Foreign Actors: A Double-Edged Sword Over Contentious Politics In The Middle East

A bit of self-promotion.

Foreign Actors: A Double-Edged Sword Over Contentious Politics In The Middle East is the title of a chapter that I wrote for a forthcoming book published by Palgrave Macmillan: Contentious Politics in the Middle East (September 2015).

While most chapters in this book focus on the role of popular agency in the 2011 Arab uprisings, my chapter takes an opposite perspective and, without neglecting the importance of domestic actors, it seeks to highlight the role foreign actors played in such protests. To prove this point the essay adopts a comparative approach and analyzes the specific cases of Bahrain, Libya, and Yemen. Popular movements arose in a number of Arab countries which shared common calls for socio-economic and political change eventually aimed at achieving better living standards and a greater participation by the people in their nations’ political systems. There has been general agreement that these protest movements were the result of the spontaneous mobilization of independent domestic actors predominantly interested in addressing domestic grievances. However, once the unrest began the response of foreign actors had a decisive influence on the development and outcome of such uprisings. In some cases foreign action supported popular movements and facilitated change whereas, in others, foreign action backed existing regimes and helped to maintain the status quo.

Here is the link to the book webpage. Have a look!


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