The Center for Policy Options - Introduction

Policy Papers Series

The Center for Policy Options, in its continuing series of policy papers, is pleased to provide a two-part monograph on the problem of succession in the Arab world and its implications for the United States and Israel.

In the first of these two papers, Dr Jerrold Green, the Director for the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California, provides a comprehensive review entitled “Leadership Succession in the Arab World: A Policy-Maker’s Guide.” Dr. Green delves into lessons that can be learned from recent leadership transitions in Bahrain, Jordan and Morocco and explores the implications of future transitions for such people as the Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians and Saudi Arabians. In reading his piece, we believe readers will gain a fundamental introduction into the dynamics and dilemmas confronted in succession in each country and also into the common patterns that are shared.

In the second paper in this monograph, Ehud Yaari, Arab affairs reporter for Israel Television Channel 1 and associate editor of the Jerusalem Report, deals at length with the changing nature of Arab society. This paper, entitled “Implications of Succession for the Peace Process,” provides a valuable perspective on the changing role and power of various elites in Arab society and particularly into the emerging strength of business communities throughout the Arab world. He shows how, in state after state, competition for influence and economic advances is changing the way Arab governments think about the future of the region. He demonstrates that these changes are having a determining impact on how Arab states view Israel and on the future of Arab-Israeli conflict. He describes the differences between Arab states in reacting to a common pattern of change and the divergent roles of the military, clergy and the leadership itself in each country. These patterns undoubtedly affect succession, and Yaari shows how.

Green deals with the fundamentals of succession – the principals, the patterns and possibilities in each key Arab state. Yaari, by contrast, takes a different approach – addressing the need for reform economically and the changing role of key elites – to show that succession has a sectoral as well as a personal dimension. These two papers provide different analyses on the topic of succession but together allow us to gain a multifaceted perspective on an important issue.

We believe that these two papers will significantly influence American understanding of changing political fortunes in the Middle East and will bring to all readers the understanding that we cannot assume that past patterns of behavior will prevail in the future. Green and Yaari provide a road map for judging how these new patterns will develop and how they will affect both American and Israeli interests.

Steven Spiegel, Chief Research Consultant

Beryl Geber, Editor, Policy Papers Series


Board of Directors

Irwin Field, Chair
Elaine Berke Burt Levinson
Marshall J. Breger Francis S. Maas
Zev Furst Dena Schechter
Glenn Golenberg Edward Robin
Osias Goren Ed Sanders
Stanley Hirsh Richard Sandler
Perla Karney Arthur Stern
Luis Lainer Robert Wexler
Norman Levine


Editorial Board

Miriam Ben Peretz
Center for Jewish Education, University of Haifa

Michael Berenbaum
Consultant, Los Angeles

Marshall J. Breger
Columbus Law School, Catholic University, Washington, D.C.

Sergio Delapergola
Institute of Contemporary Jewry,
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Shai Feldman
Jaffee Center of Strategic Studies,
University of Tel Aviv

Zvi Gitelman
University of Michigan

Jerrold Green
Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, California

Alan Hoffman
Mandel Center for Jewish Continuity,
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Charles Liebman
Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

Steven Lowenstein
University of Judaism, Bel Air, California

Linda Miller
Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

Larry Moses
The Wexner Foundation, New Albany, Ohio

Michael Nacht
University of California, Berkeley

Sam Norich
The Forward, New York, New York

Bruce Phillips
Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles

Alan Platt
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Washington, D.C.

Itamar Rabinovich
Moshe Dayan Center, University of Tel Aviv

Aviezer Ravitsky
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Jonathan Sarna
Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Robert Satloff
Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Alvin Schiff
Joint Authority of Jewish Zionist Education, New York

Alice Shalvi
Seminary of Judaic Studies, Jerusalem

Steven Spiegel
University of California, Los Angeles

Gary A. Tobin
Institute of Jewish and Community Research,
San Francisco, and University of Judaism,
Bel Air, California

Jonathan Woocher
Jewish Education Service of North America, New York

Shimshon Zelniker
Van Leer Foundation, Jerusalem

David Zisenwine
University of Tel Aviv

Senior Policy Advisors

Beryl Geber,
Center for Policy Options,
University of Judaism

Steven Spiegel,
Chief Research Consultant

Gary Tobin,
Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Program in Jewish Policy Research