Systemic Approaches to Middle East International Relations Academic Article uri icon


  • This article critiques four important works that use systems-level perspectives to explain the international politics of the Middle East, and suggests an alternative way of conceptualizing the Middle East international system. Its purpose is to show how insights from international relations theory can be used to explain the specificities of the Middle East, and therefore bridge the gap between international relations specialists who use the Middle East as a case study and Middle East area specialists. The article examines: (1) definitions of the Middle East regional system, (2) the independent and dependent variables and causal logics identified in the works under review, and (3) arguments about the uniqueness of the international relations of the Middle East. It concludes with a research program for students of the region's international politics.

author list (cited authors)

  • Gause, F. G.

citation count

  • 23

publication date

  • June 1999