Arab-Islamic Public Administration

Report
From Islamic Roots and Arab Custom,
through Colonisation, to Current
Contradictions under Globalisation
Islamic Work Values
Caliphal Administration
Colonisation
Arab/Bedouin
Custom
Current
and
Futue
Prophet Mohamed (PBUH/saws)
 Qur’an
 Sunna, Hadith
 Life
without work has no meaning
 Engagement in economic activity an
obligation
 Honesty, justice in trade
 Equitable, fair distribution of wealth
(e.g., zakat)
 Acquire skills & technology
 Praises work as a virtue
Effort of the capable is obligatory
 Cooperation & consultation
 Social relations at work creates balance in
life
 Work source of independence, personal
growth, self-respect, self-fulfillment
 Measures intentions instead of results
 Workplace governed by justice &
generosity

Defense
against
aggressors
Leader/Shaikh
loyalty
Followers
External
Aggressors
Accessi
bility
(Majlis)
&
account
ability
Transfer loyalty
& territorial
rights
New
Leader/Shaikh
Black –
Abbasid
Caliphate
Green –
Fatimid
Caliphate
Red Hashemites
White Ummayyad
Caliphate
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Caliph (Ar. Khalifa)
Khalifatu Rasulil-lah = Successor to the
Messenger of God
Abu Bakr, 'Umar, Uthman, Ali (earliest,
closest Companions of Prophet): simple and
righteous lives, justice impartial; treatment
of others kind, merciful; one with people first among equals
Subsequently, Caliphs assumed manners of
kings and emperors, spirit of equality
diminished


Had only indirect influence on UAE area
bedouin
Until Ottoman Empire (still only indirect)
 Moral
character,
visionary, caring
 Father of the state &
people
 ‘Individual’ in
community
 Leadership inheres in
personal qualities
Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid
Al Maktoum (Dubai)
 Consultative,
conciliatory, consensus-seeking
 Selected for competences
 Oriented to public good and welfare
 Bedouin traditions (plus Arabic, Muslim)
 Grounded in kin system
 Personal style
 Personal networks (trust systems):
appropriate Wasta
 Orientation towards quality
Ruling families est. by UK colonisers
 Federated state of 7 member Emirates
 Meritocratic: the competent selected
as Crown Prince
 Consultative
 Negotiating & navigating among
powerful tribal/family representatives
 Negotiating among member Emirates

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Al-Khalili, J. (2010) Pathfinders: Golden Age of
Arabic Science
Crone, P. (2005) Medieval Islamic Political Thought
Freely, J. (2009) Aladdin’s Lamp: How Greek Science
Came to Europe Through the Islamic World
Lyons, J. (2009) The House of Wisdom: How the
Arabs Transformed Western Civilization
Masood, E. (2009) Science & Islam: A History
Morgan, M. (2007) Lost History: The Enduring
Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers, and Artists
O’Leary, D. (2003) Arabic Thought and Its Place in
History
Common Heritage: e.g., Plato, Aristotle
(history, politics, sociology, cultural
analysis)
Arab Scholarship:
e.g., Al-Farabi, AlGhazali, Ibn Khaldun, Western trad. built
Islamic Humanist
upon Arabic: e.g.,
tradition
Renaissance
scholars, Weber,
Heidegger
Tribal
Traditions
Post-Unification
Shaikhdom
(Shaikh Zayed)
Colonial Heritage
Weberian Valueorientation &
Ideal Typing
Saidian Humanistic
Critique of
Orientalist
Hegemony
Goffman
Microinteractionist
Metaphors
Bourdieuian
Intellectual Field


Limited/eliminated trad’l functions of
shaikhs: ability to wage war, deal with
foreign powers, raid commercial
boats, engage in slave trading,
depose or murder of rulers
UK approval of successors, require
agreement to treaties & conditions,
accept British advice, protect UK
interests

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
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Selected shaikhs raised to
unchallengable positions of power
Prevented tribes from getting rid of
unsatisfactory shaikhs
Fixed territorial boundaries
Replaced consultation & consensus with
British force, colonial hierarchy
[Bureaucratisation of traditional society]
Bombed the ports, disrupting trade
 Restricted size of boats, diminishing
pearl diving (only source of revenue)
 Built no roads, no hospitals, no schools
 Subsistence population sank further
(i.e. camel milk and dates are not
enough)
 Significant rise in death rate

 First
Settlement: 5,500 BCE
 Pop. 2011: 7.2 Million (Expats 88.5%)
 Urban: 88%
 32nd Human Develop Index (of 169)
 Life Expectancy: 78.5 years
 Literacy Rate: 93+%
 Health & Educ (to BA) free
 GDP per cap: 17th world; 3rd Middle
East
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They drive
Are increasingly in workplace (glass
ceiling?)
Travel abroad (many regularly)
80% Emirati grad students
Assertive in doctoral seminar
UAE is (relatively) uxorious society
UAE Admitted to UN 1971



Pop: 349,870,608
22 countries (Syria
suspended)
Aims: Economic develop;
dispute resolution;
coordinate political aims

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Kingdom of Bahrain
Kuwait
Sultanate of Oman
Qatar
Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia
United Arab
Emirates
The New Imperialism (Jreisat, 1992)
Affect
Traditional
Rational
Valuational
(higher
order)







Avoid responsibility & risk
Prefer stable life to rewarding, challenging
work
Highly concerned with job security
Reluctant to delegate authority
Believe centralisation builds respect
Priority to friendships & personal
consideration over org goals & performance
Higher commitment (than Westerners) to
principles, but not in practice
Observation of rules & regs
 Sociocentric & existential values
versus conformity, manipulation,
egocentric
 Teamwork


Government job as entitlement
Favouritism (nepotism, influence
peddling, favour seeking & giving)
 [Uneasy translation from Tribal
structures to “modern” nation state]

Create prosperous, tolerant, well-governed state
 Achieve highest international standards
 Diversify economy
 Sustainable development
 Promote compromise, reason & dialogue
regionally, internationally (diplomacy)
 Assist developing countries (strong UN supporter)
 Protect environment
 [Integration of women into leadership]

Democratisation

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Concentrated, rapidly diversifying economy
(hub, financial & industrial – light to heavy)
Deal with Western political & military
designs for control & influence
Respond to declining work ethic with high
consumption patterns
Huge costs in security & defence
Tensions between Islamic/Arabic values &
“Western” values
Security, security, security
Provide labour opportunities for nationals
(Brown & Lauder, p. 252)
 90% foreign labour in UAE
 Women > 50% university graduates; 80%
of UAE in grad degrees
 “Public ownership” of all development
sectors (real estate, utilities, industry,
etc.): tension with “laissez-faire capitalist”
pressures & negative intl press
 Drive high tech


High % prof’l staff Western (not nec. highly
qualified)

Assume Western models work unmodified

Much knowledge is outdated (see Ali)


Primary concern economic develop: 1.)
economy funds develop; 2) globalisation
market model NPM; 3) oil running out
Stress: leap from economic backwardness to
high development (Gerfschenkron)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Poor conceptualisation
Faltering
implementation
Political corruption
Govt ineffectiveness
Bureaucratic
incompetence
Public nonparticipation
Complaints (Jreisat, 1992)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Sand to city in 40 years
Intensive rapid societal
transition in every sense
Outdated and
incompetent Westerners
High employee diversity
Loss of UAE culture
Geopolitical position &
security issues
Complexity
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Almost exclusive use Western scholarship &
curric
dependency
Knowledge transfer uni-directional
Emiratis not taught UAE history
(“golemisation” of history & scholarly trad’s)
Arab scholars used to illustrate western
adoption
English replacement of Arabic (religious
implications)
Globalised educ. strong market model:
Hidden curric. of capitalism & consumerism
Secular, ‘legal’,
technical-rational
principles
 Anglo-Saxon norms
 Efficiency,
effectiveness

Sound decision-making
 Impersonal hierarchy



Religious – grounded in
Muslim principles
Arabic cultures
 Service to society

Wisdom, judgment
 Personal interaction,
family connections
Socio-cultural
Impact
Globalisation/
Commercialisa
tion
Sovereignty
The
“Reproductive”
Role of
Educational
Institution
Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre
Design (Schumacher & Hadid)
Dubai Islands: 43 → 600 miles coastline
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Necrocapitalism – dispossession
modified to “social” or “cultural” death
(Banerjee, 2008)
Cultural & intellectual colony
Commodified education & culture
Reproduces foreign socio-cultural &
educ’l structures, governance,
responsibilities, roles, practices

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