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Cover International Relations of the Middle East

8. Regionalism and Shifting Alliances in the Middle East  

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.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

13. Longevity of Terrorist Groups  

Leena Malkki

This chapter explores the average longevity, characteristics, and operational environment of terrorist groups. A large number of terrorist groups do not survive their first year, while the average lifespan of terrorist organizations is around 8–9 years. Large groups tend to have a longer lifespan than smaller ones, especially if they form alliances. The chapter also looks into factors motivating groups to continue with violent attacks. Such factors include specific state and group characteristics and intergroup relations. It examines the instrumental model and the organizational model and looks into the rationality behind terrorist decision-making.

Chapter

Cover International Relations of the Middle East

9. Regionalism and Alliances in the Middle East  

Louise Fawcett

This chapter describes the changing dynamics of regionalism and alliance-making in the Middle East, processes that are closely related to and reflect states' foreign and domestic policy choices. The Middle East is not a region without regionalism at the societal or interstate level. There have been multiple forces for cooperation, particularly in the Arab world, based upon common identity, interests and beliefs; multiple alliances that intersect the Arab and non-Arab world; and evidence of cooperation in both broader and narrower regional settings like the Gulf. Global as well as regional trends and influences also push the Middle East into new arenas of cooperation. However, outcomes are mixed: an array of factors including regime insecurity, local rivalries, and external influence inhibit attempts at regional cooperation. Events since the Arab Spring have presented opportunities but also further challenges for Arab regional institutions as new divides and regional alignments emerge.