As a regional body, the Arab League has more often than not been the focus of ridicule in light of the torpor and ineffectiveness that has characterized its history. Since the league’s founding in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Transjordan, the Arab world has suffered myriad political disputes and armed conflicts, including colonial, interstate and civil wars. In addition to its failure to encourage economic, political and security cooperation, the Arab League has certainly underperformed in its mission to curb the use of force or mediate these disputes.
In many ways, this is a reflection of the fragmented and contentious regional system, historically characterized by periods of intense competition and rivalry, in which the league operates. Writing in 1965, the eminent historian Malcolm Kerr opened his seminal work, “The Arab Cold War,” by noting that, “ever since the second world war, popular political sentiment in the Arab world has been dominated by urgent appeals for Arab unity, while the field of activity between governments and parties has been dominated by bitter rivalry.” While grand ideological notions of Arab nationalism have long since faded, popular frustrations with the inability of Arab states to work cooperatively persist. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Nile Deal Signals Regional Reset Among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia
- The Realist Prism: For Iran Nuclear Deal, All Scenarios Amount to Leap of Faith
- Like It or Not, U.S. Needs Iran to Stabilize the Middle East
- Global Insights: Spoilers Emerge as Iran Nuclear Talks Reach Delicate Endgame
- Diplomatic Fallout: Can the U.N. Deliver for Obama on Iran, Israel-Palestine Deals?