By Roger Owen
The monarchical presidential regimes that prevailed within the Arab global for thus lengthy seemed as if they'd final indefinitely—until occasions in Tunisia and Egypt made transparent their time used to be up. The upward thrust and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life exposes for the 1st time the origins and dynamics of a governmental process that principally outlined the Arab heart East within the 20th century.
Presidents who rule for all times were a characteristic of the Arab global due to the fact that independence. within the Nineteen Eighties their regimes more and more resembled monarchies as presidents took up place of abode in palaces and made each attempt to make sure their sons might be triumphant them. Roger Owen explores the most positive aspects of the prototypical Arab monarchical regime: its loved ones; its internal circle of corrupt cronies; and its makes an attempt to create a well-liked legitimacy in response to monetary luck, a manipulated structure, controlled elections, and knowledge suppression.
Why has the Arab international suffered this sort of focus of everlasting presidential govt? although post-Soviet crucial Asia has additionally recognized monarchical presidencies, Owen argues major cause is the “Arab demonstration effect,” wherein shut ties around the Arab international have enabled ruling households to percentage administration concepts and assistance. yet this impression additionally explains why those presidencies all got here less than a similar strain to reform or pass. Owen discusses the large well known competition the presidential structures engendered through the Arab Spring, and the political switch that ensued, whereas additionally delineating the demanding situations the Arab revolutions face around the heart East and North Africa.
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Additional resources for The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life
Hence too, the need to assure the senior commanders that their institutional interests would remain securely protected. In most Arab republics, the number of persons employed by the various police and security forces was, and remains, many times larger than the number of those serving in the army. Furthermore, and unlike the armed forces, their size and the proportion of the budget needed to sustain them tended to grow, sometimes as a result of purposefully exaggerated fears of a growing internal opposition, sometimes as a way of giving jobs to more of the unemployed youth.
This also remains true in general of the large oil states such as Algeria or Libya.
6 25 The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life As for the republican presidents for life themselves, there must also have been quite an element of bad faith involved in their increasingly monarchical practices. Even the most uneducated people generally understand what it is that distinguishes republics from monarchies and why, in theory at least, a president should live in a “White House” rather than a palace. Nevertheless, Arab rulers from at least the time of Anwar Sadat in the 1970s onward began to assume some of the trappings of monarchy, adopting a more regal style, accumulating residences, surrounding themselves with huge entourages, and, in general, living lives undreamed of by the majority of their people.