I N THE
MIDDLE East, security is strongly influenced by
politicized forms of fundamental belief systems. This chapter examines
the dual role of politicalIslam, with specific focus on Palestine and
the case of Hamas , the Islamic Resistance Movement, in the West
Bank and Gaza. In this context, politicalIslam represents a general
rejection of the Arab
For over five decades, the Cold War security agenda was distinguished by the principal strategic balance, that of a structure of bipolarity, between the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR). This book seeks to draw from current developments in critical security studies in order to establish a new framework of inquiry for security in the Middle East. It addresses the need to redefine security in the Middle East. The focus is squarely on the Arab-Israeli context in general, and the Palestinian-Israeli context in particular. The character of Arab-Israeli relations are measured by the Israeli foreign policy debate from the 1950s to the 1990s. A dialogue between Islam and Islamism as a means to broaden the terrain on which conflict resolution and post-bipolar security in the Middle East is to be understood is presented. The Middle East peace process (MEPP) was an additional factor in problematizing the military-strategic concept of security in the Middle East. The shift in analysis from national security to human security reflects the transformations of the post-Cold War era by combining military with non-military concerns such as environmental damage, social unrest, economic mismanagement, cultural conflict, gender inequity and radical fundamentalism. By way of contrast to realist international relations (IR) theory, developing-world theorists have proposed a different set of variables to explain the unique challenges facing developing states. Finally, the book examines the significance of ecopolitics in security agendas in the Middle East.
A dialogue with Islam as a pattern of conflict resolution and a security approach vis-à-vis Islamism
Islam has become the ideology underpinning the rejection of peace and
the promotion of anti-Western ideologies. This study, in doing so, takes
as its point of departure the distinction between the religion of Islam
and Islamism. The focus is those groups, in the main non-state actors, which
represent Islam in a politicized pattern. The term
‘Islamism’ refers to politicalIslam – particularly
process disrupted a multiplicity of regional ties while reorienting many economic and communications links to the Western ‘core’. In reaction, new supra-state ideologies, expressive of the lost cultural unity, were increasingly embraced: Pan-Arabism by the Arabic-speaking middle class and politicalIslam among the lower middle classes. Both, at various times, challenged the legitimacy of the individual states and spawned movements promoting the unification of states as a cure for the fragmentation of the recognised community. The result has been that the Arab world
, are status-quo oriented and seek to ensure that
no single power can dominate. Moreover, the states of Eurasia and interested
external powers such as the United States all view radical politicalIslam and
international terrorism as common threats and share interest in the quest
for international order. Eurasia is not a region where interstate war is
likely.4 And yet, traditional security concerns dominate the dynamics of
multilateralism. The inability of the Eurasian states to develop western-style
institutions or to embrace cooperative multilateralism effectively is
the terrain on which conflict resolution and post-bipolar security in
the Middle East is to be understood. He argues that politicalIslam, as
the prominent (rejectionist) front against the official peace process
and Western influence in the region, has gained the capacity to
destabilize, create disorder and participate in the realm of political
conflict. However, he points to fundamental
ideology, politicalIslam. The 1967 war, in discrediting secular Arab nationalism, had left an ideological vacuum while the negative side effects of state-building – the corruption and inequality that oil money encouraged – turned those who felt excluded to politicalIslam as an ideology of protest. These factors precipitated revolution in Iran and the attempt of the Islamic republic to export its revolution, leading to war in the Gulf. This was paralleled by the rise of the revisionist Likud party in Israel which similarly led to war in Lebanon
concept and its application in
Central Asia, see Stuart Horsman, ‘Security Issues Facing the Newly Independent
States of Central Asia: The Cases of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan’, PhD dissertation, University of Sheffield, 1999.
89 International Organization for Migration, CIS Migration Report (Geneva: IOM,
1997), pp. 56–60, cited in ‘Migrations in Kazakhstan’, Eurasian File, 96 (April
1998), p. 7.
90 Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan/TACIS, Uzbekistan Economic Trends
1997, First Quarter (Tashkent, 1998), p. 49.
91 For the relationship between politicalIslam and
Numerous studies have used the Turkish example,
in particular, in support of these arguments to explain the rise of
politicalIslam and its successes. The conclusion is appropriate,
however, for the entire region.
For an early account of these conditions, see
Michael Hudson’s seminal 1977 book Arab Politics
-state ideology, politicalIslam, which, like Arabism, conditioned regime legitimacy on defence of regional autonomy against Western domination.
De-colonisation and the Cold War
De-colonisation and the bi-polar Cold War between the USA and the USSR transformed the terms of international penetration in the Middle East. To be sure, given the exceptional concentration of Western interests there – oil, transit routes, and the protection of Israel – the Western great powers had no intention of leaving the region in the wake of Arab