India and the Middle East: a fine balance
The visit of the then newly installed and soon to be deposed Egyptian
President, Mohamed Morsi, to India in March 2013 brought to focus India’s
changing role in the larger MiddleEast where it has significant stakes which
are rising by the day. India’s relationship with the MiddleEast as a region
today is dramatically different than a generation ago, when from 1947 to
1990, India was too ideological toward the region, as was reflected in its
subdued ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.1 Today, however, it is
A field in search of an identity and recognition within and outside academia
Claudia De Martino
This chapter explores the evolution of MiddleEast
Studies (MES) 1 in Italy, and offers a
state-of-the-art analysis of Italian academic thematic patterns, mosaic-like teachings and
research. It revolves around two main research questions: how does a major
‘amnesia’ (Pace and Roccu, 2020 ) of the national
colonial past play out in Italy’s MES tradition?; and to what extent can this be
ascribed to a structural dependency of the Italian academia on those in power in terms of
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 MiddleEast 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
makers in one of
the more turbulent regions in the world, the MiddleEast ( 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
What is the new paradigm, and why
call it an integrated approach? At the heart of every definition
How does migration feature in states’ diplomatic agendas across the Middle East? Until recently, popular wisdom often held that migration is an important socio-economic, rather than political, phenomenon. Migration diplomacy in the Middle East counters this expectation by providing the first systematic examination of the foreign policy importance of migrants, refugees, and diasporas in the Global South. Gerasimos Tsourapas examines how emigration-related processes become embedded in governmental practices of establishing and maintaining power; how states engage with migrant and diasporic communities residing in the West; how oil-rich Arab monarchies have extended their support for a number of sending states’ ruling regimes via cooperation on labour migration; and, finally, how labour and forced migrants may serve as instruments of political leverage. Drawing on multi-sited fieldwork and data collection and employing a range of case studies across the Middle East and North Africa, Tsourapas enhances existing understandings of regional migration governance in the Global South. The book identifies how the management of cross-border mobility in the Middle East is not primarily dictated by legal, moral, or human rights considerations but driven by states’ actors key concern – political power. Offering key insights into the history and current migration policy dilemmas, the book will provide both novices and specialists with fresh insights on migration into, out of, and across the modern Middle East.
This book contains the first comprehensive analysis of the Middle Eastern political economy in response to the oil price decline in 2014. The introductory and concluding chapters also touch upon the oil price crash in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss some of the relevant responses by Middle Eastern actors. Its findings connect oil market dynamics with an understanding of sociopolitical changes. Inspired by rentierism, the volume presents original studies on Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Results show a large diversity of country-specific policy adjustments. Among the most pertinent findings are that migrant workers in the Arab Gulf are the main social losers in the post-2014 period, while citizens were capable of repelling burdensome adjustment policies. For Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, the expectation that they could benefit from the oil price decline in 2014 has not been fulfilled. Three conceptual dimensions for the theoretical advancement of rentierism are highlighted: first, in the light of increasing exploitation and coercion, by bringing state–class relations back into the discussion; second, by paying closer attention to the role of institutions during periods of policy adjustment; third, by exploring the issue of rentier-state autonomy vis-à-vis society in a more nuanced way. Overall, this collection signifies that rentierism still prevails with regard to both empirical dynamics in the Middle East and academic discussions on its political economy.
This book and the study of the MiddleEast
This study takes the MiddleEast 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 MiddleEast’s unique features defy analyses based on any one conceptual approach to international
importance of the MiddleEast, especially since
the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent ‘war on terrorism’ campaign launched by
the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. These two important turning points led to a more
active stance and dramatic change in the traditional characteristics of Turkish foreign
policy: Turkey has changed one of its major foreign policy orientations, which might be
summarised as to influence developments in the MiddleEast region more proactively.
Turkey’s military interventions in Syria targeting the