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A veiled threat
Thomas J. Butko

I N THE MIDDLE East, security is strongly influenced by politicized forms of fundamental belief systems. This chapter examines the dual role of political Islam, with specific focus on Palestine and the case of Hamas , the Islamic Resistance Movement, in the West Bank and Gaza. In this context, political Islam represents a general rejection of the Arab

in Redefining security in the Middle East

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.

Raymond Hinnebusch

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 political Islam 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

in The international politics of the Middle East
Raymond Hinnebusch

ideology, political Islam. 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 political Islam 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

in The international politics of the Middle East
A dialogue with Islam as a pattern of conflict resolution and a security approach vis-à-vis Islamism
Bassam Tibi

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 political Islam – particularly in the

in Redefining security in the Middle East
Open Access (free)
The international system and the Middle East
Raymond Hinnebusch

-state ideology, political Islam, 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

in The international politics of the Middle East
Raymond Hinnebusch

resigned in protest of Ozal’s close alignment with the US against Iraq, the military was too divided to act. While it is usually the military that is united and the politicians divided, when the opposite is the case, the military can be restrained (Ahmad 1993: 213–18; Mufti 1998). By the mid-1990s, however, the more usual situation had been restored: weak civilian governments faced a more politicised military seemingly united against perceived threats from the Kurdish insurgency and the rise of political Islam. The military not only carried out a

in The international politics of the Middle East
Raymond Hinnebusch

damaging impact of structural adjustment on marginal populations and by the Westward foreign policy alignments and accommodations with Israel which accompanied economic liberalisation. Egypt’s Mubarak, whose government’s IMF-imposed structural adjustment was reversing the populist social contract and who portrayed his fight against political Islam as a stand on behalf of the Western world, could hardly afford democratisation and reversed his previous halting steps toward it. Intense though peaceful domestic opposition to Jordan’s separate peace with Israel forced King

in The international politics of the Middle East
Raymond Hinnebusch

. Indeed, the vacuum left by the decline of Arabism was filled by heightened identification with either smaller sub-state identities or with the larger Islamic umma , especially after the Iranian Islamic revolution endowed political Islam, an alternative supra-state ideology, with enormous new credibility. Both tendencies were manifest in the Lebanese civil war in which, over time, nationalist movements fragmented into sectarian or regional factions or were displaced by the rise of Hizbollah, a trans-national Islamic movement. While stronger states

in The international politics of the Middle East
Open Access (free)
Redefining security in the Middle East
Tami Amanda Jacoby and Brent E. Sasley

broaden the terrain on which conflict resolution and post-bipolar security in the Middle East is to be understood. He argues that political Islam, 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

in Redefining security in the Middle East