Rethinking Statehood in the Middle East and North Africa
Security, Sovereignty and New Political Orders
Alternative forms of government and statehood exist in the Middle East and North African regions. The chapters in this volume demonstrate this and explore the notion of power from a non-statist perspective, highlighting the limits of states and their governance.
Using empirical evidence from Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Iraq, Yemen, and Mali, the authors explore non-standard cases where power may be retained by a state but must be shared with a number of local actors, resulting in limited statehood and hybrid governance, which leads to competition and sharing of symbolic and political power within a state.
This book is intended to prompt a critical reflection on the meaning of governance. It will illuminate informal structures which deserve attention when studying governance and power dynamics within a state or a region. This book was originally published as a special issue of Small Wars & Insurgencies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction - Limited Statehood and its Security Implications on the Fragmentation Political Order in the Middle East and North Africa 2. From Westphalian Failure to Heterarchic Governance in MENA: The Case of Syria 3. ‘What is in a Name?’: The Role of (Different) Identities in the Multiple Proxy Wars in Syria 4. Competitive Statehood in Libya: Governing Differently a Specific Setting or Deconstructing its Weak Sovereign State with a Fateful Drift Toward Chaos? 5. Between the Cracks: Actor Fragmentation and Local Conflict Systems in the Libyan Civil War 6. Security Assistance in a Post-interventionist Era: The Impact on Limited Statehood in Lebanon and Tunisia 7. Hizbullah’s Shaping Lebanon Statehood 8. Recognizing Fragmented Authority: Towards a post-Westphalian Security Order in Iraq 9. Competing for Control over the State: The Case of Yemen 10. A Dangerous Method: How Mali Lost Control of the North, and Learned to Stop Worrying
Abel Polese is a Senior Research Fellow at Dublin City University, Ireland. He is a writer, development worker, scholar, amateur photographer and musician who is mainly interested in the dichotomy between formal and informal modes and structures of governance. He is the author of The Scopus Diaries and the Illogics of Academic Survival (2018).
Ruth Hanau Santini is Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations at Università L’Orientale in Naples, Italy, and Associate Fellow at the Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus Studies’ Institute at the University of St. Andrews, UK. She is interested in the domestic and international politics of the MENA region and, more broadly, in state-society relations, citizenship, and changing understandings of democracy. Her work includes Limited statehood in post-revolutionary Tunisia. Citizenship, economy and security (2018).