- Bahgat Korany
This chapter examines the evolving regional security situation in the Middle East since the end of the Cold War. While longstanding issues like the Arab–Israeli conflict and the nuclearization of Iran still characterize the regional security context, the biggest game changer has been a series of domestic events that came to be known as the Arab Spring. The chapter considers old and new security challenges — economic, political, and social — faced by the Middle East during the period, focusing on the role of ‘intermestics’: the close connection between the international and domestic politics of the region. It also explores other key themes that have come to dominate the contemporary international relations of the region, including oil, globalization, and religio-politics. Finally, it discusses the notion of ‘Arab exceptionalism’ and the winds of change that continue to persist throughout the region.