The Arab Spring didn’t just shake up the internal order of many states in the Middle East and North Africa; it also resulted in the rearrangement of regional and international relations. Since 2011, the foreign policy focuses of important actors – for instance, those of regional powers such as Saudi Arabia or Turkey – have shifted repeatedly.
For decades the Middle East and North Africa have been among the regions in the world with the highest levels of conflict. Unlike the case in Asia, Latin America, or sub-Saharan Africa, no dominant regional power has been able to establish itself here – with the exception of Egypt under Nasser in the late 1950s. Instead, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Hezbollah (as a non-state actor) have competed in various arenas – as they are now in the Syrian conflict – for regional influence. Changes in nationalist and Islamist ideologies have been closely connected to these developments.
What influence do individual states and organisations have in the determination of a new regional order? What role are actors from outside the Middle East playing in these processes? How are regional dynamics impacting global politics? The GIGA investigates these and other questions in the context of the regional and international relations of the Middle East and North Africa.