- Marina Calculli
- and Matteo Legrenzi
This chapter examines the Middle East’s security dilemmas by reconsidering the balance of power and threats in light of the Arab Spring. Although external actors are still important, as is regime security, in this balance, an important feature of the current scene is the ‘securitization of identities’ whereby rival regimes mobilize different identities to preserve and consolidate their positions against the destabilizing effects of change. The chapter also explores the emergence of a region-based rivalry between monarchies and republics and how they were affected by the Arab uprisings; the strategic competition between Sunni and Shia Islam; and the impact of the ‘Shia crescent’ from 2003 to the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the ways that competition among rival Sunni regimes in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings has been ideologically shaped in terms of support for/opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood.