Historically, Islam has always established a clear distinction between the politico-military and the religious authority of ulamas, as well as a de facto collusion between the two. Nonetheless, it has maintained a sense of nostalgia for a mythical state in which the two types of power were united in one person, the caliph. This has inhibited the emergence of a true state with defined governance structures and mechanisms of devolution. Autocratic regimes from independence broke this traditional balance, trying to put aside the religious factor (Tunisia, Egypt), or by imposing a theocracy (Saudi Arabia, Iran). The Arab uprisings have undoubtedly opened a new era in the definition of power in the Islamic world. It is currently unclear whether it will lead to the establishment of a new equilibrium or to a prolonged period of anarchy.
Politico-military sphere, religious authority, Islam, Theocracy, Arab revolts