Conflict and the state in the Middle East and North Africa
Chapter 9 , Conflict and the state in the Middle East and North Africa moves the discussion beyond Iraq and Libya and takes a regional perspective to highlight common aspects of the conflicts in the MENA region: the influence and competition of regional agendas; the rise of Salafi/Jihadi groups; and the international stance towards these conflicts. It shows that the discussion on the relationship between state and conflict in the MENA region has been limited to a conceptual battle between partition, seen as a solution to conflict, and authoritarianism, seen as a problem. The intractability of conflicts in the MENA region has led to the re-framing of international involvement in these contexts around stabilisation. The recent switch towards stabilisation in Iraq and Libya indicates that the international community is reconsidering the state as the ultimate objective of its intervention, but does not offer yet a definitive answer on how to achieve lasting peace.