- Au-delà du ‘pays des deux fleuves’: une configuration conflictuelle régionale?
- Critique Internationale
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Beyond the "Land of the Two Rivers": A Regional Conflict Formation?
The "network wars", or "Regional Conflict Formations" (RCFs) model is no more than the first step toward understanding the complex relationships between the conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Admittedly, the levels of analysis that this model offers regarding cross-border trafficking of people and goods are certainly an essential prerequisite to the study of the ties between the different conflicts in the region. But a description limited to that would simply fuel the shortsightedness of the American government’s current policies vis-à-vis the Middle East. Therefore, the notion of regionalization of symbolic capital must be integrated into this approach as soon as possible. Indeed, it is the only concept that allows one to understand that the West is not an exogenous actor in Middle Eastern conflicts, and to reformulate analysis and policies accordingly. Furthermore, given the importance of symbolic capital and foreign intervention in the region, the static and excessively simplistic view of identity politics developed in the RCFs model must be reviewed, in order to integrate three elements: material cross-border ties, regional symbolic capital, and foreign intervention.
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