A new volume titled “Umbruch, Zerfall und Restauration − Der Nahe Osten im Spannungsfeld regionaler Akteure und externer Mächte” jointly edited by Hakan Akbulut, Steffen Hagemann and Anja Opitz appeared with Nomos in February 2022. The volume examines the causes, the current state and prospects of upheavals and changes in the MENA region in the past 10 years focusing on the objectives and strategies of selected actors from the region (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel) as well as of external powers (USA, EU, Russia, Turkey), while Syria and Iran represent cross-cutting issues. The focus is on uncovering the interplay of internal and external factors of influence. The contributions show, on the one hand, how external factors affect both the region and individual states while domestic factors, on the other hand, impact regional and global networks of relationships and developments.
Hakan Akbulut contributed two chapters to the volume. In his first article, he explores why former US President Donald J. Trump (along with Republican Congressmen and Congresswomen as well as the former Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, among others) rejected the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, what the declared objectives of the “strategy of maximum pressure” were, how this strategy was implemented and which results it produced both in terms of Iran’s nuclear capabilities as well as pertaining to regional security and stability. In his second contribution, Hakan Akbulut shows how the war in Syria has been adversely affecting the relationship between the two NATO allies Turkey and the United States. While arguing that relations between Turkey and the United States have usually been volatile and thus seldom free of friction, he makes the case for considering the peculiarities of the Syrian case in order to understand the downturn in relations in recent years and the severity of the current crisis. He shows how diverging threat perceptions and priorities moved the two NATO countries toward partnering with different actors afield viewed as posing a threat by the respective other party.
The volume is available at Nomos’ eLibrary.