Alternative Patronage Systems: From Old Regime Failure to New Security Providers
This chapter looks at how the failure of Arab regimes to cater for public security interests facilitated the rise of alternative transnational security providers. Decades in opposition against the patronage systems of authoritarian regimes had provided alternative patrons, most notably Islamists, with public appeal and a social base. As this chapter shows, these actors had set in motion a revisionary process gradually transforming the socio-political reality of the entire region. The Arab Spring, thereby, appears to be a mere milestone in a series of wider upheavals undermining the ill-constituted private patronages of Arab states. The rise of sectarianism on the back of a ‘Balkanization’ of the region’s socio-political landscape is presented in this chapter as a mere product of the individual’s pursuit of security.