Two strategies for diffusing tension in the Middle East

Article


Gussen, Benjamen Franklen. 2016. "Two strategies for diffusing tension in the Middle East ." Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy. V, pp. 8-11.
Article Title

Two strategies for diffusing tension in the Middle East

Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorGussen, Benjamen Franklen
Journal TitleHarvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
Journal CitationV, pp. 8-11
Number of Pages4
Year2016
Place of PublicationCambridge, Massachusetts
Abstract

This paper argues that the Middle East as an analytical or geopolitical ‘concept’ has become too problematic. Prophylactic measures centre on two strategies. The first is the ‘dissolution’ of the Middle East based on differentiated continental association. Here, Turkey and Iran are part of Europe and Asia respectively, while the rest of the Middle East—including Israel—becomes part of a ‘Greater Africa’. This reclassification ensures accentuating the difference between different parts of the Middle East, to the end of reducing tension between these parts. The other strategy is based on polycentricity. The paper argues for more emphasis on polycentric constitutional orders in the spirit of Spinoza’s understanding of sovereignty. This vision necessitates international treaties to underwrite charter cities as the dominant governance structure in the Middle East. Sovereignty, as envisaged by Spinoza, is the key proposition for peace in the Middle East, given this sovereignty’s subsidiarity between different organisational scales (the local, national, and global). The Middle East is made of a rich mosaic of religions and ethnicities that is especially amenable to such orders. A lasting peace in the Middle East requires relinquishing the nation-state model in favour of small, non-contiguous, jurisdictions connected in loose confederal structures within the cultural milieu of different continents. Syria and Iraq are ideal for implementing this new subsidiarity approach.

Keywordssubsidiarity, Middle East
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020389999. Other economics not elsewhere classified
489999. Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
440799. Policy and administration not elsewhere classified
440899. Political science not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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