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The Middle East: Contexts and Dynamics

Street fruit vendor, courtesy of Cristina Viehmann

Street fruit vendor in Cairo, Egypt

Despite the recent disappointments experienced in the Middle East, there is still room for optimism. Behind the regional Great Game between Iran and Saudi Arabia, for example, there is a deeper struggle to shed traditional zero-sum thinking for more liberal, cooperative approaches, especially in the case of security. At the same time, the Arab uprisings have already succeeded in creating an appetite for greater socio-economic reforms. The question now is whether these demands will be fulfilled or whether new problems, such as those caused by climate change, will undermine them.

The Arab Spring and Climate Change

16 Aug 2013 / Special Feature

Here’s an uncommon question – What role has climate change played in the Arab Spring and how has it acted as a ‘threat multiplier’ in the Middle East? This collection of essays from the Stimson Center explains how the region’s changing climate is indeed helping exacerbate different forms of unrest. More on «The Arab Spring and Climate Change»

The Political Economy of the Arab World

15 Aug 2013 / Special Feature

The Arab Spring has both complicated the socio-economic challenges facing the Middle East and created opportunities for unprecedented change. In this feature, the German Marshall Fund outlines some of these challenges. More on «The Political Economy of the Arab World»

Regionalism and Regionalization in the Middle East

14 Aug 2013 / Article

While many attempts to regionalize the Middle East have occurred over the last half century, political, security, and economic cooperation still remains limited. Matteo Legrenzi and Marina Calculli examine where these attempts have gone wrong and explores the prospects for greater regional unity in the future. More on «Regionalism and Regionalization in the Middle East»

Living with the Middle East's Old-New Security Paradigm

13 Aug 2013 / Article

Despite attempts to put the Arab uprisings within a comprehensive geopolitical framework, FRIDE’s Richard Youngs argues that none of them has truly captured the security dynamics in the region. A wide variety of security regimes could still emerge, ranging from the Hobbesian to the cooperative and liberal. More on «Living with the Middle East's Old-New Security Paradigm»

The Middle Eastern 'Great Game'

12 Aug 2013 / Article

The strategic competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran now involves proxy struggles throughout the Middle East – in Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria and now Qatar. Simon Mabon explores the ethnic, sectarian and geopolitical contours of this contest, which he calls the region’s ‘great game’. More on «The Middle Eastern 'Great Game'»

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