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Comparative Arab Experiences with Federalism PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Comparative Arab Experiences with Federalism. Democratic Federalism – An Intensive Course offered to Iraqi University Faculty by the Forum of Federations – Amman, June 18 to July 5, 2007. Outline. Arab and Islamic experiences with diversity and unity

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Comparative Arab Experiences with Federalism

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Comparative arab experiences with federalism l.jpg

Comparative Arab Experiences with Federalism

Democratic Federalism – An Intensive Course offered to Iraqi University Faculty by the Forum of Federations – Amman, June 18 to July 5, 2007


Outline l.jpg

Outline

  • Arab and Islamic experiences with diversity and unity

  • Successful federal experiences: The United Arab Emirates

  • Failed “federal” experiences: The United Arab Republic and the Yemeni unification process

  • Federalism and post-conflict peacebuilding: Why not Lebanon but (maybe) the Sudan?


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Arab and Islamic experiences with diversity and unity

  • Diversity in the Arab World:

    • Sources of diversity: ethnicity, language, and religion

    • Historical expressions of diversity

      • Provinces, governorates under the various Arab/Islamic empires

      • The millet system under the Ottoman empire

  • Unity in the Arab World:

    • The concept of the Umma

    • Arab nationalism – al qawmiyya al `arabiyya


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Successful federal experiences : The United Arab Emirates(1) Context and Prerequisites

  • A history of past cooperation – The Trucial States (from 1820-1892 to 1971)

  • A hostile regional environment – federalism as a bulwark against strong neighbours

  • Extensive border disputes – federalism as a mechanism of conflict-management

  • Extremely diverse units – asymmetrical federalism?


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Successful federal experiences : The United Arab Emirates(2) Characteristics

  • A flexible and creatively ambiguous constitution

  • A founding (and renewed) compromise between wahdawis and ittihadis

  • A social compact based on rentierism

  • Supportive institutional structures


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Failed “federal” experiences : (1)The United Arab Republic (1958-1961)

  • Context and prerequisites

    • Two competing visions: one quasi-federal, the other unitary

      • A union of equal partners: Coming together and staying apart

        • Domestic political struggles in Syria: Baathists vs. Communists

      • A consecration of Arab unity: Melding together

        • The aura of Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasser and the weight of Egypt

        • Plebiscite and the ratification of the Union

  • Characteristics

    • An unstable bipolar arrangement

      • No geographic contiguity

      • High asymmetry in size and capacity

    • Authoritarianism at the center

      • Egyptian dominance of political life and of the Syrian administration


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Failed “federal” experiences: (2) Yemeni unification (1990-1994)

  • Context and prerequisites

    • The end of the Cold War

    • The discovery of oil and natural gas in the contested border area between North and South Yemen

    • but ... the decision to back Iraq in its invasion of Kuwait

  • Characteristics

    • Two widely divergent systems


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Federalism and post-conflict peacebuilding (1):Why not Lebanon but (maybe) the Sudan?

  • Lebanon

    • Regions, what regions?

      • An extremely intermingled country – 17 minorities none of which (with the exception of the Druze community) is geographically concentrated

      • A logic of economic and administrative centralization – the overwhelming dominance of Greater Beirut

    • A problem of trust

      • A divided identity in a troubled regional context –The National Pact of 1943

      • Unity vs. diversity: Federal proposals and majoritarian democracy

    • An existing alternative:

      • A history of consociational powersharing


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Federalism and post-conflict peacebuilding (2):Why not Lebanon but (maybe) the Sudan?

  • Sudan

    • An extremely complex Comprehensive Peace Agreement

      • Building trust

        • Through institutions: Proportional division of power at the center

        • Overnight: A relatively short transitional period – 6 years from 2005 to the scheduled 2011 referendum with a 2009 democratic election deadline

      • Building capacity under duress: The creation of a new large region (Government of South Sudan)

    • A gap between the text of the CPA and the practice of the Government of National Unity under the stewardship of the ruling National Congress Party

      • Unity over diversity:

        • Concentration of power and decision-making responsibility in the Presidency – rule by decree

      • A breach of trust

        • Pairing agreement in the attribution of ministries is not respected

        • Only 40 SPLM/A members in the GNU

        • No meaningful inclusion of SPLM/A in the civil service and other national institutions


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Federalism and post-conflict peacebuilding (3):Why not Lebanon but (maybe) the Sudan?

  • Sudan

    • Serious flashpoints

      • The Abyei problem

      • The management of oil

    • Complicated by internal and external factors

      • Internal factors

        • The lack of NCP political will

        • The lack of SPLM/A capacity

        • The death of John Garang

      • External factors

        • The Ugandan LRA and the security situation in South Sudan

        • Chad and the support to Darfur rebels


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