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This text aims to fill a gap in the field of Middle Eastern political studies by combining international relations theory with concrete case studies. It begins with an overview of the rules and features of the Middle East regional system—the arena in which the local states, including Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Jordan and Iraq, operate. The book goes on to analyse foreign-policy-making in key states, illustrating how systemic determinants constrain this policy-making, and how these constraints are dealt with in distinctive ways depending on the particular domestic features of the individual states. Finally, it goes on to look at the outcomes of state policies by examining several major conflicts including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Gulf War, and the system of regional alignment. The study assesses the impact of international penetration in the region, including the historic reasons behind the formation of the regional state system. It also analyses the continued role of external great powers, such as the United States and the former Soviet Union, and explains the process by which the region has become incorporated into the global capitalist market.

Autopilot, neglect or worse?
Nick Bisley

to better focus on the big trends in world politics. Obama’s senior officials perceived that the major conflicts in the Middle East had not only sapped blood and treasure to no obvious strategic advantage, they had also warped the government’s priorities and taken its focus off the major forces that were shaping America’s global interests. In particular, so claimed the administration, Bush’s focus on Iraq and Afghanistan had come at the cost of America’s position in Asia, the region that was fast becoming the world’s most important. The response to this perceived

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific