How is the MENA region facing the challenges arising from the changing international system? To what extent are global transformations, especially the ongoing redefinition of the international balances among the great powers, reflected in an area that is caught in its own dynamics of change? Against such a backdrop, what impact is the war in Ukraine having on MENA countries and what are the medium and long-term prospects for the region?
The Atlantic Council and ISPI, with contributions from international experts, have used these questions as the starting point for exploring the challenges facing the MENA region in this time of global changes. Commencing with the shifts over the last decade brought about by the so-called Arab springs and the Obama Administration's pivot to Asia, the analysis has been focused on three clearly separate, but closely linked, levels and resulted in three different Dossiers published between July and November.
The first Dossier adopts a geopolitical stance and explores how the Middle East is changing, looking at the roles and interests of international actors given the redefinition of America's involvement in a part of the world that is no longer a strategic priority for Washington.
Focusing on internal governance, the second Dossier explores how geopolitical developments are impacting the tricky road to socio-economic reforms in MENA countries, highlighting the diversity of approaches not only between North African regimes and Gulf monarchies, but also between oil producers and importers.
Finally, turning to the long-standing theaters of crisis – from Libya to Mali and Syria to Yemen – the third Dossier delves into the conflict management models used by international organizations and external actors with different – at times conflicting – agendas and normative approaches in their pursuit of stability and peace.
Table of Contents
Evolving Mena Power Balances: What Is Next for Us Engagement in the Region?
1. A Post-American Era for the Middle East and North Africa: What’s Next for the Region?, Karim Mezran (Atlantic Council), Valeria Talbot (ISPI)
2. Shifting Priorities: The US and the Middle East in a Multipolar World, Jonathan Panikoff (Atlantic Council)
3. Washington and the Gulf: A New Opportunity to Engage, Differently, Sanam Vakil (Chatham House)
4. The Arab World and the Ukraine Conflict: The Quest for Non-alignment, Maha Yahya (Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center)
5. Risk or Opportunity? How Russia Sees a Changing MENA Region, Mark N. Katz (George Mason University and Atlantic Council)
6. The Rise of Complex "Intermediate Zones": The Ukraine War and China’s Opportunity and Dilemma in the Middle East, She Gangzheng (Tsinghua University)
7. A Pivot Point for Europe’s Role in the Middle East, Julien Barnes-Dacey (European Council on Foreign Relations)
The MENA Region’s Uneasy Path Towards Reforms
8. How the Ukraine War Has Affected the MENA Region’s Pursuit of Governance Reforms, Lorenzo Fruganti (ISPI), Alissa Pavia (Atlantic Council)
9. Boom and Bust: Can Algeria Break the Cycles of Its Past?, Andrew G. Farrand (Atlantic Council)
10. Tunisia: The Populist Drift of Saied and the Looming Socioeconomic Crisis, Alessia Melcangi (Sapienza University, ISPI and Atlantic Council)
11. Egypt’s "New" Capital: Reshaping the Future to Erase the Past, Hafsa Halawa (Middle East Institute)
12.The GCC in the Global Power Cycle: The Reform-Security Nexus, Eleonora Ardemagni (ISPI and Catholic University of Milan)
Conflict Management Models in the MENA Region
13.Conflict Management in the MENA: Different Approaches for Different Actors, Chiara Lovotti (ISPI), Alissa Pavia (Atlantic Council)
14.The European Union, NATO, and the Libya Crisis: Scaling Ambitions Down?, Stefano Marcuzzi (UCD and NATO Defense College Foundation)
15. Reviving Diplomacy: A New Strategy for the Yemen Conflict?, Gerald M. Feierstein (Middle East Institute)
16. Mali: West Out, Russia In, and Then?, Petr Tůma (Atlantic Council)
17. “Conflict Management” à-la-russe in the Middle East and Africa, Chiara Lovotti (ISPI)