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The New Authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa

Stephen J. King

Publication Year: 2009

Stephen J. King considers the reasons that international and domestic efforts toward democratization have failed to take hold in the Arab world. Focusing on Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, and Algeria, he suggests that a complex set of variables characterizes authoritarian rule and helps to explain both its dynamism and its persistence. King addresses, but moves beyond, how religion and the strongly patriarchal culture influence state structure, policy configuration, ruling coalitions, and legitimization and privatization strategies. He shows how the transformation of authoritarianism has taken place amid shifting social relations and political institutions and how these changes have affected the lives of millions. Ultimately, King's forward-thinking analysis offers a way to enhance the prospects for democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.

Published by: Indiana University Press


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pp. v-

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pp. vii-

In completing this book I have incurred many debts. My foremost thanks are to a Georgetown University colleague and friend, Thomas Banchoff, who read the entire manuscript and offered very useful suggestions at a critical stage in the process. ...

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ONE Political Openings and the Transformation of Authoritarian Rule in the Middle East and North Africa

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pp. 3-16

The authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) survived the “third wave” of democracy that took place in the late twentieth century.1 However, they did not survive it without undergoing fundamental changes. This book contributes to closing the gaps in our understanding ...

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TWO Sustaining Authoritarianism during the Third Wave of Democracy

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pp. 17-30

Due to a growing recognition of transitions toward rather than away from authoritarianism in recent years, the comparative study of political regimes has increasingly shifted from a focus on democratic transitions and consolidation to the analysis of authoritarian regimes.1 ...

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THREE The Old Authoritarianism

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pp. 31-87

In an effort to displace colonial powers and their domestic allies, and achieve their own aims—especially rapid industrialization, social justice, and greater equality—leaders of nationalist movements or revolutionary coups throughout the developing world often forged populist authoritarian regimes ...

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FOUR The New Authoritarianism

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pp. 88-192

What determines the outcome of transitions away from certain authoritarian regimes toward an uncertain alternative “something else” in the Middle East and North Africa? If the outcomes are new forms of authoritarian rule, what are the salient traits of these new autocracies? ...

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FIVE Political Openings without Patronage-Based Privatization and Single-Party Institutional Legacies

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pp. 193-200

This book has argued that single-party institutional legacies and new sources of patronage from the privatization of state assets provided MENA autocrats with tools to sustain authoritarian rule despite the implementation of multiparty politics. This chapter highlights these causal dynamics in contrasting cases and outcomes ...

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SIX Transitions from the New MENA Authoritarianism to Democracy?

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pp. 201-210

Single-party institutional legacies and new sources of patronage from the privatization of state-owned enterprises and land provided autocrats in Egypt, Syria, Algeria, and Tunisia with tools to hold multiparty elections and transform authoritarian rule in other ways while maintaining power and control. ...


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pp. 211-244


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pp. 245-264


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pp. 265-279

E-ISBN-13: 9780253004000
E-ISBN-10: 0253004004
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253353979

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: Indiana Series in Middle East Studies