In events that have since become known as the Arab Uprisings or Arab Revolutions,
people across the Middle East took to the streets to express their anger and
frustration at political climates, demanding political and economic reform. In a
number of cases, protest movements were repressed, often violently, with
devastating repercussions for human security and peace across the
region. While a number of scholars have sought to understand how the
protests occurred, this book looks at sovereignty and the relationship between
rulers and ruled to identify and understand both the roots of this anger but
also the mechanisms through which regimes were able to withstand seemingly
existential pressures and maintain power.
chapters, plays a prominent
role in times of contestation.
The politics of sovereignty and space
Space and nomos
While politics is inherently about people, space is the theatre within which interactions
take place. It is simultaneously a physical environment, a semiotic abstraction, and
relational.59 These interactions exist within one another and coexist within power
relations and social practices. Each society produces a space of its own nature along
with a set of rules that regulate behaviour within space. The concept of space is deeply
creation of bare life was a mechanism of sovereign power, designed to ensure order
and compliance. Yet in a number of cases, the creation of bare life was an insufficient
expression of sovereign power. Instead, we see regimes choosing to exert sovereign
power through necropolitics, with war machines emerging as a consequence of
In such conditions, localised manifestations of the global nomos, defined by a
spatialised exception and underpinned by conditions of modernity have become
increasingly contested by the contingency of daily life. Amid
underpins Agamben’s spatialisation of the exception shapes the local manifestations
of nomos and while context and contingency create unique peculiarities, there are
underlying structural similarities that shape the exception. Although offering a
brief genealogy of the establishment of states, this chapter should not be viewed as a
complete history of the contemporary Middle East. Instead I seek to offer an account
of the interaction between internal and external forces –material and ideational –that
facilitated the establishment of states and nomoi, through the
-specific contingent factors found in demographics, history, ideology and
intended outcome, creating unique nomoi that operate within a global nomos.
While a cursory glance at the region sees elections in a number of states, amid
various different contexts and to varying degrees of success, it is difficult to conclude
that these projects meet the criteria to be considered democratic. Although elections
for political positions have been an integral part of political life –understood in
different ways with different restrictions –in Lebanon, Bahrain, Turkey, Israel,
believers, communities and states even before they are placed in the context
of political life and parabolic regional currents. Yet much like nomos, Islamic unity
proved to be an illusion. Instead, competing interpretations of faith and the ordering
of life in accordance with Islamic traditions quickly emerged, in some cases, operating
in tension with state projects. One of the most devastating points of tension concerns
Few terms possess such vitriolic connotations as sectarianism which, in recent
years, has become imbued with all manner of issues
The Member States between procedural adaptation and structural revolution
Jürgen Mittag and Wolfgang Wessels
the Face of the Union (Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press, 1996) and Karl Heinz Reif, ‘Ein Ende des
“Permissive Consensus”? Zum Wandel europapolitischer Einstellungen in
der öffentlichen Meinung in den EG-Mitgliedstaaten’, in: Rudolf Hrbek (ed.),
Der Vertrag von Maastricht in der wissenschaftlichen Kontroverse (BadenBaden: Nomos, 1993), pp. 23–33.
See for detailed empirical data the Eurobarometer, 53 (Spring 2000).
See for recent discussions Beate Kohler-Koch, ‘Die Europäisierung nationaler
Demokratien: Verschleiß eines europäischen Kulturerbes?’, in: Michael
tragedy of remarriage: letter to M.
Cavell about cinema (a remake)” also bears the trace of
another influence: Adorno. According to Dienstag, The
Philadelphia Story , a commercially successful Hollywood
film, is also a deeply ideological one. Dexter and Tracy’s
remarriage reaffirms the possibility of reconciling freedom and
social order, eros and nomos . Its popularity was
), pp. 141–158.
46 Arthur B. Gunlicks, “Principles of American Federalism,” in Germany and
Its Basic Law: Past, Present and Future – A German–American Symposium,
edited by Paul Kirchhof and Donald P. Kommers (Baden-Baden: Nomos
Verlagsgesellschaft, 1993), pp. 91–108.
47 Frido Wagener always distinguished between “functional administration”
(administration by tasks or functions) and “territorial administration”
(Gebietsverwaltung), by which he meant unity of command, i.e., all administrative tasks carried out in one administrative territory. See, for example,
for Europe, Social Purpose and State
Power from Messina to Maastricht (London: UCL Press, 1998).
5 William E. Paterson, ‘Muß Europa Angst vor Deutschland haben?’, in:
Rudolf Hrbek (ed.), Der Vertrag von Maastricht in der wissenschaftlichen
Kontroverse (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1993), p. 10.
6 See William E. Paterson, ‘Beyond Semi-Sovereignty: The New Germany in
the New Europe’, in: German Politics, No. 2/1996, p. 170.
7 See Jeff Anderson and John Goodman, ‘Mars or Minerva. A United Germany
in a Post-Cold War Europe’, in: Robert Keohane, Joseph Nye and Stanley