School of Law

Ali Zbeeb

 Ali Zbeeb


Postgraduate Research Student

Thesis title: 

Suggesting a Legal Framework to Construct the Arab Economic Union Post 'Arab Spring'


Professor George A Walker

Summary of research:

Reaching a state of union between Arab countries through the sound allocation of resources and skills in the most efficient and effective way to establish a self contained area by promoting the Arab citizens wealth and transforming the ARAB power to a major force on the global level, has always been a dream and a far reached vision.

Since the Arab states declared their sovereignty over their lands, the dilemma of the Arab Union was always present; some consider that the full political integration or ARAB UNION would be the favourable state. This point of view could be easily defended taking into consideration the examples such as the United States of America and other miniature examples such as the United Arab Emirates. On the other hand a counter argument relies in the example of the Soviet Union and the failure of previous attempts to establish an Arab Union when the Egyptian president Jamal Abdul Nasser tried to establish an Arab Union commencing between Egypt and Syria, and managed to hold it from 1958 till 1961, however this attempt was condemned to failure due to several factors most essentially the Syrian internal refuse and the Russian external veto.

Based on the historical chronology and the previous experiences, it becomes evident to admit three facts:

  1. It is unreasonable to seek full political integration among Arab countries before establishing an economic union for Arab countries.
  2. A fully economic union must meet the shared visions of all Arab parties.
  3. Political, legal and economical factor should be the bases for unity.

The eruption of the Tunisian uprising and revolution followed by the Egyptian revolution, led the Arab world to drastic changes through major revolutions, uprisings and turbulence leading to the termination of long standing regimes, and the emergence of revolutionary councils to run the courtiers subject to change during the periods of transition.

This situation also resulted in unprecedented commotion and insecurity in major states of the Arab World. As the uprising continues, political regimes are falling and along with it new legal, regulatory, economic and financial patterns are being formulated.
As a result, the PhD research which greatly observed by the previous efforts of fallen regimes, faced concrete challenges as a result of the so called “Arab Spring”, due to numerous factors, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Egypt is regarded as the heart of the Arab World and a nation which has experienced the Arab economic and political unity with Syria in the 1950s. As the Egyptian regime, which has lasted over 35 years has fallen, it remains to be seen whether the new regime in due of formulation will take any steps towards the creation of an Arab Economic Unity.
  2. In addition to Egypt, Syria who was the former partner in the 1950s “United Arab Republic” is also witnessing uprising and commotion, with major security threats and political, economical and legal transition.
  3. More importantly, Libya, previously under the leadership of the late Ghadafi, has taken a front position in terms of enhancing an Arab Unity (in its own special versions), a case which Ghadafi abandoned and resorted to Africa to lead the African Union.
    Notwithstanding the above, countries such as Tunisia and Yemen (also witnessing regime transition) have also taken part in Unification initiatives, particularly that Yemen was in fact separated into two states, and after a vicious war, the states were unified to become the Republic of Yemen.

In the light of the above, and based on the unprecedented transitions being witnessed, the research has become more challenging and subject to impediments as a result of the quantum changes mentioned above, and more to come.
On the other hand, there is no better moment in history than the times currently witnessed, to come up with bold and innovative ideas and initiatives to enhance the development and progress of the Arab World, through starting with the construction of a legal framework to establish the Arab Economic Union, which may one day lead to full Arab unity.


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