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Reading: “The Citizen and The Space”: Fragility of the Middle Eastern Nation-State

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“The Citizen and The Space”: Fragility of the Middle Eastern Nation-State

Author:

Uygar Baspehlivan

King’s College London, GB
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Abstract

For about a hundred years, the states of the Middle East have been struggling with coming to terms with their national identity. Throughout the 20th century, these states have shed blood, formed unsuccessful unions and tried out different leaders and political ideologies, yet not much progress has been made regarding this mission. Is it because there are some unknown external forces that wish to partition and rule the Middle East for their benefit (as some demagogues would agree) or is this fragility distinctive of how the Middle Eastern nation-state was inorganically formed and how the imposed identity of the people inherently clashed with their actual identities that relied on an opposing form of loyalty? This essay will argue for the latter. It will claim that the fragility of the Arab Middle Eastern nation-state stems from the underdeveloped forces of internal and external sovereignty which form the backbone of national imagination. After explicating the anthropological theoretical background of the argument, this essay will then proceed to compare the cases of Turkey, Iraq and Syria in how they struggled with these two modernising forces in their formative years.

How to Cite: Baspehlivan, U., 2019. “The Citizen and The Space”: Fragility of the Middle Eastern Nation-State. LSE Undergraduate Political Review, 2, pp.81–91.
Published on 25 Jun 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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