The third issue of The Ideology and Politics Journal "Social and Political Transformations in the Middle East and Northern Africa Region" has been published (editors Leonid Isaev and Ilya Kusa)
The special issue “Social and Political Transformations in the Middle East and Northern Africa Region” of the Ideology and Politics Journal was initiated to further research on the transformations in the MENA region. This issue presents interdisciplinary research that allows readers to look at the processes of socio-political development of the region from a different angle.
This issue opens with an article by Ruslan Zaporozhchenko, who analyzes geohistorical transformations in the region. The author makes a difficult attempt to answer the question what are the historical preconditions for the emergence of social movements in the MENA region in 2011 and what is the role of ideological and military power in these processes? This is followed by an article by Leonid Issaev, Egor Fain and Andrey Korotayev, which examines the consequences of the Arab Spring for neighbouring regions. The authors reveal the connection between the socio-political turbulence in the Arab world and the growth of terrorist activity in the Sahel countries. Conducted analysis has shown that there are several trajectories of the Arab Spring’s influence on terrorist activity in the Sahel. A study by Alisa Shishkina and Georgy Shishkin focuses on the intifada, a phenomenon characteristic of the Arab world. Analyzing the first and second Palestinian intifada, the authors come to the original conclusion that it fit into the broader context of protests in the Middle East bearing similar motives to those events that led to the Arab Spring revolutions.
The next part of the article offers the reader several cases that are important for the MENA region. Maria João Barata focuses on the most important problem of self-determination for the modern world. From the standpoint of symbolic interactionism and the theory of international relations, the author consistently examines the numerous possibilities and limitations that exist in the construction of a sense of national belonging by the population of Western Sahara. Then Nawar Kassomeh and Jalal Qanas invites the reader to pay attention to the Gulf region. The authors try to understand why the Arab Spring led to the collapse of many authoritarian regimes in the region but practically bypassed the Gulf. The article attempts to explain this in terms of the social contract that took shape over the decades in the monarchies of the Gulf. Finally, Nikolay Kozhanov, using the example of Qatar, draws attention to the extremely interesting phenomenon of the "small state", which was noticeably actualized during the events of the Arab Spring The study argues that Qatar’s previous efforts aimed at the development of its export-oriented LNG industry allowed the Emirate to fund and pursue a foreign policy strategy that was uncommon for a small state. Whereby during the last two decades, Doha was also more oriented towards interaction with players outside of the Gulf Cooperation Council.