The Politics of Social Change in the Middle East and North Africa

by Manfred Halpern

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An attempt to analyze the cause and character of a profound revolution taking place from Morocco to Pakistan. This Report examines the forces, groups, ideas, and institutions now in motion and estimates the direction which politics may take in the future in the area. While the transformation here under study embraces both the pervasive nationalist revolution and the ensuing "revolution of rising expectations," its sources and ramifications are broader and run deeper than nationalism and its discontents: (1) a way of life 1300 years old is being destroyed by challenges for which it was almost entirely unprepared; (2) a social system with new values is taking the place of traditional society; (3) a different range of ideological choices has opened up for a new kind of elite; (4) new political instruments are at the elite's disposal; (5) the fact that new men are using new means to attain new ends in their attempts to deal with the politics of social change entails widespread revolutionary consequences.

Table of Contents

  • Part I

    The Legacy of the Past and the Claims of the Present

  • Chapter 1

    The Inheritance of the Islamic Community

  • Chapter 2

    The Challenge of the Modern Age to Islam

  • Part II

    The Changing Structure of Society

  • Chapter 3

    Kings, Landlords, and the Traditional Bourgeoisie: The Declining Elite

  • Chapter 4

    The New Middle Class as the Principal Revolutionary and Stabilizing Force

  • Chapter 5

    Peasants: The Silent Majority at the Threshold of Politics

  • Chapter 6

    Workers: The Growing Tide of the Unskilled and Unemployed

  • Part III

    The Range of Political Choices

  • Chapter 7

    Amending the Past: Reformist Islam

  • Chapter 8

    Resurrecting the Past: Neo-Islamic Totalitarianism

  • Chapter 9

    Toward a New Age of Certainty: Communist Totalitarianism

  • Chapter 10

    From Unorganized Insecurity to Organized Insecurity: Nationalism

  • Chapter 11

    Transforming the Present: The Quest for Freedom and Authority

  • Chapter 12

    Transforming the Present: Socialism for the Few, for the Many, or for the Aggrandizement of the State?

  • Part IV

    Instruments of Political Modernization

  • Chapter 13

    The Army

  • Chapter 14

    Political Parties

  • Chapter 15

    Trade Unions

  • Chapter 16

    The Civil Bureaucracy

  • Part V

    The Cost and Consequences of Middle Eastern Choices Domestically, Regionally, and Internationally

  • Chapter 17

    The Price of Political Stability

  • Chapter 18

    Regional Rivalry and the Prospects for Unity

  • Chapter 19

    The International Orientation of the Middle East

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