International Relations Theory and a Changing Middle East

International Relations Theory and a Changing Middle East

The story of the Arab uprisings of 2010-11 has typically been told as a series of loosely related national stories, happening simultaneously but whose successes and failures were essentially determined by internal factors. Over the last few years, political scientists have made great progress evaluating the success or failure of each country’s uprising in terms of country-specific qualities such as types of domestic institutions, the nature of opposition movements, the wise or poor decisions made by leaders and access to oil revenues. The comparative politics literature on the uprisings has demonstrated real theoretical progress, sophisticated empirical analysis and useful—if too often ignored—policy advice.

Coming in from the Cold: How we may take sectarian identity politics seriously in the Middle East without playing to the tunes of regional power elites

By Helle Malmvig, Danish Institute for International Studies. *This memo was prepared for the International Relations and a new Middle East symposium.  In the aftermath of the Arab uprisings and especially the Syrian war, sectarianism appears to have become entrenched in Middle