Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives

Middle Power Politics in the Middle East

This research initiative explores middle powers in the Middle East by studying the varying levels of material power, behavioral aspects, and ideational characteristics of six regional middle powers, namely Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Algeria, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, as well as other aspiring middle powers, such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. It focuses specifically on the conception of middle powers in the context of the Middle East, the causes and consequences of the rise and decline of middle powers in the region, the nexus between domestic politics and foreign policy of middle powers, their self-perceptions as global middle powers and regional superpowers, and shifting alliances and tensions with great powers and with each other. Addressing these and other similar topics will help fill gaps in the burgeoning literature on the international relations of the Middle East, and particularly on middle power politics. This research project addresses an increasingly important but largely understudied topic in Middle Eastern studies.

Since the start of the twenty-first century, various global, regional and domestic factors have redefined the political, economic, and cultural relations of Middle Eastern states both regionally and internationally. These factors range from instability in the international order and global economic crises, to wars and uprisings that shook power relations and redefined the international and regional relations of the Middle East.

Adham Saouli, ed., Unfulfilled Aspirations: Middle Power Politics in the Middle East (Hurst, 2019).

  • Click here to read about Middle Power Politics in the Middle East Working Group I
  • Click here to read about Middle Power Politics in the Middle East Working Group II

As part of its Research and Scholarship initiatives, CIRS organizes several ongoing Working Groups that convene in Doha to examine a variety of international issues. The primary purpose of CIRS research initiatives is to fill in existing research gaps, and to contribute towards furthering knowledge on the prevailing issues related to security, economic stability, and the political realm of the region. Each of these projects involves some of the most prominent scholars of the Middle East and the Gulf region. Each scholar participating will be working on a specific sub-topic, under the overarching subject.

Working Group Meetings