The international politics of the Middle East

Raymond Hinnebusch
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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.


‘A theoretically-sophisticated and historically-contextualized survey of Middle East international relations. The chapter on the Arab uprisings demonstrates robustly the explanatory power of Hinnebusch's eclectic theoretical approach.'
Bassel F. Salloukh, Lebanese American University

‘Distinguished in part by its careful attention to theory and alternative approaches to the region, Hinnebusch's International Relations of the Middle East quickly became one of the most important statements on the Middle East when it was published in 2003. A lot has happened since then, and his thoroughly revised and updated text, once again, stands heads and shoulders above the rest. Indeed, one of the real contributions of the latest edition is that it carefully situates, historically and analytically, the region's convulsions in broader perspective, allowing the readers to better understand the continuity and ruptures of the history of the region.'
Michael Barnett, The George Washington University

‘Following the growing number of calls in recent years for more dialogue between IR theory and the study of the Middle East this ambitious and very impressive volume by a truly 'dual-hatted' scholar brilliantly shows how insights from these two fields of study can be integrated and why such cross-fertilization will not only enrich our understanding of international relations of the Middle East but also contribute in important ways to broader IR-debates.'
Morten Valbjørn, Aarhus University

‘This is a wonderful and updated study of the international relations of the Middle East. It's at once thematic and historical, analytical and substantive. Hinnebusch combines theoretical strength with deep knowledge of a region in turmoil, as he persuasively places the era of the Arab uprisings in a much broader historical context. I highly recommend it.'
Shibley Telhami, University of Maryland

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