Contemporary regions of the Arab world :a factor analysis and hierarchical clustering analysis

Date

1974

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis are: (1) to determine the dimensions of fourteen Arab states (Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, South Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen) on the basis of their political, social, economic, and demographic attributes: (2) based on the result of these dimensions, to ascertain clusters of these states based on common characteristics; and (3) to compare the regional groupings generated by these dimensions with previous delineations of Arab regions. Methods: The aims of this project are accomplished though the following methods: (1) to gather the most recent available data (1970-72) concerning fourteen states in the Arab World; (2) to factor analyze the variables so that meaningful dimensions can be extracted; and (3) to use the factor scores of the meaningful factors, to delineate regions of the fourteen Arab states through hierarchical clustering analysis. Findings: Based on the evidence displayed in this study, the following results are drawn: 1. Regional groupings of Arab states found by this study are different from both the traditional regions (the Nile Valley, the Maghrib, the Fertile Crescent, and the Arabian Peninsula) and those found by Bruce Russet in International Regions and the International System (the radical or revolutionary Arabs of the Geographic heartland, the Maghrib, and the geographically divided states). 2. The first of four regions determined by fifty-four variables used in this study consists of Algeria, Jordan, South Yemen, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. All the states in the region, excluding Algeria, are economically poor, and do not possess adequate natural resources to meet their demands. Another feature of the region, with the exception of Tunisia and, to some extent, Algeria, is political instability. 3. The second region is occupied by Egypt and Lebanon. Both have been subjected to frequent cabinet changes. 4. The third cluster included Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Their similarities are in terms of defense, education, and health services. 5. The fourth region is occupied by Kuwait alone. This could be attributed to her affluence and small size. 6. At the level of three groupings, Kuwait joins Egypt and Lebanon. This is due to their higher rank on the “Mass Media and Communication� dimension. 7. It is suggested that future federations should be based in the regional groupings found by this study, not on mere geographic contiguity.

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Keywords

Arab states, Political, social, economic, regional groupings, compare

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