Dilemmas of late formation : international system and state survival in the Middle East : case studies : Saudi Arabia and Iraq
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This thesis is a theory-proposing and theory-testing study that examines the conditions of state survival in the Middle East. In contrast to the predominant Political Culture and Political Economy approaches, which focus on domestic factors to account for state survival in the Middle East, this thesis suggests that, more than the individual characteristics of states themselves, state survival in that region is a function of the anarchic state system. This thesis examines states as a ‘process’ situating them in time and place. It shows that Middle Eastern states are at once in the early phases of state formation as well as late comers to the international state system. This ontological status contributes to the vulnerability of these states to systematic forces, which in turn shapes their internal development. A major dilemma facing the late-forming state is between regime survival and political incorporation. The first part of this thesis examines the literatures on the state, the Middle East state, and state survival. The second part proposes a Historical Structuralism model and then examines the ontology of the state in the Middle East, specifying the conditions and variables of state survival. The third part presents an empirical examination of the cases of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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