HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for…
Loading...

The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life

by Roger Owen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
171587,099 (3.5)None

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

I decided to read this book after reading an excellent piece by Hugh Roberts in the LRB (here: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n17/hugh-roberts/the-revolution-that-wasnt) that reviews it along with 3 other books about Egypt. Roberts offered measured praise for Owen's book and I certainly concur with his take: "his book relaunches that debate rather than closing it."

Very briefly, here are the strengths and weaknesses of the book for me.

Strengths: Owen brings a freshness of approach to this subject matter. The consideration of this phenomenon in parallel fashion across multiple Arab countries is illuminating and helpful. As well, he writes with a certain clarity and directness that at times is quite refreshing. It seems like a book that could be very helpful to the non-expert, but it holds up as credible for someone who has studied the region as well.

Weaknesses: I find some of his political-theory categories a little too neat and closed, and less illuminating the more one considers them. I think the book is open to a critique that might deconstruct some of the differences in kind that he ascribes to these leaders. I think that in general I prefer writers with a little more writerly art and definitely more philosophical rigour (and perhaps a little more psychological insight as well). Basically I feel that he is better at organizing available information about these leaders and reporting it than at theorizing about them.

Glad I read this book and I look forward to reading the others reviewed by Roberts, as I try to get to grips, like many of us. with the Arab Spring and everything that has followed from it. ( )
  jrcovey | Oct 2, 2013 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674065832, Hardcover)

The monarchical presidential regimes that prevailed in the Arab world for so long looked as though they would last indefinitely—until events in Tunisia and Egypt made clear their time was up. The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life exposes for the first time the origins and dynamics of a governmental system that largely defined the Arab Middle East in the twentieth century.

Presidents who rule for life have been a feature of the Arab world since independence. In the 1980s their regimes increasingly resembled monarchies as presidents took up residence in palaces and made every effort to ensure their sons would succeed them. Roger Owen explores the main features of the prototypical Arab monarchical regime: its household; its inner circle of corrupt cronies; and its attempts to create a popular legitimacy based on economic success, a manipulated constitution, managed elections, and information suppression.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:21 -0400)

The monarchical presidential regimes that prevailed in the Arab world for so long looked as though they would last indefinitely.until events in Tunisia and Egypt made clear their time was up. This book exposes for the first time the origins and dynamics of a governmental system that largely defined the Arab Middle East in the 20th century.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.5)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5 1
4
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,448,234 books! | Top bar: Always visible