«Middle Eastern monarchical authoritarianism». Is this concept relevant after Arab spring?

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Post-graduate student, School of Political Science, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Affiliation: National Research University Higher School of Economics
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 9

Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) monarchies regime survival during the Arab spring of 2011-2013, resumed the discussion about «Middle Eastern monarchical authoritarianism». The literature review on MENA monarchies classifications shows that while little has been done to empower this concept in political science vocabulary, other classifications of MENA monarchies are more common in use, and prevail in publications just like parliamentary and non-parliamentary monarchies. Can this concept of the «Middle Eastern monarchical authoritarianism» be applied to MENA countries after the political destabilization of the Arab spring? The article provides the concept criteria criticism, as some of those criteria turn out to be irrelevant for some MENA monarchies in 2020.

It is argued that MENA monarchies can be classified into two different regime groups within the Arab countries. It is shown that it is more practical to distinguish MENA monarchies regimes between Middles Eastern not free monarchies and Middle Eastern partially free monarchies, as these concepts reflect political regimes’ difference inside Arab groups. The result was achieved on the basis of political freedom rates comparison for MENA monarchies between 2005-2010 and 2014-2019, taken from Freedom in the World statistics.

In the paper, it is also claimed that monarchies classification on parliamentary and non-parliamentary monarchies is also relevant when the country is regarded as parliamentary when its lower house elected body has the right to initiate laws.

Keywords«Middle Eastern monarchical authoritarianism», MENA, political regimes, Arab monarchies, Arab Spring
Publication date28.09.2020
Number of characters21981
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