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After the Arab Spring: power shift in the Middle East?: the contradictions of hegemony: the United States and the Arab Spring

Kitchen, Nicholas (2012) After the Arab Spring: power shift in the Middle East?: the contradictions of hegemony: the United States and the Arab Spring. IDEAS reports - special reports, Kitchen, Nicholas (ed.) SR011. LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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In the United State’s response to the events of the Arab Spring, the Obama administration has been consistently careful not to get ahead of fast-moving developments. Critics have decried the administration’s apparent lack of a coherent approach, and its willingness to talk the language of democratic ideals whilst acting to protect national interests. Supporters, on the other hand, have praised the blending of pragmatism and principle as evidence of a smarter approach to international affairs than that of Obama’s predecessor. The United States’ cautious and contradictory approach, which has at times amounted to the endorsement of the inevitable, reflects wider strategic tensions in the United States’ approach to the Middle East, and the reality that whilst the US may be the most important external power in the region, its ability to dictate outcomes is limited. Yet by ‘muddling through’ and insisting on keeping the United States on the right side of history throughout the course of the Arab revolutions, the Obama administration has ensured that the new regimes in the region will have to continue to work with the United States, and ensured that the US is not diverted from its overriding strategic reorientation towards the Asia-Pacific.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE IDEAS
Collections > United States Collection
Identification Number: SR011
Date Deposited: 04 May 2012 10:31

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