Alliance formation and political fragmentation in the Arab world.
AuthorAl Askar, Mohammed Hussain
Committee ChairToma, Peter A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research showed that data and events involving alliance formation and political fragmentation in the Arab world and particularly the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) from 1945-1990 were not treated sufficiently in the general theoretical works surveyed. A host of new propositions dealing with the dichotomy of alliances and their fragmentation are contributed herein to the body of general knowledge regarding alliance formation. The eleven categories of hypotheses, from the most represented in the literature to the least, dealt with national attributes, war and alliances, economic systems, political fragmentation, balance of power, foreign aid, bandwagoning strategy, integrative process, gaming and alliances, balance of threats, and chain-gang and buck-passing strategies. Using the GCC as a case study, a total of 145 propositions were examined; 45 (31%) were operationalized. The national attributes category was the most applicable followed by balancing strategies, indicating that commonality among states and expediency are essential to GCC alliance formation. Whereas war and alliances is the next important category in the literature, balance of threats is more applicable because GCC members are disadvantaged in their military capabilities. A balancer was required to protect the status quo, a role which was fulfilled by the United States. Economic variables are fairly represented in the theoretical operationalization, indicating that the Arab Gulf states were utility maximizers. They employed oil, their sole significant collective good, to fulfill national objectives, internally as well as externally. In addition, the six states were among the leading countries in their gifts of economic aid. But the relationship between aid and alliance formation in the Gulf exhibits a stronger association with other states in the world, not among themselves. The GCC is an elitist undertaking, as measured by the high level of summits and ministerial meetings, with little popular participation and a lack of citizen contribution to the progress of the organization. This, in effect, slowed down the integrative process, which was the ultimate objective behind the creation of the Council. While political feuds and territorial claims have threatened to fragment the Council, the framers' overriding concerns about security and self-preservation have acted as unifying factors, guaranteeing the endurance of the GCC alliance to date.
Degree ProgramPolitical Science