Summary and conclusion
The Middle East remains unstable, with nearly 60 years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has included 26 crises and six major wars. The region hosted two wars in Iraq (1991 and 2003) with the most international participants, as well as the bloodiest interstate war of that period (Iran-Iraq, 19801988). The region also witnesses rampaging civil wars in Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Syria with an unending chain of bloodshed during the last five years. This monograph examines distinctive issues related to conflict in the Middle East and North Africa. The main aim of Chapter 2 is to understand conflicts from a multidisciplinary vantage point. In order to do that we ask the broad questions: what are the economic incentives for and constraints on conflicts? Why in some societies do conflicts recur, while other societies retain their peaceful character? The analysis argues that conflicts must be understood in the context of globalisation, which has spurred the twin forces of democratisation and privatisation in developing nations. Do these forces create a long-term vulnerability for the Middle East? In Chapter 2 we apply the principal component analysis (PCA) to the eight variables, namely ODA, CO2, INFANTD, MMORT, DEATHR, ARLAND, FOODPROD and CEREALPROD for seven nations in the Middle East and North Africa – Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Egypt and Lebanon. For each variable we have observations during 1960-2013. The PCA enables us to derive an index of long-term vulnerability for each of these nations during 1960-2013. The existing literature has only highlighted the death rate (DEATHR) in exploring the sources of collective violence and its consequence. In this monograph we have extended the concept and measurement of vulnerability and its impacts on violence with the help of the PCA for the first time in the context of violence and wars. By analysing the dynamics of vulnerability of each nation over time, we are able to detect important long-term determinants of vulnerability in the Middle East and North Africa. This chapter then provides a comprehensive analysis of the long-term relationships between the index vulnerability of a nation and its neighbours’ vulnerability. In other words, how the vulnerability of a nation impacts on regional vulnerability. We noted
some interesting and hitherto unknown results. The chapter also introduces the basic concept of exchange entitlement failure and examines its role in the Middle East for exacerbating the vulnerability of the region. Interesting findings include the adverse impacts of global warming and the global oil market in exacerbating vulnerability of the region. We also find evidence that the divergence between food price inflation and oil price inflation has played a significant role in creating and driving vulnerability in the region. In a nutshell, in simple words, we have evidence to argue that various countryspecific, regional and global factors have combined to create the long-term vulnerability of the chosen countries. The region will need to plan for managing a cascading regional vulnerability, food price inflation, oil price inflation and rising global temperature. Our results then establish that there are regional and global implications of the vulnerability of the individual nations in the Middle East and North Africa.