Political Succession in the Arab World: Constitutions, Family Loyalties and Islam, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Political Succession in the Arab World

Constitutions, Family Loyalties and Islam, 1st Edition

By Anthony Billingsley


250 pages

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Political succession is a key issue in the contemporary Middle East. In this new study the author examines the process and shows how respect for those in authority and tribal codes of loyalty have been far more influential in maintaining regimes than security institutions and political repression.

The Arab world is faced by political turmoil and demands for reform. Many of the problems of the region are attributed to the form of leadership that dominates the area, leadership that is authoritarian and focused on regime survival rather than political change. The book highlights the ways in which family loyalties pervade political, economic and social life and how constitutions are being used to consolidate the power of ruling families in republics and monarchies.

The volume explores the notion that the region’s rulers, monarchic and republican, are inclined to pass their power on to their sons, and evaluates the use they make of family and tribal networks to maintain their power. The work sees to demonstrate that despite economic and social problems, Arabs value stability and prefer an authoritarian family-based regime than government run by Islamist groups.

Providing new insights into the influences on political succession in the Middle East, this work will be of great interests to scholars of Middle East studies, history and international relations.


.Billingsley's book is an ambitious attempt to theorize the process of 'political succession' that is currently taking place in the Arab World. His analytical frame and his conclusions are noteworthy and a valuable contribution, particularly with regard to the Gulf monarchies.' - H-Soz-u-Kult, 2010

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Arab Political Tradition 2. Competing Influences: Tribalism, Islam and Outsiders in the Arab World 3. The Just Prince: Leadership and Legitimacy in the Arab World 4. Family First: Arab Succession and Dynasticism 5. Constitutionalism and Constitutions: The Challenge of Succession 6. Back to the Future: Arab Monarchies 7. Hybrids: Monarchic Republics of the Arab World 8. Tradition Versus Change: The Challenge of Dynasticism in the Arab Political Tradition

About the Author

Anthony Billingsley is a lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Australia, having spent many years in the diplomatic and intelligence areas. His areas of interest include the politics of the Middle East, especially the Gulf region, as well as international and constitutional law.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics

This series is concerned with recent political developments in the region. It will have a range of different approaches and include both single authored monographs and edited volumes covering issues such as international relations, foreign intervention, security, political Islam, democracy, ideology and public policy.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Middle East / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies