alexa The Hobbesian Nightmare in the Arab League: A Collision of Identity Politics and National Interests in Middle East Conflicts

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The Hobbesian Nightmare in the Arab League: A Collision of Identity Politics and National Interests in Middle East Conflicts

The Middle East has plunged into a wide-scale Hobbesian war of all against all since the proliferation of the Arab Spring in 2011 that chronicled the message the people want the downfall of the regime that disrupted the status quo in their regional politics. This paper argues that this state of nature intriguing all ethnic groups in the Arab World against all is anchored on and explained through the phenomenon of identity politics. The author scrutinizes the applicability of this extrapolation by surveying the conflict seized countries of the Middle East (Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon) and posits that external self-interested influences impact on the crises according to regional identity politics as well. The Syrian conflict is herein viewed as the centre of gravity that disperses its spill-over effects across the region. It is further argued that collective system mechanisms (UN, Arab League) as a solution to internal conflicts have been jeopardised by the decisive role of identity politics in the Arab League. The clash of civilization hypothesis is herein taken as a product of identity politics which explains the outcome of identity politics. The study proposes that conflicts caused and defined by identity politics can only be solved through the auspices of identity politics itself. Group cohesion and unity of purpose which are key facets of identity politics might be harmonized through opening the public space for civil society organisations, churches, and minority movements to air their concerns to get a strong national identity. National constitutions, institutions and elections must reflect sectarian cleavages in those societies in order to enable proportional representation, majority rule and respect of minority rights to curb conflict recurrence.

 
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