Nonresident Senior Fellow Ellen Lust: “The Decline and Fall of the Arab State”

In the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) journal Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, POMED Nonresident Senior Fellow Ellen Lust and Ariel I. Ahram analyze the decline and fall of the Arab state.

The Arab struggle has taken place in a wider global context in which notions of statehood and sovereignty have changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Domestic battles may have triggered the sudden collapse of Arab states, but changes at the regional and international levels created permissive conditions for political-opposition movements to destabilise existing states, manoeuvre toward statehood and potentially challenge the state system. Structural change at the global level made dramatic realignment at the state and regional levels possible. Instability and uncertainty in the institutional rules of sovereignty affected the ways in which Arab states could respond to internal challengers, simultaneously hamstringing existing Arab states and emboldening their opposition.

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