By Dr Stephan Stetter
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Additional info for World Society and the Middle East: Reconstructions in Regional Politics (Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies)
The key argument is that due to the inclusion/exclusion paradigm these extended frozen crossings do not reify but are constantly observed and represented in scandalous terms as highly contingent and unjust societal and political orders. Inclusion/exclusion is thus the form which allows constant opposition – but not fundamental alteration – to the overall dynamics of frozen crossings in regional politics. Thus, frozen crossings, on the one hand, and the form of inclusion/exclusion as the observation of the contingency of these frozen crossings, on the other, exist in parallel but ultimately are uneasy bedfellows – nurturing what is, therefore, referred to throughout this book as the creeping antagonization of Middle East politics.
Accordingly, by transcending generally under-theorized notions of global interconnections, the aforementioned theories of globalization all offer important and theoretically dense perspectives on politics in the Middle East within a globalized setting. Theories of cobweb models direct attention towards de-territorialized communicative networks. As a result, the world no longer appears as a one-dimensional space but rather as a network of complex and multi-dimensional overlapping and intersecting societal constellations on the functional, cultural, geographical, economic and political levels.
124 This focus on bordering processes will be particularly helpful in addressing the various inequalities, fractions, fragmentations and patterns of inclusion versus exclusion which characterize world society (and certainly the Middle East). 125 As in particular chapters 4 and 5 will discuss, world society theory allows us to approach differences on the symbolic/identity dimension without recourse to problematic notions of ‘culture’ or ‘civilization’ which often operate as residual yet heavily under-theorized variables when accounting for obvious regional and cultural peculiarities.