Dialogues in Arab Politics by Michael Barnett

By Michael Barnett

For many years, Arab states and societies were keen on an ongoing clash over the targets and norms of Arabism. during this complete research, Michael Barnett explores the relationships among Arab identification, the that means of Arabism, and wanted local order within the heart East from 1920 to the current, concentrating on Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Barnett examines the nation approach in 4 particular time frames: the mandate interval to the institution of the League of Arab States in 1945; 1945 throughout the Baghdad Pact of 1955; the Suez conflict during the 1967 battle; and 1967 throughout the Gulf battle. inside every one of those time frames, the Arab states' courting to unification, the West, and war of words with Zionism are addressed. Does Arab solidarity depend upon aside from Western impacts? Can an Arab country be right away Islamic and democratic? Why cannot the Arab states agree on a typical govt? Barnett argues that the Arab states' symbolic and strategic interactions have been accountable for the changes within the norms of Arabism, and finally, the fragamentation that at present defines the sector.

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Different strands of sociological and anthropological theory observe that capital (sometimes referred to as resources) can take different forms—symbolic, economic, political, and cultural—that are acquired by the actor’s activities in different networks that generate social status and material rewards. 30 These different forms of capital can be exchanged for one another. html (8 of 27) [7/29/2004 3:32:33 PM] Dialogues in Arab Politics: The Game of Arab Politics objectives. Arab leaders pursued a strategy of symbolic accumulation in part to advance or protect their domestic political situation.

Therefore actors will abide by social norms for a host of reasons—including self-interest and self-image—but in either case their desire to be viewed as moral creatures, to be operating according to society’s standards, will shape their behavior. 24 This understanding of society—that actors stand distant from their social roles and can manipulate them for ulterior purposes, though for reasons of self-interest and self-image are prone to act according to society’s normative expectations—is a cornerstone of my approach to Arab politics and provides theoretical leverage in regard to how Arab states are likely to handle and conduct themselves on the public stage.

As Walid Khalidi has observed, “Raison d’état no less than raison de la révolution can invoke raison de la nation, while even raison de la status quo can invoke both these latter. ” 19 An Arab state that attempted to claim a sovereign prerogative when it sought a strategic alliance with the West was quickly reminded by other Arab states that such an alliance was a public and not a private matter because it concerned the Arab nation. Most famously, an Arab nationalism that demanded territorial unification represented a direct challenge to the sovereign authority and territorial basis of Arab states.

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