Right-Sizing and Right-Peopling: The Middle East Challenges

Right-Sizing and Right-Peopling:
The Middle East Challenges

Naumkin V.V.,

President, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, director@ivran.ru

elibrary_id: 71351 | RESEARCHER_ID: R-9576-2019

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2019.06.06

For citation:

Naumkin V.V. Right-Sizing and Right-Peopling: The Middle East Challenges. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No. 6. P. 67-80. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2019.06.06

The study was conducted with support of the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 17-18-01614 “Problems and Prospects of International Political Transformation of the Middle East in Terms of Regional and International Threats”)


Political scientists often focus their attention these days on some of the strategies designed to reduce the propensity toward conflict advanced by the authors of ‘right-sizing’ and ‘right-peopling’ concepts. This also involves the possibility for allowing such strategies to be applied to the current situation in the Middle East, where the system of nation states is seriously challenged by a number of factors. Particular emphasis is placed by the author upon the modified theory of consocionalism, originally developed by Arendt Lijphart and Gerhard Lembruch in the 1960s, and likewise upon its interpretation by contemporary authors. Certain questions featuring on the agenda, when a choice of available options can be made within the framework of various strategies, such as federalization, are addressed in detail. The practices adopted by different regimes in the Middle East in this respect are reviewed, including relatively successful ones and those that failed to cope with the tasks they faced, with a highlight on their strengths and weaknesses. It is vividly shown that the basic reasons underlying the difficulty in overcoming the conflict intensity and in meeting the challenges to statehood relate to the deeply divided character of Middle Eastern societies, the strong influence of non-governmental actors, the interference of external arbitrators and sectarianization. The problems arising in connection with an inappropriate choice or inadequate use of various strategies are identified. The controversial outcomes of the actions accomplished by the national elites over the recent years are exemplified by Lebanon, and
Israel/Palestine, which in the latter case includes the ‘defeat of consociation’.

right-sizing, right-peopling, Middle East, nation-states, сonsociationalism, right-shaping, ummah, non-state actors, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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Content No. 6, 2019

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Sergeev V.M., Sarukhanyan S.N.,
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Lebedeva M.M.,
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