Middle East

Posted: April 25, 2017


A state is defined as a  geographical area, independent, comprising of a population of people under the governorship of certain stipulated laws.  Scholars see a state as a sovereign area which lies within imaginary borders (Introduction & Origins of the Middle East).

State characteristics

State clear borders: A state lies in a geographical area. The boundaries define the size of that state. The state is sovereign: Sovereignty means that the state has the freedom to do what it wants at any time. As a state, therefore, is an entity entailed to its legal rights to carry out even violence so long as it lies within the boundaries (Fromkin 133). External forces cannot control a sovereign state to run its affairs. It has population: A state exists only if it has people as the subjects. The number of people may vary from one state to another.

Nasser’s legacy

Egypt is part of the MENA region which comprises of the countries in North Africa and others in the Middle East. These regions at some time experienced political exclusion and the economic progress remained stalled with Egypt included but with Nasser a new dawn was realized.

Nasser is remembered for founding the famous Non-aligned Movement. Egypt prior to this was living in isolation but through him, it was incorporated in the Arab world. He renewed the Arab pride. Secondly, he made people own land equally from the former feudal landownership. He changed the political powers that allowed only the rich to own land. Nasser gave an upper hand by fighting for peasant farmers’ working conditions and their living standards.  Initially, women were not allowed to vote but by his efforts, they could exercise their democratic rights. Nasser is also seen as an icon for steering industrialization in Egypt (Cleveland and Bunton 320).

Causes and consequences of expanding state apparatus

According to Arab Economies in early 1970’s, a sharp increase in consumption of oil and marketing could have caused expansion of state apparatus. This aimed to create protection of the rapidly growing mammoth infrastructures.  In the Arab world, there was growing tension of civil war in the vast region leading to such expansion. On the hand, in order to manage political isolation, some nations opted for expansion of their apparatus (Islam in the Middle East; Iran and Turkey).

Expanding of state apparatus had several consequences. Those nations affiliated to socialism were abandoned as they were seen as distinct from capitalism. There was a characteristic of the enormous accumulation of wealth through oil exporting and borrowing from the United States. Though, most of the money was used to carry out doubtful projects, armies for warfare and welfare.

Consequences of Arab-Israel war on domestic and regional politics

In a keen observation, Arabs being defeated led to adversely great domestic problems.  They went against the government in power hence a revolution followed by coup led by the country’s military (Diamond 14). This led to instability; approximately 245 men, women and children were once witnessed as reported in Deir Yassin massacre (Owen 160). Lots of refugees were left starving according to a source (Ross 30).

On the other hand, King Abdullah showed willingness to take Jewish state as a payback for lost territories (Oil, Economy, and Rentier States; Jordan and Saudi Arabia). Up today, a partition that was carried out gives a setback to their politics (Fromkin 133).

Durability of authoritarianism in MENA

Authoritarianism is a regime that potentially exists and has no nearest future end. The regime has a backup of businessmen, bureaucrats and the military officers (Authoritarianism in the Middle East). These wings have an open option of carrying out a protest that can lead to declining of a leadership regime (Bellin 140). Durability depends on better ideologies and allegiance of country’s military officials (Jadallyya Egypt Editors).

Effects of democracy to economic growth

If a person has economic freedom he or she will have a free mind to plan for ideal economic development. Contrary, issuance of equal distribution of income in a very democratic government may lead to stagnant economic growth. The relationship to some extent may be curvilinear. Democracy, therefore, is not favorable to young developing economies (Zubaida 66).

Oil harm for growth, democracy and women

The Middle East countries have more oil and less democracy. Those wealthy oil dealers are stumbling blocks to democracy. They use dollars gotten from the sale of oil to entrench power. They mostly fight those in power. When a country gets more oil they do not employ women in workplaces (Ross 34). Most of the wealth garnered goes to men. Oil producing countries are spendthrift hence lack growth.

How Saudi Arabia and Jordan survived the Arab spring

Saudi Arabia just placed a ban on public demonstrations and any action that was an indication of disobedience to the laws of the land.  The Saudi people remained within the sharia laws and continue to play the ship card. Great package of salary was also given to civil servants to prevent revolts.  King Abdullah played with the minds of young people to lure them by use of housing units (Oil, Economy, and Rentier States; Jordan and Saudi Arabia).

Authoritarian regime types and characteristics

Absolute Monarchies: has a king representing part of the dynasty. He has major powers like controlling the military.

Fake Republics: here the leader is called the president. Mostly they get power by toppling existing government or even a dictator.

Religious Theocracies: this was seen in Iran. The parliament has two parts of democratical elects and Muslim scholars (Diamond 12)

Authoritarian will have:

The subjects cannot hold meetings without the knowledge of the government. They still got no freedom to move from one area to another. They seek permissions to travel to foreign countries, corrupt judiciary and the media freedom is curtailed. (Authoritarianism in the Middle East)

Causes and consequences of political Islam

The economic crisis that occurred in the Arab countries by 1928 led to retrogressive economies. The Islamic groups too faced victimization from the democrats in those Arab nations in the mid of the 20th century. The great consequences were brought by political Islam included economic uprising, massive migration of people and Arab-Israel revolts (Owen 163)

Conservative, radical and political Islam

Political Islam can be said to be currently operating in Pakistan. They disintegrate the society, make disunity and violence too. They are totally violent and they do not tolerate divergent views. Conservative ones follow the sharia laws, democratization in politics and allow voting (Islam in the Middle East; Iran and Turkey). The radical Muslim reflects the teachings of great mind Muslim leaders like the Sayyid Qutb. They can be referred to as fundamentalists/ not peaceful.

Comparison of Al-Qaeda, Muslim brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas and Daesh

Daesh which is an Islamic state together with Al Qaeda gave rise to Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood is related to the Sunni extremists in the Egyptian country. Daesh leader had links with the Muslim Brotherhood.  Hezbollah is the Shia Muslim matching with Muslim Brotherhood brutality. Both have carried out airstrikes in Europe and do not respect civil life (Islam in the Middle East; Iran and Turkey).  The Hamas which has roots in Palestine comprises of Sunni radicals, just like the rest. This is a terror group which launched successful attacks to Israel soldiers killing civilians (Zubaida 65)

Comparison of Turkey and Iran on Islam experiences

The number of people who hold an opinion on the importance of Sharia laws in Iran is higher than Turkey.  Most people in Turkey do not practice Islam. Ideally, about 27 percent of Turkish women leave their heads uncovered which is against Islamic laws, 65 percent still take alcohol (Haram) contrary to Islam (Islam in the Middle East; Iran and Turkey). Therefore, Turkish people can be described as secular.  An average Muslim in Iran prays 5 times a day and follows the law (Islam in the Middle East; Iran and Turkey).

Correlation vs. Causation

When one finds how two variables relate to one another so as to give a prediction then that is a correlation. When correlation is established then it is assumed that a change independent variable is dictated by a similar change in independent one.  A factor from outside may cause such a change (dependent).

In defining Causation, it is important to look at what is known as the cause and effect. The occurrence of a certain event may be seen as the cause of the happening of a second event. For example, it is normally said that the toppled of Saddam Hussein allowed Islamic insurgencies to thrive.

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