Seyed Masoud Mousavi Shafaee / Vali Golmohammadi
Dr. Mousavi Shafaee is an associate professor, and Dr. Golmohammadi an assistant professor, in the Department of International Relations at Tarbiat Modares University in Iran.
This article analyzes the logic of recent instability and disorder in the Middle East. It offers two interrelated arguments. First, the region has turned into a battle zone in the aftermath of US retrenchment. The United States and other external powers refrained from direct engagement in shaping Middle Eastern order and, therefore, aspirant regional powers were prompted to redesign that order. Second, what makes instability and disorder a geopolitical feature of the Middle East is the “regional-supremacy trap,” the seduction of a power vacuum and a desire for regional hegemony, a trap that draws all influential actors into a series of endless and cumulative conflicts. According to our findings, there is a meaningful relationship between the instability and the regional power struggle for supremacy in the post-American Middle East. As there is no sign of cooperative mechanisms for shaping the regional order by the major Middle Eastern actors, the syndrome of disorder will continue for the foreseeable future.
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