Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life Hardcover – May 25, 2012
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
An accessible yet comprehensive review of the political history of the modern Middle East, made all the more relevant by the convulsions of the past year. Owen's dismantling of the "Arab exceptionalism" argument, which has formed the basis of so many accounts of authoritarian power in the region, is historically and sociologically persuasive. He successfully explains how countries with very different histories have nonetheless produced political systems with such strong resemblances. Thoughtful, full of nuance, and mercifully free of jargon, Owen's writing carries the reader along at a terrific pace, providing both the grand sweep of history and the focused perspicacity of political analysis. (Charles Tripp, author of The History of Iraq)
Timely...Owen reveals how the Arab Spring demonstrates the inherent contradictions and weaknesses in the regimes, showing how their creation (and fall) resulted from modern political and economic circumstances...This comprehensive and balanced history illuminates the current upheaval. (Publishers Weekly 2012-01-30)
No other book solely addresses this topic or examines it with the same scope or historical depth. Highly recommended for anyone interested in current foreign affairs or the history and future of modern Arab states. (Leslie Lewis Library Journal 2012-04-01)
A thoughtful and incisive evaluation of Arab political authoritarianism in all its components. Owen points out the many ways in which Arab Presidents and Kings imitated one another, with Presidential sons following--or attempting to follow--their fathers, and all relying on extensive security services and webs of patronage. His analysis of the personalization of power challenges recent efforts to distinguish Arab monarchies from their Presidential counterparts, and lays bare the internal logic of such personalized security states. As an historian, Owen is sensitive, and admirably transparent, about the limits of our knowledge about the inner workings of these regimes. But his brief discussions of each country effectively convey both the commonalities and differences across the cases. Owen's highly readable book serves as a fitting requiem for a system of rule which long seemed immovable, has now been exposed in all of its flawed brutality, but seems likely to adapt to new structural conditions rather than simply fade away. (Marc Lynch Foreign Policy 2012-05-16)
Events have enhanced its timeliness, as it is a kind of obituary for the "monarchical presidencies" of the Arab world. The book looks at the local differences and underlying similarities between the region's leaders...Owen's book provides a sharp look at the tyrannies the Arab spring is attempting to sweep away. (The Economist 2012-08-04)
Owen suggests that like Mafia dons, Arab presidents for life observed one another and learned from one another's experiences and argues that the Arab League has provided a loose supportive framework for their ambitions. Although the shadows of monarchical presidents will be cast long into the future, Owen is confident that the uprisings have brought their era to an end. (John Waterbury Foreign Affairs 2012-09-01)
Owen, one of the world's leading historians of the modern Middle East, examines the specific historical reasons that led to the rise of the authoritarian presidents in the post colonial era, but his real interest is how these individuals institutionalized power to become, in practice, dynastic monarchs...Among the host of issues Owen raises, of particular interest are why some Arab countries have gone this route and others not, similarities and differences between kings and presidents, the different kinds of dynastic presidents, comparative succession practices, and the question of Arab exceptionalism vis-a-vis other regions, such as central Africa or post-Soviet central Asia. His meditations on what to expect in the immediate future are judicious, insightful, and wise. This very timely book serves almost as a textbook on recent and current Arab politics. (J. P. Dunn Choice 2012-12-01)
In charting with care the rise of Arab presidents for life, Roger Owen has pioneered a new strand in the academic debate on authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa.
(Hugh Roberts London Review of Books 2013-09-12)
About the Author
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
Arab monarchies run in similar fashion, the major difference being the problem of succession. This is treated as a bit of an embarrassment for these self-proclaimed republics as often it is the leader's son (Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Yemen) who is being groomed for the post. In the case of Algeria's Bouteflika, still in control and with no male heirs, the question at hand is whether a Cuban solution of passing on the role to one of the President's brothers for the post will take place.Read more ›