Persistence of authoritarianism in the Middle East [electronic resource] : international politics, civil society, and democracy in Palestine / Samir A. Awad

Awad, Samir A.
Bib ID
vtls000605094
稽核項
224 p.
電子版
附註項
數位化論文典藏聯盟
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$a Persistence of authoritarianism in the Middle East $h [electronic resource] : $b international politics, civil society, and democracy in Palestine / $c Samir A. Awad
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$a 224 p.
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$a Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 64-04, Section: A, page: 1387.
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$a Adviser:  Lisa Anderson.
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$a Thesis (Ph.D.)--Columbia University, 2003.
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$a I investigate the resilience of authoritarianism in the Arab world in three concentric circles, deepest in the middle, most inclusive on the margins. The most focused and intensively researched circle is Palestine, especially during the first Intifada and after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. The second circle is neighboring Egypt and Jordan. The widest circle for which this research is only suggestive, includes Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Syria. The capacity of a liberalizing regime to revoke the reform is the dependent variable. As explanatory or independent variables, I employ the international environment and the role of civil society. These two variables are typically credited with promoting democracy and political liberalization and both these variables underwent significant change during the period under examination, while other variables—political Islam, political culture, oil-rent, militarization of the state—remained virtually unchanged.
520
$a Palestine is an extreme case of the phenomenon witnessed in many “authoritarian states” in the Arab region, namely the collapse of the sphere of politics into the sphere of civil society. Sovereign states with authoritarian regimes have a closed political sphere. Palestine, on the other hand, has no sovereign political sphere in the first place. In both cases political parties, denied access to a formal political space, tend to appropriate civil society as the locus for vicarious, competitive political activity. In Palestine, under an Israeli occupation that, for all its coercive power, was bereft of political legitimacy in the eyes of the population, civil society organizations proliferated in an unregulated, pluralistic marketplace of ideas. The Palestinian resistance purposefully turned to civil society as a cover for its political activities (outlawed by the occupation), and used it to build public support and recruit members. In the absence of a state, civil society provided vital services in fields including primary health care, education, agriculture, credit extension and so on. In Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco or Jordan, the regime closed the political sphere in the face of political dissent and opposition parties. Political parties, in order to avoid direct confrontation with the state, appropriated civil society space and used it to promote their ideas and bolster their support base. Organizational shifts in the structure of civil society institutions, caused by state co-optation and international aid, altered the agenda of many organizations and changed their relationship with local actors and environment. The trend of professionalization of civil society associations favored large, donor-friendly, and professional organizations. Such structural transformation has influenced NGOs' agenda and priorities and undermined their local stature. This, in turn, made them less accountable to, and therefore less representative of, the local society, ultimately undermining their ability to mobilize their constituencies. While the first of these two variables is underrated as a causal factor in the persistence of authoritarian regimes in the region, the second is hardly mentioned at all. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
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$a 數位化論文典藏聯盟 $b PQDT $c 淡江大學(2004)
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$a Political science.
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$a International relations.
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$a Columbia University.
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$t Dissertation Abstracts International $g 64-04A.
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I investigate the resilience of authoritarianism in the Arab world in three concentric circles, deepest in the middle, most inclusive on the margins. The most focused and intensively researched circle is Palestine, especially during the first Intifada and after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. The second circle is neighboring Egypt and Jordan. The widest circle for which this research is only suggestive, includes Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Syria. The capacity of a liberalizing regime to revoke the reform is the dependent variable. As explanatory or independent variables, I employ the international environment and the role of civil society. These two variables are typically credited with promoting democracy and political liberalization and both these variables underwent significant change during the period under examination, while other variables—political Islam, political culture, oil-rent, militarization of the state—remained virtually unchanged.
Palestine is an extreme case of the phenomenon witnessed in many “authoritarian states” in the Arab region, namely the collapse of the sphere of politics into the sphere of civil society. Sovereign states with authoritarian regimes have a closed political sphere. Palestine, on the other hand, has no sovereign political sphere in the first place. In both cases political parties, denied access to a formal political space, tend to appropriate civil society as the locus for vicarious, competitive political activity. In Palestine, under an Israeli occupation that, for all its coercive power, was bereft of political legitimacy in the eyes of the population, civil society organizations proliferated in an unregulated, pluralistic marketplace of ideas. The Palestinian resistance purposefully turned to civil society as a cover for its political activities (outlawed by the occupation), and used it to build public support and recruit members. In the absence of a state, civil society provided vital services in fields including primary health care, education, agriculture, credit extension and so on. In Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco or Jordan, the regime closed the political sphere in the face of political dissent and opposition parties. Political parties, in order to avoid direct confrontation with the state, appropriated civil society space and used it to promote their ideas and bolster their support base. Organizational shifts in the structure of civil society institutions, caused by state co-optation and international aid, altered the agenda of many organizations and changed their relationship with local actors and environment. The trend of professionalization of civil society associations favored large, donor-friendly, and professional organizations. Such structural transformation has influenced NGOs' agenda and priorities and undermined their local stature. This, in turn, made them less accountable to, and therefore less representative of, the local society, ultimately undermining their ability to mobilize their constituencies. While the first of these two variables is underrated as a causal factor in the persistence of authoritarian regimes in the region, the second is hardly mentioned at all. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
附註
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 64-04, Section: A, page: 1387.
Adviser: Lisa Anderson.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Columbia University, 2003.
數位化論文典藏聯盟
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