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.

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.

It is frequently claimed that foreign policy making in Middle East states is either the idiosyncratic product of personalistic dictators or the irrational outcome of domestic instability. In fact, it can only be adequately understood by analysis of the multiple factors common to all states, namely: (1) foreign policy determinants (interests, challenges) to which decision-makers respond when they shape policies; and (2) foreign policy structures and processes which factor the ‘inputs’ made by various actors into a policy addressing these

in The international politics of the Middle East
Israel and a Palestinian state

makers in one of the more turbulent regions in the world, the Middle East ( Martin, 1999 ). 1 This chapter will outline the paradigm and apply it to a preliminary analysis of the national security of Israel and a nascent Palestinian state, vis-à-vis each other. 2 The concepts What is the new paradigm, and why call it an integrated approach? At the heart of every definition

in Redefining security in the Middle East

This book and the study of the Middle East This study takes the Middle East to be constituted around an Arab core, with a shared identity but fragmented into multiple territorial states; the core is flanked by a periphery of non-Arab states – Turkey, Iran and Israel – which are an intimate part of the region’s conflicts and an integral part of its balance of power (Cantori and Spiegel 1970; Ismael 1986: 5–13). Because the Middle East’s unique features defy analyses based on any one conceptual approach to international

in The international politics of the Middle East
A veiled threat

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

While for much of the world globalisation is associated with growing interdependence and the spread of ‘zones of peace’, in the Middle East the decade of globalisation was ushered in by war, was marked by intrusive US hegemony, renewed economic dependency on the core and continuing insecurity, and ended with yet another round of war in 2001. In the early 1990s, prospects looked different to some observers: the end of the Cold War, the second Gulf War, and the advance of economic globalisation seemed to provide a unique

in The international politics of the Middle East
Open Access (free)
The international system and the Middle East

The Middle East has been profoundly shaped by the international system, or more precisely, the great powers, which dominate its developed ‘core’. The nineteenth-century expansion of capitalism and imperialism into the region reflected a combination of superior Western technological, market, and military power which penetrated and eventually reduced the Middle East to an economic periphery of the core and imposed a very flawed Western state system on it. Even after independence, Western capitalism continued to penetrate the Middle East: the

in The international politics of the Middle East

granted that the world is a secure place for First World [i.e. developed] states and their citizens’, while the same is not true for developing world countries ( Job, 1992 : 11). This chapter’s purpose is to broaden the definition of security by including regimes and societies as essential referent objects of security. Demands for social, economic and political rights across the Middle East have threatened

in Redefining security in the Middle East
Open Access (free)
Redefining security in the Middle East

I N ITS FORMATIVE stages, the study of the theory and practice of security in all the world’s regional subsystems, including that of the Middle East, was defined primarily by the logic of superpower rivalry. For over five decades, the Cold War security agenda was distinguished by the principal strategic balance, that of a structure of bipolarity, between the

in Redefining security in the Middle East