Family and Tribal Structures in the Political Systems in Middle Eastern States
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Family and tribal structures are among the crucial elements which decide how political systems in the Middle East work. Despite the expansion of such universal concepts as Pan-Arabism and Pan-Islamism and attempts at adapting the concept of the national union, the feeling of tribal identity and loyalty resulting from it are still a vital and significant factor in political policies of the states in the region. The role of tribal structures is not limited to exerting influence on the social and political life on the local plane, but on many occasions tribal affiliation is a significant part of political bargains nationwide. Frequently the influence of family and tribal ties is concealed by a far too obvious exposition of religious ties, while tribal interests which in fact motivate politicians in the Middle East are overlooked. In the era of the state reconstruction in Iraq, it is advisable to take into account the role of this factor as it determines the functioning of states in the Middle East region. In considering prospects for a change in this situation, it is recommended to take advantage of the experiences of regions of the world in which the atrophy of tribal structures already happened, namely Europe and China.
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