Re-conceptualizing Orders in the MENA Region. The Analytical Framework of the MENARA Project

The aim of this work is to set the conceptual architecture for the MENARA Project. It is articulated in five thematic sections. The first one traces back the major historical junctures in which key powers shaped the defining features of the present-day MENA region. Section 2 sets the geographical scope of the project, maps the distribution of power and defines regional order and its main features. Section 3 focuses on the domestic orders in a changing region by gauging and tracing the evolution of four trends, namely the erosion of state capacity; the securitization of regime policies; the militarization of contention; and the pluralization of collective identities. Section 4 links developments in the global order to their impact on the region in terms of power, ideas, norms and identities. The last section focuses on foresight studies and proposes a methodology to project trends and build scenarios. All sections, as well as the conclusion, formulate specific research questions that should help us understand the emerging geopolitical order in the MENA.

Roma, IAI, November 2016, 114 p.
Methodology and Concept Papers 1
Publication date: 

Introduction, Lorenzo Kamel and Eduard Soler i Lecha

1. The Past: Terminology, Concepts and Historical Junctures, Lorenzo Kamel, Karim Makdisi and Waleed Hazbun
1.1 Deconstructing Concepts and Terminology
1.2 Orders and Borders: Imperial Legacies
Geopolitical Dynamics
A New Order in the Making
A North-African Perspective
The First World War and the Mandates System
The Interwar Period
The Second World War, Oil, and the Decline of European Hegemony
1.3 The Dynamics of, and Struggle over, the Contemporary Regional Order: Turning Points
Arab Nationalism and Egypt’s Effort to Order the Region, 1950s-60s
State Power and Geopolitical Rivalries, 1970s-80s
The Rise and Decline of the American Era, 1990s-2000s
1.4 Legacies of the Past and the Future of Regional Order
Research Questions

2. The Contemporary Regional Order, Helle Malmvig, Jordi Quero and Eduard Soler i Lecha
2.1 The Region
What Is a Region? Understanding a Challenging Notion
The Middle East and North Africa: Setting the Project’s Geographical Scope
2.2 Regional Powers
The Distribution of Power: The Evolution of the Structure of the MENA Sub-System
2.3 Regional Order
Approximations of the Concept of Regional Order
The Institutions of the Regional Order in the MENA Sub-System
2.4 An Integrated Region? Regional Cooperation Initiatives
2.5 A Fragmented Region? Amity and Enmity Patterns
Challenges to Regimes and State Orders and the Rise of Identity Politics
2.6 The MENA Region in Relation to the Global Order: Just a Passive Periphery?
Research Questions

3. Domestic Orders, Rasmus Alenius Boserup
3.1 Erosion of State Capacities
3.2 Securitization of Regime Policies
3.3 Militarization of Contentious Politics
3.4 Pluralization of Collective Identities
3.5 Conceptualizing Domestic Orders
Research Questions

4. Global Dynamics in the MENA Region, Pol Morillas, Erzsébet N. Rózsa and Máté Szalai
4.1 The Rivalry of State Actors and the Global Shift of Power
4.2 The Role of Non-State Actors in the Dynamics between the Regional and Global Orders
4.3 Ideas, Norms and Identities
Research Questions

5. The Future. Foresight Studies on the Middle East and North Africa, Edgar Göll
5.1 The Conceptual Architecture of Future Studies
5.2 Taking Stock of Existing Foresight Studies on the MENA Region
Arab Futures. Three Scenarios for 2025
Interpretation of the Foresight Report “Migration and Global Environmental Change” for the Middle East and North Africa (until 2011)
Addressing Agricultural Import Dependence in the Middle East-North Africa Region Through the Year 2050
5.3 Imagining Futures for the MENARA Project
Research Questions

Conclusions, Silvia Colombo and Jordi Quero
Annex: The MENARA Project: The 50 Concepts

Research area