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HUGO GROTIUS (Huig de Groot), a modern természetjogi felfogás és a modern politikai irodalom egyik megteremtője, aki a természet-jogon alapuló nemzetközi jog alapjait fektette le. »»

Keresés:
HONLAP SZERKESZTŐSÉG IMPRESSZUM BEKÖSZÖNTŐ LEVÉL NEKÜNK
 TANULMÁNY

KISS J. LÁSZLÓ

Middle Eastern Studies and Theories of International Relations

As J. Bill wrote, summarizing academic research into the region, “political processes in the Middle East resist observation, discourage generalization and defy explanation”. Others draw the attention to the fact that if we start out from the mainstream theories of international relations and try to apply their methodology, the empirics will resist analysis. Realism and neorealism both consider the fundamental characteristics of states to be uniform, but while the former acknowledges the significance of certain national features, the latter focuses on the systemic context affecting all actors in the international system. Up to the end of the Second World War, and even into the initial period of the cold war, realist theories giving priority to the concepts of security and anarchy could be applied easily to analyzing relations between European states and to Soviet-American relations. However, these same theories proved to be less suitable as to the Middle East, since in this region inter-ethnic cooperation was historically much more intensive, the development of statehood much weaker, and until the Second World War the regional states system was still in the making. Nevertheless, the realist approach found empirical support in the ceaseless rivalry of empires for security over the 19th and in the early 20th century, as evidenced by the Ottoman Empire’s attempts at alliance-building, just as in the formation of alliances between Arab and non-Arab states, such as the Arab League, the Baghdad Pact, the Gulf Cooperation Council, or the different bilateral agreements during the Cold War between the United States and Israel, or between Iran, the Soviet Union, Syria or Egypt. According to the realist approach, it is the vital interest of states to maintain their position and power, and to counter threats from others in the interest of their survival. Those planning and implementing such policies are the dominant and hegemonic powers, as they are the ones that have the necessary resources required to influence the international system. The history of Europe, Asia and America is the history of hegemonic powers, while, on the contrary, the Middle East has no such history, even if Egypt has been traditionally referred to as the ‘natural’ leader of the Arab world, a position which Egypt did hold at times under the charismatic leadership of Nasser. But it never had sufficient economic and military power to become the organizer of the regional system for an extended period of time, and, accordingly, establish and maintain the necessary institutions. On the basis of its claim to religious primacy and its oil resource, Saudi Arabia also possesses similar characteristics, but its population is far smaller than the size desirable for a major power. Iraq, Syria, just as pre- and post-revolutionary Iran have also tried to secure the position of regional leadership, but these attempts have repeatedly ended up in failure in terms of organizing the regional system and stabilizing institutionalized leadership (hegemonic stability). Israel could be considered an exception, as on the basis of its military, economic and technological potential it is a regional major power, but it has failed to create a regional system that could be expected of its great power’s status. It has remained isolated and a source of division in the region, while its dependence on the United States is considerable, and the internal composition of its population is no less problematic.


 

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GROTIUS KÖNYVTÁR


Studies on Political Islam and Islamic Political Thought

Európa és a világ

Az európai történelem eszméje

Az iszlám Európában

Európa és Ázsia. Modernizáció és globalizáció

Iszlám és modernizáció a Közel-Keleten

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