State, region and order: geopolitics of the Arab Spring
Aras, Bülent and Yorulmazlar, Emirhan (2016) State, region and order: geopolitics of the Arab Spring. Third World Quarterly . ISSN 0143-6597 (Print) 1360-2241 (Online) Published Online First http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2016.1205442
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2016.1205442
State failure, sovereignty disputes, non-state territorial structures, and revolutionary and counter-revolutionary currents, among others, are intertwined within the Arab Spring process, compelling old and emerging regional actors to operate in the absence of a regional order. The emergent geopolitical picture introduces the poisonous mix of loss of state authority spiralling toward instability, defined by sectarianism, extremism, global rivalries, and ultimately irredentism within interdependent subregional formations. This assertion is substantiated by detailed and specific evidence from the shifting and multi-layered alliance formation practices of intra- and inter-state relations, and non-state and state actors. Analysis of the relations and alliances through a dichotomous flow from domestic to regional and regional to global also sheds light on prospective future order. A possible future order may take shape around a new imagination of the MENA, with porous delimitations in the form of emerging subregions.
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