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Beyond the Arab SpringThe Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East$
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Mehran Kamrava

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199384419

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199384419.001.0001

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The Arab State And Social Contestation

The Arab State And Social Contestation

(p.73) 3 The Arab State And Social Contestation
Beyond the Arab Spring

Nadine Sika

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the similarities and differences in the Arab state formation process, which led to the different political outcomes in the post-uprisings era. Through focusing on three main countries, namely Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria, it argues that the nature of the states concerned, the extent to which the regimes were able to hegemonize both civil society and political society, in addition to the historical use of the coercive apparatus against the citizens, are the most decisive factors for these different outcomes. The chapter will first shed light on the state formation process of Arab states. Second, it will analyze the economic liberalization projects initiated by Arab regimes from the 1990s onwards, and their impact on the different regimes’ ruling bargains. Third, state-society relations will be tackled in order to further our understanding of how the past two decades have led to the exclusion of large segments of Arab citizens, which led to the subsequent rise of social movements challenging the authority of the state. This chapter highlights some of the differences between the public protests taking place in three distinct countries focusing primarily on the outcomes of the uprisings.

Keywords:   Egypt, civil society, Syria, political society, Tunisia, economic liberalization, ruling bargains, state formation

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