The structure of power and diplomacy in inner- and inter-state relations in the Middle East is once again undergoing profound transformations. In the 20th century, the power architecture inherited from colonial rule condemned the region to instability, leaving behind questionable borders and dissatisfied ethnic minorities, and ultimately fuelling state and non-state actors to challenge existing territorial sovereignty.
More recently, the renegotiation of the role of civil society during the Arab Spring demonstrated the existence of seeds of change, which have been silently growing long before the first protests in Tahrir Square. Several political dialogues materialised in the early 2010s but failed to bring about stability in the region. Today, much uncertainty surrounds the future of Middle Eastern diplomacy and politics.
Our Diplomacy in the Middle East series focuses on the most prominent issues affecting the Middle East, with the aim of learning from the past, understanding current challenges and contemplating the role of hard and soft diplomacy throughout the region.
Drawing together the expertise and experiences of diplomats and foreign policy experts from across the Middle East, Europe and the United States, this series addresses topics such as Iran’s influence within and outside the region, the fate of Syria, peace processes in the Middle East and the stabilisation of Iraq.