Why did occidental modernity fail in the Arab Middle East: the failed modern state?
University College Cork
This thesis asks a straightforward but nevertheless a complex question, that is: Why did modernity fail in the Arab Middle East? The notion of modernity in this thesis signifies the occidental modernity which reached the region in many different forms and through various channels. This occidental modernity had an impact on many areas and changed the societies and politics of the region. But these changes stopped short of reaching modernity, in other words it failed to change the society from traditional to modem. The failure of the emergence of a modem society in the region has been a puzzle for those who work on the Middle East. There are plethora of theories, concepts and models attempting to demystify this puzzle. This thesis regards the emerged form of the States and the sovereign in the region as the prime cause behind this failure. The thesis advances a new way of conceptualising statehood and politics in the Middle East: the Failed Modem State (FMS). The key features of the FMS are as follows: the sovereign is the state; both modem and traditional elements are utilised by the state elites; the territory of the state is a space where roles and functions of everything changes. The main features which distinguish the FMS analysis from other analyses of the Middle East are as follows: it does not emphases' one area or aspect; it shows how both modem and traditional tools are necessary for the survival of the State; the Failed Modem State is neither modem nor traditional and resists being either. The FMS mages to reduce both modernity and traditional aspects into tools, this enables the FMS sovereigns to utilise both as instruments. Modem and traditional forces used by the FMS to balance the power, to justify acts, divide society and being able to rule it and conquer it. This makes reform and change difficult if not impossible.
Middle East , Arab Middle East , Occidental modernity
Aziz, S. 2011. Why did occidental modernity fail in the Arab Middle East: the failed modern state?. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.