation and Participation is enough to stabilize the Arab Region
As pointed out by Soames and Morris (43), democracy in political representations and participation normally incorporate compromised political ideologies that address the real issues. They point out that lack of democracy in political systems in the Arab region resulted into the failure of enhancing political ideologies thereby creating political, social, and economic instability in the region. They note that most of the Arab-Israel conflicts were influenced by lack of effective political good will which undermines the democratic rights of the bordering territories. For instance, the eminent revolutionary waves that spark the Arab region in advocating for democracy in political system clearly demonstrate how effective political involvement can be.
According to Soames and Morris (43), representation and participation of civilian Arabs in the political system create a sense of effective representation and belonging. They point out that the entire population feels a sense of involvement in the governing policy and process from which they embrace unity in their Arab Countries. For instance, Taqi (1) points out that the Muslim population in Yemen have actively engage in the political process in the country. This has in turn created confidence among the population on the governance structure. Therefore, it is essential to note that democracy in form of political representation and participation is effective enough in not only enhancing Arab-interrelation, but also in stabilizing the Arab region.
The write up has highlighted the basic issues that should be effectively addressed in enhancing the political, social, and economic dimensions of the Arab world. It has pointed out the need for the society to mobilize in advocating and fighting the dictatorship posed by any government that undermines democracy and human rights. Moreover, it has stressed on the need for proper ideological political representation and participation in instilling good international Arab relations in promoting peace and stability.