What is the current structure of international relations, and how does this shape the politics of the Middle East? For decades, the answer was clear: international structure was unipolar, and American predominance shaped the alliance choices of both its allies and its adversaries. In recent years, this clarity has been overtaken by confusion. American primacy has perhaps declined, or at least shifted in its application, but no rival power has yet risen to take its place. How has this perceived change in global structure affected regional politics in the Middle East?

In October 2018, POMEPS, Princeton University’s Bobst Center, and the American University of Beirut brought together nearly two dozen scholars from the United States, Europe and the Middle East at AUB to discuss the impact of shifting global structure on regional dynamics. This collection features sixteen essays ranging across diverse perspectives on the evolving relationship between the global and the regional. Taken together, they offer a fascinating window into the relationship between the global and the regional, and the implications for contemporary regional politics.

Introduction to POMEPS Studies 34: Shifting Global Politics and the Middle East
Marc Lynch, George Washington University
Amaney Jamal, Princeton University

Theorizing Structural Change

Shifting Theories and Shifting Alliances in the Middle East
Curtis R. Ryan, Appalachian State University

In America’s Wake: Turbulence and Insecurity in the Middle East
Waleed Hazbun, University of Alabama

Bringing the Global/Regional IR debates into the discussion about changes in global/regional structures of Middle East international relations
Morten Valbjørn, Aarhus University

Great and Regional Powers in the Middle East: The Evolution of Role Conceptions
May Darwich, Durham University

Poverty, inequality and the structural threat to the Arab region
Rami G. Khouri, American University of Beirut

Europe, the UN and China

Friends with Benefits: China’s Partnership Diplomacy in the Gulf
Jonathan Fulton, Zayed University

Is the Middle East the Transatlantic Achilles’ Heel?
Kristina Kausch, German Marshall Fund of the United States

European ‘Middle Powers’ and the Middle East in the age of Trump and Brexit
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

EU foreign policy in MENA: the pitfalls of depoliticization
Ruth Hanau Santini, Università L’Orientale, Napoli

The UN and the Arab Uprisings: Reflecting a Confused International Order
Karim Makdisi, American University of Beirut

Regional Dynamics

Insecurity, Identity Politics, and the Restructuring of the Middle East
Raffaella A. Del Sarto, SAIS Europe, The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

Global and regional crises, empowered Gulf rivals, and the evolving paradigm of regional security
Emma Soubrier, George Washington University

Structure, Agency and External Involvement in the Syria conflict
Christopher Phillips, Queen Mary University of London

From State-Building to State-Fraying Permeability: NSAs in the Post-Popular Uprisings Arab World
Bassel F. Salloukh, Lebanese American University

Saudi Arabian military activism in Yemen: Interactions between the domestic and the systemic level
Maria-Louise Clausen, Danish Institute for International Studies

Alliances and Threats in the Middle East: Neoclassical Realism and the Balance of Interest
Ahmed Morsy, American Political Science Association

POMEPS Studies 34: Shifting Global Politics and the Middle East