Middle East and North Africa: Hegemonic modes of pacification in crisis

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‘Nowhere’, Henry Kissinger observes, ‘is the challenge of international order more complex — in terms of both organizing regional order and ensuring the compatibility of that order with peace and stability in the rest of the world.’ In the face of a devastating civil war in Syria, the seizure of significant parts of the Mashriq by Daesh (the self-styled ‘Islamic State’), the collapse of state authority in Libya and Israel’s frequent wars on Gaza, Kissinger’s statement might sound like common sense. Its implicit bias towards external intervention highlights one of the main issues undermining peace in the region, though: The historical subjection of Arab countries to interventions motivated by the geopolitical and strategic interests of external actors. Such interference has created or intensified fault lines within the fabric of Arab societies, ruptured homegrown state-formation processes, shored up authoritarian rulers and forged different types of resistance in the process. This chapter examines the complex interplay of national policies, international interventions and local agency in creating or mitigating challenges to peace in the Middle East and North Africa. It explains conflict in the light of the region’s hegemonic modes of pacification and their current crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Disciplinary and Regional Approaches to Peace
EditorsOliver P Richmond, Sandra Pogodda, Jasmin Ramovic
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781137407610
ISBN (Print)9781137407597
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


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