Students of the Middle East love to argue about where it is and what it means, but eventually they have to face the fact that it’s just another part of the wider world. At a time of accelerating globalization, the greatest strength of Middle East societies lies in their ability to bond with other cultures in all directions and to promote mutually beneficial exchanges across distant continents and oceans. Although cosmopolitanism is a pervasive aspect of Middle Eastern peoples, different sectors nonetheless cultivate it in various ways and with unequal enthusiasm. Three approaches stand out as particularly influential in shaping perceptions among policy makers and the general public. Compared to the pattern of bifurcation, these views portray the region as substantially more coherent or more fragmented—prone to greater balance and harmony on the one hand, or more intense violence and disruption on the other.