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By Stephan Stetter (auth.)

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The consideration of how global geopolitical constellations relate to the Middle East (and how the Middle East shapes these constellations) has always played a prominent role in Middle East studies, both during and after the Cold War. While several studies have emphasized the agency of Middle East states vis-a`-vis the Cold War superpowers or, nowadays, the West, the more widespread assumption – in particular from Middle East scholars – is the observation of political-cultural dominance by the West.

Embarking on the communicationtheoretical framework outlined above, Part I focuses on the unity of the distinction between globalization versus regionalization/localization. Building on what has already been said in this chapter, Chapter 2 looks in much greater detail at the way in which patterns of global communicative interconnectivity affect Middle East politics, focusing in particular on the interplay between functional and territorial differentiation. By addressing several case studies, this chapter shows that the construction of the Middle East is of necessity a globalized enterprise.

27 Debordering the Middle East Following the theoretical arguments set out above, all territorial borders and, consequently, all territories in world society must necessarily be understood as being the result of global (communicative) dynamics. Accordingly, the very notion of the ‘regionness’ of both the Middle East and territories within the region must be shifted from a positivist, spatial and cultural understanding to a concept of territory as a world societal and communicatively generated phenomenon.

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