Foreign Policy

The EastMed from Below: Why Low Geopolitics Matter

One of the paradoxes of geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East regions is that, despite their inherent complexity, they are often interpreted through too simplistic explanations to understand the dynamics of regional instability and define the security challenges (“war for oil”, “Crusades”, “Jihadist war”, “war against terrorism” etc.) Nevertheless, as the result of the dramatic chain events following the war in Iraq and the so- called “Arab Spring”, broader international audiences have been gradually becoming more acquainted with the dangers stemming from the fragmented social fabric of the region. Regional complexity and the existence of sub-state systems of interest mean that focusing exclusively on “high geopolitics” or international diplomacy is not enough to understand the deep currents of change flowing across the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean without developing a deeper understanding of the security drivers of indigenous actors. For this reason, it is vital to include the “internal realities” and peculiarities of local actors into any analytical frame seeking to explain and understand geopolitical change in the region.

First, state sovereignty in the region has ceased to be taken for granted; geographical boundaries and areas of jurisdiction are increasingly contested, and conflicts evolve on at least three intersecting levels: national, transnational, and international. As a result, geopolitical orders change as the historic blocs whose commitments are central to them are replaced or reformulated around new commitments and strategies. In fact, post-imperial borders have since the early 20th century shaped rigid perceptions of jurisdictional landscape in the region. Borders designated from afresh the morphological and anthropological nature and meaning of territory and for decades boundaries outlined the juridical space and sphere of influence that represented the line of physical contact between people and authorities and naturally afforded opportunities for cooperation and discord. The established function of nation-state borders has growingly come to impose the limits of territoriality, denote sovereignty over people and land, and represent a limit to state action. Yet this pattern of geospatial division from “above”, and the ways it was misused, needs to be re-examined as it has proven fiercely problematic for the region and its people alike, failing to resolve the internal security dilemmas and instil trust.

Although border settlements rarely postulate an ideal coincidence between place and culture, boundaries are usually accepted as perimeters of discrete cultural entities, impeccably homogeneous internally and neatly dissimilar externally. However, borders in the Middle East region barely delimitate natural or self-evident differences between separate ethnographic landscapes, but define zones variously demarcating separation or interaction between trans- border realities and spaces. Today, the Middle East as a whole is a region in which boundaries on landscapes steer up cross-border mobility, induced by vital local and national inter- dependencies within an often-contested territorial environment. In this manner, borders have been instrumental in turning up culturally, religiously and politically interconnected landscapes into fragmented and oppressive spheres of authority, sowing up the seeds of discord.

From a macro-geopolitical point of view, the Eastern Mediterranean region constitutes a “borderland region” itself. As such, it could be investigated as a transition area or a strategic crossroads, or even a contact zone blending the Orient with the Occidental. But, for a deeper understanding of system dynamics and for defining the security trends in the region one must go beyond the epiphenomenal state-system relations and “national strategies” and focus more on the ‘low geopolitical’ perspective. These lower perspectives are intrinsically geospatial, focusing on the delicate ethno-political and religious synthesis and balance in the region as reflected on the nature of cross-border affiliations and interests.

Second, the developing political contestations and the ensuing destabilization and overthrow of established regimes have exposed some interesting albeit multifarious interlinkages reflected on the theatres of conflict in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The fluidity caused by the Arab Spring domino has led to the grouping and spreading of indigenous heterogeneous forces beyond formal borders, activating a distinct clash of interests and leading up to the constellation of newly emerging power-blocks and alliances as a result of the overlapping security contestations between revisionist and status quo actors. Initially, the revival and mobilization of interethnic affiliations along the Turkey-Syria-Iraq axis exposed the interconnectedness and dormant dynamics in the region, changing the way in which the region has traditionally been viewed and examined by policymakers.

Dominant transnational dichotomies, such as secularism vs political Islam, Sunni vs Shia, Christianity vs Islam, and critical minority/majority contestations shape current security perceptions and define the role of influential actors and alliances across the region. Cleavages have become politically divisive due to the reconfiguration of power-relations and the triggering of counter-reactions, and because of the emergence of novel security notions, which are partly inspired by a deliberate instrumentalization of “otherness” and the use of “proxies” by international powers. This ongoing security transition has exposed not only the transnational nature of dependencies and the cross-border character of activities in the region, posing questions as to the intrinsic challenge of democratic state-formation and ethnic accommodation in the region – but it has also nurtured a drastic, yet still fluid rearrangement of international and regional power politics. Regional state and sub-state leaderships feel the need of positioning themselves in this rivalry nexus in one way or another.

Third, security interests and confrontations in the region cut through horizontally; all states in the region face internal power contestations, while alliances are formed not only between states, but also across sub-state actors in the region. This inevitably makes it very difficult for states to decide with whom and on what for to align. Developments on the lower strands of the geopolitical (dis)order offer a perspective of the upcoming forces shaping the region, the pressures and opportunities that may arise and the risk-measures required to counter these with a view of preventing the emergence of hegemony, control, and dependence. The Eastmed region is an important security sub-system in flux; in search of order and equilibrium. Neither order in such a complex area nor any kind of regional equilibrium could ever be successfully promoted from “above” without mapping, understanding, accommodating, and stabilizing the ‘lower geopolitical’ landscape.

Dr. Pavlos I. Koktsidis
Adj. Lecturer, Department of Social & Political Sciences University of Cyprus

Cyprus, Global Grand Strategy, and the Conflict in the Levant

Nodes of institutional flexibility in the international system are difficult to locate. Geopolitical locations where overlapping institutional arrangements make for possibilities of dynamic coordination are fortuitous but require nimble diplomatic maneuvering and long-term foresight among foreign ministers, international agencies, and policy advisers. Cyprus occupies such a location in the construction of global grand strategy in the Levant. It does so because of its unique geopolitical and institutional place in international society. It is a divided frontier at the edge of the European Union. It exists at the confluence of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, as well as Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. It is in the EU but out of NATO. It is a sovereign member of international society, yet burdened by (mis)use of its territory by regional and global powers.[1] It is one of few states in the region with a pragmatic and non-aligned approach to both the United States and Russia. A solution to its divided status offers an uncommon opportunity to unite not only the two communities on the island, but also regional actors, in a coordinated strategy for the greater Levant.[2] In the discussion that follows, I briefly explore four key relationships in the foreign policy of Cyprus. Then, I explain how re-imagining these relationships makes Cyprus a node of institutional flexibility in the construction of a global grand strategy for the greater Levant.

First, Cypriot membership in the EU affords it an institutional shield that other states in the region cannot claim. As a member of the EU, it has an opportunity to act as a forum for a more robust and coordinated common foreign and security policy. To date, EU policy has been a reaction to UNSC policy and the individual actions of EU member states. It remains broadly traditional in its orientation around the isolation of the recalcitrant Assad regime and the destruction of ISIL. The complex of Council decisions and regulations, as well as subsequent revisions and amendments, are meant to restrict interactions across all sectors of state policymaking, isolate key individuals from participation in international society, and signal to regional and international actors who and what counts as members of international society.[3] To argue, however, that implementation of these actions has led to a common foreign and security policy with respect to Syria, or to make the more substantive claim that such directives and regulations provide evidence of EU grand strategy is misleading. At best, these policies represent patterns of behavior meant to discipline EU actors in their interactions with others deemed beyond the boundaries of international society. Still, the EU, as an actor in international society, has an important institutional role to play. And, its most southeastern member state could act as a centre of coordination for that role.

Second, few states in the eastern Mediterranean have strong, positive bilateral relationships with both the United States and Russia. Given the Russian bond with the Assad regime in Syria and US hegemonic influence and interest in the region, Cyprus could play an important role in coordinating the common interests of these two states. Russia has tied its foreign policy goals to a crumbling regime whose legitimacy, authority, and control of the state are tenuous at best. Few analysts believe that Russia has the long-term stamina (military and financial) to support Assad’s Syria and Russian overtures to Cyprus suggest that even Russia recognizes that new options are necessary.[4] Moreover, once other important actors in international society accepted the necessity of regime change, Russia became the only actor available to rebuild the infrastructure in a post-conflict Syria headed by Assad. Given its internal economic woes, it seems unlikely that Russia will be able to function as a primary donor for such a highly unlikely reconstruction. Cyprus, however, may provide an alternative vehicle for Russian interests in the region. The island is outside of NATO and (institutionally) separate from the US security alliance. Britain, seeking a somewhat independent post-WWII grand strategy and wishing to retain some freedom of action in the Middle East, declared Cyprus (and after independence, the SBA) to be outside of NATO.[5] Because the island is beyond the NATO umbrella, Cyprus has unique standing in the region.

With careful agreement and a clear understanding of limitations, Cyprus could serve its own interests by coordinating the common interests of the United States and Russia. The foundations of this complex relationship are already in place. Cypriot negotiations with Russia for use of the Andreas Papandreou Airbase in Paphos for humanitarian purposes are a beginning.[6] So too, was the decision by the GoC to limit that agreement to non-military purposes.[7] Cyprus plays a unique role in coordinating US, Russian, and other actors’ military and humanitarian interests in the region.

Third, one of the most complex bilateral relationships that Cyprus must navigate is its relationship with the United Kingdom. Cyprus must deal with the complex of SBA installations maintained by its former colonizer. The manner in which this legal restriction infringes upon the full sovereignty and foreign policy maneuvering of Cyprus should not be dismissed. Consistently, these installations complicate its own foreign and security policies, its bilateral relationships, and its institutional commitments. Use of RAF Akrotiri to launch bombing sorties over Syrian airspace and the more clandestine use of the SBA to support surveillance activity for more states than just the UK undermine perceptions of Cypriot sovereignty and invoke images of neo-colonial influence on a full-fledged member of international society.[8] The conflict in the Levant provides Cyprus with an opportunity to seek a new legal relationship with Britain regarding the SBA. The new relationship could improve GoC freedom of action and re-construct the sovereign relationship between former colony and colonizer.

Fourth, perhaps the most important relationship with Cyprus is that which exists among the various communities that make up its collective self. This is not the place to examine the origins of the Cyprus problem or the associated identity constructs that grew and reified as a result of that problem.[9] Nor is it the place to explore how those identities continue to limit the diplomatic and societal imagination. However, the potential that the current negotiations provide an opening to re-imagine what counts as Cypriot, what it means to be part of Cyprus, and what such a common narrative would mean for international society should not be underestimated. No solution to the division of the island is possible without a re-imagined identity. To assume such is to misunderstand the concept of security and its necessary role in the formation and maintenance of the state.[10]

As important as a common narrative is to the future of a unified Cyprus, it is just as important to international society. The conflicting identities in Cyprus are not unique to the island but representative of a larger conflict between and among regional and global actors. Few locations around the world offer opportunities to re-envision the relationship between Christianity and Islam, the west and the east, and Europe and its Moslem neighbors. Identities are stable constructions in which actors operate and make sense of the world.[11] They cannot be re-imagined quickly and made to work as tools for ordering choices and making decisions. Yet, civil society in Cyprus has had decades to build stable identity constructs inclusive of otherness.[12]


References

[1] While the most obvious ‘mis-use’ of Cypriot sovereign territory is the occupation by Turkey, equally problematic is the use of the island by the UK through its complex of SBA sites. See, Petros Savvides, “The Geostrategic Position of Cyprus: Israel’s Prospect for Strategic Depth in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Eastern Mediterranean Geopolitical Review 1 (Fall 2015), 6-20 (8-12).
[2] Any discussion of Cyprus as a node of institutional flexibility would necessarily exist on the understanding that a solution to the division of the island is at hand.
[3] EU Council Directive 2013/255/CFSP Concerning Restrictive Measures Against Syria, Official Journal of the European Union 147/14 (1.6.2013).
[4] Masis Der Parthogh, “Russia keen to use military bases in Cyprus” Cyprus Mail 21 January 2015,
https://cyprus-mail.com/2015/01/21/russia-keen-to-use-military-bases-in-cyprus/
Accessed on April 7, 2016.
[5] Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, “Cold War Pressures, Regional Strategies, and Relative Decline: British Military and Strategic Planning for Cyprus, 1950-1960,” The Journal of Military History 73 (October 2009), 1143-1166 (1160).
[6] Masis Der Parthogh, “Russia keen to use military bases in Cyprus.”
[7] Jean Christou, “No question of Russian bases on Cyprus,” Cyprus Mail 9 February 2015,
https://cyprus-mail.com/2015/02/09/no-question-of-russian-bases-on-cyprus/
Accessed on April 7, 2016.
[8] Gareth Jennings, “UK debuts ‘bunker buster’ bombs against the Islamic State,” Jane’s Defence Weekly 26 April 2016,
https://www.janes.com/article/59799/uk-debuts-bunker-buster-bombs-against-the-islamic-state/
Accessed May 21, 2016.
[9] Stella Soulioti, Fettered Independence: Cyprus, 1878-1964 (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2006); Rebecca Bryant and Yiannis Papadakis, eds, Cyprus and the Politics of Memory: history, community and conflict (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012).
[10] See, Anthony D. Lott, Creating Insecurity, 56-64.
[11] Badredine Arfi, “Ethnic Fear: The Social Construction of Insecurity,” Security Studies 8 (Autumn 1998), 151-203, (152).
[12] See, for instance, Marios Epaminondas, et. al., “Home for Cooperation (H4C),” The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (Nicosia, Cyprus: K&L Lithofit Ltd, 2011).


Anthony Lott

Associate Professor of Political Science
St. Olaf College

First Published at “In Depth Volume 13, Issue 4, August 2016″

Security Equation in Eastern Mediterranean: Global and Regional Contexts

Eastern Mediterranean as a crossroads, where West and East meet, has traditionally had strategic significance. Nowadays, the emerging strategic landscape in the region is getting more and more complicated and unpredictable. The global context is characterized by two crises – the Russia-West crisis after Ukraine and the EU-US crisis after the election of president Trump. It is widely recognized that relations between Russia and the West are on decline and Russia is steadily drifting away from EU, NATO or US. It will not be an exaggeration to say that these relations have reached their lowest point in the past 25 years. There have been many disagreements between Russia and the West in the past – Kosovo problem, Iraq, Caucasus crisis, Libya, human rights, energy deals etc, but it is security orientation of the post-Soviet states and the Russia-NATO/EU rivalry in this space that constitutes the crux of the fallout.

The divide on the macro level of the international relations has a strong impact on the regional cooperation, which is why there is a strong dialectical link between Ukraine and Syria or security in Eastern Mediterranean at large. Russia’s strategy in the region as its foreign policy at large is defined by three factors – post-imperial syndromes, security concerns and negative experience of the Russia-West cooperation after the collapse of the USSR. With the loss of the great empire and status equal to the US status rebuilding has become the guiding star of the Russian foreign policy. As for security concerns, the biggest threat to Russia, as it seen in Kremlin, is regime change through the so-called export of democracy and orange revolutions. Sovereignty in its traditional Westphalia meaning has become a sacred cow for Moscow, which is why Russia’s support of Assad is not so much about Assad himself but rather a matter of principle – no regime change for the sake of democracy. And which is why the mess in Libya is a reminder of the evils of the regime change policy.

The conflict in Ukraine resulted in the sanctions war and Russia’s exclusion from the main international forums. Russia’s isolation from the West left her no choice but to seek new allies and exploit any gap or flaw in the regional strategies of her opponents. Nowadays Russia is present in the Mediterranean region on an extended scale. It is enhancing its political, economic and military involvement both in Eastern and Southern Mediterranean through regular political contacts with the authorities of the largest countries in Levant and North Africa, arms sales, trade and energy cooperation, renting military bases and conducting military exercises.

The EU-NATO-US relations are also in flux although the nature and substance of the crisis between Europeans and Americans differ from the former. “There is no doubt that the election of Donald Trump not only sent shockwaves around the world but has increased the risk of an unsettled future US relationship to the world and its European allies. Europeans and Americans alike worry about the future transatlantic relationship …”.[1] The US as a main security provider of the West is rethinking its foreign policy becoming a less reliable and predictable partner for Europe, which has strong implications for security in Eastern Mediterranean, first and foremost for Syria. Although it is not clear what will happen in the Mediterranean with Donald Trump as president of the United States, some of the American analysts argue that despite the different style of the new administration, it is unlikely to see a radical change in US policy to date in the Mediterranean. A US withdrawal from the Mediterranean in terms of politics and security would not even be possible. The Mediterranean region remains an important asset, even essential for the United States especially with the IsraeliPalestinian conflict, Turkey or Egypt. The key question is not whether the US will be active – it will be – but whether this activism, and the strategy behind it, will be pursued in a more unilateral way.[2]

The possibility that the European allies in NATO or the European Union will fill the American role in the East Mediterranean is not feasible. EU is not a real strategic actor, it is in the process of rethinking its strategic autonomy and presently it lacks the necessary military assets, a clear strategic vision, as well as the political will to take a lead as a security provider for the East Mediterranean.

China is asserting herself as a new global power, although her global ambitions are more about economics than politics at least for the time being. China is “neither a missionary culture nor a values superpower… Clan-focused Confucianism and the fear bred by communism have persuaded the Chinese to mind their own business”.[3] However the very fact that Chinese are showing their flag in an area far from their traditional area of operations undermines the wide spread assumption that the Mediterranean will became a purely Western sphere of influence.

The regional balance is even more complicated due to the fact that the main regional actors – Turkey and Iran – are reconsidering their regional strategies on the basis of big-power nationalisms. And even within the socalled allied coalitions like the Astana peace process on Syria there exist differing interests and competing regional strategies of the actors – Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Despite the complexity and multidimensionality of the security landscape in the Mediterranean, the main challenge to the regional security is the deep divide in the relations between Russia and the West, since neither Russia, nor the West can stabilize the region without each other. Russia‘s expansion in the region is widely perceived in the West as a threat to the global and regional stability. However it is not Russia’s expansion but rather her isolation that presents a threat to the regional and global security.


Nadia Alexandrova-Arbatova

Head, Department of European Studies
Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO)

Russian Academy of Sciences

First Published at “In Depth Volume 14, Issue 5, November 2017″

Will IRAN Become a Regional Hegemon in the Middle East?

The recent crisis in Lebanon, with the mysterious resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, is one more episode of the undeclared war between the two main players that take part in the contemporary power game in the Middle East: Iran and Saudi Arabia.[1] This is a Cold Warstyle conflict in the form of a struggle for influence between the two main players through their proxies. This struggle is predominantly taking place in ethnically and religiously polarized states, like Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.[2] In that context, Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Arab Gulf, as well as Israel and Trump administration, are concerned due to the ongoing Iranian surge for increased regional influence, which has been pretty successful in Iraq and Syria.[3] Inasmuch this process is part of an Iranian agenda in pursuit of regional hegemony, namely undisputed dominance in the Middle East,[4] (and it seems that Iran’s adversaries have no doubt that this is the case) this kind of behavior could be called as hegemonism.[5] This article examines the perspectives of Iranian hegemonism and, specifically, the possibility of the development of an Iranian hegemony in the Middle East in the years to come.

Hegemonism and balancing in contemporary Middle East

As we have already noted, what is perceived as Iranian hegemonism has been expressed through the fostering of Shia proxy groups in the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria (with the mobilization of Lebanese Hezbollah), as well as in Yemen and in the Gulf states during the initial stages of the “Arab Spring” convulsion.[6] This surge coincided with the intensification of the US-led multilateral talks on the Iranian nuclear program, which ended to the agreement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015. This deal signified a long-waited détente in Tehran’s relations with the West. However, both the activity of Iran’s proxy groups and the (temporary?) end of US confrontation of Iran’s nuclear program alarmed traditional US allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia who raised concerns about Iran’s hegemonic aspirations, as well as its unexpressed ambition to act as a “nuclear free rider”, thus triggering a nuclear domino in the region.[7] Iran’s regional adversaries have been attempting to balance Iran’s influence as a form of counter-hegemonic reaction. Theoretically speaking, balancing is a strategy that seeks to prevent an aspirant hegemon from securing his hegemonic position.[8] The Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, as well as the efforts to curtail Hezbollah’s political leverage in Lebanon, seem to consist part of such a strategy. In that sense, Iran seems to hold the advantage of initiative, while the anti-Iranian coalition is trying to undermine Iran’s position in the context of a zero-sum game.

Speaking about hegemonic attempts in the Middle East, history has shown that they have been stillborn. For example, Nasser’s efforts to embrace the Arab world and create a pan-Arab movement and Erdogan’s neo-ottoman revisionism have not been fruitful. The main reason is a systemic one: these attempts emerged in the absence of the right structural prerequisites in the region. Neither Nasser or Erdogan’s revisionism, nor contemporary Iran’s “hegemonism by proxies” were/are based on a distribution of capabilities characterized by clear-cut power superiority of the potential hegemon over the rest of the system’s units. In none of these cases did/do the aspirant hegemon enjoy significant military superiority, which would provide him with a critical comparative advantage over his regional competitors.[9] Since the right distribution of power is absent hegemonic aspirations cannot enjoy legitimacy at the regional level, which is a sine qua non element for a viable hegemonic order.[10] In other words, you cannot be a regional hegemon unless your neighbors acknowledge you as such.

The “Concert of the Middle East”

The Middle East is not that kind of a regional system where the development of a hegemonic regional order is a likelihood. The existence of at least three regional peers with potential hegemonic aspirations and balancing potential (Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia), as well as the existence of several other pivotal players of considerable size and/or capabilities (i.e. Israel and Egypt) assure that none will be able to achieve undisputed regional supremacy, as counter-balancing alliances will always be a choice for the rest. Moreover, the balancing role of extra-regional great powers such as the United States and Russia suggests another factor that decisively limits the possibility of a future hegemonic order. Therefore, as stability through hegemony cannot be the case in the foreseeable future (except for the unlikely scenario of an unexpectedly rapid course of uneven growth that would favor one regional power over the rest), stability through balance is the most possible future form of regional order.[11] The ongoing regional instability which is characterized by multiple conflicts and power competitions could drive regional and interested extra-regional powers towards a modus vivendi similar to 19th-century’s “Concert of Europe” and an analogous form of a “complex balance of power”.[12] In that context, the main pillars of the balance of power will agree to the terms of stability and express their readiness for balancing action (either diplomatic or military) whenever these terms are disputed. Such balancing mechanisms are already in place (as the P5+1 model of negotiations for the nuclear program of Iran, or the Geneva and Astana processes for the Syrian crisis indicate). What we still lack is a new “Concert of the Middle East” that will seal this new regional order and legitimize the new balance of power. Regional systems like the Middle Eastern one naturally tend towards balance of power. Therefore, a future Iranian hegemony is a rather unlikely scenario.


References

[1] Bilal Y. Saab, “What Hariri’s Resignation Means for Lebanon,” Foreign Affairs, November 6, 2017.
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/lebanon/2017-11-06/what-hariris-resignationmeans-lebanon/
Accessed on November 12, 2017.
[2] Michael Knights, “What Would a Saudi-Iran War Look Like? Don’t look now, but it is already here,” Foreign Policy, January 11, 2016.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/01/11/what-would-a-saudi-iran-war-look-like-dont-looknow-but-it-is-already-here/
Accessed on July 13, 2017.
[3] Jonathan Spyer, “Tehran Is Winning the War for Control of the Middle East,” Foreign Policy, November 21, 2017.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/11/21/tehran-is-winning-the-war-for-control-of-themiddle-east-saudi-arabia/
Accessed on November 22, 2017.
[4] John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001), 40.
[5] David Wilkinson, “Unipolarity without Hegemony,” International Studies Review 1 (1999): 141-171, 143-144.
[6] Reva Bhalla, “The U.S.-Saudi Dilemma: Iran’s Reshaping of Persian Gulf Politics,” Stratfor, July 19, 2011.
https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110718-us-saudi-dilemma-irans-reshaping-persiangulf-politics/
Accessed on 23 July 2011.
Jonathan Spyer, “Is it Iran’s Middle East Now?” Fathom, Automn 2015.
https://fathomjournal.org/is-it-irans-middle-east-now/
Accessed on 13 November 2015.
[7] Efraim Inbar, “Implications of US Disengagement from the Middle East,” BESA, Mideast Security and Policy Studies No. 122., 14. For alternative approaches on a potential nuclear domino and nuclear balance see Rizwan Ladha, “A Regional Arms Race? Testing the Nuclear Domino Theory in the Middle East,” al Nakhlah, Spring 2012.
https://fletcher.tufts.edu/~/media/43f8f8ef81014262ab2a119709e495e3.pdf
Accessed on 12 November 2016.
Kenneth N. Waltz, “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb. Nuclear Balancing Would Mean Stability,” Foreign Affairs 91 (2012): 1-5.
[8] Stephen G. Brooks, William C. Wohlforth, World Out of Balance. International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), 22-25.
[9] Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, 40.
[10] Adam Watson, The Evolution of International Society (New York: Routledge, 1992), 17.
[11] Ross Harrison, “Defying Gravity: Working Toward a Regional Strategy for a Stable Middle East,” Middle East Institute, Policy Papers Series, May 2015. George Friedman, “The Middle Eastern balance of power matures”, Stratfor, March 31, 2015.
https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/middle-eastern-balance-power-matures/
Accessed on 11 April 2015.
[12] Hedley Bull, Anarchical Society. A Study of Order in World Politics (London: Macmillan Education, 1977), 97-98.


Michalis Kontos

Assistant Professor of International Relations
Department of Politics and Governance
University of Nicosia

First Published at “In Depth Volume 14, Issue 6, December 2017″