International Relations

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Raymond Hinnebusch

This chapter assesses the renewed destabilising impact of international attempts to reshape the regional order in an age of unipolarity and globalisation. 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 latest case, the 11 September events, the particular character of the crisis was shaped by the dominant features of the current international system, namely US hegemony and globalisation. The US response, an intensification of its military intervention in the region, appears likely to exacerbate the problem it seeks to address.

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Limiting institutions?

The challenge of Eurasian security governance

Edited by: James Sperling, Sean Kay and S. Victor Papacosma

Eurasian security governance has received increasing attention since 1989. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the institution that best served the security interests of the West in its competition with the Soviet Union, is now relatively ill-equipped resolve the threats emanating from Eurasia to the Atlantic system of security governance. This book investigates the important role played by identity politics in the shaping of the Eurasian security environment. It investigates both the state in post-Soviet Eurasia as the primary site of institutionalisation and the state's concerted international action in the sphere of security. This investigation requires a major caveat: state-centric approaches to security impose analytical costs by obscuring substate and transnational actors and processes. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon marked the maturation of what had been described as the 'new terrorism'. Jervis has argued that the western system of security governance produced a security community that was contingent upon five necessary and sufficient conditions. The United States has made an effort to integrate China, Russia into the Atlantic security system via the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. The Black Sea Economic Cooperation has become engaged in disseminating security concerns in fields such as environment, energy and economy. If the end of the Cold War left America triumphant, Russia's new geopolitical hand seemed a terrible demotion. Successfully rebalancing the West and building a collaborative system with Russia, China, Europe and America probably requires more wisdom and skill from the world's leaders.

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Raymond Hinnebusch

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. This chapter argues that the Middle East is the epicentre of world crisis, chronically war-prone and the site of the world's most protracted conflicts. It also argues that that the roots of conflict and much state behaviour are found in the peculiar historical construction of the regional system.

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Introduction

Redefining security in the Middle East

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Tami Amanda Jacoby and Brent E. Sasley

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers security in relation to the political sector in terms of processes of democratization in the region and demands of new groups for wider and more meaningful access to political decision making. It establishes a theoretical context for redefining security in the Middle East by considering a range of concepts, debates and theories that have traditionally been absent from the field. The book provides an analytical model for redefining national security as a theory and as a practice in the post-Cold War era. It explores fundamental issues related to Islamophobia and the West, the relationship between Islam and democracy, and circumstances for groups and parties to gain political power and effect social change through indigenous tools and symbols.

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Raymond Hinnebusch

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.

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Raymond Hinnebusch

This chapter notes that the incongruity of identity and territory continues to destabilise the politics of the Middle East and to significantly qualify the Westphalian model. While Arab states have consolidated their sovereignty in the face of supra-state ideology, in the making of foreign policy, legitimacy requires their leaders must still balance between the two. Inter-Arab politics arguably remains qualitatively different from ‘international’ politics. Irredentist conflicts continue to bedevil two near-nation-states, Turkey and Israel. Meanwhile, Iran embraces its communal mosaic and projects its foreign policy under an Islamic banner.

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Jaewoo Choo

This chapter assesses the rising geostrategic and geoeconomic importance of Central Asian oil and natural gas for China and the United States, the most transparent source of Sino-American conflict in this region. The oil-rich states of Central Asia have been accorded a privileged place in the American and Chinese foreign policy calculations. As a consequence, these states may become the fodder in any Sino-American competition for geopolitical and geoeconomic predominance in the region. American diplomatic activity in Central Asia prior to September 2001 focused on creating an environment that would privilege American corporations in the exploitation of regional economic and financial opportunities. There has been a progressive realignment of the American military presence in Asia during the past decade. The United States has very slowly crept into the Chinese neighbourhood, from Singapore to Indonesia, from the United Arab Emirates to Oman, and from Uzbekistan and Pakistan to Kazakhstan.

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Geopolitical constraints and institutional innovation

The dynamics of multilateralism in Eurasia

Sean Kay

This chapter assesses the relationship between traditional state-based security concerns and the development of multilateral institutions in Eurasia from 1992 to 2002. In Eurasia, the security dilemma drives the nature of state choices for international cooperation. Much strategic analysis of Eurasian geopolitics focuses on access to oil and related transportation routes. Many strategists thus predict increased competition over natural resources in a new 'great game', as historically practised between Great Britain and Russia in the nineteenth century. Russia's residual hegemony in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is primarily economic and is exercised through pre-existing, Soviet-era personnel networks and bilateral linkage strategies. The most significant attempt at regional balancing against Russia's residual hegemony is the GUUAM grouping of Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is viewed in western circles as a potential balancing mechanism designed by China and Russia to frustrate American global dominance.

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Tami Amanda Jacoby

In this chapter, Israel is the immediate context for exploring gender roles ascribed by national security, and the cleavages that result from a society in constant state of war. It explores the gendered aspects of national security in Israel and considers the ways in which women are domesticated within their protection systems. The chapter also considers how current gender boundaries have developed historically and in relation to the political process in Israel. It discusses the politics of women's resistance in order to explore women's alternative understandings of security. Israeli women have organized around two main responses to the gendered structures of war, responses that correspond to the mainstreaming versus independence debate in feminist theory. Israeli women have always had a difficult relationship with the Israeli military-industrial complex. Since the 1990s, significant changes have taken place in the Middle East military-industrial arena because of the evolution of the strategic environment.

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Raymond Hinnebusch

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. This chapter notes that it can only be adequately understood by analysis of the multiple factors common to all states, namely: foreign policy determinants (interests, challenges) to which decision-makers respond when they shape policies; and foreign policy structures and processes which factor the ‘inputs’ made by various actors into a policy addressing these determinants.