Middle East Studies

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The Decline of Arab Unity

The Rise and Fall of the United Arab Republic

Author Text to Follow

“In spite of its short duration, the rise and demise of the United Arab Republic – the union between Egypt and Syria (1958–61) – is considered a seminal episode in the modern history of the Arab world. At the time, many Arabs hoped that the union would herald realization of the pan-Arab dream, but its disintegration shattered this dream beyond repair. With the wisdom of hindsight it is also clear that this episode had a significant, lasting impact on the evolution of Arab politics.”
From the Foreword by Moshe Ma’oz, author of Asad: The Sphinx of Damascus

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-902210-20-9
Hardback Price: £49.50 / $75.00
Release Date: June 1999
Page Extent / Format: 252 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


List of Illustrations
Foreword by
Moshe Ma'oz
List of Abbreviations


1 Élite Politics in Syria and Egypt

Defining the Élite
Middle Eastern Élites
The Syrian Élite
The Egyptian Élite

2 The Road to the Union
The Syrian Attitude toward Arab Unity
The Egyptian Attitude toward Arab Unity
Egyptian–Syrian Relations: From Conflict to Cooperation
Syrian Unrest Intensifies
The Syrian Army and Union
The US Position toward the Union
Countdown to Union

3 Establishing the Union: The Political Sphere (March 1958–February 1959)

The Institutional Framework
The Arab World: Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq
First Political Changes

4 Establishing the Union: The Economic Sphere (March 1958–February 1959)

Early Efforts at Economic Integration
The Agrarian Reform Law
Toward a More Integrated Economy
The Higher Ministerial Committee (HMC)

5 A Widening Rift: The Political and Economic Spheres (February 1959–February1960)
The Impact of the Iraqi Shawwaf Revolt
Elections to the National Union
'Amir's Mission in Syria
The Resignation of the Ba'th Ministers
The Question of Foreign Aid

6 The Road to Collapse: The Political Sphere (February 1960–July 1961)
Egypt Tightens its Control
The Formation of the National Union
Attempts at Creating a UAR National Identity
The Formation of the National Assembly
Sarraj's Rule Consolidated

7 The Road to Collapse: The Economic Sphere (February 1960–July 1961)
Attempts to Alleviate the Economic Predicament
Toward an Economic Integration
The Impact of the July 1961 Decrees

8 Syria's Secession from the UAR
Political Integration
The Military Takeover
Syrian Reactions to Secession
Egyptian Responses to Secession

9 The End of a Dream
Developments in Syria
Developments in Egypt
The Aleppo Insurrection
The Shtura Meeting
The Cairo Tripartite Talks and Beyond



A superb narrative and analysis – long overdue.

An important book. Podeh’s is the most reliable of the histories of the union.
The International History Review

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