From the Arab Spring to the Syrian Civil War and the rise of ISIS, the Middle East has undergone tremendous upheaval in recent years, leading many experts to predict the imminent disintegration of the Middle East state system. However, as Oxford University political scientist Louise Fawcett argues in International Affairs, these predictions have so far failed to materialize. In a heavily footnoted paper written mainly for a political science audience, Fawcett challenges some of the international relations theories that have given rise to the myth that the Middle East’s artificially drawn borders are too weak to withstand the kind of internal and external challenges they have been fighting since 2011.
In this article, you will learn
- Why many experts predicted the unraveling of the Middle East state system,
- Why most international borders in the Middle East nevertheless remain intact and
- Why the Arab uprisings haven’t been able to bring about radical political reforms in most Arab states.
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