New Arab Political Geography

New Arab Political Geography

  • 9 October 2013

The Arab world is currently witnessing qualitative shifts that are affecting state structures and the very nature of their political systems, reflecting the deep crisis belied by circumstantial evidence of mobility born of the so-called Arab Spring.

This lecture aims to provide insight on the new Arab political geography, based on the following three determinants:

The first is the ongoing political reconstruction of the region, with the emergence of new political constructs outside the control of the central state, and in some cases representing totally separate systems, albeit without international recognition (e.g., Iraqi Kurdish areas, Gaza and Northern Somalia, etc.).

The second is sovereignty; while the structure of the modern nation-state is founded on the principle of absolute sovereignty, the new Arab political geography has revealed the emergence of tangled, multiple and sometimes conflicting interpretations of sovereignty, the impacts of which render countries vulnerable to being described as “failed states’ in contemporary political science parlance—although this argument warrants careful scrutiny.

The third determinant is legitimacy; if the legitimacy of the nation-state is based on rational institutional standards, including the separation of powers and a public domain that affords a framework for political action, the current political geography of the modern Arab state poses fundamental problems arising from the experience of democratic transition in Arab Spring countries.

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LECTURER

Wednesday 9 October 2013

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Wednesday 9 October 2013

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