Concluding Remarks

I. William Zartman

in Contentious Politics in the Middle East

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034744
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039077 | DOI:
Concluding Remarks

Show Summary Details


Robert Dahl's classic treatment of patterns of opposition in Western democracies sets the stage for some propositions and observations regarding the Arab experience. Firstly, the smaller the party, the more cohesive it is. Thus, opposition parties tend to be more cohesive than the Uncle Sasha's Store in the dominant parties. Secondly, in terms of competitiveness, Arab opposition parties add a new category of complementarity worth checking further against other countries' experiences. Thirdly, the executive is dominant because parliament is not. Fourthly, the Arab opposition is a nonstructural opposition in that it looks for office or policy changes, not systemic change, the Islamist oppositions being an exception. Finally, the opposition strategy is primarily either to gain entry into a coalition (strategy two in Dahl's categories) or at least to protect its existence (new strategy five), except—again—the Islamist opposition, which itself is torn between violent and demonstrative strategies.

Keywords: Robert Dahl; Uncle Sasha's Store; dominant parties; Arab opposition parties; Islamist oppositions

Chapter.  6466 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.