The Future of the Middle East

  • Ilhan Kaya
  • Yilmaz Ari
  • Hakkı Yazici


The Middle East is a region of diverse cultures, political systems, economies, historical experiences, and international alliances regardless of the monolithic view of the region from the outside. These differences become real sources of division and conflict within as well as among the nations in the region. The level of economic and social development in the region varies from country to country. The countries have a political geography that is a product of the colonial period, and authoritarian governments that have done little to improve the living standards in the region or develop a just political system. The regimes have tried to isolate their peoples, frame the outside world, and put great pressure on any organized group that has the potential challenge to undermine their position. A number of these countries have some of the most repressive regimes in the world. The uneven distribution of wealth and resources is a major social, political, and economic problem. People in the region want change and began to push for it. However, the Middle East has not been and is not totally isolated. It is part of a global system of markets, media, and migrations. Also, diverse religious, ethnic, and political groups ask for recognition, access to resources, and a fair representation. As a result, things are beginning to change and even more radical changes in social, political, and economic orders are underway in the region.The effects of climate change, such as falling precipitation rates and rising temperatures, may to have dramatic impacts on the life in the Middle East. The region’s water scarcity, along with worsening water quality, rising sea levels, and increasing population, could have important negative impacts on agricultural production, health, and the nature. Thus, adaptive measures need to be taken to deal with the overuse of groundwater, alarming water scarcity, and contamination in the region.


Saudi Arabia Middle East Water Scarcity Human Development Index Authoritarian Regime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abramowitz M (2003) The United States and Turkey: allies in need. Century Foundation Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Allan J (2001) The Middle East water question: hydropolitics and the global economy. I.B. Tauris, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Allan J (2003) Virtual water—the water, food, and trade nexus. Useful concept or misleading metaphor? Water Intl 28(1):106–113. doi:10.1080/02508060.2003.9724812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson-Wilk M (2009) Changing the engines of change: natural resource conservation in the era of social media. J Soil and Water Conserv 64(4):129a–131aCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson B (1991) Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. Verso, London. (rev and extended ed)Google Scholar
  6. Appadurai A (1998) Modernity at large: cultural dimensions of globalization. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  7. Arjomand SA (2009) Has Iran’s Islamic revolution ended? Radic Hist Rev (105):132–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Arnell NW (1999) Climate change and global water resources. Glob Environ Change 9(Suppl 1):S31–S49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Aslaksen S (2010) Oil and democracy: more than a cross-country correlation? J Peace Res 47(4):421–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Aydın-Düzgit S (2012) No crisis, no change: the third AKP victory in the June 2011 parliamentary elections in Turkey. South Eur Soc Polit 1–18. doi:10.1080/13608746.2011.640426Google Scholar
  11. Bleek PC, Stein A (2012) Turkey and America face Iran. Survival 54(2):27–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bruckner M, Ciccone A, Tesei A (2012) Oil price shocks, income, and democracy. Rev Econ Stat 94(2):389–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bruni F (2003) Turks and Kurds maintain a mutual suspicion. New York Times, 12 April 2003Google Scholar
  14. Buckner E (2011) The role of higher education in the Arab state and society: historical legacies and recent reform patterns. Comp Int High Educ 3:21–26Google Scholar
  15. Bush K (2012) Arab spring dreams: the next generation speaks out for freedom and justice from North Africa to Iran. Libr J 137(8):88–88Google Scholar
  16. Carpenter H (2011) The networked nonprofit: connecting with social media to drive change. Nonprofit and Volunt Sect Q 40(5):974–976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Castells M (2002) Local and global: cities in the network society. Tijdschrift Voor Economische En Sociale Geografie 93(5):548–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Coury RM (2006) The search for Arab democracy: discourses and counterdiscourses. Muslim World 96(2):381–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Conway D (1996) The impacts of climate variability and future climate change in the Nile basin on water resources in Egypt. Int J of Water Resour Dev 12(3):277–296. doi:10.1080/07900629650178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cullity J (2003) Television and social change in rural India. J Asian Stud 62(2):665–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dalacoura K (2012) The 2011 uprisings in the Arab Middle East: political change and geopolitical implications. Int Aff 88(1):63–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dupont C, Passy F (2012) One year later, whither the Arab Spring? Domestic and regional challenges. Swiss Polit Sci Rev 18(1):101–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ebrahimpour H, Sepehri MB (2011) Cultural factors and their effect in the use of overseas media: a survey of the audience for satellite TV programs from Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan in Iran’s Ardebil Province. 2nd World Conference on Psychology, Counseling and Guidance 2011, 30Google Scholar
  24. Economist (2010) Democracy index 2010: democracy in retreat: the economist intelligence unitGoogle Scholar
  25. Ehteshami A, Elik S (2011) Turkey’s growing relations with Iran and Arab Middle East. Turkish Stud 12(4):643–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Eid H, El-Marsafawy S, Ouda S (2007) Assessing the economic impacts of climate change on agriculture in Egypt. The World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  27. Esarey A (2011) After the Internet, before democracy: competing norms in Chinese media and society. China Q 207:735–737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Evans J (2009) 21st century climate change in the Middle East. Clim Chang 92:417–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Evans J (2010) Global warming impact on the dominant precipitation processes in the Middle East. Theor Appl Clim 99(3–4):389–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Fahmy Z (2010) Media-capitalism: colloquial mass culture and nationalism in Egypt, 1908–18. Int J Middle East Stud 42(1):83–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Falah GW (2011) Epilogue: the challenge of keeping non-violent protest non-violent. Arab World Geogr 14(2):9Google Scholar
  32. Fox J, James P, Li YT (2009) Religious affinities and international intervention in ethnic conflicts in the Middle East and beyond. Can J Polit Sci 42(1):161–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Franck G (2003) Mental capitalism (power and freedom in the age of mass media). Merkur-Deutsche Zeitschrift Fur Europaisches Denken 57(1):1–15Google Scholar
  34. Gao X, Giorgi F (2008) Increased aridity in the mediterranean region under greenhouse gas forcing estimated from high resolution simulations with a regional climate model. Glob Planet Chang 62(3–4):195–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Giddens A (2000) Runaway world: how globalisation is reshaping our lives. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. GLOWA (2009) Jordan River, phase II final report: an integrated approach to sustainable management of water resources under global change.
  37. Gursoy Y (2011) The impact of EU-driven reforms on the political autonomy of the Turkish military. South Eur Soc Polit 16(2):293–308. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Haynes J (2008) Debating Arab authoritarianism: dynamics and durability in nondemocratic regimes. Democratization 15(5):1033–1035Google Scholar
  39. Heper M, dot (2005) The justice and development party government and the military in Turkey. Turkish Stud 6(2):215–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Himelboim I, Lariscy RW, Tinkham SF, Sweetser KD (2012) Social media and online political communication: the role of interpersonal informational trust and openness. J Broadcast Electron Media 56(1):92–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Howard PN, Parks MR (2012) Social media and political change: capacity, constraint, and consequence. J Commun 62(2):359–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Livingstone R (2011) Media and new capitalism in the digital age: the spirit of networks. Media Cult Soc 33(3):506–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lloyd A (2011) The prospect of Internet democracy. New Media Soc 13(5):848–849CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. MacKenzie D (2012) The Arab spring runs dry. New Scientist 214(2861):32–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mai M (1998) Television as object and moment of social change—factors and consequences of current changes in television. Kolner Zeitschrift Fur Soziologie Und Sozialpsychologie 50(4):785–787Google Scholar
  46. Mamadouh V (2011) Forum on the 2011 “Arab Spring”—introduction. The Arab World Geogr 14(2):5Google Scholar
  47. McCarthy J (1983) Muslims and minorities: the population of Ottoman Anatolia and the end of the empire. New York University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. Nisan M (2002) Minorities in the Middle East: a history of struggle and self-expression, 2nd edn. McFarland & Co, JeffersonGoogle Scholar
  49. Opwis F (2003) Contemporary discussion on Islamic counseling philosophy (Shura) with respect to continuities and discontinuities in the history of ideas. Int J Middle East Stud 35(4):633–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ottaway M, Hamzawy A (2011) Protest movements and political change in the Arab world: the Carnegie Endowment for International PeaceGoogle Scholar
  51. Perthes V (2011) Europe and the Arab Spring. Survival 53(6):73–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ross ML (2001) Does oil hinder democracy? World Polit 53(April):36Google Scholar
  53. Said EW, Mohr J (1999) After the last sky: Palestinian lives. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  54. Saleh N (2012) Digitally enabled social change: activism in the Internet age. Perspect Polit 10(2):514–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Satana NS (2008) Transformation of the Turkish military and the path to democracy. Armed Forces Soc 34(3):357–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sánchez E, Gallardo C, Gaertner MA, Arribas A, Castro M (2004) Future climate extreme events in the Mediterranean simulated by a regional climate model: a first approach. Glob Planet Chang 44(1–4):163–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Secor A (2011) Turkey’s democracy: a model for the troubled Middle East? Eurasian Geogr Econ 52(2):157–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sharbrough C (2012) The Middle East: a guide to politics, economics, society, and culture. Libr J 137(5):136–136Google Scholar
  59. Shavit U (2010) Is Shura a Muslim form of democracy? Roots and systemization of a polemic. Middle East Stud 46(3):349–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sohrabi N (1995) Historicizing revolutions—constitutional revolutions in the Ottoman-empire, Iran, and Russia, 1905–1908. Am J Sociol 100(6):1383–1447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sowers J, Vengosh A, Weinthal E (2011) Climate change, water resources, and the politics of adaptation in the Middle East and North Africa. Clim Chang 104(3–4):599–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Suppan P, Kunstmann H, Heckel A, Rimmer A (2008) Impact of climate change on water availability in the near East. In: Zereini F, Hotzl H (eds) Climate changes and water resources in the Middle East and North Africa. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  63. Spyer J (2008) Israel in the Middle East: threats and countermeasures. Int Relat 22(3):349–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Taspinar O (2004) Kurdish nationalism and political Islam in Turkey: Kemalist identity in transition. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  65. Teti A (2011) Democracy in the Arab world: explaining the deficit. Mediter Polit 16(3):459–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tlili M (2001) Arab democracy: a possible dream? World Policy J 18(3):47–48Google Scholar
  67. Tosun MS, Yilmaz S (2010). Decentralization, economic development, and growth in Turkish Provinces. Emerg Mark Finan and Trade 46(4):71–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Tsui KK (2011) More oil, less democracy: evidence from worldwide crude oil discoveries. Econ J 121(551):89–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tufekci Z, Wilson C (2012) Social media and the decision to participate in political protest: observations from Tahrir square. J Commun 62(2):363–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. UNDP (2008) Fighting climate change: human solidarity in a divided world UNDP, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  71. UNDP (2011) Human Development Report 2011. United Nations Development Programme, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  72. Warf B (2011) Myths, realities, and lessons of the “Arab Spring”. Arab World Geogr 14(2):13Google Scholar
  73. Yavuz H (2009) Secularism and Muslim democracy in Turkey. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Yazdani F, Williams C (2010) Aspects of education in the Middle East and North Africa. Educ Rev 62(3):362–363Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilhan Kaya
    • 1
  • Yilmaz Ari
    • 2
  • Hakkı Yazici
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeographyDicle UniversityDiyarbakirTurkey
  2. 2.Balikesir UniversityBalikesirTurkey
  3. 3.Afyon Kocatepe UniversityAfyonkarahisarTurkey

Personalised recommendations