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Geopolitics and democracy in the Middle East

On July 16, FRIDE is presenting this book, which analyzes the geopolitical profiles and policies of six key regional powers and seven influential outside role-players.

July 08, 2015
The Middle East and North Africa region is undergoing a profound geopolitical shift. Since the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2011, the region has gone from placing great hope in democratization to a downward spiral of fragmentation, insecurity and fragility. Violent conflicts afflict Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, and Lebanon is on the verge of a new outbreak of hostilities. With the exception of Tunisia, where the transition is moving ahead, and the countries at war, the autocratic regimes in the region have been restored and strengthened. Re-creating the Middle East has produced a major wave of geopolitical competition between regional and global powers, States and non-State role-players. A complex network of alliances creates interweaving and often contradictory dynamics. Some of the trends that will influence the future of the Middle East and North Africa include the repositioning of influential States, the State’s fragility, the proliferation of violent non-State role-players, the resurgence of the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the political impact of the changes in world energy trade.

The book “Geopolitics and Democracy in the Middle East,” published by FRIDE, outlines the geopolitical profiles and the policies of six key regional powers (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Iran, Israel and Turkey) and seven influential outside role-players (Germany, China, the United States, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the European Union) and examines how their geopolitical interests are affecting the prospects for democracy throughout the Middle East.

To present this work, FRIDE has organized a debate titled “Responses to the New Geopolitics of the Middle East,” with the participation of Soli Özel, a professor at Kadir Has University in Turkey; Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation in Berlin; Shlomo Ben Ami, Vice-President of CITpax and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel (pending confirmation); Eduard Soler, a senior researcher and research coordinator at CIDOB, and Kristina Kausch, who is responsible for FRIDE’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

The debate will be moderated by Giovanni Grevi, FRIDE’s director. The experts will be debating, along with the public, the topics explored in the book, as well as the main challenges for Europe and the implications of this new scenario for Spain.
The event is taking place on Thursday, July 16 at 10:00 a.m. in the Casa Árabe auditorium  (Calle Alcalá, 62. M) and will be in Spanish and English with simultaneous translation. Limited capacity, and therefore you must confirm in advance ( / 91 244 47 55).
This event forms part of the project “Transitions and Geopolitics in the Arab World,” led by FRIDE and HIVOS with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.
Geopolitics and democracy in the Middle East