Arab Factor in American Elections: Between D. Trump and J. Biden

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-10-64-73
I. Shumilina (,
Institute for the US and Canadian Studies (ISCRAN), Russian Academy of Sciences, 2/3, Khlebnyi Per., Moscow, 123995, Russian Federation

Abstract. Pro-Arab lobbyism is structurally divided into two levels: formal (lobbyism of individual Arab states, usually coordinated by their embassies in Washington, which hire local PR companies) and informal (political activity of communities of American citizens of Arab origin). Despite the relationship between them, the directional vector of these two levels of lobbyism does not always coincide, and not in everything. Formal lobbying aims to improve the quality of bilateral relations between an individual Arab state and the United States, including to provide American assistance in meeting challenges of this state in the Middle East. The attempts of the Arab embassies to rely in this work on the local support base among their former compatriots are not always successful, since the range of interests of the latter is mainly confined to solving their own domestic problems, which are usually associated with the need for adaptation in American society. Moreover, the participation of both types of pro-Arab lobby in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign revealed the divergence of their interests: the efforts of state lobbyists (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt) were aimed at mobilizing support for Republican D. Trump while the majority in American-Arab communities (AAC) chose to vote for H. Clinton. This situation is generally repeated during the 2020 campaign. Moreover, this time the differences have deepened even more: the AAC are making efforts to prevent D. Trump’s second term, and for doing this they are ready to vote for J. Biden; the Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf, on the contrary, are doing a lot for the victory of the current head of the White House. In general, pro-Arab lobbyism (“Arab factor”), like pro-Israel one as well, objectively involve Washington in the military-political vicissitudes of the Middle Eastern region, trying to keep this agenda among priorities of the U.S. foreign policy.

Keywords: American Arabs, communities, immigration, USA, Middle East, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, polls, discrimination


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For citation:
Shumilina I. Arab Factor in American Elections: Between D. Trump and J. Biden. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 10, pp. 64-73.

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