Surveying the causes of the Arab Spring, and revealing the governing trends arising from it, this book examines various international relation theories through the lens of the experiences of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. It takes the events of the Arab Spring as an outcome of globalization’s double movement whose integrative cultural, political and security frameworks devastated nationally controlled economies, undermining the nation-state system and propagating a decentralized and communitarian-based governance structure. The consequences for many plural, diverse societies were two-fold: autocratic nationalism was discarded while decentralized regimes representing communitarian-based politics came to the fore. The author reveals how the formulation of a new communitocratic order rests on the accommodation of this newly emerging communitarianism and explores the major drivers of political transformation, describing the emerging communities, forecasting their governing options and the possible repercussions for the post-Arab Spring states.
Table of Contents
1. Globalization and Communitocracy
2. Middle Eastern Exceptionalism
3. The Arab Spring – Emerging Lockianism
6. Conclusion: Communitocratic Prospects
Imad Salamey is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and the Director of the Institute for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution at the Lebanese American University, Lebanon.
Imad Salamey has written a thoughtful and thought-provoking book. Much has been written on the consequences and directions of the Arab Spring since 2011. Salamey offers new and original interpretations, seeing the 2011 uprisings as part of longer-term processes of globalization that first strengthened and then unleashed communitarian forces across the Middle East. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with Salamey’s conclusions, his examination of the forces leading to and consequences arising from the Arab Spring is essential to a better understanding of the contemporary Middle East. I strongly recommend the book.
Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University, Qatar
This book provides an outstanding analysis of the decline of state power in the Middle East and North Africa and the emergence of religious and linguistic communities as the dominant players in the region. It makes a persuasive case for this new communitarianism to take the integrative form of peaceful power-sharing. I can give my strong recommendation for this thoughtful and provocative work.
Arend Lijphart, Research Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of California, USA
Salamey provides clarity and insight into a complicated and dynamic region of the world. His book is highly relevant and timely to what has been unraveling in the MENA region since the collapse of the Cold War. Salamey challenges Western dominated perceptions and narratives, and pushes back against major IR theories that have focused on MENA exceptionalism. He argues that the events in the region are best explained by looking at how globalization has changed the per-requisites for state survival in the 21st century. In particular, how the traditional functions of the state have been transferred to decentralized local communities with globalized networks and interconnectedness, which in turn has led to the communitocratization of Arab politics. Salamey’s book is a must for academics, policymakers, and students interested in a more nuanced, non-traditional interpretation of political dynamics in the MENA.
Faten Ghosn, Associate Professor, International Relations at the University of Arizona, USA