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  • Author: Julia Grauvogel, Hana Attia
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Research on sanctions has hitherto focused on their implementation and effectiveness, whereas the termination of such measures has received only little attention. The traditional model, which looks at sanctions and their removal in terms of rational, interstate bargaining, focuses on how cost–benefit calculations affect the duration and termination of such measures. Yet, this research insufficiently captures the back and forth between easing sanctions, stagnation, and renewed intensification. It also fails to account for the multifaceted social relations between senders, targets, and third actors that shape these termination processes, as well as for the signalling dimension of ending sanctions – not least because existing datasets tend to operationalise sanctions as a single event. To help fill these gaps, the paper proposes a process-oriented and relational understanding that also recognises how sanctions termination conveys the message of ending the visible disapproval of the target, which may be heavily contested. Case studies on Zimbabwe and Iran illustrate how such an approach sheds light on the different logics of action that shape processes of sanctions termination, and thereby contributes to a more holistic understanding of sanctions in general.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iran, Middle East, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Nils Lukacs
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, President Barack Obama’s unprecedented address to the Muslim world from Cairo was hailed as a landmark in US–Middle Eastern relations and described by contemporary observers as a historical break in US foreign policy in the region. Yet it soon became clear that the president’s vision for a “new beginning based on mutual interest and mutual respect” would face many practical constraints. Analysing the thematic and rhetorical development of Obama’s speeches during the formative period between summer 2008 and 2009, as well as the public and academic perception of and reaction to these moments, the paper examines the underlying interests and motivations for the president’s foreign policy approach in the Middle East. It argues that despite the low priority given to foreign policy issues during the economic crisis occurring at the time, the key pillars of Obama’s ambitious vision for the Middle East were rooted in pronounced US interests as well as the president’s personal convictions, rather than opportunistic calculations. It thus counters retrospective post-2011 criticism which argues that Obama’s words were never meant to be put into practice. The study contributes to the establishment of a solid empirical and conceptual base for further research on the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East under the Obama administration.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Selman Almohamad
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the scholarship on security sector reform (SSR) tends to neglect regional politics in the formulation of its concepts and policies, and that this neglect deprives the study of SSR of a valuable analytical level. It therefore uses comparative historical analysis and the model of regional conflict formations (RCFs) to examine army reforms in Sierra Leone and Iraq from a regional angle, thereby illustrating the explanatory potential that regional politics could bring to the study of SSR and its implementation. The paper also distinguishes between convergent and divergent regional formations, whereby the relationship between SSR outcomes and regional politics is conceived of as constitutive, entangled, and holistic.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Military Affairs, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Kressen Thyen
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In the Middle East and North Africa, EU foreign policy has tended to prioritise regime stability over democratisation. Existing research has argued that this could create anti‐European sentiment in the respective populations. However, empirical evidence on the relationship between the EU’s stance towards regime change and citizen attitudes remains rare. Focusing on Morocco and Egypt, this study uses a mixed‐methods approach, combining qualitative case studies with original survey data to examine whether the EU’s divergent responses to the 2011 uprisings in these two countries are mirrored in regime opponents’ support for EU cooperation.
  • Topic: Social Movement, European Union, Democracy, Arab Spring, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Egypt, Morocco
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the learning of authoritarian regimes in the early phase of the Arab uprisings. Differentiating conceptually between learning and policy change, we analyze and compare the authoritarian regimes of Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, and Syria and their reactions to the challenge of "late riser" oppositional protests. We first show that the four regimes initiated very diverse measures in the domains of repression, material co‐optation, and legal reforms. With regard to the sources of learning, we find that proximity is a determining factor, in terms of both geography and political similarity. Using the case of Bahrain, we then demonstrate that structural factors such as internal power structures, regional and international pressures, or state capacity can decisively constrain the implementation of learning‐induced policy change. Overall, the paper aims to contribute to the emerging research on the international dimension of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and beyon
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Political Activism, Reform
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Henner Fürtig
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The 1979 Iranian Revolution undoubtedly belongs to the "great" revolutions of modern times – all of which were characterized by universalistic efforts and the claim to have set new social, political and cultural norms with global validity. In this sense, the Iranian revolutionaries felt the obligation to actively reintroduce Islam as a revelation for the whole world, not only for Muslims. Yet, they soon became aware that most Muslims viewed their export strategy as either an attempt to enforce Shiism, or – even worse – to conceal mere national megalomania. Therefore, the current leadership argues that the revolution should no longer be exported actively, but that Iran should serve as an example. Consequently, Supreme Leader Khamenei called the events of the Arab Spring a "natural enlargement of Iran's Islamic revolution of 1979" and credited his country for being the catalyst of this "Islamic awakening." The present article will analyze selected regional reactions to the Islamic awakening concept, which did not altogether meet Iranian expectations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Islam, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: André Bank, Roy Karadag
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In 2006/2007 Turkey became a regional power in the Middle East, a status it has continued to maintain in the context of the Arab Spring. To understand why Turkey only became a regional power under the Muslim AKP government and why this happened at the specific point in time that it did, the paper highlights the self-reinforcing dynamics between Turkey's domestic political-economic transformation in the first decade of this century and the advantageous regional developments in the Middle East at the same time. It concludes that this specific linkage – the “Ankara Moment” – and its regional resonance in the neighboring Middle East carries more transformative potential than the “Washington Consensus” or the “Beijing Consensus” so prominently discussed in current Global South politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Regime Change, Governance
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Martin Beck, Simone Hüser
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article deals with the Arab Spring as a process of deep political change in the Arab world, previously the only major world area where authoritarianism persisted unchallenged for decades. While in various countries of the Arab world mass protests in 2011 forced rulers to resign, other authoritarian regimes have – despite political and economic pressure – so far been able to remain in power, or have even been only insignificantly affected. This paper applies central social science approaches in order to analyze recent developments in the region – a major task of theoretically oriented social sciences in the coming years. In addition to providing an overview of the existing literature on the Arab Spring, the article examines the empirical results of political diversification in the Arab world. A two ‐ by ‐ two matrix of political rule that differentiates according to the type of rule and the degree of stability is presented and discussed. Although the analysis draws heavily on rent theory, it also applies findings from transition theory and revolution theory to illuminate the current political dynamics in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Islam, Regime Change, Governance, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Thomas Richter
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that trade and capital account reforms within autocracies underlie the primacy of foreign currency procurement. A longitudinal comparison of four countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan) in the Middle East and North Africa region shows a historical sequencing of reforms. In the 1960s and 1970s, the foreign exchange scarcity was managed primarily by rising restrictions, accumulation of debt and a number of unilateral country-specific strategies, including broader economic openings (infitah) and isolated capital account liberalizations. However, IMF-friendly reforms (orthodox trade liberalization) only became a political option in the context of the extreme fiscal scarcity of the 1980s and 1990s, after the failure of these earlier policies and the drying up of alternative unconditional finance. Additionally, the time differences regarding when orthodox reforms are implemented within autocracies mainly relate to global and regional cycles of different external windfall gains. These findings complement recent debates about the rush to free trade in at least two regards. First, they point to distinct causal mechanisms depending on the type of political regime (for example, autocracy versus democracy), explaining the beginning of trade and capital account liberalizations among developing countries. Second, they reveal the conditional historical influence of neoliberal ideas among structurally similar autocracies.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: Juliane Brach
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Innovation is widely recognized as a key driver of sustainable economic development. Governments, international organizations, donors and investors are increasingly interested in evaluating the technological capabilities and innovative capacities in developing countries, but often lack appropriate approaches for such measurement. This paper focuses on innovation and technological progress in the MENA region and discusses the challenges of understanding, expanding and fostering innovative potential in Egypt.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Annette Büchs
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper seeks an explanation for the resilience of the Syrian authoritarian regime under Hafez and Bashar Al-Asad. It will be argued that this resilience is to a relevant extent caused by the fact that the regime's “material” as well as “ideational” forms of power share a common element, if not an underlying principle. This generates their compatibility and congruency and thus produces a convergence of forces which manifests in the regime's ability to exceed the mere sum of its individual forms of power. It will be demonstrated that this common principle can be conceptualized as a “tacit pact” between unequal parties, with the weaker party under constant threat of exclusion and/or coercion in the event of noncompliance. It will be argued that inherent in the pact is a high level of ambiguity; this, paradoxically, renders it more effective but at the same time also more instable as a tool of domination.
  • Topic: Government, Post Colonialism, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Juliane Brach, Markus Loewe
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The international financial crisis has hit the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), like other developing regions, unexpectedly, during a long phase of above-average growth. In contrast to other parts of the world, however, most MENA developing countries will able to get off lightly if the crisis does not last for too long. In Turkey and Israel, the region's more industrialized countries, different initial conditions apply and the situation is not comparable to the Arab MENA countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Martin Beck
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The present article aims to analyze the effects of high oil prices since 2003 on Iran. The theoretical basis of the analysis is the rentier state approach, the basic element of which is that rents are at the free disposal of the rentier. Empirically, the paper examines the issue areas of foreign policy, domestic policy and economic policy. After proving that the oil price—despite fluctuations—has constantly been at a high level in the first decade of the twenty‐first century, the discussion demonstrates that Iran has used the increased rent in‐come to support a populist policy. In terms of economic policy, the regime has pursued a redistributive strategy. The country's foreign policy, particularly the ostentatiously pursued atomic program, has been very expensive since it provoked sanctions whose costs were initially balanced only by high rent income. Yet, in his first term, Ahmadinejad failed to prepare Iran for the situation that has occurred as a result of the global financial crisis: the redistributive policy of the regime has meant that an oil price below US$70 or US$75 now constitutes a severe challenge for the Iranian state budget.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Markets, Oil, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Miriam Shabafrouz
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The Iranian revolution still appears to be a puzzle for theoretical approaches linking political instability and/or violent conflict to the resource wealth of a country. It therefore works well as a case study for the purposes of this paper: to show the necessity of a broader approach to the resource‐violence link and to highlight the “context approach.” The focus is on the violence that accompanied the events preceding the revolution, and also on the fact that this violence was mainly exercised by the rulers and—excluding the activities of militant groups—only very randomly by the masses. Many relevant contextual conditions had an impact on the downfall of the shah's regime: demographic (population growth, urbanization) and cultural factors (religious tradition, national identity); the vivid memory of several historical events; the personal preferences of central actors—mainly both the shahs—which in combination brought the country to an impasse; and the religious opposition to the regime. But upon closer examination, it becomes clear that many of those factors were influenced by resource‐specific conditions such as the amount and the use of oil income, sudden oil‐price drops, and external interference aimed mainly at the domination of the oil sector. It was the specific interplay of these and other contextual conditions—as much resource‐specific as general, and both within the country and on an international scale—that finally brought about the downfall of the regime.
  • Topic: Oil
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Ellinor Zeino-Mahmalat
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The remarkable stability of the cooperation among the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has generally been explained by these members' mutual dependency on high and stable oil revenues. Since the OPEC countries, however, face the double security dilemma of both domestic and external security threats, they are not simply eager to secure (absolute) oil revenues for the sake of domestic stability; they are also sensitive to the (relative) oil revenues of their competing or even conflicting partners. The existing approaches of rational egoism and defensive positionalism have proven to be rather inadequate in explaining this kind of gain-seeking behavior. This paper therefore develops the new theoretical approach of “gain-seeking mentalities,” with the objective of tracing variations in OPEC members' gain-seeking behaviors. Using this approach, the empirical assessment of Iran and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War and Iraq during the Gulf War of 1990/91 shows the extent to which Iran and Iraq altered their gain-seeking behavior as a result of a changing constellation of threats.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Intelligence, Oil
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Juliane Brach
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: When comparing the speed and extent of economic development in different geographic regions of the world over the past 20 years, the under-average performance of Arab countries in general and Arab Mediterranean countries in particular is striking. This is despite an overall favorable geo-strategic situation at the crossroads of three continents, with excellent connections to sea and waterways and in direct proximity to the European Union, one of the world's economic hubs. It is also despite the minor importance of negative factors such as a high-burden diseases or high levels of ethnic fractionalization. In this paper, I focus on identifying the most important constraints on Arab Mediterranean economic development. I use state-of-the-art econometric tools to quantify constraints that have been identified through economic theory and studies of the political economy characteristics of the region. The empirical results offer support for the central hypothesis that limited technological capacities and political economy structures are the primary constraints on economic development. With a view to international structural adjustment efforts, my findings imply that the limited success of the Euro-Mediterranean policy to stimulate the economic development of the Arab Mediterranean countries might be because structural adjustment efforts do not tackle—or at least do not sufficiently tackle— these constraints.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Martin Beck
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The region of the Middle East is highly conflict-loaded. The absence of one distinct regional power may be considered both cause and consequence of this structural feature. At the same time, there are significant power gaps between states in the Middle East, with Israel among the most powerful actors and accordingly defined as a potential regional power. Due to the specific empirical setting of the Middle East region, an analytical design emphasizing relational and procedural dynamics is required. In attempting to develop such a design, this paper utilizes three well-established schools of thought of international relations: (neo)realism, institutionalism, and constructivism. These three schools of thought are further used for developing hypotheses on both Israeli regional policy and its effects on the Middle East. After illustrating these hypotheses in relation to four periods in the contemporary history of Israel, theoretical lessons to be learned for the analysis of regional powers in other world areas are presented.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Thomas Richter, Christian Steiner
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article challenges claims that liberalising state regulated markets in developing countries may induce lasting economic development. The analysis of the rise of tourism in Egypt during the last three decades suggests that the effects of liberalisation and structural adjustment are constrained by the neo-patrimonial character of the Egyptian political system. Since the decline of oil rent revenues during the 1980s tourism development was the optimal strategy to compensate for the resulting fiscal losses. Increasing tourism revenues have helped in coping with macroeconomic imbalances and in avoiding more costly adjustment of traditional economic sectors. Additionally, they provided the private elite with opportunities to generate large profits. Therefore, sectoral transformations due to economic liberalisation in neo-patrimonial Rentier states should be described as a process, which has led to the diversification of external rent revenues, rather than to a general downsizing of the Rentier character of the economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In Hamburg existierte eine der größten Spezialbibliotheken Deutschlands zum Nahen Osten; sie umfasst ca. 37.000 Bände und war bis Ende 2006 dem Verbund GIGA German Institute of Globaland Area Studies angeschlossen. Besitzer ist die Deutsche Orient-Stiftung, die begonnen hat, die Bibliothek aus Hamburg abzutransportieren. Die Deutsche Orient-Stiftung hat bislang nicht erklärt, ob und wod ie Bibliothek, die über Jahrzehnte mit öffentlichen Mitteln aufgebaut wurde, wieder der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht werden wird. Das GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies ist empört, wie die Deutsche Orient-Stiftung mit dieser wissenschaftlich einzigartigen Sammlung von Fachliteratur zum Nahen Osten umgeht. Für den Wissenschaftsstandort Hamburg entsteht hierdurch ein großer Schaden.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Germany
  • Author: Juliane Brach
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: EU and twelve countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) engaged in 1995 in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) in political, economic and cultural matters with the aim to foster cooperation, stability, and prosperity around the Mediterranean Basin. The Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP) plays a central role in the EMP design and implementation, which is centered on economic and trade integration as a starting point for and an anchor of socioeconomic development in the MENA region. Against this background, this paper reviews the situation in the MENA partner countries and the past performance of the EFP. It analyzes the association agreements, economic cooperation and financial assistance, discusses the major obstacles, and outlines the potential of the EFP to shape the European Neighborhood Policy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa