International Relations and Regional (In)security Chapter uri icon


  • Since the Arab uprisings, new dynamics of insecurity have cleaved the MENA, tugging at the conceptual premise in how this regional subsystem of interstate relationsthat is, Middle East international relations (IR)operates in an era of globalization. Interfacing with conventional IR theories, the chapter shows the retreat of American hegemony as a historical rupture from a unipolar world order. It stresses that new alliances and rivalries, from the Syrian-Iranian coalition to the Saudi-Qatari split, do not comport with existing assumptions for how states should behave when attempting to balance power and project their interests. Emergent conflicts such as proxy wars and sectarianized disputes force us to rethink the origins and duration of violence. All of this makes the study of security itself, long the organizing theme of classical IR, a loaded task. Events in the MENA are teaching theorists to move beyond Western-centric views about what makes states fundamentally secure or insecure.

author list (cited authors)

  • Darwich, M., Gause, F. G., Hazbun, W., Ryan, C., & Valbjrn, M.

complete list of authors

  • Darwich, May||Gause, F Gregory||Hazbun, Waleed||Ryan, Curtis||Valbjørn, Morten

Book Title

  • The Political Science of the Middle East

publication date

  • September 2022