Shifts in the global political and economic landscape and consequences for the Middle East and North Africa

Authored by: Alexander Atarodi

Routledge Handbook on Middle East Security

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138749894
eBook ISBN: 9781315180113
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews the global political and economic shifts. The relative political and economic power of states has changed and so has the relative importance of political, military and economic factors. Since the financial crisis of 2008, China has emerged as a global economic powerhouse despite some imbalances. Russia has taken advantage in the Middle East and North Africa when the Western countries have shown reluctance to regional security development. An enlarged EU is hampered by internal frictions, voter disaffection, recession and a relatively high state debt level while grappling with multiple security challenges on its borders. Meanwhile, an energy-independent US remains the dominant political and military power but may become less interested in global security issues. Geopolitical shifts have created opportunities for regional actors in the Middle East and North Africa to actively pursue policies in line with their national interests. This has led to humanitarian and political challenges in the region (Iraq, Syria, Yemen).

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