Is the Deep State the main obstacle to the Nahda?
The article will interpret implications of the concept of “deep state” in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. This concept comes from Kemalist Turkey where it is called “derin devlet.”2 We will show how numerous Arab regimes built deep states to lead a systematic war against their own people. Further, to conceptualize some aspects of these regimes we will use the “Mamluk paradigm,” as outlined by Jean-Pierre Filiu, to underline how modern “security systems” were established and empowered. The article will try to demonstrate that Middle East countries and the Arab world generally need more democracy, not less – contrary to what a lot of Western voices may be advocating at the moment. The Arab world does not have to decide between dictatorships and Islamist fundamentalists, but that there is a third way which it is worth fighting for.