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The Securitisation of the ‘Masculinist’ other in the Syrian conflict

Amidst the violence that has spread across Syria since 2011, most scholarship concerned with the Syrianconflict has focused on questions related to how the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran has shaped the Syrian crisis.1 The escalat...

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Sectarianism as Plan B: Saudi-Iranian identity politics in the Syria Conflict

Saudi Arabia and Iran have both been deeply involved in the Syrian civil war from its beginning in 2011, each sponsoring rival sides. Both have utilised sectarian identity politics to further their goals and both have contributed to the growth of ...

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The Yemen War: A Proxy Sectarian War?

The diffusion of protests against authoritarian regimes across the Arab world in 2011 reinvigorated Yemen’s marginalized social movements and united different geographical and political factions in Yemen, such as the northern Houthi movement and...

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Bahrain: The Epicentre of the Saudi-Iranian Rivalry?

For many, the archipelago of Bahrain is at the epicentre of the geopolitical and sect-based struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Situated 16 kilometres from the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, linked by the King Fahd Causeway, and 768 kilometres...

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The different risks of Saudi and Iranian aid to Lebanon

Lebanon is a battleground of Saudi-Iranian rivalry. Both provide aid. While Iranian aid to Hizballah creates a military fighting force, Saudi aid is notable for its economic impact. Iranian aid is already widely discussed1 so this artic...

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Iraq and Muhasasa Ta’ifia; the external imposition of sectarian politics

In the aftermath of invasion and regime change in 2003, Iraq’s political field was deliberately and overtly restructured around an informal version of consociationalism, the Muhasasa Ta’ifia (sectarian apportionment) system. This exclusiv...

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Sectarianized Geopolitical Contests and the Rise of Armed Sectarian Nonstate Actors

The rise of armed sectarian nonstate actors (NSAs) is one of the main consequences of the grand Saudi-Iranian contest over regional dominance unleashed in the wake of the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq.1 Albeit this contest pre...

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Religion and Geopolitics in Iranian Foreign Policy

Saudi Arabia and Iran, as key power brokers in the Middle East, continue to couch their bilateral relations in antagonistic terms as they chafe against each other in a battle for influence in the region. Characterising this rivalry in the purely s...

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The View From Riyadh

Most analysis of the Saudi-Iranian rivalry seems to miss the fundamental points that underline the tension.1 Iran is trying to save itself from either foreign intervention or domestic unrest...

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