Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Shiela Carapico

Second Advisor

Dr. John W. Outland


The objective of this thesis is to prove that the Middle Eastern States, excluding Israel, experience political instability because the people lack state nationalism. State nationalism is defined as pride on the part of the people in their state to the extent that they transfer their primary loyalty from their village, ethnic, or religious group to the national government. The people will share a sense of oneness and a common identity with the government if they possess state nationalism.

The methodology used in this paper was to apply the indigenous theory of Christopher Clapham to historical events and the political, social and economic institutions of Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt. Clapham's theory explains that political instability of third world states, which includes the Middle East, is the result of domination by western powers; lack of legitimacy of state government; distribution of political power within the state; lack of a broad power base of the government; lack of a shared value system between the government and the people; and the manipulation of state economic resources by government.

The application of Clapham's theory to Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt proved that the people lack state nationalism as a result of the characteristics identified by Clapham's theory and has resulted in the political instability of each state.