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In the second edition of The New Middle East: What Everyone Needs to Know
, renowned Middle East scholar James L. Gelvin explains how in the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, the American invasion of Iraq, and the Arab uprisings of 2010-11, a new Middle East has emerged. Syria, Libya, and Yemen have become "crisis states," where warlords vie against governments and each other. The economies of Iran, Turkey, and Lebanon, weakened by corruption, sanctions, and neoliberal economic policies, have imploded. Some states have doubled-down on repression, while others intervene in the internal affairs of their neighbors with impunity.
The revised and expanded edition explores these hallmarks of the New Middle East, along with the end of American hegemony in the region, the expansion of "conflict zones," the continued centrality of the Saudi-Iranian competition, and the ramifications of the breakdown of the Israel-Palestine peace process. It also highlights the crisis of human security brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, bad governance, stagnant economies, poor healthcare and educational delivery systems, climate change, food and water insecurity, population growth and imbalance, and the unprecedented displacement of populations. In a concise question-and-answer format, Gelvin outlines the social, political, and economic contours of the New Middle East, illuminating the current crisis in the region and exploring how it is likely to evolve in the decades to come.