- Louise Fawcett
This chapter offers an overview of the changing dynamics of regionalism and alliance-making in the Middle East, covering processes that are closely related to states’ foreign and domestic policy choices. It examines practices of regionalism alongside international relations approaches that consider the varied explanations of the roles of ideas, interests, and domestic and external agency. It also demonstrates the loose fit between traditional, international relations concerns and regional realities, citing the EU as an example that cannot be considered a useful model for a region like the Middle East. The chapter combines domestic, regional, and international factors to review the Middle East’s slow record in terms of successful institution-building and alliance volatility. It considers the theory and practice of regional cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and how the Middle East experience relates to comparative studies of regionalism.