Policy makers, political and state elites, and civilian and military cadres have grappled with the unprecedented crisis of Covid-19 in the Middle East and North Africa. Against this gloomy backdrop, the main question became whether the region could sustain its traditional security-first policy even though the definition of security has changed. Could the state perpetuate its role as the arbiter of a broken clientelistic contract in a state-led socioeconomic order? Could geopolitical rivalries be upheld against unprecedented domestic challenges? This article tries to illuminate the changing role of the state in the Middle East and North Africa, the rising salience of institutional good governance, and their effects on regional geopolitics in the aftermath of the pandemic.
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