Insight Turkey
Insight Turkey
Challenging ideas
On Turkish politics and International affairs

Insight Turkey > Articles |

The Demise of the Authoritarian Bargain in the Arab Middle East

This paper conceives of the Arab Spring as a leap forward that has relegated the established order to the status of a ‘walking dead.’ The ‘old’ Middle East is dead in so far as that the Arab elites hold no bargaining chip with which to consolidate a stable domestic rule. Hence they are walking dead or zombies, as they have no sense of purpose, will or chances regaining livelihood. This is because, firstly, the repressive character of Arab states has no sympathy to gain from their impoverished and powerless masses. Secondly, such oppressive practices are coincident with the IMF’s austerity programs, which constitute the greatest obstacle to Arab economies’ serving their key purpose: social cohesion. Unfortunately these two arguments are insufficient to support the belief that a bright new day has dawned for the regional people, the ‘old’ Middle East is one of the proverbial ‘walking dead’.

The Demise of the Authoritarian Bargain in the Arab Middle
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim attend a meeting to sign an agreement in Sharm el-Sheikh on June 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI
 

Introduction

Often, what is called ‘old’ implies uselessness. The cognitive templates it possesses can no longer make sense of the present, or ‘new’, social reality. One simple way to establish something is now old, or out of use, is to investigate whether, or not, there is a certain degree of mismatch between the presently encountered social, economic or political phenomena and the available stock of knowledge. The Middle East, this paper argues, is certainly not a new place to the extent that the political theater of the region is still the playing field of an unrepresentative elite whose fortune disagrees with the wellbeing of the larger population. 

Already have an account? Sign In.
Print Subscription
4 Print Issues
Subscribe
Digital Subscription
4 Digital Issues
Subscribe
Premium Subscription
4 Print Issues
4 Digital Issues
Subscribe

Labels »  

We use cookies in a limited and restricted manner for specific purposes. For more details, you can see "our data policy". More...