Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback23 pages Free

Arab identity is exceedingly complex, involving multiple commitments and often contradictory consciousness. Although Arabs realize that a unified Arab world is probably unrealistic, they nonetheless cling to the ideal or at least to its spirit. Arabs seem to regard their own political orders with ambivalence: The national independence for which many fought could only be created at the expense of Arab unity. Most Arabs support unity and subscribe to an uncontested system of values and norms, but are opposed to a hegemony that will systematically propagate those values. Both nationalisms and transnationalisms are important to the Arab world: A more precise understanding of the relationship between them should allow us to refine our understanding of seemingly contradictory circumstances. Unfortunately, the complex interplay of these forces means that the expansion rather than the resolution of conflict is likely to predominate.

Originally published in: Conflict Resolution in the Arab World: Selected Essays, Paul Salem, ed., American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, 1997, pp. 234-256.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.