Does the State Still Matter in the Middle East? Research Paper by Mark Lewis

Does the State Still Matter in the Middle East?
An in-depth examination of the nature and reality of the state in the Middle East.
# 107226 | 5,332 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2006 | GB
Published on Aug 30, 2008 in Political Science (Non-U.S.)

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This paper discusses whether the state in the Middle East still exists at all given the that the power and sovereign structures of the Middle East are so complicated and varied. The paper attempts to address this topic by first providing a definition of the state and then by addressing how the issues of terrorism, power structures, and the fragmented nature of regional politics and religion, impact directly upon the nation state in a way that is unfamiliar in western political processes. The paper then examines the theoretical nature and physical beginnings of the nation state itself and shows how the Middle East state is failing to even meet the basic criteria of what is expected of a functioning sovereign entity. The paper further discusses how the position of the state is continually and systematically challenged and it is therefore unsurprising that the state is imperilled and its ability to act as the sole sovereign entity over a given territory and population is impaired. The paper concludes that the Middle East must find its own avenues to pursue in order to ensure that the accountable nation state becomes the sole object of political power.

From the Paper:

"The Middle East represents probably the most complicated and disorientated collection of political power processes in the modern world. For centuries however this was not so, and the 'Muslim world' as it is so commonly and unhelpfully phrased showed advancements in science, engineering and military proficiency that dazzled its competitors. However, with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, the unitary political system that had dominated the region for centuries disintegrated into boiling antagonisms between religious and ethnic groups that colonial domination was only relatively successful in subduing. It was the natural conclusion that as colonial power began to reduce in the face of vehement movements of regional self-determination, these ancient antagonisms would be given full reign. It is the pinnacle of this process that we see in action in the modern Middle East."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ayubi, Nazih. Over-stating the Arab State: Politics and Society in the Middle East. London: I.B.Tauris, 1995.
  • Davis, Uri. Citizenship and the State. Reading: Ithaca, 1997.
  • Davis, Uri, Butenschon, Nils, Hassassian, Manuel. Citizenship and the State in the Middle East New York: Syracuse University Press, 2000.
  • Esman, Milton and Rabinovich, Itamar. Ethnicity, Pluralism, and the State in the Middle East. London: Ithaca, 1998.
  • Finkelstein, Norman. Image and Reality of the Israeli- Palestinain Conflict. London: Verso, 2001.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Does the State Still Matter in the Middle East? (2008, August 30) Retrieved January 28, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Does the State Still Matter in the Middle East?" 30 August 2008. Web. 28 January. 2022. <>