• A
  • A
  • A
  • АБВ
  • АБВ
  • АБВ
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Обычная версия сайта

Арабский мир после Арабской весны

Лаборатория мониторинга рисков социально-политической дестабилизации ЦФИ опубликовала новый выпуск "Системного мониторинга", посвященный странам арабского мира

Обложка Коротаев А.В., Исаев  Л.М., Шишкина А.Р. Системный мониторинг глобальных и региональных рисков: Арабский мир после Арабской весны

Данный мониторинг является первым изданием, предлагающим вниманию читателя комплексный системный анализ социально-политических потрясений во всех арабских государствах, так или иначе затронутых событиями Арабской весны. В рамках данной работы детально проанализированы предпосылки народных волнений, основные акторы и движущие силы, описан ход развития событий и обозначены основные последствия, к которым привели перемены в регионе Ближнего Востока и Северной Африки. Авторами мониторинга осуществлена попытка представить полную и исчерпывающую картину событий, произошедших в 2011 г. на всем арабоязычном пространстве от Мавритании до Ирака, с целью формирования у читателя комплексного восприятия так называемого феномена Арабской весны.
Авторы надеются, что данный выпуск мониторинга будет полезен как специалистам, так и широкому кругу читателей, интересующихся современными тенденциями и рисками развития Мир-Системы в целом, и в особенности Ближнего Востока и Северной Африки.

System Monitoring of the Global and Regional Risks: Arab World after the Arab Spring /Ed. by Andrey Korotayev, Leonid Issaev, and Alisa Shishkina. Moscow: URSS, 2013.
System Monitoring of Global and Regional Risks started as a project in 2007 in the framework of the Center for Civilizational and Regional Studies (CCRS) of the Institute for African Studies. The aim of the project is to analyze and forecast trends and risks for the world and particular civilizational macro-regions and the development of recommendations for managing risks and optimizing scenarios of global and regional progress.
The third bulletin of Systemic Risks’ Monitoring (System Monitoring of Global and Regional Risks: Arab Spring 2011[Коротаев, Зинькина, Ходунов 2012]) focused on the Near and Middle East, and the Arab Spring events, in particular. The authors considered them as a typical example of the previously described phenomenon labeled as a “trap at the escape from the trap” (Korotayev et al. 2011; Korotayev, Zinkina 2011). This phenomenon has been suggested as a possible major source of sociopolitical destabilization in the periphery of the modern World System At the same time, the Monitoring also presents some alternative approaches to the study of the Arab Spring.
System Monitoring of Global and Regional Risks: the Arab world after the Arab Spring is an attempt to systematize analytical information on all the Arab Spring countries, from Bahrain to Mauritania. The Monitoring has collected data on the preconditions, main actors and consequences of the social and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.
Social and political upheavals of 2011 which became widely known as the “Arab Spring” affected almost all the Arab countries. They had a significant impact on the reformatting of the spectrum of further political development, or altogether radically changed the existing political systems in the region. In general, events that engulfed the Arab world in 2011 are a rather rare phenomenon, which have been called in the literature “a wave of revolutions”. Similar phenomena were observed in the mid 19th century in the period of so-called “Spring of Nations”, or in the late 1980s during the collapse of the Communist Bloc.
First of all, we should point out states where the “revolution wave” led to a change of political regimes -- such as regimes of Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak, in Egypt and Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya.
In these countries a decisive role was played by the presence of intra-elite conflicts that were observed in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. As for Tunisia (Chapter XVII), there was a confrontation between army and secret services on which Ben Ali relied, and the number of whose personnel during his reign exceeded size of the army personnel almost four times. This, in turn, disrupted traditional for the Arab world balance of power and distanced army from the government. This may explain such a rapid repudiation of the president and the military's refusal to support him. Unrest in Tunisia triggered the mass protests that engulfed almost the entire Arab world.
In the case of Egypt (Chapter III) there was also a clearly visible conflict between military elite and economic elite (that was grouping around President Mubarak’s son Gamal), which, in turn, led to intensification of conflicts between Egyptian generals and Gamal Mubarak’s associates (most of them were Ministers or deputies in the Arab Republic of Egypt). Egyptian protesters’ slogans clearly showed that the main reason for the explosion of discontent with the regime of President Mubarak was political, but not social. The Egyptian revolution was originally liberal-democratic and the protests were initiated by young representatives of the middle class which was rapidly gaining strength in recent years.
The Libyan scenario (Chapter IX) is not an exception either. First of all, Libya had an inter-tribal conflict, especially between the tribes of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. Muammar al-Qaddafi’s rule displeased tribes of Cyrenaica who believed that they were deprived of adequate political participation possibilities, especially taking into account the fact that the location of major oil fields in Libya is in the eastern part of the country. On the other hand, Libya experienced unprecedented emergency measures on the part of the UN Security Council and the Arab League which facilitated an open military intervention by NATO into the Libyan conflict and the subsequent complete destabilization of the situation in the former Jamahiriya.
It should be noted that, in contrast with the above mentioned states, in the case of Syria and Bahrain there is no basis for serious intra-elite conflict, which has been confirmed by the Arab Spring. Throughout 2011 year the ruling Syrian regime (Chapter XV) demonstrated a high degree of consolidation, as well as support from the internal (“systemic”) Syrian opposition organizations, army and diplomatic corps.
The protracted nature of Syrian conflict is determined primarily by the presence of external factors, as well as a high degree of consolidation of society against foreign intervention threats. The escalation of terrorist activities in the country and continuing tense foreign policy situation can lead to a full-scale civil war.
In the case of Bahrain (Chapter II) we also have no reasons to talk about the split among the top elites, because the entire political elite consists exclusively of members of the ruling al-Khalifa house. Thereby, there was a confrontation between the Sunni minority in power and the Shiite majority incapable of political participation.
The events in Yemen (Chapter VI) developed according to quite an unusual scenario, primarily because of the tribal elements of Yemeni society. In this country one could observe a stalemate in which the regime was unable to suppress the activity of protesters, and the latter failed to overthrow the regime: thus, the sons of Ali Abdullah Saleh still occupy key positions in the state.
Another group of Arab Republics influenced by the Arab Spring (Lebanon, Algeria, Iraq, Sudan, Mauritania and the Palestinian Autonomy) developed a sort of “immunity” toward this wave of sociopolitical destabilization. In those countries protests were not so extensive, they broke out from time to time, quickly faded away and led only to “cosmetic” reforms of their political systems.
The main demands of the protesters in Lebanon (Chapter VIII) were political. They were connected with the conflict between Hezbollah and the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (investigating the assassination of the former Prime Minister), with the need to disarm Hezbollah, and as well with the need for radical political reforms related to the transition from the rather “archaic” Lebanese confessional political system to a more “modern” one.
A similar situation was observed in Algeria (Chapter I), with the only significant difference being that the social and political turmoil there was caused first of all by socio-economic factors. In this case, they were provoked by rising food prices (especially oil, sugar and flour) in the country at the beginning of January 2011 (caused finally by the second global wave of agflation). A bloody civil war in Algeria ended just a few years ago. It affected almost every Algerian family and is still fresh in the memories of people. This has contributed to the “burning-out of combustible materials” of protest activity in this country. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika turned out to be less vulnerable than the heads of other Arab republics, since he has no children, and, respectively, no possibility to make them his successors in Algeria. In addition, the relative financial, economic and migration closedness of Algeria also played an important role in maintaining social and political stability in the country.
As regards Iraq (Chapter V), sociopolitical protests that emerged there as a reaction to the events in Tunisia and Egypt did not lead either to a major transformation of the country’s political system. Obviously, in today's realities of political and economic development of Iraq the main themes of discontent were related to the infrastructure development, security system, and high level of corruption. However, a risk of country’s involvement into a large-scale Middle Eastern war still remains, as Iraq suffers directly from the conflict in Syria.
Sudan was touched by the social and political upheavals only tangentially, largely due to the question of South Sudan independence being long time on the agenda. In this regard the factor of Islamist political participation is important: Islam in Sudan is not taken out of politics and has a serious impact on the current President Omar al-Bashir’s policy. Most likely, in Sudan, as it has been many times before, we should expect the next democratic revolution, in which the traditional parties will come to power again.
Palestine (Chapter XIII) is among the countries where the protests were insignificant and did not have a serious impact on the political situation. During their protests Palestinians demanded resolution of the conflict with Israel, reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, and the assertion of Palestine independence.
Mauritania (Chapter X) was also partially affected by the events of Arab Spring mostly due to its being in the periphery of the Arab World, and because of its rather weakly modernized sociopolitical and economic system. On the one hand, the events in neighboring Morocco produced a significant impetus to the development of protest movement in Mauritania; on the other hand, there was an apparent lack of attention from the international media together with weak expansion of the Internet in the country.
In comparison with republican regimes, monarchies displayed a high level of firmness in the social and political upheavals of 2011. A particular attention should be paid to the constitutional monarchies -- such as Jordan and Morocco. However, the degree of their strength is largely determined by the presence of a sort of “sacred halo” around the both monarchs. In general, protests in monarchical Arab states -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan and Morocco -- demonstrated that they were not directed against the ruling regimes. The legitimacy of the monarchies is constitutionally enshrined and based on historical traditions. In recent years, the Arab monarchies consistently implemented political reforms However, they were not sufficient, so the participants of the protest movements insisted on the continuation of political reforms.
The King of Morocco (Chapter XI) and his entourage managed to reform the regime and thus to avoid the explosion of social activity during the Arab Spring. Protesters in 2011 demanded justice; at the same time they were not willing to overthrow the monarch. The fact is that Mohammed VI enjoys the confidence of the general public, and after 12 years of his reign, the Moroccans have not become “tired” of him yet.
In Jordan (Chapter IV) and Bahrain (Chapter II) parliamentary opposition requested the formation of a government based on the results of parliamentary elections and appointment the head of the winning party as a Prime Minister Unrest in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was the result of contradictory and inconsistent policies of King Abdullah II in political and economic sphere.
Stability of monarchies could be explain by the fact that monarch has more opportunities for concessions to the opposition in the critical situation, because if one or another Arab monarch agrees to limit his powers, he still remains a central part of the political system, while the president in this case undergoes the risk of a total loss of power.
As for Bahrain, with a high degree of politicization of its society, opposition demonstrations were well-organized and extensive there. Bahraini opposition has long experience of confrontation with the government, which is reflected in the specifics of the situation in this country. The authorities were taking steps to partially meet the demands of the opposition, but at the same time, opposition from time to time held protests, insisting on full satisfaction of its demands In spite of the various obstacles to the change of the political system, the described above trends indicate its serious transformation and even a possible transition to a constitutional monarchy.
In Kuwait (Chapter VII) opposition, supported by mass demonstrations of young people, demanded and obtained the resignation of Prime Minister who was accused of corruption. Protests in Kuwait did not aim to overthrow the existing order.
In Oman (Chapter XII) the basic demands of opposition were of economic nature, and the opposition tended to try to cooperatt with the Sultan. Protests in Oman started under the influence of events in other Arab countries -- such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and neighboring Bahrain However, in the Sultanate any well-organized opposition for the time being does not exist, therefore the authorities were able to take control over the events in a relatively fast an effective way.
Saudi Arabia (Chapter XIV) experienced a multifaceted impact of the protest movements in the Arab region. These events in 2011 forced the Saudi leadership to act to preserve the country's role in the regional arena Saudi monarch announced the establishment of a conditional dialogue and cooperation between the government and the opposition “liberals”, generally ignoring their demands.
At the same time, it should be noted that not all the Arab states were covered by the protests. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates mostly avoided significant shocks related to mass protests[1]. Those Gulf monarchies have not reached a sufficiently high level of politicization of their population; political opposition has not emerged yet; in addition, they do not have experience of parliamentary activities. They have not established any elected parliaments (first elections in Qatar are to be held in 2013). In addition, in those states power tightly controls all manifestations of discontent, using both punitive sanctions and measures of economic and social nature (let alone the opportunities that the very high levels of per capita GDP provide for authorities to prevent possible protests through the increase in the population well-being).
In this way, according to the classification of political systems in developing countries proposed by Jean Blondel (1981), authoritarian regimes in the Arab world could be divided into conservative (monarchist) and progressive (Republican) Demands for democratic change have acquired different forms in states with monarchic and republican systems. In monarchies they tended to be reduced to the demands of the resignation of government, reforms of electoral system, limitation of the role of monarchs in the formation of the executive power, but they did not affect the essence of the monarchy. In republics the demands for democratization tended to lead not only to unrest, but also to the violent regime change.