MEGATRENDS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Abstract. The study of megatrends as the most revolutionary courses of mankind progress facilitates the definition of the time progression properties of both the global system and regional subsystems within the universal patterns. The objective of this study is to systematize and classify megatrends and determine the nature of their manifestation in the Middle East. On the basis of this analysis a reciprocal effect of the Middle East regional trends on the megatrends of the global world is defined, the nature of the co-evolution of global and regional megatrends is outlined and further courses of mankind progress are forecast.
Megatrends exert the influence on the state of the world, thus defining the qualitative sense of the modern stage of global system evolution. The major megatrends were defined: globalization, integration, democratization, a reduced degree of mankind security and an increasing severity of global problems; a change in the international political structure; a crisis of the global leadership institution; a shift of the center of universal development (orientalization); an inversion of the fundamental values (freedom versus security); a virtualization of sociopolitical relations; a new model for the change in political power and administration in certain countries; an increased role of network structures in the international politics; an ideological indoctrination of international relations, namely the growing impact of the religious and civilizational factors.
The processes that are now occurring in the Middle East are defined by and greatly influence global development megatrends and the establishment of the world order structure, which makes it necessary to forecast trends for their future development. It is thus advisable to examine these processes at multiple levels of analysis: global, regional, sub-regional, bilateral and national.
Актуальні проблеми міжнародних відносин. Випуск 143. 2020. .
Political changes in the region also reflect its internal problems. These are, above all, the authoritarian regimes, religious divides, Islamic extremism, excessive military spending, arms imports, and societies’ dissatisfaction withliving conditions. At the political level it is the absence of a joint political entity that could consolidate regional actors which constitutes yet another problem. At the regional level the transformation of relations along with the growing conflict potential leads to destabilization and fosters more polarization of the region. The dysfunctional nature of internal elements of the region is used by more powerful external actors. The old order is disappearing whilst the phase of transition to a new one is still ongoing and is characterized by uncertainty, the strengthening of the role of political Islam along with the new geopolitical role of Islamic fundamentalism, unrestricted transit of Islamism ideas, recurrent internal and interstate conflicts, and the heightened threat of non-state actors. It was concluded that ever-growing instability, a potential redrawing of the existing national boundaries and the emergence of quasi-states, relying on ethnic and ethno-denominational powers and sustained by influential geopolitical centers of power, can all be expected.
An analysis of megatrends and the nature of their manifestation in the Middle East enables us to make conclusions about the feasibility of employing such a category in international political analysis and actualizes the research of megatrends management at the global and regional levels alike.
Keywords: megatrends, the Middle East, regional security, Islamism, Islamic fundamentalism, Pan-Islamism, Pan-Arabism.