Building Regional Security in the Middle East: International, Regional and Domestic Influences

Building Regional Security in the Middle East: International, Regional and Domestic Influences

Building Regional Security in the Middle East: International, Regional and Domestic Influences

Building Regional Security in the Middle East: International, Regional and Domestic Influences

Synopsis

This study assesses both the past performance of the Middle East in terms of regional architectures and the differences and similarities of policy processes vis-a-vis other regional efforts at regional security regimes, as well as the risks and opportunities in this realm in the future.

Excerpt

Zeev Maoz, Emily B. Landau and Tamar Malz

In June 1997, the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, organized a workshop on regional security in the Middle East. the purpose of this workshop was to expose Middle Eastern scholars and analysts to a body of knowledge regarding regional security theory and structures established and implemented in other parts of the world.

At the time, almost two years after the suspension of the official Arms Control and Regional Security (ACRS) working group, there was a sense that there was a real need to evaluate the multilateral peace process and its intermission. This would provide an opportunity for reflection and more in-depth thought about possibilities for restarting the process. Scholars who participated in the workshop considered questions regarding the conditions for resuming ACRS; possible frameworks for regional security that might be applied to the region (or, what might be learned from the experience gained in other regions); and whether or not the Middle East had achieved the necessary ripeness for the creation of a new regional security structure.

The suspension of acrs in 1995 marked a shift away from the more optimistic visions for the future of the Middle East of the early 1990s, to a growing sense that the 'window of opportunity' that had opened in this regard was in danger of closing. However, this was also coupled with a greater appreciation of the fact that the arms control process was in fact a process, and that it would most likely take time to reach the stage where a security regime might actually be implemented. This process would necessarily involve changes in security perceptions, together with a lengthy process of confidence building. Thus, there was merit in attempting to

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