Middle East Conflict: Bridging History and Contemporary Realities
The unabated and incessant conflicts emerging from the Middle East are quick reminders amongst the observers who espouse the view that the region will always remain conflict ridden. The history of the larger Middle East (Middle East, North Africa, and countries sharing cultural and historical identity with the Middle East) has always been crafted, shaped, constructed, and reconstructed not just by the domestic stakeholders but has equally been swayed by structural - systemic factors. Rather than construing the Middle East crisis as mere spontaneous happenings, effort is made to contextually and theoretically put the crises in perspective. The utility of the latter is not just a raw academic venture that tends to generate discussion for the sake of argument; instead the attempt is geared at shaping a holistic understanding of conflict in the Middle East by bridging history and contemporary realities. The paper theoretically sheds light on the conflict in the Middle East, focusing on regional and intra-state dynamics. The paper discusses the contemporary dynamics by addressing the regional power contest, hegemonic proclivity, and arms race through the lens of history. Conceptually, the paper posits that understanding the unfolding tensions and conflicts in the region cannot be complete without paying attention to the role of regional institutions and ideological underpinning such as Pan-Islamism and Pan-Arabism. The paper concludes history will remain an important tool of understanding contemporary Middle East conflict. In as much as realism defines state’s behaviour, regional competition will remain an enduring phenomenon and the changing dynamic of regional equation will complicate conflict resolution.