This chapter uses comparative analysis to elucidate how the interaction between the system level and particular state formation paths shapes similarities and differences in states' international behaviour. What explains the similarities and differences in the foreign policy behaviour of Middle East states? As this chapter shows, neither state features nor systemic forces alone have an impact on foreign policy but the interrelation between a state's specific position in systemic structures and its particular internal features determines its foreign policy behaviour. The level of consolidation determines whether a state remains a victim of its systemic environment or becomes an effective actor in it. Finally, leadership, by virtue of its location at the intersection of the systemic and the domestic, can make choices that set states on new tangents.
This chapter outlines the paradigm and applies it to a preliminary analysis of the national security of Israel and a nascent Palestinian state. The problem with the realist approach to conceptualizing national security was vividly demonstrated by the implosion of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Adopting the state as the level of analysis creates a problem for exploring the national security of the Palestinian entity, which at time of writing has not achieved de jure recognition as a state. In contrast to a number of Middle Eastern states that have serious ethnic divisions, the Palestinian state is blessed with a relatively homogeneous ethnic that is Arab, population. The Palestinian economy ranks among the poorer economies of the developing world, being even below the average for the Middle East and North Africa.
This chapter 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 construction of Others in Eurasia has taken place through intertwined processes which Graham Smith has called essentialisation, historicisation, and 'totalisation' or the use of absolute categories. In Russia, the discourse of national identity reproduction overwhelmingly includes the explicit identification of hostile Others abroad, such as Islamic fundamentalists and organised criminal gangs. In addition to analysing the way in which national identity determines the direction of foreign policy, it is necessary to consider state strength (or weakness). State capacity directly bears on the viability of state-brokered international institutions.
The nineteenth-century expansion of capitalism and imperialism into the Arab 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. External intervention and its often-damaging consequences stimulated an on-going reaction manifested in nationalist and Islamic movements. To many Arabs and Muslims, the struggle with imperialism, far from being mere history, continues, as imperialism reinvents itself in new forms. The Middle East has become the one world region where anti-imperialist nationalism, obsolete elsewhere, remains alive and where an indigenous ideology, Islam, provides a world view still resistant to West-centric globalisation. This dynamic explains much of the international politics of the region.
This chapter is a clarification of the difference between political liberalization and democratization. It formulates the theoretical arguments, namely that regimes and societies are two important referent objects of security which, though neglected by traditional security studies literature, are consequential; and that the two are inextricably linked. This is followed by the chapter's empirical case study, the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority. The chapter offers some preliminary thoughts on the usefulness of this addition to security studies in the light of the Middle Eastern context. An examination of regime-society relations in the developing world in general and the Middle East in particular highlights the inadequacies of traditional formulations of security. Demands for social, economic and political rights across the Middle East have threatened the positions, indeed the very safety and perhaps even the survival, of regimes that have been in power for many years.
This chapter argues two main themes. The first is that ethnic civil conflicts such as the ones in Bosnia, Macedonia and Mountainous Karabagh are at the same time regional security issues whose trajectory is critically affected as much by external actors as by internal ones. The second theme is that the behaviour of all parties involved, ethnic groups within states, governments of other states, and others, depends on their construction of their interests. In the hot spots of Eurasia, security dilemmas continue to exist within and between states because states and groups define their security in mutually exclusive ways. Scholars, practitioners and journalists have developed a number of different ideas about how to explain the ethnic violence in Eurasia. The chapter presents the internal dynamics of the ethnic conflicts and explores the ethnic myths and symbols at the root of the groups' conflicting identities.
The EU has little involvement with 'Eurasia' as compared to the extensive relations it has developed with other parts of the world. A united Europe whose strength would rest ultimately on the joint pillars of its single currency and a common security and defence policy could be viewed either as a counterweight or as a counterpart of American leadership and power. The rise of a strong euro as a global currency could harm a dollar that has provided well for Europe's affluence, and an autonomous Europe could hamper a US leadership that has served well Europe's security. For both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the EU, dual enlargement is a vital dimension of a western strategy for the unfinished security business in and beyond Europe.
The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were not only the most audacious and successful terrorist attacks the world has yet seen, but also marked the maturation of what had been described as the 'new terrorism'. There had been voices in the national security community, including on the National Security Council itself, warning about transnational threats such as terrorism and organised crime. If the potential for Atlantic divisions remained very considerable, however, the common interests of the United States and its European allies in combating the challenge from radical Islamic terrorism are difficult to overestimate. This chapter provides a conceptual analysis and assessment of terrorist threats. It considers the nature of the responses that are required as both the United States and European governments adapt to what is a very different kind of security challenge from that for which they prepared during the Cold War.
The postwar security system encompassing the Eurasian landmass was governed by the stable crisis produced by the bipolar distribution of power and the alliance system it spawned. Security governance has received increasing attention since 1989. Its rising conceptual salience is derived in large measure from the challenges presented by the 'new' security agenda. A weak system of security governance in Eurasia could be founded upon a system of alliances. Alliance theory has provided the framework for understanding not only the evolution of the postwar European security order, but that of the European state system since 1648. This chapter also presents key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book investigates the important role played by identity politics in the shaping of the Eurasian security environment.
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.