Two strategies for diffusing tension in the Middle East

Gussen, Benjamen Franklen (2016) Two strategies for diffusing tension in the Middle East. Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy, V. pp. 8-11. ISSN 2165-9117


This paper argues that the Middle East as an analytical or geopolitical ‘concept’ has become too problematic. Prophylactic measures centre on two strategies. The first is the ‘dissolution’ of the Middle East based on differentiated continental association. Here, Turkey and Iran are part of Europe and Asia respectively, while the rest of the Middle East—including Israel—becomes part of a ‘Greater Africa’. This reclassification ensures accentuating the difference between different parts of the Middle East, to the end of reducing tension between these parts. The other strategy is based on polycentricity. The paper argues for more emphasis on polycentric constitutional orders in the spirit of Spinoza’s understanding of sovereignty. This vision necessitates international treaties to underwrite charter cities as the dominant governance structure in the Middle East. Sovereignty, as envisaged by Spinoza, is the key proposition for peace in the Middle East, given this sovereignty’s subsidiarity between different organisational scales (the local, national, and global). The Middle East is made of a rich mosaic of religions and ethnicities that is especially amenable to such orders. A lasting peace in the Middle East requires relinquishing the nation-state model in favour of small, non-contiguous, jurisdictions connected in loose confederal structures within the cultural milieu of different continents. Syria and Iraq are ideal for implementing this new subsidiarity approach.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 29334
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2016 06:32
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2016 06:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: subsidiarity, Middle East
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1499 Other Economics > 149999 Economics not elsewhere classified
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1899 Other Law and Legal Studies > 189999 Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160599 Policy and Administration not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160699 Political Science not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919999 Economic Framework not elsewhere classified
C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9499 Other Law, Politics and Community Services > 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only