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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

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
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?
arab and islamic experiences with diversity and unity
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
successful federal experiences the united arab emirates 1 context and prerequisites
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?
successful federal experiences the united arab emirates 2 characteristics
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
failed federal experiences 1 the united arab republic 1958 1961
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
failed federal experiences 2 yemeni unification 1990 1994
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
federalism and post conflict peacebuilding 1 why not lebanon but maybe the sudan
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
federalism and post conflict peacebuilding 2 why not lebanon but maybe the sudan
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
federalism and post conflict peacebuilding 3 why not lebanon but maybe the sudan
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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