Moyen-Orient : l'économie dans la course à la puissance Études de l'Ifri, March 2020
Today, the geopolitics of the Middle East is undergoing deep structural changes. The regional order is in transition in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, which shook authoritarian governance and facilitated competition for power against the backdrop of American withdrawal.
This new race for regional domination challenges the traditional hierarchy of powers, essentially based on military capacity and the interaction between external alliances. The economy, which until then had guaranteed the political status quo through the widespread diffusion of oil and gas revenues, is now becoming a political weapon in relations between states.
The formerly passive Gulf countries, aware of the intrinsic fragility of the rentier model, are now relying on their economic critical mass and trying to mobilize their wealth to guarantee a conservative transition. In an attempt to ensure this, they are notably deploying mechanisms such as changes in economic governance, offensive investment strategies, financing of wars, and use of sanctions. However, the effectiveness of these economic action mechanisms is not guaranteed. The normative and financial autonomy of most Middle Eastern economies is in fact limited. The dysfunctional regional economic system has been aggravated by the multiplication of conflicts.
This content is available in French: Moyen-Orient : l'économie dans la course à la puissance.