Nuclear Question in the Middle East

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Editor: Mehran Kamrava

Authors: Mehran Kamrava, Etel Solingen, Maria Rost Rublee, Giacomo Luciani, Thomas Lippman, Mari Luomi, Mustafa Kibaroglu, Avner Cohen, Kayhan Barzegan, Gawdat Bahgat

Hardcover: 276 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (March 27, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0199327807
ISBN-13: 978-0199327805


The nuclear age is coming to the Middle East. Understanding the scope and motivations for this development and its implications for global security is essential. The last decade has witnessed an explosion of popular and scholarly attention focussed on nuclear issues around the globe and especially in the Middle East. These studies fall into one of four general categories. They tend to focus either on the security and military aspects of nuclear weapons, or on the sources and mechanisms for proliferation and means of reversing it, or nuclear energy, or the logics driving state policymakers toward adopting the nuclear option. The Nuclear Question in the Middle East is the first book of its kind to combine thematic and theoretical discussions regarding nuclear weapons and nuclear energy with case studies from across the region.

What are the key domestic drivers of nuclear behaviour and decision-making in the Middle East? How are the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council seeking to employ nuclear energy to further guarantee and expedite their hyper-growth of recent decades? Are there ideal models emerging in this regard that others might emulate in the foreseeable future, and, if so, what consequences is this development likely to have for other civilian nuclear aspirants? These region-wide themes form the backdrop against which specific case studies are examined.

Reviews and Awards

"A top flight collection of essays on one of the most controversial and sensitive topics in both Middle East politics and studies of nuclear proliferation in general...provides a great overview of how the current situation has come about, and how regional actors are likely to press ahead in the medium and longterm future. A solid multidisciplinary investigation into a key global issue."--Christopher Davidson, Reader in Middle East Politics at Durham University

"Combining theoretical perspectives with rich empirical insights, this superb volume offers a comprehensive exploration of nuclear dynamics in a rapidly changing Middle East. The research is well-organized, well-written and highly nuanced--an elusive combination. The authors are informed by a deep historical sensibility, yet are also forward looking in their analyses. In particular, the chapters on the domestic sources of nuclear decision-making will be of immense value to specialists and policymakers grappling with the still-unfolding implications of the Arab revolts and Iran's nuclear ambitions."--Frederic Wehrey, Senior Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation and author of Coping with a Nuclearizing Iran (RAND, 2011).

"While the world watches Iran, and tries to guess how many nuclear weapons Israel has, nuclear programs are being developed across the Middle East. The timely message in this valuable study of the current situation is that the Middle East is going nuclear whether the world likes it or not."--Jeremy Salt, Department of Political Science at Bilkent University (Ankara), and author of The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands

Table of Contents

1. The Nuclear Question in the Middle East: Context, Complexities,and Paradoxes
Mehran Kamrava

2. Domestic Sources of Nuclear Behavior in the Middle East
Etel Solingen

3. Leadership Transitions and Nuclear Futures in Egypt and Libya
Maria Rost Rublee

4. The Role of Nuclear Energy in Gulf States' Economic Development
Giacomo Luciani

5. Saudi Arabia's Nuclear Future
Thomas W. Lippman

6. The Economic and Prestige Aspects of Abu Dhabi's Nuclear Program
Mari Luomi

7. Lessons from Turkey's Long Quest for Nuclear Power
Mustafa Kibaroglu

8. Israel and the Invention of Nuclear Opacity
Avner Cohen

9. Iran's Nuclear Program
Kayhan Barzegar

10. A Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East
Gawdat Bahgat

About the Author

Mehran Kamrava is the Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University in Qatar. He is the author of a number of journal articles and books, including, most recently, The Modern Middle East: A Political History Since the First World War, and Iran's Intellectual Revolution. He has also edited The New Voices of Islam: Rethinking Politics and Modernity, and, with Manochehr Dorraj, Iran Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Islamic Republic.

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