ps121lec7authoritarian

ps121lec7authoritarian - 1 PS121Lecture7 Comparing the...

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1 PS121Lecture7 Comparing the Regimes (1) 1. General Considerations 2. Authoritarian-Dynastic, Benevolent: Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates 3. Authoritarian-Dynastic: Saudi Arabia The Three Dynasties 1764-1816; 1821- 1890s; 1902-- Modern Kingdom founded by Ibn Saud. Consolidated 1932 after years of tribal warfare, especially against Hashemites and Ikhwan, but also others. In effect it is a confederation of tribes in which the Saudi family (7,000 princes) rules. Current ruler: King Abdallah. Their Alliance with Wahhabism
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2 Problems of succession in the absence of primogeniture or Salic Law Economic Problems The Encounter with the West and the Islamist Response How Likely is Change?
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3 All the regimes we are classifying as authoritarian or totalitarian are by definition non-democratic, that is, none of them has a government that rests on popular consent expressed in free, competitive elections and a guarantee of the basic rights essential to modern democracy. But they are not exactly alike and they vary in the type of authority they exhibit and the degree of personal freedom they allow. Several have experimented with democratization, notably Algeria, where the experiment was aborted a decade ago, and some have lately introduced some reforms which are democratic in tendency. Bahrain and Qatar, for example, have started to allow women to vote and to hold serious elections for representatives to their parliaments—which, however, have only a very limited role in government. So bear in mind that we are dealing with political systems that are in flux and vary considerably. Could the experiments in democratization foreshadow major transformations? Evidence elsewhere supports the view that there is now in process throughout the world a long-term evolution from earlier forms of government based on rule by one or a few to more popular forms of government. This change is accompanied by, and to some extent created by, a complex set of factors that include wider education, economic growth, and technological change. It may be reasonable to think that the authoritarian or totalitarian regimes of the Middle East resemble those of Europe at an earlier period before the transition that has now all but been completed there. Until fairly recently, most European regimes were also either monarchical or otherwise authoritarian, including Spain, Portugal, and Yugoslavia, for example. Some in the twentieth century were totalitarian or near-totalitarian, e.g., Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union and its satellites. There are differences between Europe and the Middle that should also be noted, however. 1. Tribalism and ethnic antagonisms. In the Middle East, as also in sub- Saharan Africa, tribes remain a prominent feature of the social structure, along with other strong kinship or ethnic groupings. The hierarchical character of the tribes and the sub-group loyalties promoted by both tribes and ethnic groupings pose serious barriers to national assimilation—a necessity if all members of the
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ps121lec7authoritarian - 1 PS121Lecture7 Comparing the...

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