Regime Security and the Logic of Alliances in the Middle East

Document Type : Research Paper




This article seeks to systematically survey the logic of unstable alliances in the Middle East after the Arab revolutions. On what basis do the governments of the Middle East enter into alliances with each other and what variables influence their fluid-forming coalition behavior? Contrary to mainstream approaches to explaining the nature of alliances, variables such as balance of power, anarchy, identity, and external threats alone are unable to understand the empirical mechanisms and complexities of Middle Eastern governments' unifying behavior. Using theories of alliance in international relations, the present paper proposes an integrated framework of "regime security" as an alternative approach to survey the roots of alliance in the Middle East. Despite the changes in the international and regional environment, the main interests of each of the Middle Eastern governments are still to ensure the survival and security of their political regime. Indeed, the foreign relations and alliance options of Middle Eastern governments are based on their dynamic action to secure the ruling regime in the face of potential internal and external threats. Under such circumstances, alliances are formulated as transnational coalitions between potential allies to ensure the survival of political regimes. For test of the main idea of the article, case studies of regional alliances in the Middle East is discussed.


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