The Arab Spring has created a fertile ground for the competition of different models (Turkish, Iranian and Saudi) and for a new balance of power in the Middle East and North Africa. These three models, based on three distinct styles of politics, go hand in hand with competing particular politics of Islam. Their search for a new order in the region synthesises covert and overt claims for regional leadership, national interests and foreign policy priorities. This article argues that the new emerging regional order will be established on either a theo-political understanding, in other words on securitisation and alliances based on sectarian polarisation which will lead to more interference from non-regional actors, or on a gradual reform process of economic integration and diplomatic compromise. In the first case, biases and negative perceptions will be deepened in reference to history and to differences in religious interpretation, and will result in conflict, animosity and outside interference. In the second case, there will be a chance to establish a cooperative regional, nonsectarian perspective accompanied by a critical, but not radical, attitude towards the West.
- Perceptions Spring 2018
- Civilian Powers and Contemporary Global Challenges – Bahadır PEHLİVANTÜRK & Birgül DEMİRTAŞ
- The Transformative Power of the EU in a Changing International Order – Mustafa KUTLAY
- Civilian Powers and the Use of Force: The Evolution of Germany as a ‘Realist Civilian Power’ – Birgül DEMİRTAŞ & Mahmut MAZLUM