Book Launch: Arab Fractures: Citizens, States, and Social Contracts


This report attempts to explore the underlying causes of the region’s turbulence. It examines the fundamental national and transnational trends playing out in the region’s human, political, and geopolitical landscapes, both horizontally and vertically–that is, the interrelationships between these trends both within countries and across them. Specifically, the analysis looks at: The Human Landscape–the changing experiences of Arab citizens amid demographic pressures, human migration, political polarization, and social activism. ; The Political Landscape–the crisis of governance across the region, the stresses upon the rentier systems, and the influence of the security sector and media on Arab politics. ; Th e Geopolitical Landscape–the collapsing regional order in the context of myriad internal and interstate conflicts, the implications of lower oil prices, and the longer-term impacts of climate change and water scarcity. The findings constitute a framework for understanding how the breakdowns within each landscape interact with each other and how various countries might begin to address them. To help illustrate how these breakdowns and trends are playing out in different settings, eight case studies are presented: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Tunisia. Although other countries could have been chosen, these bell-wethers highlight the main trends in the Arab world, as well as the disparate manner in which governments are facing them. Understanding their experiences is vital to understanding what lies on the Arab horizon.


Authors: Perry Cammack, Michele Dunne, Amr Hamzawy, Marc Lynch, Marwan Muasher, Yezid Sayigh & Maha Yahya

Publication Date: 2017

Launch Date: 6 March 2017

Location: College Hall B1 – AUB

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