Analyzing Regional Cooperation after September, 11 2001: The Emergence of a New Regional Order in the Arab World
This chapter provides a brief discussion of the Arab League's history and structure, and examines how these two conditions prevent the Arab League from exercising a liberalizing or democratizing influence in the Middle East. Although the League has played a constructive role in a few limited circumstances, such as helping to broker the Ta'if Accords in Lebanon, the organization has also had a very negative impact in other situations particularly as regards Iraq. The Kurds, in particular, remain wary of Arab League involvement in Iraq today. The chapter explores the Arab League's historical relations with the Kurds, and problems that arise when the regional group inserts itself into Iraqi politics. It shows that the Arab League scores rather low on the scale of regionalization. The realist paradigm of international relations, by contrast, generally views such organizations as little more than a reflection of the power relations of their member states, with little added value.