World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010

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MIDDLE EAST POLITICS THRU 'POST-DEMOCRATIZATION' LENSES - 2/2: Post-democratization in Practice: Case studies (053) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: MON 19, 5.00-7.00 pm

· NOT_DEFINED institution: University of St. Andrews (UK)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Raymond Hinnebusch

· NOT_DEFINED sponsor: International Association of Middle Eastern Studies (IAMES)

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: Chair: Andre Bank, Philipps University Marburg(Germany)

Discussant: Oliver Schlumberger,University of Tuebingen

Middle East Politics thru ‘post-democratization’ lenses
Panel II: Post-democratization in Practice: Case studies
This panel discusses contemporary approaches to political rule in the Middle East that move beyond, not only the transition paradigm, but also the authoritarian resilience one which still sees democratization as only delayed; the approach instead, proposes to study the region’s political formations on their own terms and outside of any teleological preconceptions. This is one of two panels: while Panel I reviews different theoretical approaches in the post-democratization paradigm, this panel showcases case studies of the approach in practice.

Egyptian regime legitimacy and the crisis of the old order by Mark Sedgwick, argues that despite the apparent continuity in Egypt from Nasser to Mubarak, some things have been changing, and among the most important is the continuing decline in the legitimacy of the Egyptian regime. Little scholarly attention has been paid to this, however, if only because of the great difficulties involved in measuring legitimacy in authoritarian states. This article examines the case by using Oliver Schlumberger's typology of legitimacy and by reference to events which serve to reveal that which is normally invisible in regard to legitimacy decline, namely public reactions to the regime’s stances on the 2002 Jenin massacre, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and the 2008 siege of Gaza.

Regime legitimation, political liberalization and authoritarian resilience. Findings from the Moroccan Moudawana reform by Julie Pruzan-Jørgensen, looks into the dynamic interplay between processes of regime legitimation, political liberalization and resilience of authoritarian rule in the Middle East. Post-democratization studies have not demonstrated how liberalizing authoritarian regimes manage the difficult challenge of retaining their legitimacy during processes of political liberalization. The paper presents a novel approach to the study of regime legitimation by its insistence on the necessity of complementing traditional top-down analyses of regime legitimation strategies with bottom-up analyses of popular perceptions of the latter. Focusing on a specific case study, the heated political process leading to the recent and highly controversial reform of Moroccan family law, the so-called Moudawana, the paper analyses popular perceptions of Palace legitimacy.

Union for the Mediterranean. Pragmatic multilateralism and the technocratization of European-Middle Eastern relations by Peter Seeberg, observes that Nicolas Sarkozy launched on 13 July 2008 in Paris together with 43 European and Middle Eastern state leaders the new Union for the Mediterranean (UfM in an attempt to revitalize the Barcelona Process of 1995, This paper contributes to the theoretical understanding of relations between the EU and the Middle East. Drawing on a neo-institutionalist approach the article will claim that the relations between the EU and its Middle Eastern partners reflects written and unwritten rules and routines and organizational and policy structures and agendas, creating a political environment where modernization without democratization seems to be the rationale. The UfM, through its various projects (dealing with issues like de-pollution, highways, civil protection, solar power etc.), represents a tendency to de-politicize and technocratize the cooperation between the EU and its neighbours south and east of the Mediterranean.