The State and Dilemmas of Security: The Middle East

Journal article

Messari, Nizar (2002) The State and Dilemmas of Security: The Middle East, Security Dialogue 33 (4): 415.


Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This article argues that even if the state represents a solution to the security needs of one group of people, it may be a source of threat to another. This is so because the construction of the state is necessarily an exclusive process, and those who are excluded in some cases become a source of threat. In addition, the state sometimes represents a threat to its own people. In sum, on the basis of an existing critical literature within security studies, the article questions the role of the state in maintaining security. In this context, it utilizes the debate on identity formation to defend the necessity of constructing open and inclusive political spaces. It then applies this theoretical discussion to the cases of the Middle East and the Balkans, and argues that the alternative to the sovereign state that is being put in place in the Balkans might represent a valuable example for the Middle East.

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