Systems of government in the Middle East are almost without exception authoritarian which means leaders are not selected through free and fair elections, and a relatively narrow group of people control the state apparatus and are not held accountable for their decisions by the broader public. Political rights refer to characteristics such as free and fair elections for the chief executive and the legislature; the ability of citizens to organize in multiple political parties and compete in elections free from interference by the military, religious or other powerful groups.
Civil liberties refers to the freedom of expression or more likely to be referred as individual rights. The establishment and spread of Islam began in the 17th century C. E. Two empires dominated the middle east – The Sasanids (Iraq and Iran) and the Byzantines (Anatolian Empire). Muhammad – a young caravan trader became the prophet of Islam. The last great Islamic empire was the Ottoman empire. Founded by Turkic tribes. Sharia – Islamic law. Ulama – clerics.
Nationalism became a powerful ideology. It inspired many of the Ottomans’ subject peoples to secede. European Imperialism in the Middle East Britain’s footprint in the Middle East turned on two main concerns: securing access to regional oil supplies and protecting key access routes to India Several countries in the region escaped the yoke of direct European rule. Turkey was the successor of the Ottoman Empire in its core Anatolian Peninsula territory.
Creation of the State of Israel The modern story of emergence of Israel began in Europe. Theodor Herzl began to advance the Zionist case that Jews constituted a nation, one hat needed its own nation-state in order to ensure that Jews could live in security and dignity in a land where they constituted a majority. On May 14, 1948, Zionist leaders proclaimed the State of Israel. The conflict between the newly created Jewish state and its Arab neighbours continues to the present.
Pathways from Colonialism Israel was becoming a reality in the Middle East at about the same time that Middle Eastern populations were preparing to throw off the oppression of European domination. Egypt and Iraq achieved independence relatively early, in the 1930s. A wave of independence achievements then came during and after World War II, with Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia becoming independent in that order between 1943 and 1956.
Kuwait, Algeria, and (South) Yemen became independent in the 1960s, and the Gulf States of Bahrain, Qatar, and the I-JAE The Structure and Dispositions of”Founding” Regimes After Independence “Founding” regimes in the region”meaning the first set of stable, patterned, and lasting dynamics regarding the processes by which leaders were selected and how those eaders in turn exercised power. 3 categories: 1 . Single-party systems – Political systems dominated by single, preponderant political parties emerged all of which were republics ruled in dictatorial fashion by presidents. . Monarchies – The right to rule stemmed not from elections but rather from claims about the legitimacy of specific families’ indefinite monopoly on power. 3. Democratic and semidemocratic systems – In the post imperial Middle East, Just three countries had democratic or semidemocratic politics when it came to the ability of itizens to vote incumbents out of office through elections: Israel, Turkey, and Lebanon. All three countries’ constitutional structures featured a president alongside a prime minister and cabinet constituted from an elected parliament.
For the Middle East’s mostly authoritarian incumbent rulers, a new global democratic ethos was unwelcome, as it served to further delegitimize regimes whose constituents were already discontented and who faced increasingly significant Islamist oppositions. Meanwhile, all rulers”democrats and dictators”struggled with painful economic eform processes and worried about how the “losers” would react politically Chapter 2: Governments and Oppositions Citizen’s political actions depend on the nature of the political environment in which they live.
Governments established the parameters of the political environment, regulating when, how and who can participate in politics. The Middle East is a microcosm of the contemporary world’s diverse forms of government. Democracies In a democratic regime, control of the government is decided through periodic elections that allow competition between two or more groups. Examples: Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Palestinian authority. Four basic criteria for a political system to be democratic. First, parties are not allowed to rule the repeatedly.
Second, whoever wins will be allowed to assume office, even if the opposition wins. Third, elected officials must be able to exercise their powers without being subjected from unelected officials. Lastly, elections must be repeated. Semidemocracies When two political power is divided between elected civilian politicians and unelected veto groups who can and do block the full functioning of the democratic rocess. Examples: Iran and Turkey Nondemocracies When political systems that are neither democracies nor full-fledged dictatorships but an ambiguous form in between.
They are sub-divided into two categories, the republics and the monarchies. Examples: Republics: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia ad I-JAE Oppositions An individual or group can be opposed to some government policy or person but not take steps to act on that opposition, preferring withdrawal or avoidance. The most heated area of opposition in the M. E is over official ideologies. 3 main strategies used y opposition groups: Organization building, Ideological mobilization and Tactical variation.
Organizations of Oppositions A political party is a group of like-minded people who form an organization that competes for votes to get its candidates elected to public office. Thus, opposition groups can come int 2 diff. forms: social movements and armed organization. Ideologies of Opposition *ideas are important resources in the process of political mobilization. 3 main types of oppositional ideologies: ideologies espousing defense of minority group of rights, leftist ideology and religious based ideology.
Tactics of Oppostiton *variation in tactics The choice of different tactics feeds back into and transforms ideology, so we should not assume that groups are identical simply because they espouse a similar ideology. Governments and Oppositions 3 types of political environments: 1. Undivided inclusive – No political opponents are allowed to participate in the formal political system. 2. Undivided exclusive – where governments allow virtually all groups to participate in elections. 3. Divided – where governments include some opposition groups and individuals but rigorously exclude others.