For most observers, the past four years in the Middle East have witnessed a rapidly changing context at an almost unprecedented scale, both at the domestic and regional level. The hopes for political liberalization – if not for the advent of Arab (-Muslim) democratic regimes – generated by the ‘Arab Springs’ have been crushed by the restoration of military authoritarian regimes (e.g. Egypt), have left countries in a total political mayhem (e.g. Libya), or have opened the door to transition processes whose outcome looks very uncertain (e.g. Yemen). Though many ‘jumlukiyas’ in the region have been taken by surprise and rapidly toppled, their fate doesn’t seem to be completely over (like in Syria or in Iraq). Neither the US or Europe seem to have adopted coherent policies towards the region. The geopolitical influence has shifted from the great powers to the regional ones: Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia now have their say in a context marked by the manipulation of Sunni and Shiite religious-political affiliations.

Whitepaper Series No.11 - Middle East - Riccardo Bocco and Souhaïl Belhadj

Geneva Peacebuilding Platform