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The Return of the Military in Arab States

10 hour course by Yezid Sayigh (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

  • Schedule: 4-8 July (16:00-18:00). Venue: Blanquerna
  • Format: Hybrid

The political role and importance of national armed forces is growing across the Arab region in a manner not seen since the period of multiple military interventions in the 1950s and 1960s. The trend is especially noticeable in Arab republics, especially those with pronounced authoritarian legacies, although the armed forces have also emerged as the primary means of state consolidation and power projection in several Arab monarchies. The drivers, trajectories, and outcomes of this revival of military politics are shaped by four principal factors: the nature of relations between the armed forces and the head of state; internal dynamics within the armed forces and within the state’s overall coercive apparatus (including internal security and intelligence agencies); the degree of empowerment and autonomy or marginalization of the private sector and the position of the armed forces in the generation of capital; and the ability of these various state actors to leverage foreign support. In all cases, the rise of military politics takes place in the context of financial crises and the far-reaching transitions they generate in the social and political alliances on which ruling regimes have previously relied.