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donor governments has at least generally come with certain stipulations about human rights and relative autonomy for international relief NGOs in the field. The Chinese have no such agenda, and governments in the Global South have come to understand this perfectly. In short, there is no need to apply to Washington or Brussels when making the same application to Beijing comes at a considerably lower cost in terms of what has to be conceded vis-à-vis humanitarian access, let alone human rights guarantees. The advent of a multipolar world poses an

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

. Having devoured, since the 1970s, the last areas of economic and institutional autonomy still outside of itself ( Sloterdijk, 2013 ), other than profitably recycle the precarity it now produces in abundance, so to speak, late-capitalism has no other future. Incorporating the Wired Slum For decades, the global South’s huge informal economies have dwarfed conventional economic activity ( Dunaway, 2014 ). Enabled by connectivity, the long downturn has encouraged late-capitalism to move beyond the South’s enclaves and the special economic zones

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

imperialist influence to establish a relatively autonomous regional system. Additionally, in the rise of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), south–south solidarity produced exceptional financial power that, while failing ultimately to raise the region from the economic periphery, arguably transformed the position of the swing oil producer, Saudi Arabia, from dependence into asymmetric interdependence. However, favourable conditions for regional autonomy have, particularly since the end of the oil boom and Cold War, been largely reversed. The West

in The international politics of the Middle East

: scaling down ambitions to match capabilities and/or building up capabilities to sustain ambitions. Effectiveness denotes the capacity to implement policies. Arguably, state consolidation depends on some balance between the institutionalisation of state structures and the incorporation of mobilised social forces into them (Huntington 1968). A balance endows elites with both sufficient autonomy to make rational choices and sufficient legitimacy and structural capacity to mobilise the support and extract the resources to sustain these choices

in The international politics of the Middle East
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The international system and the Middle East

tended to dominate the region on behalf of a relatively united ‘core’. The first of these hegemons, Great Britain, came near to imposing an imperial order in the Middle East (Brown 1984: 112–39). After the interval of bi-polarity, in which the Arab world attained considerable autonomy, the sole American hegemon has returned to its attempt to establish a Pax Americana in the region. The result, according to Barry Buzan (1991), is that the Islamic Middle East is the only classical civilisation that has not managed to re-establish itself as a significant world actor

in The international politics of the Middle East

determinants. Foreign policy determinants In any states system state elites seek to defend the autonomy and security of the regime and state in the three separate arenas or levels in which they must operate, although which level dominates attention in a given time and country may vary considerably. The regional level: geopolitics    In a states system like the Middle East, where regional militarisation has greatly increased external threats, these often take first place on states’ foreign policy agendas

in The international politics of the Middle East
Explaining foreign policy variation

the hallmarks of statehood – territorial demarcation and internal security – in return for eschewing Wahhabim’s universalistic Islamic mission. To minimise his consequent dependency, Ibn Saud sought to play off his British and American benefactors. But the Saudi state was, from the outset, secure enough in its Islamic identity and autonomy to pursue close mutually beneficial relations with the West (Bromley 1994: 142–7; Salame 1989). Saudi Arabia’s main vulnerability was a function of its large sparsely settled territory, with long, difficult

in The international politics of the Middle East

myths and group fears promoted predatory goals on both sides, with the Armenians calling from the outset for Armenian domination of Karabagh and its transfer to Armenia, while Azerbaijanis soon began calling for revocation of Karabagh’s autonomy and its subordination to direct Azerbaijani administration. As a result, a security dilemma quickly emerged in spite of efforts by Communist Party leaders on both sides to dampen down violence: by the end of 1988, some 180,000 Armenians had been ‘ethnically cleansed’ from Azerbaijan, and 160,000 Azerbaijanis fled from Armenian

in Limiting institutions?

making Lebanon a battlefield between other states, notably Israel and Syria (Ayoob 1995: 7, 47–70; Gause 1992: 444–67). Against this reality must be set a century of ongoing state formation. The consolidation of regimes in individual states created vested interests in the new fragmentation. State builders struggled to contain the penetration of their territory by trans-state forces and tenaciously defended their sovereignty against either a redrawing of boundaries or the sub-state autonomy that might satisfy minority demands. The individual Arab

in The international politics of the Middle East

(Sadat 1978: 302–4: Smith 1996: 256). For Israel’s Begin, the Sinai was a price worth paying since, as it became apparent that Sadat would abandon the Palestinians, he saw the chance to keep the West Bank. While ostensibly the Camp David agreement provided for Palestinian ‘autonomy’, the subsequent failure of this to be realised did not deter Sadat from signing a separate peace with Israel in 1979. At the second Baghdad summit, Iraq and Syria jointly forced Saudi Arabia and other wavering states to ostracise Egypt. This, in forcing Egypt into greater dependence on the

in The international politics of the Middle East