Regional Fragmentation and Authoritarian‐Liberalism in the Middle East
The main strategic, economic, and political changes in the Middle East since the end of the cold war are outlined, and an attempt made to account for the linkages between them. It is argued, first, that a combination of external and internal factors has reinforced the fragmentation of the Middle East state system, and further undermined prospects for regional cooperation or integration in the security, economic, and political spheres. The record of economic liberalization is examined, before analysing the process of political liberalization. In both cases the focus is on the state, since that is the level at which management of the domestic and external environments is conducted. This allows consideration in the conclusion of the extent to which changes in the region can be directly attributed to the end of the cold war, and of the assumptions about the relationship between the international system and its regional and national units, particularly with regard to the impact of globalization on the nation state and domestic structures of political power.
Keywords: authoritarianism, cold war, economic change, globalization, liberalism, liberalization, Middle East, political change, political power, regional cooperation, regional fragmentation, security, strategic change
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