Transforming the Arab World’s Protection-Racket Politics

Issue Date July 2013
Volume 24
Issue 3
Page Numbers 88-103
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In the Arab world, pact-making has proven painful and sometimes politically (if not literally) fatal. There are many reasons for this. Two particularly worth mentioning are the persistence of sharp identity conflicts in Arab societies, and the skill with which the Arab world’s “protection-racket” autocracies have played upon these tensions for so long. Where they have fallen, these autocracies have left behind a tricky dilemma: Groups that they once shielded remain significant but cannot win elections, while their rivals (who can win elections) wonder why they should make concessions to sure losers.

About the Author

Daniel Brumberg is associate professor of government and director of Democracy and Governance Studies at Georgetown University, and a senior nonresident fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).

View all work by Daniel Brumberg