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Creating Political Power In The Middle East

1264 words - 5 pages

Creating Political Power in the Middle EastThere are a lot of factors that are necessary to create political power in a country. One of the most important is legitimacy. A leader must be seen as legitimate in order to obtain the people's respect and support. Throughout history the Middle East has had difficulty generating political power. One of the main causes to this problem can be explained by the European period.During the colonial time, the British disregarded the Hussein-McMahan Correspondence and took direct control of Egypt. This obviously did not settle well with the people of Egypt, but since the Egyptians had a low sense of political power and little efficacy, they had to accept their foreign rulers for a time. The problem with direct rule is that it can never last forever. Eventually political awareness spreads through the nation. Egypt began forming political parties such as the Waft Party and leaders began rising to confront the British. Any leader that aligned with the British immediately lost legitimacy. As Egypt became more politically aware, the British became weaker and eventually had to give independence.At this point Egypt is under indirect rule. The main problem with indirect rule is that governing under it leads to loss of legitimacy. This happens to the Waft Party. They had the support in the beginning but lost it because the British pulled the strings and eventually the people had enough political awareness to see it happen.So to recap, when a leader loses legitimacy, they cannot generate political power if the people are politically aware. The British lost it simply by being a foreign power, when they disregarded the Hussein-McMahan Correspondence, and when the Egyptians became politically aware. Under indirect rule, the leaders could not gain legitimacy because the British still had control on aspects like foreign policy, defense, communications, etc.When the Waft Party lost legitimacy, a new party, the Muslim Brotherhood, emerges. This new group creates a directional identity change from secular to political Islam. The main reasons the Muslim Brotherhood came to power was the sense of efficacy it gave to its followers, it was anti-British and it was a new symbol of hope. After Egypt gained more independence, political awareness spikes and the political parties were at a standoff.Nasser was one of Egypt's more successful leaders. He generated political power by outlawing a problem political party (the Muslim Brotherhood), gaining legitimacy by giving back to the common people (ex. land reforms), and uniting the people for a cause (Arab nationalism). He was able to create an affective control system by using normative active symbols and coercion because he gained legitimacy.Creating legitimacy was one of the main problems in Iran as well. Early on, political awareness was extremely low and the leaders sold almost everything for personal gain, including the tobacco concessions. By doing this he allowed the colonial powers...

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