5. ‘Dependence’, ‘Interdependence’ and ‘Autonomy’ in Middle East security

Chair: Marina Calculli (American University of Beirut)
Discussants: Matteo Legrenzi (Ca' Foscari University of Venice)

Date: Saturday 27th 2015
Room: Sala ISR (1st floor)


Four years after the outbreak of the Arab Uprisings, among manifold developments we have been witnessing a reshuffling of alignments and alliances at both the regional and international levels. High uncertainty and mutual mistrust, however, have hindered the establishment of a new security order. Indeed, the proliferation and increasing centrality of non-state actors, as well as regime change within several countries has magnified ‘omnibalancing’, while the securitization of new identity or material issues by specific regional and international actors, has produced new threat perceptions and conflict dynamics. At the same time, the relationship between the Middle Eastern region and the International System has undergone a deep transformation. While external penetration is still entrenched in the regional system, its traditional patters and means have changed.

Against this backdrop, how have existing patterns of dependence, interdependence, and autonomy of regional state and non-state actors evolved in relation to one another and vis-à-vis external actors? Has the security and economic interdependence (intra-regional, and between the region and extra-regional powers) been strengthened or weakened?

The panel seeks to investigate these questions in an effort to explore and explain the new character of (in)security in the Middle East, with specific reference to the concepts of ‘dependence’, ‘interdependence’ and ‘autonomy’.

We welcome papers engaging theoretically with the proposed conceptual framework, while dealing with the interaction between global and regional players, as well as intra-regional security dynamics. Chronological comparative studies are most welcome. 



The end of bipolarity and the rise of the Gulf
Ruth Hanau Santini (University of Naples “L'Orientale”)

A possible Iranian-Turkish rapprochement for more stability in the Middle East?
Maurizio Geri (Old Dominion University – Virginia)

Organized hypocrisy or schizophrenic engagement? Lebanon’s sovereignty between external military assistance and the fight against Hezbollah
Marina Calculli (American University in Beirut)

Dhulfiqar Ascendant? Reconceptualizing the Applications of Omnibalancing to the ISIS Threat and the pan-Shi’i Imaginary
Ibrahim Al-Marashi (California State University, San Marcos)