Reports of the demise of the Arab state have been exaggerated, despite claims that the postcolonial, state-based paradigm is collapsing under the pressure of “people power,” the resurgence of premodern loyalties, and the rise of nonstate actors. Even Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Islamic State preserve the nation-state concept in their politics. A new, postrevolutionary Middle East equilibrium is forming, with multinational states decomposing into more homogeneous subunits (similar to the 1990s’ former Soviet bloc), while monarchies and mostly single-ethnic states survived. The trend of anti-globalist populist nationalism in the West threatens to cause a technology-enabled domino effect in Western countries similar to that which swept the Arab world. Russia and China seem most capable of exploiting both the end of the “Arab Spring of Nations” and the turbulence in the West, and will use this refractory period of US influence to promote their interests and agendas in the region.
The State of the State in the Arab World and the West’s “Arab Spring”
J. S. Krasna is a former senior Israeli civil servant and diplomat and is currently Robert A. Fox Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA. This essay was written while he served as an instructor at the Israel National Defense College, Tel Aviv.
J. S. Krasna; The State of the State in the Arab World and the West’s “Arab Spring”. Mediterranean Quarterly 1 December 2017; 28 (4): 87–102. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10474552-4325947
Download citation file: