The Middle East’s geographical and strategic uniqueness has made every great power in history seek to advance its interests in the region, especially in the age of oil. In addition, the region is the birthplace and spiritual center of the world’s three most important monotheistic religions. Due to its geopolitical importance, any inter- and intra-state conflict in the Middle East has the potential not only for destabilizing the region as a whole or upsetting the regional balance of power but also affecting global stability. After employing the Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) in order to define and delimit the region of the Middle East, the chapters of this book address the question of regional order, examine how regionalism and globalism feature in Middle Eastern integration processes, explore regional bids for hegemony, and investigate the approaches and policies of major international actors.
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