In the Wake of the Arab Spring: Conflict and Cooperation in the Middle East

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Editor: Sverre Lodgaard

Publisher: The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Scandinavian Academic Press (Spartacus)
Date of Publication: September 2013
Language: English
ISBN: 9788230401064

Book Description

A new book by Sverre Lodgaard (ed.) analyzes the Arab spring and its consequences for regional cooperation in the Middle East.

After the Arab spring, what next? What are the possibilities for and obstacles to closer regional cooperation? The book In the Wake of the Arab Spring: Conflict and Cooperation in the Middle East  focuses on relations between the four largest countries in the region – Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Saudi-Arabia – with national contributions from all of them.

Multi-centric world

As the world becomes increasingly multi-centric and the US pays more attention to the Far East, new options emerge for independent foreign policies and regional solutions to regional problems. For the oil market and the world economy, as for the Middle East itself, it is imperative to replace confrontation by cooperation.

However, it is hard to convince governments to move beyond national political paradigms and seek regional win–win solutions. Divisive sectarian issues are often used to mobilize support and legitimize policies. Other obstacles to regional cooperation are the civil war in Syria, the Kurdish national problem, and the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program.

Lessons from Europe

European history has shown how revolutions can be followed by restoration of the old order before taking root. The Arab Spring may suffer severe backlash, too, but its impact can not be erased and may prove decisive in the long run.  

– Despite several set-backs the ideals from the Arab spring will not be wiped out. People have got a taste of democratic rights and freedom that is still there, and that will affect the developments in the region in the long run, says senior researcher at NUPI, Sverre Lodgaard, editor of the book.

Contributors:  Kayhan Barzegar, Saideh Lotfian (Iran), Nabil Fahmy, Anissa E. Hassouna (Egypt), Jamal Khashoggi, Jean-Francois Seznec (USA), Mustafa Kibaroglu (Turkey), Wu Bingbing (China), Muhammad Alsahlawi (Saudi Arabia), Øystein Noreng, Frida A. Nome and Sverre Lodgaard (Norway).

About the Editor

Sverre Lodgaard (born 1945) is a Norwegian political scientist. He graduated from the University of Oslo with the cand.polit. degree in 1971. He was director of European Security and Disarmament Studies from 1980 to 1986, of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) from 1987 to 1992, of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research from 1992 to 1996 and of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs from 1997 to 2007. In 2007 he stepped down as director, but continued as a researcher.

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