The Middle East and North Africa: a region of war, conflict and insecurity that affect the economy and security far beyond its borders.
The Middle East/North Africa refers to an area that is vaguely defined in terms of geography, but shares various cultural features. The core area stretches from Libya to the Persian Gulf, but also Cyprus, Turkey and Iran are often considered part of the region, in addition to the Arab-speaking countries. This is region with a long history of serious conflicts – in Iraq, Syria, and between Israel and the Palestinian territories. The events and upheavals following in the wake of the Arab Spring have also put their mark on the region.
The conflicts and crises in the Middle East and North Africa are central themes in NUPI research on the region. What roles do the emergent big powers play in these conflicts? How do great-power politics influence regional dynamics? These are central question that affect relations elsewhere around the globe, especially as regards energy issues. Developments in individual countries like Egypt, Syria and Iran are also followed closely by NUPI researchers, as are questions of the security situation in the area and how this is affected by actors and conflicts elsewhere in Africa.
Sources: Store Norske Leksikon and NUPI.