Analysing security subcomplexes in a changing Middle East

Editor: Professor Peter Seeberg (University of Southern Denmark)

Scope: Five years after the Arab uprisings, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is in a state of turmoil. In some states political transformations are still unfolding, while in others ongoing internal conflicts—if not wars—are taking place. These complex developments have resulted in reconfigurations of the balance of power and a worsening of security conditions. These developments in the Arab states have attracted much academic focus, partly because they demonstrate that the previously existing political order was less stable than the dominant narrative of authoritarian resilience had it.

Taking their points of departure from theoretically informed analyses of the recent role of non-Arab state actors and non-state actors, the articles in this special issue analyse security aspects of the ongoing crisis in MENA. The articles also discuss how changes in the region are appearing in different and shifting contexts in the creation of new local, sub-regional, or regional security complexes in which Arab states, non-Arab states, and non-state actors enter into new conflicts, alliances, and other political relations with and against each other. The collection of articles also discusses—from the perspectives of non-Arab state actors and non-state actors—challenges related to the understanding of how ongoing transformation processes in the Middle East have affected existing security complexes, thereby contributing to the analysis of possible changes in the existing state system in the region.

Read the Editor’s foreword to this collection.