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A look at the UK’s new role in the Middle East

(Photo: What Next for Britain in the Middle East)
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As the UK enters a period of intense public introspection in the wake of Brexit, this book takes on one of the key questions emerging from the divisive process: what is Britain’s place in the world? اضافة اعلان

The Middle East is one of the regions the UK has been most engaged in historically. The current weakening of states, rise of extremist non-state actors, flows of refugees, increased Iranian-Gulf tension and economic uncertainty are among the many MENA issues now impacting on London. 

This book, “What Next for Britain in the Middle East? Security, Trade and Foreign Policy after Brexit,” assesses the drivers of foreign policy successes and failures and asks if there is a way to revitalize British influence in the region, and if this is even desirable. The book analyzes the values, trade, and security concerns that drive the UKs foreign policy. 

There are separate chapters on the non-Arab powers — Israel, Turkey, and Iran — as well as chapters on the Middle Eastern Arab states and regions including the Gulf, Iraq, Egypt, and Syria and the Levant. 

The contributions are from the leading specialists in the field from both universities and from institutions such as RUSI, Chatham House, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Rosemary Hollis, Michael Clarke, Ian Black, Christopher Phillips, Jane Kinninmont, Michael Stephens, and Gareth Stansfield. 

They each explain and reassess the declining western influence and continued instability in the region and what this means for the UKs priorities and strategy towards the MENA. This is an essential book for policymakers, journalists, and researchers focused on foreign policy towards the Middle East.

Lyse Doucet, BBC chief international correspondent, called the book “A timely and trusted guide — smart thinking from respected scholars who understand the past and provide impressive insight into the future of a fast-changing map of Britain and the Middle East.”  

The book consists of four parts that cover the UK searching for a role and the history of the UK in the Middle East from East of the Suez to Brexit, including the below headlines.

The topics include Britain and the Middle East since 1971, Britain’s foreign policy landscape in the post-Brexit era, and the UK and US in the Middle East.
Part two of the book: “Principles and Pragmatism – the debates over the UK’s Middle East priorities,” covers British foreign policy in the Middle East and asks if the country is a third wheel. It also looks at prosperity and security.

Part three covers Britain and the non-Arab powers, mainly Turkey and Israel, while part four looks at the UK’s relationship with Arab states.

Coauthor, Christopher Phillips is a Reader in International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London, UK and associate fellow at Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Program. 

He has written for The Guardian, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and CNN, among others. He has also made numerous media appearances on outlets including BBC Newsnight, Radio 4’s Today Program, BBC News, Al-Jazeera, Sky News, and Channel 4 News. He is the author of “The Battle for Syria: International Rivalry in the new Middle East” (2016).

Michael Stephens, the other coauthor, is a senior research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and an associate fellow at RUSI where he previously worked as the research fellow for Middle East studies. Michael was seconded to the foreign and commonwealth in 2017, serving as the senior research snalyst for Lebanon and Syria. He is a regular broadcast commentator and has written for many of the world’s top news publications.

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