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Political Parties in the Arab World

Continuity and Change

Edited by Francesco Cavatorta, Lise Storm

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Analyses political parties and party politics in the contemporary Arab world

The Middle East is a region notorious for political systems traditionally built around absolutist monarchs and military-dependent presidents. What is the role of political parties in such a context? How do they support or undermine such authoritarian forms of rule? What part have they played in the survival and transformation of political systems after the Arab uprisings? What are the policy preferences of party elites and how do they connect with citizens’ expectations? How do parties challenge and reflect the main social cleavages? Finally, what is the genuine significance of parties and party politics in a region struggling for some sort of democratic future? This book attempts to answer these questions through a thorough theoretical and empirical examination and analysis of the most important aspects and traits of political parties and party politics in the Arab world, exploring cases from across the region.

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Foreword: Do Arabs not do parties? An exploration and introduction; Lise Storm and Francesco Cavatorta

Part 1: Party families
Leftist parties in the Arab region before and after the Arab uprisings: unrequited love?; Valeria Resta
What are secular parties in the Arab world? Insights from Tunisia’s Nidaa Tounes and Morocco’s PAM; Anne Wolf
The institutionalisation of Islamist political parties after the uprisings; Anass El Kyak
Do Salafi parties represent a contradiction in terms? The development and fragmentation of Kuwait Salafi Islamic Group; Zoltan Pall

Part 2: International constraints
Shi’ism, national belonging and political Islam: the Hezbollah and the Islamic resistance in Lebanon; Aurélie Daher
Party politics in the Palestinian Territories; Manal Jamal
Sectarian friction and the struggle for power: party politics in Iraq post 2003; Sophie A. Edwards
Post-Qadhafi Libya: rejecting a political party system; Amir Kamel

Part 3: Societal constituents
Tribes and political parties in the contemporary Arab world: a reassessment of Yemen; Larissa Alles
In the shadows of legality: proto-parties and participatory politics in the Emirate of Kuwait; Hendrik Kraetzschmar
Transformations in the political party system in Mauritania: the case of the Union for the Republic; Raquel Ojeda-García
Women’s political inclusion and prospects for democracy in North Africa; Loes Debuysere
Why did the Egyptian and Tunisian youth activists fail to build competitive political parties?; Mohammed Yaghi

Conclusion and perspectives
Arab parties in context: lessons learned; Francesco Cavatorta and Lise Storm

List of contributors

About the Author

Francesco Cavatorta is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Université Laval, Québec, Canada. He is co-author (with Vincent Durac) of Politics and Governance in the Arab world (2015) and The International dimension of the failed Algerian transition (2009).

Lise Storm is Senior Lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter. She is author of Party Politics and Prospects for Democracy in North Africa (2013) and Democratisation in Morocco: The Political Elite and Struggles for Power in the Post-Independence State (2007).

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