The Middle East at a Time of Negative Certainty

54
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-6-94-103

I. Zvyagelskaya (izvyagelskaya@yandex.ru),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation;
I. Svistunova (isvistunova@imemo.ru),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation;
N. Surkov (nsurkov@imemo.ru),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article deals with political, social and economic trends in the Middle East, with a special emphasis on the issue of uncertainty. This uncertainty which is not new for the international relations has been a permanent feature of the region for decades. Certain regional trends tend to acquire a global dimension. The traditional domination of a foreign policy agenda over domestic one in the Middle East countries can be easily discerned in the global powers’ policies nowadays. A number of global trends either do not work in the Middle East, or turn into their opposite. Thus, the regionalism does not manifest itself in enhanced cooperation or integration. Paradoxically, the integrity of the region is accentuated by conflicts; the latter are getting easily and quickly internationalized with regional states and non-state actors becoming active players and beneficiaries. The revival of ideology is another example of regional trends that can contradict or precede global developments. While the role of ideologies has been downgrading at the global level, the issues of civilizational and political choice have been in the center of public discourse in the Middle East since the Arab Spring. A global renaissance of ideology inspired by the world crisis cannot be ruled out. Political developments in the Middle East are currently even less predictable than they were in the past. Regional states are facing traditional economic challenges, such as low growth rates, high external debt, budget deficits and a single-commodity export dependence, and at the same time new systemic factors, e.g. global warming and increasing water scarcity, along with such “black swans” as coronavirus and energy market meltdown. Currently, the problems that were prevalent mostly in the Middle East are spreading all over the world shaping global trends. Elements of de-regionalization, deepening inter-state rivalries, conflicts, poor governance, protests that have been characteristic for the Middle East scene can be found all over the world which is now also suffering from the growing uncertainty.

Keywords: Middle East, uncertainty, global and regional trends, regional actors, rivalry, new threats and challenges, socio-economic situation


REFERENCES 

1. Rossiya i mir: 2020. Ekonomika i vneshnyaya politika. Ezhegodnyi prognoz: ekonomika i vneshnyaya politika [Russia and the World 2020. Annual Forecast: Economy and Foreign Policy]. Dynkin A.A., Baranovsky V.G., project leads. Moscow, IMEMO, 2019. 172 p. DOI:10.20542/978-5-9535-0566-6

2. Tsygankov P.A. Vneshnyaya politika Rossii v usloviyakh global’noi neopredelennosti. Predislovie redaktora [Russia’s Foreign Policy Under Global Uncertainty. Editor’s Introduction]. Moscow, KnoRus, 2015. 440 p.

3. Voskresenskii A.D., ed. Vostok/Zapad. Regional›nye podsistemy i regional›nye problemy mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii [East/West. Regional Subsystems and Regional problems of International Relations]. Moscow, ROSSPEN, 2002. 528 p.

4. Naumkin V., Kuznetsov V. Blizhnii Vostok: k arkhitekture novoi stabil’nosti? [A New Security Architecture for the Middle East?] Moscow, Valdai Discussion Club, February 2020. 20 p.

5. Timofeev I.N. Dilemma bezopasnosti: risk vooruzhennogo konflikta mezhdu velikimi derzhavami [Security Dilemma: A Risk of the Armed Conflict between the Great Powers]. Polis. Political Studies, 2009, no 4, pp. 8-33.

6. Kremenyuk V. Sovremennyi mezhdunarodnyi konflikt: problemy upravleniya [Contemporary International Conflict: The Problems of Management]. International Trends, 2003, January–April, no. 1, pp. 63-73.

7. Oğuzlu H.T. Turkish Foreign Policy in a Changing World Order. All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace, 2020, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 127-139. Available at: https://doi.org/10.20991/allazimuth.464076

8. Kamrava M. Multipolarity and Instability in the Middle East. Orbis, Fall 2018, pp. 598-616. DOI:10.1016/j.orbis.2018.08.003

9. Grand Strategy for Israel: Reflections and Directions. Haifa, The Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research, 2017. 413 p.

10. Ekşi M. Regional Hegemony Quests in the Middle East from the Balance of Power System to the Balance of Proxy Wars: Turkey as Balancing Power for the Iran–Saudi Rivalry. Gazi Akademik Bakış, December 2017, no. 11 (21), pp. 133-156. DOI:10.19060/gav.379597

11. Aras B., Yorulmazlar E. Turkey, Iran and the Gulf Crisis. HSF Policy Brief, March 2018, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 1-12.

12. Ekşi M. Turk Dış Politikasının Ultimo Ratiosu: Yumuşak Gucten Sert Guce Turkiye’nin Suriye Politikası. Karadeniz Araştırmaları, 2018, XV/60, ss. 71-99. [Eksi M. The Ultima Ratio of Turkish Foreign Policy: Turkey’s Syria Policy from Soft to Hard Power. Journal of the Black Sea Studies, 2018, XV/60, pp. 71-99 (In Turkish)]. DOI:10.12787/KARAM1355

13. Hazbun W. Regional Powers and the Production of Insecurity in the Middle East. MENARA Working Papers. Rome, IAI, no. 11, September 2018. 19 p.

14. Hamzawy Amr. Can Egypt’s Democratic Hopes Be Revived? Journal of Democracy, 2019, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 158-169. DOI:10.1353/jod.2019.0059

15. Beck M. OPEC+ and Beyond: How and Why Oil Prices are High. 24.01.2019. Available at: https://www.e-ir.info/2019/01/24/opec-and-beyond-how-and-why-oil-prices-are-high/ (accessed 12.02.2020).

16. Faucon B., Said S., Hodari D. Saudis Plan to Increase Oil Production Capacity in Price War with Russia. 11.03.2020. Available at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-arabia-to-boost-oil-output-even-further-11583911022 (accessed 23.03.2020).

17. Pietromarchi V. Coronovirus in the Middle East: What you need to know. Available at: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/coronavirus-middle-east-200225124248535.html (accessed 26.03.2020).

18. Youth and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. World Youth Report. Available at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/world-youth-report/wyr2018.html (accessed 15.03.2020).

19. Yemen: Age structure from 2008 to 2018. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/524184/age-structure-in-yemen/ (accessed 16.03.2020).

20. Syria: Age structure from 2008 to 2018. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/326601/age-structure-in-syria/ (accessed 16.03.2020).

21. Saudi Arabia: Age structure from 2008 to 2018. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/262478/age-structure-insaudi-arabia/ (accessed 16.03.2020).

22. Qatar: Age structure from 2008 to 2018. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/379577/age-structure-in-qatar/ (accessed 16.03.2020).

23. Al-Rawi Ahmed. The Arab Spring and Online Protests in Iraq. International Journal of Communication, January 2014, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 916-942.

24. Maryam Alhassani. The Evolution of Iraq’s Protests: Excessive Force Pushes Protesters to Adapt. 04.02.2020. Available at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/fikraforum/view/the-evolution-of-iraqs-protests-excessive-force-pushes-protesters-to-adapt (accessed 18.03.2020).

25. Truevtsev K.M. Volneniya v Irake: prodolzhenie arabskoi vesny ili novaya politicheskaya real’nost’? [Unrest in Iraq: Continuation of an Arab Spring or a New Political Reality?] Russian International Affairs Council, 13.11.2019. Available at: https://russiancouncil.ru/analytics-and-comments/analytics/volneniya-v-irake-prodolzhenie-arabskoy-vesny-ili-novaya-politicheskaya-realnost/ (accessed 18.03.2020).

26. Lamine Chikhi. Algerian students still pushing for change after general’s death. Available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-algeria-protests/algerian-students-still-pushing-for-change-after-generals-death-idUSKBN1YS0XU (accessed 25.03.2020).

27. Hanen Jebli. Tunisia’s youth seek role in forming new government. 30.01.2020. Available at https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/01/tunisian-caretaker-government-revolution-youth-politics.html#ixzz6I4BjEtiE (accessed 24.03.2020).

28. Global Stocks Rise. Trading economics. Available at: https://tradingeconomics.com (accessed 18.03.2020).

29. Sharma A. An Analysis of Belt and Road’ Initiative and the Middle East. Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, London, Taylor & Francis Group, 2019. DOI:10.1080/25765949.2019.1586179 Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331961399_An_Analysis_of_’_Belt_and_Road’_Initiative_and_the_Middle_East (accessed 23.03.2020).

30. Wiseman Alexander W., Alromi Naif H., Alshumrani Saleh. Challenges to creating an Arabian Gulf knowledge economy. Education for a Knowledge Society in Arabian Gulf Countries. International Perspectives on Education and Society, 2014, vol. 24, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 1-33. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/S1479-367920140000024002

31. Gukasyan G.L. Makroekonomicheskie problemy stran – eksporterov nefti v usloviyakh nestabil’nosti mirovogo rynka [Macroeconomic Problems of the Oil Exporting Countries under the Instability of the World Market]. Vestnik RUDN. Seriya “Gosudarstvennoe i munitsipal’noe upravlenie”, 2018, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 411-425. DOI:10.22363/2312-8313-2018-5-4-411-425

32. BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019. Available at: https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/business-sites/en/global/corporate/pdfs/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2019-full-report.pdf (accessed 20.03.2020).

33. How the Middle East is suffering on the front lines of climate change. World economic forum. Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/04/middle-east-front-lines-climate-change-mena/ (accessed 15.03.2020).

34. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4644a.pdf (accessed 15.03.2020).

35. Barton A., Writer G. Water in crisis – Middle East. The water project. Available at: https://thewaterproject.org/water-crisis/water-in-crisis-middle-east (accessed 15.03.2020).

36. Dynkin A., Telegina E. Tanets chernykh lebedei: mirovaya prem’era [A Dance of Black Swans: A World Opening. Available at: https://www.interfax.ru/interview/701437 (accessed 30.03.2020).


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Zvyagelskaya I., Svistunova I., Surkov N. The Middle East at a Time of Negative Certainty . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, No 6, pp. 94-103. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-6-94-103



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexed

 

 

 

 

Current Issue
2023, vol. 67, No. 1
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism of the European Union: a New Tool of Global Governance
  • Russia in American Climate Strategies
  • Latin America and NATO: Correlation Formats in the XX – the First Quarter of the XXI Century
  • Russia’s Chance to Renew Global Modernity
Submit an Article
INVITATION FOR PUBLICATION
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.