Presentation on theme: "The Party’s Over: Regime Breakdown & the Durability of Fragmented Political Systems in the Middle East Payam Mohseni, Ph.D. Harvard University."— Presentation transcript:
The Party’s Over: Regime Breakdown & the Durability of Fragmented Political Systems in the Middle East Payam Mohseni, Ph.D. Harvard University
Arab Uprisings 2011: Cases of Regime Breakdown or Survival Crisis Tunisia Egypt Yemen Syria Resilient Cases: Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq…
Theories of Authoritarian Durability: The Political Party elite cooptation, power-sharing, and patronage elite conflict resolution and the strengthening of elite cohesion elongation of institutional time horizons for party members due to rules of appointment and succession These mechanisms hold true even under periods of economic crisis and popular opposition Parties enhance organizational power and mobilizational capacity of the state itself—and, hence, the regime’s ability to repress Samuel Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies, 1968 Mechanisms
Jason Brownlee, Authoritarianism in the Age of Democracy, 2007 Egypt Durable Regime Stable political party Iran Fragile Regime Factionalism
Iran 2009: Green Movement The puzzle of regime survival given these theories
Theoretical Argument The new media has altered survival dynamics of political regimes The impact of the complex and fragmented structure of fragmented party regimes: 1. Difficult to create unified coalition because of an absence of a single center of gravity 2. More adaptive to integrate and divide opposition Note: Not an overarching explanation but an emphasis on an overlooked variable (e.g. monarchy, oil, repression…)
The New Media Cell phones, satellite TV, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter… Easier to instigate public reaction and outrage Easier to mobilize opposition According to Marc Lynch, the new media has: 1. Increased state’s cost of repression 2. Challenged state’s monopoly of public sphere 3. Attracted international attention to the movements and states New and more advanced regime threat
“ ” If over a period of time an organization has developed a set of responses for effectively dealing with one type of problem, and if it is then confronted with an entirely different type of problem requiring a different response, the organization may well be a victim of its past successes and be unable to adjust to the new challenges. Huntington, 1968 Institutionalization vs. Adaptation (party structure & hierarchy)
Figure 1. Power Structures in Hegemonic and Fragmented Party Regimes This figure is based on the “Structures of Contestation” Figure in Ellen Lust-Okar, Structuring Conflict in the Arab World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005: 39.
Complexity & Adaptation The importance of elections – fluctuation of power Complex institutional and power relations: multiple pillars Adaptation: absorb shock and crisis Theories of ‘elite splits’ or ‘opening’ inapplicable Transitions Paradigm Blurring of Incumbent-Opposition distinction Unintended consequence of institutional design Divergence in historical origins
Figure 2. Oppositional Mobilization in Hegemonic and Fragmented Party Regimes This figure is based on the “Structures of Contestation” Figure in Ellen Lust-Okar, Structuring Conflict in the Arab World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005: 39.
Implications The expansion and improvement in media capabilities and social technological platforms—and hence individual empowerment—will only increase with time. (U.S. National Intelligence Council 2012) Hegemonic political parties will be more ill-equipped to channel diverse societal forces within the single institution of the party Future of nondemocratic regime architecture will lie outside of party structures and in different forms of fragmented arrangements. This will not necessarily mean an increase in democratic regimes. Greater fragmentation of power, increased number of parallel ruling and opposition parties, fluidity
SHUTDOWNS Congress has “power of the purse” 12 US government shutdowns since 1980 1995-1996: 21 days 2013: 16 days (October 1 – 16, 2013) Presidentialism/Parliamentarism Checks-and-balances (House of Representatives, Senate, President)
2013 800,000 employees furloughed, 1.3 million went to work without known payment dates 2010 Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) & Debt-Ceiling Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014 Voted by House on September 20, 2013 Senate passed revised version on September 27, 2013 House reinstated removed measures and passed bill on September 29, 2013 2010 Elections Republican control of the House (Tea Party Movement strengthened) Democratic control of the Senate
TEA PARTY MOVEMENT 2009 Libertarianism and fiscal conservatism? Theda Skocpol, Harvard University: Fear of what America is becoming; racial politics & anti-immigration; opposition to Democrats, and pro-funding cuts for the youth 1. Powerful right-wing media with access to older, white males 2. Funders; Think-Tanks (Heritage Foundation) 3. Republican activists Decentralized hierarchy; no one center; pincer strategy on Rep. Party Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican Party apparatus has lost power to enforce discipline
CONCLUSIONS According to Skocpol: 1. Tea Party is strong and here to stay. At least 3 consecutive election defeats necessary 2. “Moderate Republicans” do not exist anymore. Two-thirds of House Republicans against bipartisan efforts to re-open federal government. Also, more than half of GOP voters sympathize with Tea Party 3. Sen. Ted Cruz may be well positioned to garner unified support of Tea Partiers for 2016 GOP presidential primaries 4. The ending of the shutdown was not necessarily a win for Democrats. Tea Party has impeded effective governance and raised costs
CONCLUSIONS On October 16, the Senate passed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, a continuing resolution, to fund the government until January 15, 2014, and suspending the debt ceiling until February 7, 2014, thus ending both the United States federal government shutdown of 2013 and the United States debt-ceiling crisis of 2013. Despite Republican efforts to strip the Affordable Care Act of funding or delay the law as part of a deal to reopen the government, the Senate plan's only concession to the Republican leadership on the issue was stricter income verification rules for citizens accessing the health insurance exchanges. NBC polls showed that Americans blamed the Republicans more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama by a margin of 22 points (53 percent to 31 percent). According to a Gallup Poll, "60 percent of respondents said that a third major party is needed to represent the American people", an all-time high.
US-IRAN NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS And the Future of the Middle East
ISSUES NPT and nuclear proliferation Future of Iran in the Middle East Sanctions