The Arc of Crisis in the MENA Region volume deals with the countries of the Middle East and North Africa that are facing a particularly troubled period in their historical development. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and to a lesser extent Jordan and Tunisia have plunged into a legitimacy crisis that in some cases has turned into civil war or violent upheaval. As traditional authorities lose their legitimacy, two alternatives are emerging. The first is a more decentralized system of government, evinced by the empowerment of subnational government bodies and the growing legitimacy of local authorities; in this trend, the local authorities are able to keep the state united and more functional. The second is a growing number of political groups that act as opposition to authoritarianism, which is experiencing a revival. The analysis herein also focuses on Islamist movements; namely, their organizational and ideological development as well as how the shrinking of the political space affects them and the entire polity. This Report explores the distinctive dynamics and characteristics of these challenges in the post-Arab Spring era.
VIDEO of the Towards MED event held on October 9th, 2018 at the Atlantic Council Headquarters, Washington
Table of contents
A Renewed Arc of Crisis in the MENA Region
Preface by Frederick Kempe, Giampiero Massolo
Part I - Introduction
Karim Mezran, Arturo Varvelli
Part II - Current Trends: A Case for Decentralization?
1. From Fragmentation to Decentralization: An Overview.
Ranj Alaaldin, Karim Mezran
2. Decentralization in Tunisia: Its Utility and Competing Visions for Implementation
3. Decentralization: The Last Resort for Libya?
Karim Mezran, Erin A. Neale
4. Decentralization in the Syrian Context
Faysal Itani, Emily Burchfield
5. Iraq: From Fragmentation to (De)Centralization?
Part III - Political Opposition in the Arab World
6. Islamist-Inspired Groups After the Arab Spring
Arturo Varvelli, Silvia Carenzi
7. Mainstream Institutionalization vs Disenfranchised Radicalization in Tunisia
Stefano M. Torelli
8. What Happened to Political Islam in Libya?
9. Egyptian Islamists in the Labyrinth
Ashraf El Sherif
10. Political Islam in Jordan: A Plurality of Visions
Part IV - Energy
11. The Geopolitics of Eastern Mediterranean Energy