War, institutions, and social change in the Middle East
Considering the scope and scale of war making and war preparation in the Middle East, the rarity of research on war as a social and political process is puzzling. This paper is sought to strengthen connections between research on war as a social process and the study of political, social, and institutional change in the Middle East.
The document figures out the following findings:
- in the Middle East, war making has been indirect, mediated, and deeply trans-nationalised
- among the states that have been the most engaged participants in Middle East wars, the trans-nationalisation of war has been an explicit and conscious strategy of state elites
- preparation for war has been funded by foreign military assistance or rents of one form or another
- peace settlements have been negotiated and guaranteed by external powers
Conclusions are as follows:
- in the Middle East, the intensity of war preparation has been only loosely correlated with levels of external threat and with the actual outbreak of war
- similarly, the intensity of war preparation has not been tightly correlated with a capacity to engage in war making
- seemingly, there has been a significant correlation between the sources of state revenue on one hand, and patterns of war preparation on the other
- the phenomenon of high militarisation has been characteristic principally of the secularist, single-party regimes
- the extraordinarily high level of war preparation has been binding the processes of state building and state institutional formation
- however, military mobilisation has been probably strengthening the political institutions and the authority of political leaders in late-developing contexts
In addition, the paper concludes that war making in the Middle East generated conflicts regarding not only the nature of citizenship and political authority, but also regarding the definition of the society itself.