POLI SCI 351 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3.1: James L. Gelvin

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Gelvin (237-246): The Modern Middle East
- Basics - about these military regimes that emerged in the Middle East in the
50s, with Egypt as a model, that centralized economies and consolidated
government power in order to appeal to the “masses” (before ruling elites
really only cared about the interests of the upper classes). They set
precedents that lots of other governments followed - modernizing,
nationalizing their economies etc.
- Military Regimes/Takeovers
- Nasser in Egypt and Ba’thists in Syria and Iraq
- Free Officers (head is Nasser) coup in Egypt in 1952 would set standard and
provide a model for other states in the region to have military coup
- Seemed to have launched their coup to put an end to corruption,
ineptitude and treason they saw in gov’t
- Trend of military cliques seizing power from 1949 to 1958?
- Usually didn’t offer grand ideological visions, as much as they just
wanted to iron things out and stabilize the nations
- Trend of European invasion backfiring
- Suez War of 1956: British, French and Israeli forces intervened in
Egypt, which was currently under Nasser’s government b/c he was
proving to be difficult for them - nationalized Suez Canal, supported
Algerian rebellion. Because of international pressure, they had to
withdraw their forces, which actually ended up heightening Nasser’s
- Effects of Suez War:
- 1. Convinced Nasser and Free Officers that they needed to be more
forceful going forward in order to mantain the regime - threats of both
domestic reaction and foreign intervention couldn’t be accomodated..
Began to finance rapid economic and social development
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