The Strategic Roots of Arab Federalism and Its Failure: Transnational Sovereign Power Issues, Military Rule, and Arab Identity
Syracuse University - Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism (INSCT)
DEFUNCT FEDERALISMS: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON FEDERAL FAILURE, Ashgate, 2008
Few commentators look for the roots of serious challenges facing the modern Middle East — sluggish political and economic reform, militarism, domestic instability, Islamic insurgency—in the legacy of federalism, let alone its failure. This chapter focuses on the brief moment when pan-Arab federalism, often associated with Gamal Abd al-Nasser and Egypt, became a political desire and reality, exemplified by several short-lived unions: the United Arab Republic of Egypt and Syria (UAR) and the United Arab States (UAS) — a confederation of Egypt, Syria and North Yemen from 1958 to 1961, as well as the failed Federation of Arab Republics (1972–1977) promoted by the Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. At the same time, this exploration contends that aspirations for political unity (although transformed) persist in unexpected ways today — most notably, in extremist forms of Islamic fundamentalism and Arab nationalisms.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: Arab nationalism, Arab federalism, transnational sovereignty, Egypt, strategic identity, security discourse, coup d’état, civil-military relations, Nasser, Huntington, failed state, military rule, Islamism, political extremismAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 13, 2012
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