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Back to Parties? Partisan Logics and Transformations of Politics in the Arab World.

Abstract : Are Arab parties facing a predicament? Are they paying the price of repression and limited pluralism? Have they become obsolete to the benefit of other political groups and mobilization modes such as communities, tribes, “asabiyyat” or to the disadvantage of non governmental organizations, associations and social movements? While some predicted “the end of parties” in the region as a result of authoritarian political systems, doesn't the recent transition from the one party rule towards a fragile plural party system in many countries put again party organizations in the spotlight? Most of the time, contemporary Arab parties have little mobilizing power. Yet some are crawling out of underground activities and trying their hands at the exercise of power after years of oppositions. Others, and mainly on the Islamist arena, assert themselves as first hand mobilization structures, able in certain cases to compete with regimes in power. This introductive chapter addresses those research questions. Emphasizing new and unpublished data, it tackles holistically party life in Arab World. It approaches the decline or the revival of the parties from a long term historical perspective mainly with regard to political institutions. It focuses on the rules of party games, on the junction between “the right to politics” and “political rights”. It reveals the fine-tuning between ideological frameworks and political strategies, and raises questions about the renewal of elites, forms of militant activism, the array of parties' political activities, particularly social ones. It examines the issue of identity construction and political solidarities in the framework of the nation state, or in contradiction with it. As a final point, this chapter inquires about how party life in Arab Countries accounts for political transformations: possible democratization of regimes, forms of domination that are played out within those regimes, the emergence of the breakdown of leaderships and finally the rationale behind mobilization and collective action
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Contributor : Myriam Catusse <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 11:06:29 AM
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Myriam Catusse, Karam Karam. Back to Parties? Partisan Logics and Transformations of Politics in the Arab World.. Myriam Catusse, Karam Karam. Returning to Political Parties ? Political Party Development in the Arab Word, Presses de l'Ifpo / Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, pp.11-59, 2010, Etudes contemporaines. ⟨halshs-00553955⟩



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