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  • Author: Mordechai Abir
  • Publication Date: 09-1997
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The stability of Saudi Arabia (and the Persian Gulf as a whole) is crucially important to the world's industrial countries. According to the Gulf Center of Strategic Studies, "oil is expected to account for 38 percent of all the world consumption of energy until 2015, compared to 39 percent in 1993. Increasing world-wide demand for oil, now about 74 million barrels per day, is projected to rise by 2015 to about 110 million" (Gulf Report, London, July 1997). Over 60 percent of the world's proven oil reserves are located in the Persian Gulf, and Saudi Arabia alone controls 25 percent of the total.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Energy Policy, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: David Newman
  • Publication Date: 07-1997
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Maps are a very important part of the political process of conflict resolution known as the peace process. Maps are important parts of all territorial conflicts. We often walk around with the idea of a map in our head and think we know what we are talking about, but often we do not.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Peace Studies, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Jacob M. Landau
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: When Mustafa Kamal (Ataturk) founded the Republic of Turkey in 1923 (he was its president until his death fifteen years later), he set as his main objective the modernization of the new republic. His preferred means was speedy, intensive secularization and, indeed, every one of his reforms was tied up with disestablishing other Islamic institutions from their hold on Turkey's politics, economics, society, and cultural life.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Wars produce contrasting effects on the state's status in the domestic arena: they bolster its internal control but, at the same time, create opportunities for collective action of which domestic groups can take advantage and weaken state autonomy. As the case of Israel suggests, within the confines of geo-political constraints, states modify their military doctrine to balance the two contradictory impacts. The main purpose of the paper is to lay the foundation for a Sociology of Strategy by drawing on the case of Israel.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Elia Zureik
  • Publication Date: 05-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: As a discipline, refugee studies is of a recent vintage and very much influenced by the more established tradition of migration studies. Analysis of (voluntary) migration tends to focus on individuals rather than groups. To the extent that groups are considered, they are treated as aggregates of individuals rather than as cohesive social units in the sociological sense of constituting communities with shared common historical experiences (Shami 1993). In contrast with immigrant status, refugee status is the outcome of involuntary forms of migration, in which displacement is often caused by events beyond the control of refugees, such as internal and external wars, state policies of expulsion and exclusion, development projects, and natural disasters.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Migration, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Mark Roberts
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In her book, States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China (1979), revolutionary authority and sociologist Theda Skocpol states: The repressive state organizations of the prerevolutionary regime have to be weakened before mass revolutionary action can succeed, or even emerge. Indeed, historically, mass rebellious action has not been able, in itself, to overcome state repression. Instead, military pressures from abroad … have been necessary to undermine repression.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Law, Nuclear Weapons, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, France
  • Author: M.E. Ahrari, James Beal
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The dismantlement of the Soviet Union also brought about the liberation of six Central Asian Muslim republics—Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan (figure 1). Although Azerbaijan is part of the Caucasus region, it is included in this study because: The independence of that country, like that of the Central Asian states, was brought about as a result of the dismantlement of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijan, like its Central Asian counterparts, is a Muslim state, and faces similar politico-economic problems. Azerbaijan's conflict with Armenia involving Nagorno-Karabkh reminds one of a number of conflicts in the Central Asian region. These include a seething ethnic conflict in Kazakhstan (involving the Khazaks and the Slavs), the ongoing civil war in Tajikistan "along ethnic, national, and religious lines (since the Russian forces are "also involved in this civil war), and the ethnic conflict in the Fargana valley that cuts across the borders of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Like the economies of its Central Asian neighbors, the Azeri economy was largely dependent on the economy of the former Soviet Union. Consequently, like its other neighbors, Azerbaijan is also busy establishing economic self-sufficiency, along with strengthening its religious political, linguistic, and ethnic identities.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Law, Nuclear Weapons, Religion
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Middle East, Soviet Union
  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 06-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Demilitarization and de-escalation of violent conflicts have seemed to prevail during the last decade. The most significant event -- the collapse of the Soviet Union with the end of the Cold War--has stimulated scholars of international relations (IR) to retest the power of major theories to both explain and forecast the shift in the Soviet Union' 5 foreign policy from competition to cooperation with the U.S. (similar to shifts undergone by other states). Scholars generally agree that the economic crisis in the Soviet Union in a world system dominated by the U.S. played a key role in the former superpower's failure to extract the domestic resources needed to maintain its position of rivalry vis-à-vis the U.S., thus propelling it to embark on a new road. Still, scholars have debated with respect to the shift's timing and the origins of the trajectory opted for by the Soviet Union toward cooperation relative to other options, such as further competition as a means of ongoing internal-state extraction and control. This debate also highlights the analytical weaknesses of the realism/neorealism school of thought when taken against the background of the collapse of the bipolar, competitive world system on which this school has staked so much.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union
  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 12-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Observation of state-military relations in Israel reveals an apparent paradox: Within a period of about seventy years, the more the militarization of Israeli society and politics gradually increased, the more politicians were successful in institutionalizing effective control over the Israel Defence Forces (IDF, and the pre-state organizations). Militarization passed through three main stages: (1) accepting the use of force as a legitimate political instrument during the pre-state period (1920-1948), subsequent to confrontation between pacifism and activism; (2) giving this instrument priority over political-diplomatic means in the state's first years up to the point in which (3) military discursive patterns gradually dominated political discourse after the 1967 War. At the same time, political control over the IDF was tightened, going from the inculcation of the principle of the armed forces' subordination to the political level during the pre-state period to the construction of arrangements working to restrain the military leverage for autonomous action.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel