Russia’s 21st Century Middle East: Geopolitics, Hegemonies, Alliances and Contestations


Proposed Special Issue

This call for papers responds to critical shifts in Greater Middle Eastern geopolitics. The post-Arab Spring period has witnessed the fall of some regimes, the entrenchment of others, and the concerning growth of additional failing states in the region. During this time, the ferocity and protracted status of the Syrian civil war has evinced Russia’s expanding military and diplomatic clout in the region, while also revealing its great acumen for diplomatic maneuvering. These positional shifts in the place that Russia holds in the complex political spaces, processes and places that are the Greater Middle East in the contemporary period, pose considerable challenges to US hegemony in the region.

The resurgence of Russia’s prominence in the region will have a deep, long-range impact on the geopolitical landscape of the Greater Middle East, transforming alliance-systems, political outcomes, US responses to Russian influence, geographies of political patronage and military embeddedness. This call for papers seeks manuscripts that forge innovative analyses grounded in critical geographical approaches to the complex and evolving role of Russia in the region. Selected abstracts will be submitted in total as a special issue proposal to Political Geography, Geopolitics, or Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space.

The following issues/themes/problematics are encouraged, as well as other innovative areas of empirical and conceptual concern proposed by authors:

  • US-Russian Relations and the Middle East
  • Hegemony in a Transforming Political Landscape
  • Soviet military strategies, military aid agreements, military training networks, and armament contracts and their contemporary implications
  • Large-scale Soviet water engineering/irrigation/agricultural projects and their legacies in contemporary Middle Eastern conflicts
  • Russian-Syrian Relations
  • Russian -Turkish Relations
  • Kurdish-Russian Relations
  • Russia and the Kurdish Question
  • Russia and Post-Arab Spring Geopolitics
  • Flows and Spaces of Power: Russia, the Middle East and the UN Security Council
  • Russia and the so-called Syrian Peace Process
  • Critical Feminist Geopolitical analyses of the transforming political landscape of the region and its future
  • Russia, Israel and the United States: the Dynamics of the Post-Arab Spring Political Landscape
  • Russia, the Global Geopolitical Economy and the Middle East
  • The Politico-Economic Geography of the Arms Trade in the Middle East: Russia and its Others
  • Russia and the Israel-Palestine Conflict
  • Placing a New Pivot: Russia, Iran and Turkey
  • Russia, the Middle East and Central Asian Islam(s)
  • Russia and the Region’s Non-State/Para-State/Anti-State Actors

Abstracts will be reviewed by Kevin M. DeJesus, Ali Nehme Hamdan and Luke Struckman, Guest Editors. Please submit your abstract of 250 words to before March 24, 2017.

Decisions will be made on the abstracts by April 24, 2017. Notification of the status of each abstract will be sent to all submitting authors.

Final manuscripts will be due by June 23, 2017.  Papers will be presented at the 2018 AAG Annual Meeting.