Historical sociology and Middle East international relations

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Regional conflicts persist due to states’ mutual interests in reproducing particular configurations of domestic, as much as international, power. Societal movements both within and outside of states may constitute allies as much as obstacles in this endeavor and considered analytically to belong to the state and its foreign policy apparatus. Historical sociology offers a clear picture of regional conflict by bringing together state, society, regional, and international levels. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood became part of the state’s ideological state apparatus, helping to externalize domestic opposition. It contributed to upholding the US security agenda in the region at the cost of helping to fuel regional and global jihadism. In Iran, Islamists constituted the conservative core of the state rather than an adjunct. The regime confronted a more organized state and civil society opposition than was the case in Egypt, one that would be greatly empowered by strengthening of links with the West. As such, alignment with regional resistance movements became integral to the structure of power in Iran.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of International Relations in the Middle East
EditorsShahram Akbarzadeh
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315229591
ISBN (Print)9780415317283
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2019


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