The contemporary Middle East has been defined by political crises and conflict. The interplay of internal and external factors have set the region on a path of turmoil and crisis with devastating outcomes for its people. The absence of political accountability and representation, and policies pursued by the United States to keep US-friendly regimes in power have been two key factors that have contributed to the seemingly insoluble Middle East politics.

This book provides a detailed exploration of the forces, internal and external, that have shaped today’s Middle East. The book follows a chronological order and provides context to major political milestones.

Topics explored include:

Imperialism in the Middle East

The formation of the State of Israel

The Arab–Israeli wars

Palestinian politics and the failure of the ‘peace process’

The Iranian Revolution and pan-Shi’ism

Superpowers in the Middle East

The US-led ‘War on Terror’

The Arab uprisings

The Syrian War and the rise of the ‘Islamic State’

US–Iran relations

This study puts recent developments in historical context, and will serve as a core reference tool for students and researchers of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations.

chapter 1


chapter 2|19 pages

The formation of the State of Israel

chapter 3|20 pages

The Arab–Israeli wars

chapter 4|24 pages

Palestinian politics

The failure of the ‘peace process’

chapter 5|14 pages

Ideologies and supra-state identities

chapter 6|20 pages

The Iranian Revolution and pan-Shi’ism

chapter 7|23 pages

Playground of the superpowers

chapter 8|25 pages

The US-led War on Terror

chapter 9|16 pages

The Arab uprisings

chapter 11|16 pages

Iran emerging from isolation

chapter 12|6 pages