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The Aggravated Struggle for Regional Power in the Middle East: American Allies Saudi Arabia and Israel versus Iran

The Aggravated Struggle for Regional Power in the Middle East: American Allies Saudi Arabia and... The present contribution first describes the aggravated Middle Eastern power competition in the 21st century, thereby emphasizing two aspects: the concentration of participants in the regional power game to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Iran, including shifts in regional power distribution; and the recent trend of entanglement of the Israeli–Iranian conflict with that between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Second, it contributes to an explanation of these developments by discussing the explanatory power of approaches based on three paradigms: primordialism, rationalism, and social constructivism. It is shown that a rationalist school of thought – structural realism – does not perform perfectly but nonetheless does rather well in explaining the aggravated power competition in the Middle East and the entanglement of the rivalries of each of the two American allies with Iran. At the same time, it is shown that the best way of bridging some of the explanatory gaps of structural realism in the case of Middle Eastern power politics is to epistemologically embed insights from rationalist schools of thought in a setting of a positivist version of social constructivism. On this fundament, the article explores a Copenhagen School‐inspired approach of securitization to better comprehend recent developments of aggravated Middle Eastern power conflicts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Global Policy Wiley

The Aggravated Struggle for Regional Power in the Middle East: American Allies Saudi Arabia and Israel versus Iran

Global Policy , Volume 11 (1) – Feb 1, 2020

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References (63)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 University of Durham and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
ISSN
1758-5880
eISSN
1758-5899
DOI
10.1111/1758-5899.12778
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The present contribution first describes the aggravated Middle Eastern power competition in the 21st century, thereby emphasizing two aspects: the concentration of participants in the regional power game to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Iran, including shifts in regional power distribution; and the recent trend of entanglement of the Israeli–Iranian conflict with that between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Second, it contributes to an explanation of these developments by discussing the explanatory power of approaches based on three paradigms: primordialism, rationalism, and social constructivism. It is shown that a rationalist school of thought – structural realism – does not perform perfectly but nonetheless does rather well in explaining the aggravated power competition in the Middle East and the entanglement of the rivalries of each of the two American allies with Iran. At the same time, it is shown that the best way of bridging some of the explanatory gaps of structural realism in the case of Middle Eastern power politics is to epistemologically embed insights from rationalist schools of thought in a setting of a positivist version of social constructivism. On this fundament, the article explores a Copenhagen School‐inspired approach of securitization to better comprehend recent developments of aggravated Middle Eastern power conflicts.

Journal

Global PolicyWiley

Published: Feb 1, 2020

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