Why has the Arab world suffered such a concentration of permanent presidential government? Though post-Soviet Central Asia has also known monarchical presidencies, Owen argues that a significant reason is the "Arab demonstration effect," whereby close ties across the Arab world have enabled ruling families to share management strategies and assistance. But this effect also explains why these presidencies all came under the same pressure to reform or go. Owen discusses the huge popular opposition the presidential systems engendered during the Arab Spring, and the political change that ensued, while also delineating the challenges the Arab revolutions face across the Middle East and North Africa.
Roger Owen is currently the A.J.Meyer Professor of Middle East History at Harvard University and a former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the same university. He previously taught Middle East political and economic history at Oxford University where he was also many times the Director of the St Antony's College Middle East Centre. His books include Cotton and the Egyptian Economy , The Middle East in the World Economy: 1800-1914, State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East, and a biography of Evelyn Baring, the first Lord Cromer, Lord Cromer; Victorian Imperialist, Edwardian Proconsul. He is also the co-author (with Sevket Pamuk) of A History of the Middle East Economies in the Twentieth Century.
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