ORIENT III 2022: Intraregional geopolitics

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When looking at the Middle East and North Africa, outside observers sometimes tend to view their own influence and impact on the region as larger than it realistically is. While external actors do play a role, there are very interesting and ultimately decisive dynamics at play between countries in the MENA. These are, of course, influenced by external events such as Russia’s war against Ukraine, as they are by global trends. However, the interrelations have an inherent regional component, too. Looking at such intraregional geopolitics is the focus of this issue. These relations are subject to constant change – including rapprochement, reconciliation, estrangement and shifting priorities and alliances. Having a grip on these dynamics and the rationale behind them is as important to understanding developments in the region as the influence of external powers is. Of course, this holds particularly true since these categories are interdependent.

Natalie Koch takes a closer look at an area most people might not immediately associate with geopolitics: sports sponsorship by Gulf countries. Anna Reuß sheds light on a changing security perception of the UAE. Hamdy A. Hassan takes the reader to the potentials and obstacles of more regional cooperation in the Maghreb, while Fatiha Dazi-Héni reviews the effects of the Abraham Accords on regional geopolitics. Subsequently, Christopher M. Davidson turns the focus to the state of GCC reconciliation. James M. Dorsey then adds his analysis of regional factors at play in Turkey’s quarrels within NATO.